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By Shane Lasley
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Korbel-style gold drilled at Cathedral

354m of 0.3 g/t gold at discovery on Nova's Estelle project North of 60 Mining News – March 10, 2023


Last updated 3/17/2023 at 5:13am

A driller tests for gold as the first 2022 snow coats the ground at Estelle.

Nova Minerals Ltd.

Drilling at Cathedral near the end of the 2022 summer program at the Estelle gold project in Alaska.

Nova Minerals Ltd. March 9 announced wide gold intercepts from the first ever drilling at Cathedral, a discovery about 1,500 meters southwest of the 8.1-million-ounce Korbel Main gold deposit on the company's Estelle property in Alaska.

Reconnaissance exploration at Cathedral target in 2020 included sampling of outcropping quartz-arsenopyrite veining that returned grades as high as 114 grams per metric ton gold. Five other samples collected from this highly prospective target contained more than 10 g/t gold.

The inaugural drilling at Cathedral cut broad sections of bulk tonnage gold mineralization. Highlights include:

354 meters averaging 0.3 grams per metric ton gold from a depth of 104 meters in hole CTDD-001.

269 meters averaging 0.4 g/t gold from a depth of 168 meters in hole CTDD-003B.

350 meters averaging 0.3 g/t gold from a depth of 90 meters in hole CTDD-005.

360 meters averaging 0.3 g/t gold from a depth of 55 meters in hole CTDD-010.

The gold grades encountered at Cathedral are similar to Korbel Main, which hosts 286 metric tons of indicated resource averaging 0.3 g/t (3 million oz) gold, plus 583 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 0.3 g/t (5.1 million oz) gold.

"I am pleased to report that the maiden resource drilling program at the Cathedral prospect has confirmed another very broad and extensive mineralized gold zone, with over 500m in strike length, 350m in width and remains open in all directions," said Nova Minerals CEO Christopher Gerteisen. "While the initial drilling intersected the mineralized zone at a depth of (approximately) 200 meters below where the high-grade surface rock chips samples were taken, as we infill and target closer to the surface in the next round of follow up drilling, there remains further potential to intersect more shallow gold, as well as higher grade blow out zones within the identified mineralized zone at Cathedral."

The company says that enough drilling has been completed at Cathedral to calculate a maiden resource for this discovery target.

Overall, roughly 30,000 meters of drilling completed at RPM North, RPM South, Korbel Main and Cathedral is being included in updated global resource estimates now underway as part of an upcoming phase 2 scoping study for establishing mining operations at Estelle.

While this updated scoping study will carry forward plans for a centralized mill at Korbel Main, Nova Minerals is also carrying out trade-off studies to investigate the potential of establishing two mills at Estelle – one near Korbel Main, which would also process ore from nearby deposits such as Cathedral, and one at RPM, a much higher-grade gold deposit about 16 miles (26 kilometers) to the south.

According to a calculation completed prior to the 2022 drilling, the RPM North deposit hosts 23.1 million metric tons of inferred resource averaging 2 g/t (1.5 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.

Map showing the Korbel and RPM gold mining complex areas at Estelle.

Click on image for larger Estelle gold property map.

The new resource update will include the results from 23 resource expansion holes at RPM North and eight exploration holes at RPM South, an adjacent target with no previous drilling.

The company has also identified the potential for deposits with similar higher-grade gold mineralization in the Train area about four miles (six kilometers) north of RPM.

"With resources at RPM now being proved up through further drilling, and additional resource targets identified in the Train area, the high-grade nature of the deposits, provide opportunity for potentially developing an additional mining center in the south, which will be tested as part of our PFS trade off studies, upon the completion of the Phase 2 Scoping Study," said Gerteisen.

Author Bio

Shane Lasley, Publisher

Over his more than 15 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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