Novo Resources Corp. [NVO-TSXV; NSRPF-OTCQX] has resumed its 2020 exploration program at its Egina gold project in Western Australia’s Pilbara region 80 km south-southwest of Port Hedland, and quickly identified another broad gold-bearing swale, or gold-bearing channel, at the Paradise prospect.
Following a self-imposed isolation period due to COVID-19, work is underway. The company has implemented work and hygiene protocols to ensure a safe workplace for its field staff. Its Perth head office has reopened on a managed, lower-density basis.
Novo has identified another gold-bearing channel in an area southwest of the Paradise prospect. This swale measures at least 750 metres wide, is open to the southwest, and brings the total number of swales discovered in this area to three.
Identification of gold-bearing gravels comes from processing approximately 1 tonne bulk samples using Novo’s mobile alluvial Knudson (MAK) test plant. Gold particle counts from MAK samples collected in this new swale, S3, range up to 210 per tonne, the highest yet seen in this area. Gold-bearing gravels were found at Paradise earlier this year, and the company announced discovery of two broad gold-bearing swales, S1 and S2, last month.
Novo plans to undertake bulk sampling of gravels from the newly discovered Paradise swales during the 2020 field season. Novo also plans to expand the heritage survey footprint in this area once the Kariyarra Aboriginal Group has deemed it safe to come out of quarantine.
In addition to the Paradise area, Novo has approximately 20 high priority target areas it plans to explore utilizing MAK sampling in 2020. The goal of this work will be to demonstrate proof of concept that the Egina terrace has potential to host an extensive, shallow gold-bearing gravel deposit.
In February, before cessation of work at Egina due to COVID 19, Novo completed processing of two large bulk samples from a test area within the Egina mining lease. All gold assay data has returned from these samples. Bulk samples from trenches 6A and 6B, both collected from the general trend of the swale and swale margin corridor, yielded a total of 592.6 grams of gold from 413.6 cubic metres and 393.8 grams of gold from 763.2 cubic metres, respectively. Collectively, this totals 986.4 grams of gold from 1,176.8 cubic metres of gravel, or 0.84 grams gold per cubic metre. Conventional alluvial gold projects commonly display grades of 0.2-0.3 grams gold per cubic metre.
Because of the extensive nature of gold-bearing gravel mineralization at Egina, Novo views environmental rehabilitation of disturbed areas as a critical component to gaining acceptance for potential future commercial operations. Novo’s environmental stewardship efforts are underway whilst undertaking exploration activities, each area displaying impressive rates of vegetative regrowth. Novo’s in-house environmental team has used best practices including stockpiling and rapid re-establishment of topsoil and regrowth after the wet season. Data collected from these rehabilitation efforts will help underpin Novo’s case that this style of ground disturbance can be managed such as to restore the land to its original state.
“We are very happy to get back to work at Egina,” commented Quinton Hennigh, President, Chairman, and a Director of Novo. “We are very excited by the continued exploration success with the immediate discovery of yet another broad gold-bearing swale at Paradise. Our MAK sampling approach clearly delivers quick results showing us where gold-enriched gravels are situated and we plan to aggressively use this technique to test a multitude of targets across the terrace this field season. As we identify these gold-bearing gravels, we plan to follow up MAK sampling with bulk sampling and processing that will allow us to assess gold grades of these gravels. Bulk sampling has clearly demonstrated robust grades of gravels in the swale within the 2019 test area, and we aim to similarly evaluate grades of gravels in these new areas. Also exciting are the spectacular results of our environmental rehabilitation efforts. Our in-house team has done a great job showing that we can reclaim disturbed areas to their former state, a critical step for Novo in its efforts to move Egina toward a commercial operation.”
In morning trading, shares of Novo Resources rose 27 cents, or 10.1%, to $2.94 on a volume of 788,200 shares traded.