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Dart Mining smashing out drill metres in Victorian gold hunt

Dart Mining is letting rip in Victoria with a thorough gold drilling blitz.

Dart Mining (ASX: DTM) is orchestrating a drill blitz at its historic Rushworth gold project in central Victoria, with the company-owned diamond drill rig working overtime to smash out the metres at the Growlers Hill prospect.

The initial phase-one 1200m drill program is hunting for high-grade gold at its site about 160km north of Melbourne and 65km east of the city of Bendigo. Management says it is testing Growlers Hill and will soon drill the West Growlers prospect using modern exploration methods for the first time.

And a key financial and logistical plank underpinning Dart’s exploration effort is the fact that it is using its own diamond drilling rig, which it is manning every day in a bid to unlock the great potential that exists within the region.

Seven drillholes at three sites have been designed to test about 120m of strike of the Growlers Hill vein both north and south from the Growlers Hill shaft, including the projected intersection of the West Growlers east-west-striking lode with the Growlers Hill reef. All drillholes are designed to intersect the Growlers Hill reef below the levels of reported historic production.

Dart has established a strategic and extensive exposure to gold prospectivity within its license areas over a long period of time.
Dart Mining chairman James Chirnside

Dart considers the Growlers Hill prospect to be a prime target with significant gold production from a northerly-striking quartz vein mined to more than 100m depth, in addition to the adjacent east-west-striking West Growlers reef that is mined to a similar depth. It says Growlers Hill is a significant north-south structure dipping steeply west to the east of West Growlers.

The West Growlers prospect sits to the south of the Rushworth township, with mineralisation reported as occurring within sandstone. It was mined at surface and from the Humbug Shaft before production was impacted by water ingress, which in the late 1800s was too difficult for the miners of the day to overcome.

The company expects the first results from drilling at Growlers to be received mid-next month.

The company has established a strategic and extensive exposure to gold prospectivity within its exploration license areas over a long period of time. Dart’s exploration activities, including target definition and drill-testing, are being undertaken on specific high-priority targets, highlighting the remarkable gold prospectivity within the company’s tenement areas.
Dart Mining chairman James Chirnside

Management has wisely set about uncovering the mining history of its landholdings and it has discovered some stellar historical facts. Old Victorian Mines Department records show that its staff drilled two holes under old workings at Growlers and reported drill-core glistening with gold.

Another interesting reveal is that 10 diamond bores were drilled at Rushworth by the Victorian Geological Survey between 1892 and 1895, according to Mines Department records.

Melbourne newspaper The Herald reported in 1893 that: “The drill working on Growlers Hill, Rushworth, cut the gold in the No.2 bore last week at a depth of 116m and went through gold bearing material at a depth of 123m showing 7m of crushing stuff. The core is a mixture of quartz, sandstone and blue slate. Several pieces of the ore have been broken up, turned and then put through sulphuric acid, which would yield over 4oz to the ton (124 grams per tonne gold).”

Dart is planning for about 7000m of diamond drilling this year at many of its gold prospects that are screaming to be drilled, with a further 3000m planned for its Dorchap lithium project, the latter drilling being contracted out. It says it intends to move its rig to several of its other highly-promising projects after it has drilled the Growlers targets.

A move to the Star of the West mine is likely to be next. Management says one target to follow up is the New Holland Mining deposit at the mine.

New Holland intersected 3m at 16.2g/t gold from 3m downhole in rotary air-blast (RAB) drilling in 1993 and 2m at 80.7g/t gold within 12m going 13.96g/t from 4m downhole from reverse-circulation (RC) drilling in 1999.

The intersections are shallow and have not been subject to further investigation.

Drilling planned for the third quarter includes about 800m at the historic Crown Cross mining area and 1500m at the Buckland goldfield project, in addition to 1500m at the Dart Goldfield.

Dart says the Crown Cross prospect produced 18,700 ounces of gold at 108g/t from 1881 to 1889. It says several long shoots were mined within a 400m strike length about 3km east of the Growlers prospects. The 800m of drilling will comprise four to six drill holes.

The company believes Buckland has the potential for scale due to a 17.5km strike length identified from 7500 surface samples and multiple parallel structures have been defined.

RAB drilling at the Fairley’s prospect within the project area succeeded in unveiling solid hits such as 13m at 4.82g/t gold from 12m including 2m going 11.6g/t from 20m, along with 11m at 2.64g/t gold from 28m featuring 3m going 7.49g/t from 29m.

The Dart goldfield also has the Mt View target, where the company will be aiming to identify further mineralisation from the diamond drilling to expand its existing gold resource of about 26,000 ounces. Further drilling is also planned at the Dorchap lithium project later this year.

Dart was the first of the modern-day explorers to discover lithium-bearing pegmatites in Victoria back in 2016 at its Dorchap Range project, culminating in a joint venture (JV) arrangement with Chilean lithium giant SQM. Dorchap is about 50km from the picturesque town of Mount Beauty in Victoria’s north-eastern Alpine Shire region.

The agreement began in December 2022, with success from the initial phase-one diamond drilling program securing ongoing exploration support from the Chilean colossus.

Dart has since identified more than 1500 pegmatite dykes in its tenement package, with many being the highly sought-after lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) type. Containing enriched LCT, beryllium and tin mineralisation, many of the pegmatites have been previously worked for tin.

The Gosport prospect within Dorchap is highly-regarded by Dart, with its central zone containing many prospective pegmatite dykes in proximity to demonstrated high-grade rock chips going up to 1.57 per cent lithium oxide, in addition to channel sampling returning assays going 10m at 1.38 per cent.

Several notable diamond drilling results at the Dorchap project have been recorded from the company’s Boones prospect, such as 10m at 1.08 per cent lithium oxide from 313m with 7m going 1.38 per cent from 315m, in addition to 16.8m at 0.21 per cent from 103.98m featuring 0.81m at 1.2 per cent.

The company has the entire historic Rushworth goldfield as part of its existing 405-square-kilometre tenement holdings and has applied for a further 458sq-km land grab, for which it has priority.

The old Rushworth mine alone produced about 100,000 gold ounces during its glory days and in some instances, produced grades flying as high as 100g/t.

Dart has more targets than a shooting gallery within its historic high-grade goldfield prospects. And with its line-up of targets already showing a healthy level of prospectivity, the company’s drill program seems to have plenty of the shiny yellow metal to aim for.

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