Nova trumpets new Estelle gold discovery
High-grade gold find within the RPM Mining Complex area North of 60 Mining News – January 20, 2023
Last updated 1/19/2023 at 6:45pm
Nova Minerals Ltd. Jan. 15 announced the discovery of a large high-grade gold system within the emerging RPM Mining Complex at the southern end of the company's Estelle property in Alaska.
Located about 100 miles (160 kilometers) northwest of Anchorage, Alaska's largest city, the 125-square-mile (324 square kilometers) Estelle property hosts two deposits – Korbel and RPM – with a combined 9.6 million ounces of gold and multiple prospects and targets across an 18-mile- (29 kilometers) long trend.
According to a calculation completed at the end of 2021, the Korbel Main deposit hosts 286 metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.3 grams per metric ton (3 million oz) gold, plus 583 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.3 g/t (5.1 million oz) gold.
RPM, which lies about 16 miles south of the 8.1-million-ounce Korbel gold deposit at Estelle, hosts 23.1 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging two g/t (1.5 million oz) gold.
Until recently, Nova considered processing ore mined from these deposits through a mill located near the larger Korbel deposit. Given the significant expansion of the gold mineralized footprint at RPM with drilling in 2022, along with the numerous promising targets near this higher-grade deposit at the southern end of the Estelle property, the company is now considering the development of processing plants at each Korbel and RPM, which lie about 16 miles (26 kilometers) apart.
Now, the company reports that its summer 2022 prospecting and sampling program has discovered high-grade gold mineralization at Trumpet, a new discovery that further supports the idea of establishing a standalone mill at the southern end of the Estelle property.
Trumpet gold discovery
The Trumpet discovery was made near Shoeshine and Train, a pair of gold targets about six kilometers (four miles) north of RPM.
Train and Shoeshine were known prospect areas when Nova acquired the Estelle property. In 2021, the company collected surface samples at these targets with grades of 30.4 g/t, 24.5 g/t, 21.6 g/t, 7.5 g/t, 5.7 g/t, and 5.4 g/t gold.
Similar high grades were returned from follow-up samples collected at Train in 2022 – 80.2 g/t, 17.9 g/t, 17.7 g/t, 16.6 g/t, and 10.4 g/t gold.
The Nova exploration team also collected high-grade gold samples from the Trumpet discovery, which lies about 1.5 kilometers (one mile) north of Train. Highlights from the 2022 sampling at Trumpet include 32.8 g/t, 16.6 g/t, 16.0 g/t, 13.6 g/t, and 12.7 g/t gold.
"These results continue to prove the exceptional exploration upside that remains across the Estelle gold project," said Nova Minerals CEO Christopher Gerteisen.
Nova says geological observations indicate the new discovery at Trumpet, coupled with the previously identified prospects in the Train area, indicates the potential for another very large intrusive related gold system at Estelle.
"The surface sampling program in 2022, as part of our reconnaissance exploration efforts, has once again delivered more high-grade results in what appears to be another massive intrusive related gold system typical within the Estelle Gold Trend, as we have already realized at RPM and Korbel," Gerteisen added.
Focused on RPM Complex
With assays still rolling in from the 30,000-meter drill program completed at Estelle during 2022, the company anticipates several milestones as we move forward in 2023. This includes:
• An updated resource for RPM, which will include the results from expansion drilling at RPM North and discovery drilling at RPM South.
• An updated resource for Korbel, which will include the results from resource upgrade and expansion drilling at Korbel Main and discovery drilling at the nearby Cathedral target.
• A Phase-2 scoping study for Estelle that will include the updated resource estimates.
• Results from prefeasibility and tradeoff studies being carried out in parallel with Phase-2 scoping.
The company is also currently planning its 2023 drill program, which is expected to focus primarily on the emerging RPM Mining Complex.
While exact plans will be guided by the new resource estimate and Phase-2 scoping study, the goals of the 2023 drilling are to further define the high-grade resources at RPM and define a third gold deposit in the Train-Shoeshine-Trumpet area of Estelle.
"We look forward to further exploring and drill testing the area in 2023, with the aim to producing a third gold resource in the near future, which provides a stronger case for another processing plant, located in the RPM Mining Complex," Gerteisen said.