Nova Minerals expands Estelle project with high-grade gold anomalies at Muddy Creek and Discovery
Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) has added to its great run of exploration success in large holdings at the prolific Tintina gold belt in Alaska.
New exploration within the centre of the company’s flagship Estelle gold project has identified a 1.5km long surface gold anomaly at Muddy Creek prospect and uncovered numerous multi-gram gold rock samples at the nearby Discovery prospect.
The promising new prospects were discovered during the 2023 field season in a major sampling and extensive surface exploration mapping program undertaken by Nova’s head of exploration Hans Hoffman.
The program covered the entire Estelle gold project and included over 45 traverses covering 100-line km, 674 soil samples, 446 rock samples and 21 stream sediment samples.
Numerous new prospects
This significant effort led to the identification of numerous new prospects including Muddy Creek and Discovery and to Nova staking a number of new mining claims, which has seen the Estelle project area grow to more than 513 sq km.
Mr Hoffman revealed that Nova geologists initially identified an impressive gold-in-soil anomaly along a tributary of Muddy Creek in 2022.
“Following up on that anomaly in 2023, our geologists conducted in-fill soil sampling and detailed rock sampling which has now revealed one of the most continuous high-grade gold anomalies on the Estelle claim block.”
“In typical Estelle fashion, gold mineralisation is coincident with sheeted, northwest-trending, quartz-arsenopyrite veins. This prospect warrants subsurface exploration to test the extent of the mineralisation.”
“In addition, geologists visited the new Discovery prospect, which also returned some impressive results.”
“While on an ‘Estelle’ scale, over 1 gram per tonne gold samples may be overlooked, one needs to be reminded that under 0.5g/t gold is well above typical cut-off grades for intrusion-related gold systems and Discovery adds another 800m to the 1.5km anomaly identified at Muddy Creek,” Mr Hoffman added.
Muddy Creek and Discovery upside
Discovery and Muddy Creek assay results from exploration undertaken in 2023 have confirmed one of the most continuous high-grade zones of mineralisation yet identified on the Estelle property.
The Muddy Creek anomaly is located along the eastern slopes above an upper tributary feeding Muddy Creek.
A total of 21 soil samples were collected over a 1.5km traverse and all but two of these samples were greater than 1.0g/t gold. The soils averaged 2.5g/t gold, with a high of 6.1g/t gold.
46 rock samples were also collected, prioritising the quartz-arsenopyrite sheeted vein zones.
These samples have an average grade of 18.0g/t gold, including more than ten samples greater than 25g/t gold, with a high of 127.5g/t gold.
The Discovery prospect is located between Shadow and Muddy Creek at the headwaters of an upper tributary to Muddy Creek.
Nova collected 12 rocks, five soils and seven stream sediment samples, with rock samples averaging 7.9g/t gold.
Ten samples were greater than 1.0g/t gold and three samples greater than 10.0g/t gold, with a high of 43.6g/t gold. Soil samples averaged 0.5g/t gold with a high of 0.6g/t gold.
Train at full steam
Nova chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said the new results continue to build on the rich Estelle gold story.
“The Train area continues to light up, this time at Muddy Creek and Discovery which lie just east of Train and Trumpet and north of the Shoeshine and Shadow prospects.”
“These prospects combined represent an approximately 4.5km long and 2.5km wide anomaly and the potential for continuity between them certainly exists in what appears to be another massive intrusive related gold system.”
“In addition to high-grade gold, which we have once again encountered at Muddy Creek, there is also widespread multi-element potential with anomalous antimony, copper, and silver throughout.”
“These results further confirm the Train area and Muddy Creek prospect in particular as one of our highest-ranked drill targets to potentially establish a third resource deposit as we continue to advance the Estelle project on our path towards production.”