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Dart Mining dubbed “top bidder” for new Victorian gold ground

Updated: Mar 21


Panned gold from Dart Mining’s Rushworth project. Credit: File

Dart Mining is poised to snare an additional 458 square kilometres of ground adjacent to its Rushworth gold project, 140km north of Melbourne, after its application was ranked the “top offer” by the Victorian regulator.


The company says it will now continue with the application process for the “EL008161” tenement, which is prospective for gold, antimony and base metals as a projected strike extension of the historic Rushworth, Whroo and Redcastle goldfields.


Ultimate granting of the tenement would grow Dart’s ground to some 770sq km of tenure within the highly-prospective mining region near the town of Rushworth, which was established during the Victorian gold rush in 1853 and named a year later by poet and Goldfields Commissioner, Richard Henry Horne.


Placer gold from weathered quartz veins and reefs was discovered in the Rushworth area back in the 1850s and mine shafts were soon sunk to maximum depth of about 180m. An estimated 97,000 ounces of gold was produced from the Rushworth mine.


At Whroo, shallow workings are scattered around a 122m-deep mine shaft and 30m-deep open pit and are estimated to have produced about 40,000 ounces of gold.

The company is delighted to have the opportunity to add to its existing tenement holding in the Rushworth region. It is a priority project for Dart. The prospectivity of the region is exciting, particularly given the significant amount of historic mining that has occurred, with limited application of modern exploration techniques. The Rushworth project is an important project and will pay a critical role in Dart’s future exploration activities. Dart Mining chairman James Chirnside

The Rushworth project is comprised of the Growlers Hill, Phoenix Hill and Frenchman’s prospects. The company says the gold mineralisation at Rushworth occurs as high-grade, coarse-to-nuggety free gold in quartz veins and is interpreted to be of the same style and geologically similar to the deep, high-grade gold shoots at the nearby Fosterville goldmine – Victoria’s biggest gold producer.


The Fosterville mine, operated by Canadian company Agnico Eagle, is a high-grade underground gold mine about 50km south-west of Rushworth that pumped out 338,327 ounces of gold last year, as its owner chips away at its 1.67-million-ounce gold reserve.


Re-assessment of drill results from Agnico’s Phoenix Hill prospect in May revealed that gold mineralisation co-occurs with antimony and arsenic, providing more similarities to Fosterville, in addition to peak assays of 10.6 grams per tonne gold, 0.26 per cent antimony and 370 parts per million arsenic.


A 44-hole reverse-circulation (RC) drilling program completed by Dart at Rushworth in 2021 produced some solid gold assays as high as 12m at 1.26g/t from surface including a 2m section grading 3.49g/t, 19m at 1.1g/t from surface including 5m at 2.3g/t and 3m at 4g/t from 18m including a high-grade chunk of 1m going 10.8g/t.


Other hits include 2m at 4.07g/t from 18m including a 1m section grading 7.1g/t, 3m at 1.32g/t from 16m including 1m at 3.1g/t and 1m at 9.13g/t from 4m.


Falcon Metals is working ground at its Pyramid Hill project about 100km east of Rushworth and has had some recent drill intercepts as high as 8m at 3.72 g/t gold from 59m including a 1m chunk grading 21.8g/t, 12m at 6.17g/t from 74m, 7m at 2.93g/t from 60m, 4m at 3.35g/t gold from 104m and 11m at 1.14g/t gold from 75m.


Dart says it plans to carry out more exploration in the form of field mapping and rock-chip sampling once the new tenement is granted.


The “Gold Undercover” initiative by the Victorian Government in 2006-2009 estimated a mid-case potential of about 32 million ounces of undiscovered gold beneath cover in Victoria’s Bendigo Zone, which encompasses Rushworth and remains only sparsely explored.


And in any case, it’s not a bad time for a company to be adding more gold ground to its repertoire, with prices for the precious yellow metal close to $3100 per ounce in Australia today. So, it might well be a watch this space for the results of Dart’s tenement application and follow-up exploration.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au

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