Just three and a half years after listing, Kalamazoo Resources (ASX: KZR) has amassed key tenements in two of the hottest Australian gold stories — the Victorian goldfields rebirth and the emerging Pilbara gold powerhouse.
In fact, just a week ago the junior was granted a new exploration licence adjoining its Castlemaine gold project in central Victoria, taking its total landholding in the area to 310 square kilometres.
Referred to as Queens, the licence is adjacent and to the east of Kalamazoo’s Wattle Gully South discovery in the state’s prolific Bendigo Zone.
It straddles the highly prospective Taradale Fault and immediately surrounds the Malmsbury gold project.
The bulk of junior exploration companies toil away for many years to amass a wide-ranging portfolio, and many of those involve switching commodities as market conditions change.
Kalamazoo was listed on 16 January 2017, and its portfolio now consists of tenements in three historic Victorian goldfields — Castlemaine, South Muckelford and Tarngulla Central — and four in the Pilbara, consisting of Ashburton (with a 1.6 million ounce resource), The Sisters, DOM’s and Marble Bar.
Bringing together two quite different gold stories
Both stories have a long history, one being one of the greatest gold events in Australia’s history, the other one of the more neglected ones.
Victorian goldfields were the world’s largest producers of gold for 30 years from 1860, accounting for more than half the global output.
By contrast, it has taken 85 years for the Pilbara gold story to come into its own.
In 1935, Perth’s The Daily News carried a headline: “Pilbara Gold Field — Worth Further Investigation”.
The state’s mining engineer at the time, a Mr R Wilson, stated that “the Pilbara goldfields would probably repay further investigation”. This came after the state conducted a geological survey.
Mr Wilson made the point that the Pilbara was very isolated with a very small and scattered population, so that the region had not received the exploration attention it should have. Most of the gold mines worked in the past had been pretty well all one-man shows. Yet the Pilbara had seen one of the colony’s first gold discoveries.
Finally, Mr Wilson has been vindicated.
Ashburton purchase described as ‘transformational’
The 217sq km project currently holds a JORC resource estimate of 20.8Mt at 2.5g/t gold for a contained 1.65Moz.
Ashburton produced 350,000oz of gold between December 2018 and April 2004 from four deposits.
Kalamazoo says the project has significant regional greenfield and brownfield exploration potential, and comes with a large database of drilling, geological, geochemical and geophysical detail. There are numerous walk-up drilling targets.
Earlier in June, the company completed its first large-scaled, gold focused exploration at the The Sisters project, which has similar geology to the recent Hemi discovery in the Pilbara by De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG).
The Sisters lies north of the newly acquired Ashburton ground. Kalamazoo has recently completed a wide geochemical survey at The Sisters covering a structural corridor 14km in length.
Well-funded to accelerate exploration
As of Monday, Kalamazoo had a market capitalisation of $97.8 million, with its shares up almost 55% over the last four weeks alone.
At the end of March, the company had cash of $8.51 million and remains well-funded, with the Ashburton acquisition requiring no payments until mining begins.
The company has also added to its technical team the CSIRO to undertake joint research at the Castlemaine project in Victoria.
As of now, the overall Victorian gold renaissance seems to have capture investors’ attention — a far cry from the case over a decade ago when we witnessed several large-scale failures among gold companies, including producers.
Meanwhile, the Pilbara story just seems to grow by the week with companies pegging ground to secure a part of the gold action.