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Nova ramps up early 2020 start at Estelle


Last updated 1/7/2020 at 9:54am

Nova Minerals Ltd.

Nova Minerals' 2019 drilling at Estelle established a maiden inferred resource with 2.5 million ounces of gold.

Nova Minerals Ltd. Dec. 9 announced that it has defined targets for a roughly 25,000-meter resource expansion and exploration drill program at its Estelle gold project in Alaska.

Located about 100 miles northwest of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, Estelle hosts 181.3 million metric tons of Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (JORC) compliant inferred resource averaging 0.43 grams per metric ton (2.5 million ounces) gold.

This resource, which the Australia-based explorer outlined during its first season of drilling in Alaska, is contained within resource blocks A and B at Oxide Korbel, one of several near surface gold occurrences identified across the roughly 18-mile- (29 kilometers) long Estelle property. Together, these adjacent blocks cover more than 1,000 meters of strike and are roughly 500 meters wide, on average.

"Not all that many opportunities come around to drill a system this large such as what we have at Estelle, with an established 2.5-million-ounce inferred gold resource on a small area and open significantly in all directions," said Nova Minerals Avi Kimelman

Nova plans to begin the resource expansion drilling on these targets during the Alaskan winter. The company is finalizing contracts for opening a winter road into Estelle. In 2011, a winter trail was used to support exploration on the adjacent Whistler gold-copper property, and it is expected that a similar route will be used to access Estelle.

Once the winter road is completed and a camp is established, drill crews will be mobilized to Estelle for drilling to start early next year.

Upgrading and expanding Nova's inaugural resource within Oxide Korbel blocks A and B is expected to be the first target of the 2020 drill program.

With a primary goal of elevating the inferred resource to the measured and indicated categories, the Australia-based explorer plans to complete approximately 18,500 meters of drilling into these two near surface resource areas.

"We are excited to be ramping up our exploration efforts to increase the resource both in size and confidence to commence our preliminary economic studies as part of the project's natural progression to the next level," said Kimelman.

As Nova advances Oxide Korbel blocks A and B toward scoping level mine studies, the company also plans to complete drilling, induced polarization (IP) geophysics and prospecting across its 85-square-mile (220 square kilometers) Estelle property next year.

"We are particularly excited with the potential opportunity to uncover another giant deposit in Alaska," said Kimelman. "The project sits amongst some of the largest gold deposits on the planet within the Tintina Gold Belt with very large and exciting known prospects on the 220-square-kilometer Estelle gold project, and Nova is ready to meet the challenge of exploring each of them.

This includes four holes to test Oxide Korbel blocks C and D, which cover larger and stronger induced polarization (IP) chargeability anomalies just west of blocks A and B.

The most exciting exploration target for 2020 may be RPM, an early staged gold target about 25 kilometers (16 miles) south of Oxide Korbel.

In September, Nova announced results from the re-assaying of core from a hole drilled at RPM in 2012 under a partnership between Millrock Resources Inc. and Teck Resources Ltd.

The assays from this resampling show this hole, SE12-008, cut 177.4 meters averaging 0.79 g/t gold from a depth of 4.3 meters. This includes 50.2 meters of 1.75 g/t gold from a depth of 75.2 meters.

Nova's 2020 plans for RPM include prospecting, mapping and geophysical programs to further define the mineralized footprint ahead of summer drilling aimed at establishing an inaugural inferred resource at this target.

The company is currently planning to drill at least six holes during a first pass of drilling at RPM.

Nova Minerals Ltd.

RPM, where 2012 drilling cut 102.1 meters of 1.04 g/t gold, is one of the exploration targets that Nova Minerals is excited to follow-up on during the 2020 drill program at Estelle.

Shoeshine, an early staged exploration target about 4.5 miles (seven kilometers) northeast of RPM, is another target Nova plans to investigate further next year.

Exploration carried out by Millrock nearly a decade ago outlined a 300- by 1,000-meter anomalous zone at Shoeshine target. The average grade of 49 samples collected from a rubble field in this area was 0.585 g/t gold. One sample of porphyry rock cut by sheeted quartz veinlets returned assays of 13.13 g/t gold.

"I'll say it again, 'stand by; we are only getting started, the best is yet to come,'" said Kimelman.


CORRECTION 12/30/2019: The Shoeshine target is about 4.5 miles northeast of RPM.

CORRECTION 01/07/2020: The Estelle camp is currently permitted as temporary (i.e. easy to demob and reclaim) so the word permanent was removed from the article.

Estella Alaska gold exploration map Australia mineral exploration junior


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