Nova Minerals uncovers high-grade gold and antimony at Estelle prospects
Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA) has identified shallow high-grade gold and antimony in surface samples from the Train and Trumpet prospects at its flagship Estelle project in Alaska.
The company has confirmed further broad zones of surface mineralisation at the prospects through studies that included field observations, assay results from 2023 surface samples and the re-examination of multi-element data from historical samples.
Nova has already identified widespread anomalous gold in a minor initial scout drilling program at the Train prospect, which the company was forced to pause largely due to weather conditions after only drilling around 600m in total in 4 holes.
Train potential identified
The shortened drill campaign has nevertheless provided the company with a glimpse of Train’s potential, with the extensive high-grade surface samples of gold, antimony, copper and silver indicating the Train and Trumpet areas are highly-mineralised and remain wide open.
The early results have also confirmed the presence of large amounts of antimony-enriched gold mineralisation within the Estelle gold district.
Nova head of exploration Hans Hoffman said the company is now planning further work at both Train and Trumpet, with particular focus on antimony analysis as part of its future assay protocols.
This will allow the company’s ongoing exploration and resource work to determine the potential of antimony as a by-product in future economic studies.
New mineralisation found
“The drill results from this first pad at Train show evidence of a mineralised system, although admittedly this first pad was far from the heart of it,” Mr Hoffman said.
“Field crews focused a lot of their efforts on infill sampling around the area to hone in on increased vein density and mineralisation. Crews were successful in finding new zones of mineralisation between Train and Trumpet.”
Mr Hoffman noted that one of the zones was on a nunatak, which is an outcrop in the middle of the two prospects.
“They were undoubtedly the first to ever set foot on it and first pass reconnaissance yielded some excellent results.”
“Logistical challenges and time constraints only allowed a few short holes to be drilled at Train this year, but the exploration pathfinders have shown there is still exciting potential in the Train and Trumpet areas for further follow-up.”
Extensive surface program
Mr Hoffman and his team undertook an extensive surface exploration mapping and sampling program across the entire Estelle gold project during the 2023 field season.
The promising results from that program led to Nova staking an additional 63 sq. km of Alaskan mining claims, while assay results from soil and rock samples identified two new gold-antimony prospect areas at Stibium and Styx.
In total since 2020, Nova’s field crews have collected 94 rock samples and 67 soil samples at Train.
More zones to be tested
Nova chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said the Train prospect remains wide open with several target zones still to be tested. The company plans to resume the drilling program at a later date.
“Once again, we are pleased to report widespread high-grade gold results from prospects within the Estelle project area. We continue to advance the Train and Trumpet prospects and these results show why we consider it to be the highest priority exploration target to discover the next deposit after RPM and Korbel,” he said.
“While Nova’s primary focus continues to be on the gold, the presence of high-grade antimony, silver, and copper in the Train and Trumpet areas [also] has the potential to add significant value to the project resources.”
Widespread antimony opportunity
He said the company’s more comprehensive re-examination of data from historical samples has also identified that the antimony association with the gold systems appears to be extensive across Estelle and of high-grade at several prospects where massive stibnite veining has been observed.
“This represents a significant opportunity for the company as antimony is listed as a critical and strategic mineral to US economic and national security interests by the US Department of Interior,” Mr Gerteisen added.
“The antimony and multi-element story is only just beginning as we continue to unearth further treasures at Estelle.”