Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) will, in August, release an interim inferred resource update at Block B of its Estelle gold project north-west of Anchorage in Alaska.
This will include resources in areas outside the current — and maiden — 2.5 million ounce mineral resource.
A final global resource from the Korbel prospect Blocks A and B is planned for release in December, with feasibility and baseline environmental studies to then begin simultaneously.
Korbel is only one of 15 identified deposits in the Estelle project.
Last week, Nova announced that it had raised $1.505,228 through the exercise of 43.3 million quoted options, including options exercised by executive director Louie Simeris.
Tintina gold belt
Estelle is located near the eastern end of the Tintina gold belt that stretches westward from Alaska over the Canadian border and through most of the Yukon. It is about 1,000m long.
More than 200Moz of hard rock gold resources have been documented within the belt over the past decade. It contains “untold millions of ounces” of historic placer gold, Nova said in a recent presentation.
The gold is typically bulk tonnage but with high margins.
Estelle is a near-surface intrusion related gold system (IRGS) type deposit.
Other deposits of a similar nature along the Tintina belt including Fort Knox (5.6Moz at 0.3 grams per tonne) owned by Canada’s Kinross Gold, Eagle (5.3Moz at 0.6g/t), Casino (17.8Moz at 0.2g/t), Pebble (106Moz at 0.3g/t) and Whistler (6.4Moz at 0.5g/t).
It was the Russians who first discovered gold in Alaska, 19 years before the territory was transferred by the Tsarist Government to the United States in 1867.
The territory also saw the famed Nome gold rush (1899-1909). Today, the state has the second largest number of gold mines in the US (after Nevada) and some deposits are among the largest in the world.
The Estelle gold project is located approximately 177km north-west of Anchorage, Alaska’s major city, which provides a large labour force and all essential services.
Access is via snow road or by air, with the nearby Whiskey Bravo airstrip being compliant for DC3 aircraft.
Nova and the Alaska Industrial Development Export Authority (AIDEA) have recently approved a joint agreement to advance studies for the West Susitna Access Road, a proposed new multi-season road connecting the Port Mackenzie resources cargo port to the resource-rich area of Alaska where Nova’s Estelle gold project is located.
Nova has plans to set up a year-round camp that will allow it to continue its drill program as it advances Korbel and other prospects at the Estelle project.
The present average drilling depth is less than 100m – the deposit being shallow and amenable to open pit mining and with a low strip ratio.
In mid-July, Nova announced a new set of drilling results from Korbel where two diamond drill rigs are operating.
The significant drill intercepts included 241.28m at 0.39g/t from 4.69m downhole, 118.87g/t at 0.42g/t, 130.45m at 0.61g/t and 516.61m at 0.28g/t.
Nova chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said at the time that the thick drill intercepts were exciting and significant, with all holes hitting extensive mineralisation.