Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) is progressing regional exploration at its Estelle gold project after mobilising a rig to the RPM prospect where “spectacular grades” were identified in rock chip samples.
Located within Alaska’s prolific Tintina gold belt, rock chip sampling at RPM uncovered gold grading 291 grams per tonne, 103g/t, 13.1g/t, and 9.3g/t.
Nova also re-sampled a diamond drill hole from 2012, which generated 178m at 0.8g/t gold, including 120m at 1g/t gold and 50m at 1.8g/t gold.
Chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said the “spectacular grades” from the rock chip results and the re-sampled historic drill hole had opened up another priority target outside of the Korbel Valley prospects.
“This is in line with our plans to unlock a district containing multiple, large-scale gold deposits.”
“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 to move toward gold production at the Estelle gold district.”
RPM is one of 15 other priority targets for Nova to follow up across Estelle.
Mr Gerteisen said RPM’s footprint could be much bigger than initially thought after the discovery of a larger, higher-grade zone.
Advancing the Estelle gold project
Mr Gerteisen noted the company had built up 4.7 million ounces in gold resources at the project’s Korbel Main deposit – adding this was “just the beginning” of the company’s journey at Estelle.
Nova started exploring at Estelle in 2018, with the primary Korbel Main deposit remaining open to the northwest and southeast.
Drilling is continuing to extend known mineralisation in these directions to build resource size and confidence.
An interim scoping study on a potential development at Korbel Main alone is nearing completion.
“We have a highly qualified local field crew and consultants in place to fast-track our field, economic and environmental programs as we drive forward with our plan to progress the Korbel Main prospect through to production,” Mr Gerteisen said.
He added the start of drilling at the RPM prospect marked the company’s next stage of growth.
Field exploration work will also begin “in coming months” to advance the pipeline of priority targets across the wider project.