Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) says it expects to define “multiple” new shallow gold resources at its Estelle gold project in Alaska after receiving high-grade results from the new RPM prospect.
Included in the RPM rock chip samples were assays of 291 grams per tonne gold, 103g/t, 13.1g/t, 9.3g/t and 8.8g/t.
A 2012 diamond drill hole at the prospect returned 178m at 0.8g/t, with a 50m section averaging 1.8g/t.
Estelle is continuing to grow into a gold district with expanded high priority targets now identified at RPM and added to the 2021 drilling program.
The Estelle project currently has a published resource of 3.3 million ounces.
Pipeline of tier one assets emerging
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 1,000km 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 one presentation.
The company added today it has a “significant” pipeline of tier one targets now emerging within the Estelle project area.
There is further opportunity to unlock yet another large-tonnage block outside the current resource drilling at Korbel Main (block A and B), Korbel blocks C and D, Isabella and Cathedral.
Drilling is ongoing at the Korbel Main feeder extension and blocks C and D.
Multiple large deposits in Nova’s sights
Nova chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said the “spectacular” grades at RPM plus the 2012 drill hole results opens up another Estelle target, and one that will be drilled in 2021.
This is “in line with our plans to unlock a district containing multiple, large scale gold deposits”, he added.
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 0.3g/t) owned by Canada’s Kinross Gold, Eagle (5.3Moz at 0.6g/t), Casino (17.8Moz at 0.2%), Pebble (106Moz at 0.3g/t) and Whistler (6.4Moz at 0.5g/t).
The gold is typically in bulk tonnage, low in grade but with high margins.
“In time, we expect to define multiple new shallow gold resources that will further support our goal of building a centralised mill and heap leach facility,” said Mr Gerteisen.
The Estelle gold project is located approximately 177km northwest of Anchorage, Alaska’s major city.
Alaska 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 amongst the largest in the world, including Donlin (33.8Moz) and KSM (38.8Moz).