One of the richest mineralized areas in the world, the vast Pilbara region of Western Australia has been host to a number of gold rushes since the precious metal was first discovered at Whim Creek in 1887.
Just over 130 years later, the newest – and possibly biggest – gold rush in the remote area’s history is now underway.
Fuelled by De Grey Mining’s (ASX: DEG) world class Hemi gold discovery, the Pilbara is now drawing in gold explorers from all over the globe looking to grab their piece of the golden action.
Remarkably, Hemi is around 50km from the original Whim Creek gold rush discovery, which is staggering considering the Pilbara region measures almost 508,000 sq. km.
When De Grey announced in December 2019 that it had made what is now considered one of the most exciting Australian gold discoveries in decades, it set in motion a tidal wave of actions.
For De Grey, it triggered a spectacular leap in its share price and thrust the junior mining firmly into the global spotlight.
At the time of the original find, the company’s share price was trading at around A$0.05 and went on to reach as high as A$1.55 in September 2020, before settling back to its current price of around A$0.89.
While many businesses suffered and went into a waiting mode during COVID-19 lockdown restrictions, De Grey was not sitting on its laurels, implementing an aggressive drill campaign aimed at assessing just what it had uncovered.
Thanks to De Grey’s progressive and methodical approach and the rich geology, Hemi just continues to grow.
With multiple rigs in action, the company is successfully uncovering new gold zones and extending the known gold mineralization outwards and downwards.
In recent weeks, De Grey has reported that Hemi continues to expand across multiple zones.
Overall, the Hemi system is now more than 3,500m north-south and 3,500m east-west, over 400m deep, and remains open along strike and at depth.
A newly discovered Falcon zone has added to the picture, with mineralization encountered in RC and diamond drilling over 1,000m of strike and to 300m below surface and remains open along strike and at depth.
The company is also currently undertaking a comprehensive and successful metallurgical test work programme across each of the mineralized zones at Hemi (Brolga, Aquila, Crow, and Falcon).
Meanwhile, for the Pilbara, the discovery has instigated the region’s next great gold rush and De Grey’s neighbours have suddenly found the door has opened for their own share prices to take off and to accelerate any exploration plans they had for their Pilbara properties.
The following is an overview of some of the Pilbara gold hunters, in alphabetical order, which are benefitting from their “nearology” to the Hemi discovery.
Castle Minerals (ASX: CDT) is fast-tracking its work on the Beasley Creek project, which is located to the south of Hemi. In the wake of the Hemi discovery, Castle has conducted a further review of the project’s bedrock geology and identified a selection of additional gold targets ranging from Hemi-style, sheared granite-greenstone contacts through to Northern Star’s Paulsen gold mine-style intrusive mafic mineralization.
CZR Resources (ASX: CZR): While CZR’s main focus is on its exciting Pilbara iron ore development, the company has wasted no time in taking a closer look at its Croydon Gold Project, which is located in the same Mallina Basin as Hemi. Croydon covers approximately 40km strike of the key regional structures of the major regional shear zone about 50km south-east of Hemi.
DGO Gold (ASX: DGO): DGO is De Grey’s major shareholder with a 15.8% interest. The company holds over 30km of strike length of a major ENE-trending structure that parallels the Mallina Shear Zone. During 2020, DGO completed an aircore drilling programme at the Scottie Well target, which was successful in identifying significant geochemical anomalies, including gold. Future work programmes are waiting on heritage and regulatory approvals.
Golden State Mining (ASX: GSM): Golden State’s Yule project is located just 13km to the south of Hemi and the company spent the majority of its efforts in 2020 testing its potential. A recent second phase of AC drilling at Yule was completed ahead of schedule with 196 drill holes drilled for a total advance of 15,125m. Six main target areas have been tested including two target areas at Yule South and four broad target areas at Yule North.
Greatland Gold (AIM: GGP): Greatland Gold’s Panorama project consists of three adjoining exploration licences, covering 155 sq. km in the Pilbara region. The company has recently identified potential gold targets on both the north-western and southern licences.
Kalamazoo Resources (ASX: KZR): Kalamazoo is preparing to test The Sisters Gold Project, located south west of Hemi, with a major new drilling campaign. The approximately 4,900m RC and 800m diamond drilling campaign has been designed to explore five high priority drill targets.
Kairos Minerals (ASX: KAI): Kairos controls 1,547 sq. km of tenure at the epicentre of the Pilbara gold rush. The company has a large regional RC and AC drilling planned for 2021. Work will include exploration for Hemi style deposits through major regional soil sampling programmes utilising proprietary analysis techniques.
Novo Resources (TSX: NVO): In June 2019 Novo Resources signed a timely agreement with De Grey covering gold-bearing lag gravel deposits across much of De Grey’s large land position. Canadian-based Novo and its new joint venture partner Sumitomo Corporation are exploring the Egina lag gravels project immediately south of De Grey’s project.
Raiden Resources (ASX: RDN): In late 2020 Raiden successfully completed an acquisition of a substantial Pilbara Gold and Nickel portfolio, covering a land area of 823 sq. km, making it one of the more significant project holders in the district. The company has recently undertaken a geophysical targeting programme on the Arrow Pilbara Project, which is considered to be analogous to the Hemi deposit.
Thor Mining (ASX: THR) (AIM: THR): Thor holds a 100% interest in three granted tenements and two tenements under application in the Pilbara region.
Its 2021 programme is aimed at drill testing a 13km gold corridor, with particular initial emphasis on the 5km Sterling prospect. Drilling is scheduled for late in the March quarter, to be preceded by a further programme of stream and soil sampling during which drill access options will be assessed.