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By Shane Lasley
Mining News 

Nova gets early start on Estelle drilling

Program aimed at expanding 2.5Moz gold resource underway


Last updated 2/21/2020 at 3:56am

Drill tests Korbel gold deposit on Nova Minerals' Estelle project Alaska

Nova Minerals Ltd.

Nova Minerals completed 18 holes at the Korbel targets on the Estelle project in Alaska during 2019, resulting in an inaugural resource containing 2.5 million ounces of gold.

Nova Minerals Ltd. Feb. 17 announced the start of a 18,500-meter 2020 phase-1 program at its Estelle gold project in Alaska.

"We are pleased to have commenced the 2020 drill program so early on in the season and look forward to an exciting growth period for Nova in 2020 with the view of significantly increasing the resource," said Nova Minerals Managing director Avi Kimelman.

This resource development drilling program will initially target an area of Korbel Block B that is currently envisioned as a "starter pit" for future mining at Estelle.

Nova drilled 18 holes across Korbel Block A and Block B during its first drill program at Estelle last year.

The results from this drilling, along with a couple of previously drilled holes, were used to calculate an inaugural Australian Joint Ore Reserves Committee- (JORC) compliant inferred resource for this one area towards the north end of the 18-mile (29 kilometers) long Estelle property.

Completed last fall, the calculation outlines 181.3 million metric tons inferred resource averaging 0.43 grams per metric ton (2.5 million ounces) gold in Korbel blocks A and B.

"Like I have said in the past 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-oz inferred gold resource on a small area and open significantly in all directions," said Kimelman. "Our exploration efforts to date have produced results at an extremely low cost per discovered ounce and we intend to maintain this run rate."

The initial phase of 2020 drilling is focused on expanding the resource in the 500- by 1,000-meter area where this resource is located.

Nova said induced polarization (IP) geophysical data shows mineralization remains open below the currently outlined resource block.

One hole drilled by a previous operator in 2011, SE11-001, cut 460 meters averaging 0.40 g/t gold, demonstrating that the mineralization extends deeper than 400 meters.

Kimelman said the company plans to test the deposit to a depth of 500 meters, which is roughly five times the depth of the current resource.

This resource development drilling program will initially target the starter pit area at Korbel Block B.

This includes drilling in the vicinity of a high-grade intercept – 1.5 meters of 27.6 g/t gold – cut by Nova in hole OX-RC-16 last summer.

Resampling of a previous hole drilled in this same area, SE12-004, cut 70.1 meters averaging 1.20 g/t gold.

In addition to expanding the resource laterally and to depth, Nova expects the added drill density provided by this drilling will upgrade some of the inferred resources to the measured and indicated category.

The overall objective is to push the starter pit area of Block B towards a feasibility study in 2021.

Nova has also defined outside drill targets at Korbel within blocks A, C, D, and Cathedral, all within about 1,000 meters of Block B.

Across the wider Estelle property, additional large targets have been identified at the RPM and Shoeshine prospects.

Korbel gold exploration map Nova Minerals' Estelle project Alaska

Nova Minerals Ltd.

RPM is a target near the southern end of the Estelle property where one hole drilled in 2012 cut 177.4 meters averaging 0.79 g/t gold from a depth of 4.3 meters, including 50.2 meters of 1.75 g/t gold from a depth of 75.2 meters.

Nova said it plans to carry out an aggressive program of prospecting, mapping, geophysical surveys and follow-up drilling at RPM later in the 2020 field season.

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

"This is now an exciting period for Nova as we are committed to amplifying our exploration with new targets being uncovered on top of the 15 previously stated," said Kimelman.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 11 years of covering mining and mineral exploration, Shane has become renowned for his ability to report on the sector in a way that is technically sound enough to inform industry insiders while being easy to understand by a wider audience.

Email: [email protected]
Phone: (907) 726-1095


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