Novo Resources Corp president Dr Quinton Hennigh said the company is hopeful of having a mineralisation report early next year, which could justify a mining licence application on the company’s Purdy’s Reward conglomerate gold project south of Karratha.

“We’ve talked to the mines department ... to talk about what would qualify for a mineralisation report and the conclusion is that the core drilling that we’re doing can be used to demonstrate volumes and the bulk samples can be used to demonstrate grade,” he said.

“That’s really the main objective of the data we’re collecting right now, to get that mineralisation report.”

The Canadian company has been the driving force behind a narrative that the Pilbara could be geologically linked to Kaapvaal Craton in South Africa, which hosts the massive Witwatersrand gold deposit.

The discovery of watermelon seed-shaped gold nuggets in shallow ground south of Karratha has added weight to the theory.

Novo has tied up 12,000sqkm of the Pilbara as it looks to shore-up the theory which to date has been focused on the Karratha gold project and its Purdy’s Reward joint venture with Artemis Resources.

But getting a clear picture of gold resources found in conglomerate rock has proven difficult because of the nuggety and course nature of the ore.

Novo has been forced into taking bulk samples of rock up to 10t after drilling proved ineffective in providing accurate grades.

“It is quite challenging, this is very hard rock but we are working through this,” Dr Hennigh said.

“A lot of people think you can just take a D9 out and start mining this thing, that’s not quite the way it works but we are moving this forward in the most expeditious and cost-efficient manner.”

Last year, the price of Novo shares and those of other junior explorers in the Pilbara soared after investors bought into the conglomerate gold story, but the buying frenzy has since waned.

Dr Hennigh said the company had observed gold occurrences in the Pilbara in the same strata over a 600km strike.

“It makes you think ‘where did all that gold come from?’ Well maybe in a year or two I can come back here and tell you.

“But right now, what we’re focused on is finding the key areas within that lower strata that might generate an economic deposit.”

Speaking to reporters after no-one in the audience asked a question following his Diggers and Dealers presentation, Dr Hennigh agreed there seemed to be more scepticism about the Pilbara conglomerate gold story in Australia than among the investment community in Canada.

However, he said many local analysts and geologists had visited the company’s sites in the Pilbara and saw that it was real and considered the company was on the right path.


Image: Stock