Alaska-focused explorer Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) has announced further high-grade gold intercepts from drilling at the RPM North prospect of its Estelle gold project with planning now underway for a maiden resource.
The company emerged from a trading halt last week to reveal “spectacular” wide zones of high-grade gold at the prospect including an average grade of 3.5 grams per tonne over 400m from surface.
In today’s update, Nova reported additional broad zones at RPM North including 1g/t over 220m from surface in hole RPM-006.
The maiden drilling program at RPM has now been completed and all rigs have moved back to the Korbel Main deposit to continue drilling for an updated resource estimate anticipated later in the quarter.
Meanwhile, Nova plans to send data to independent consultants to prepare a maiden inferred resource for RPM North and is designing the next phase of drilling programs to launch in 2022, which will also target the potentially larger RPM South zone.
Further high-grade gold hits
Nova chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said these latest results at RPM North further confirm the discovery of another massive intrusive-related gold system within the Estelle gold project, located on Alaska’s prolific Tintina gold belt.
Best intercepts from hole RPM-006 included: 175m at 1.3g/t gold from surface; 101m at 2g/t from 34m; 61m at 2.9g/t from 56m; 18m at 4.5g/t from 99m; 6m at 10.3g/t from 56m; and 3m at 17.2g/t from 108m.
In a second hole, RPM-004, an average 0.4g/t gold was returned over 405m from surface, including 259m at 0.5g/t from surface and up to 2.4g/t over 3m from 290m.
Mr Gerteisen said these broad zones are believed to be “just a glimpse” of the geological potential at RPM.
“The mineralisation at RPM is hosted along the intrusive contact with hornfels sediment country rocks. This contact zone appears be an ideal structural corridor where the important litho-geochemical reactions are focused, enabling high-grade gold deposition.”
“It is encouraging that we can follow these intrusive contacts in mapping for quite a distance along strike at RPM North and at the RPM South zone,” he added.
Nova plans to step out drilling in a series of 200m spaced lines to the west of holes RPM-005 and RPM-006 as a priority in the next phase of drilling.
2022 drilling plans
Nova is planning to commence the next phase of drilling “as soon as possible” in 2022 with at least two drill rigs at RPM to follow up the north zone and begin to target the south zone, which may converge at depth.
“This intrusive-hornfels contact zone seems to be a critical site for hosting super high-grade gold mineralisation, so we will also be employing the same ore deposition model at the Korbel deposit which currently is hosted entirely within the intrusive, but several similar contact zone targets have already been identified and will be followed up as a matter of priority,” Mr Gerteisen said.
“Korbel is already a very large bulk intrusive-related gold system in its own right, so a few extra high-grade sweetener zones would be an added bonus in a mining scenario,” he added.
Nova’s Korbel Main deposit has already been estimated to hold 4.7 million ounces of gold with its resource expected to grow significantly in the fourth quarter following recent infill drilling.
“In time, we expect to define multiple new shallow gold resources that will further support our goal of aggressively growing the resource inventory as we continue on the fast track towards gold production at the Estelle gold project,” Mr Gerteisen said.