Just four months after picking up the historic Jubilee mine and surrounding ground, Navarre Minerals (ASX: NML) has again increased its Victorian portfolio after being granted tenure of the old St Arnaud goldfield west of Bendigo.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, the St Arnaud goldfield produced about 400,000 ounces at a recovered grade over 15 grams per tonne of gold.
The new tenement adjoins the company’s existing St Arnaud gold project and provides access for Navarre to follow up rich legacy drill hits, including one of 1m at 1,174g/t gold.
That intersection was reported in 2008 as intercepted 425m down hole under the historic New Bendigo mine by Rex Minerals (ASX: RXM), a company now drilling for gold and silver in Nevada, United States.
Navarre won the tenement after a competitive bidding process.
“The highly prospective ground further strengthens Navarre’s strategic footprint in Victoria’s 80 million-ounce Golden Triangle,” the company said today.
Three more licence applications lodged
The new tenement covers the majority of historical workings within the goldfield.
Navarre has also lodged three other licence applications over ground adjacent to the St Arnaud project.
The St Arnaud goldfield is the second largest hard rock goldfield in the Stawell Zone.
According to the Victorian government’s ‘Gold Undercover’ program, the Stawell Zone has the potential to hold undiscovered gold of up to 38Moz.
Navarre managing director Ian Holland said the new package further strengthens the company’s hold over some of the most prospective ground in what is called the ‘Golden Triangle’.
“The granting of the tenement validates Navarre’s aggressive exploration program at a time of record gold prices and intense interest in the Victorian gold sector,” he added.
St Arnaud gold source traced to outcropping reefs
The new tenement includes historical workings on the Bristol, New Chum and Nelson lines of reef.
These reefs extend for about 5km and dive under Murray Basin cover to the north, where Navarre is drilling the adjacent licence area.
Gold was first discovered at St Arnaud in 1855 and the source was traced to outcropping quartz reefs.
By 1860, 47 hard rock mines were in operation in the area.
Of the reefs, the Nelson line produced the most gold over a strike length of 5km and worked down to 685m at the field’s deepest mine, the Lord Nelson.
St Arnaud drilling to begin this quarter
Drilling will begin at St Arnaud late in the current quarter following first pass drilling at the Jubilee project.
In June, Navarre acquired a 100% interest in the Jubilee gold project 25km from Ballarat.
The 122sq km licence area includes the historic Jubilee gold mine (operated 1887-1913) that produced 130,000oz of gold at a recovered grade of 12g/t from a single reef.
Since that mine closed in 1913, there have been no reported modern attempts at sustained exploration. No drilling has been done.