Since Paddy Hannan struck gold in Kalgoorlie on 14 June 1893, some 130 years ago, there has been a fascination with gold that has persevered throughout that period. Many fortunes have been won and lost during this period, however the quest for further riches remains strong today.
This week White Noise partnered with Caldera House under the umbrella of The White Haus, to present a selection of high-quality WA gold stories to east coast brokers, fund managers and investors.
All of the presenting companies had at least one common trait for their projects – that historic exploration has not been fully effective and there is plenty more gold to be discovered and produced across the WA goldfields.
Back in the days of Paddy Hannan and co, prospectors and miners were chasing high-grade dirt, often running more than an ounce a tonne and easily recoverable. Stepping forward over time, many of the explorers in the 1980s and 90s started chasing shallow oxide ore to feed plants that were incorporating newer cyanide-leach technology.
Jumping forward to the present day, companies are more relaxed at drilling deeper, chasing orebodies using a combination of geophysical, geochemical, and structural data to turn up the goods. Detailed data analysis is resulting in smarter exploration with better chances of success.
Six WA gold companies participated in The Gold Series, designed to showcase these high-quality projects and management teams.
Astral Resources highlighted the significance of its main orebody, Theia, sitting within a single large pit shell with over 850koz defined. The company is actively looking at various methods to bring this project into fruition.
Alto Metals presented the Sandstone story, telling it in a way that the belt still has a lot of secrets to give up. A history of shallow drilling has highlighted the potential for discovery, with previous explorers only sparsely testing with wide spaced reconnaissance holes.
Calidus Resources is confident that the commissioning issues that dogged the first few months are behind them with a confident nod towards production in the current and future quarters. The Company has an active plan to increase gold production to 130koz per annum via expansion and the addition of high-grade ore from Blue Spec.
Catalyst Metals is in the final throes of its takeover of Superior Gold Inc, holders of the neighbouring Plutonic Project, next door to Catalyst’s Marymia Project. Combining these projects with the high-grade gold at the Four Eagles Project, north of Bendigo and the Henty Gold Mine, Catalyst is well on its way to becoming a mid-tier Australian mining house.
Medallion Metals’ Ravensthorpe Gold Project had its mineral resource estimate updated in February to an impressive 1.6Moz at 2.6g/t Au, an increase of 112%. As with the other presenters, Medallion’s efforts of consolidating the fragmented tenement ownership in the region has resulted in a project with critical scale to move forward with.
Brightstar Resources had plenty to present to investors, with a rush of news over the past few weeks offering plenty of upside for the next 12 months. With mining to commence in August via a JV with BML Ventures and plans to refurbish the Laverton plant for treatment of ore from Cork Tree Well, Beta and Alpha, Brightstar has firm plans to not only become Australia’s next gold producer but one with a strong forward outlook.
Rounding out the presentations was a special dial-in from John Reade at the World Gold Council, who gave solid evidence for the strength of the gold market and why continued buying of gold by emerging country central banks was likely to lead to a stronger gold price environment going forward.
It was clear from all the presenting companies that there is plenty of life ahead for the state’s gold companies, with smart exploration thinking the key to success.
White Noise communications is provided a fee for service working with companies which may have exposure to commodities mentioned in these articles. All articles are the opinion of the author and are not endorsed by, or written in collaboration with, our clients.