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Novo hits Pilbara ground running after ASX listing

Updated: Apr 23

Novo Resources’ Nunyerry North gold project. Credit: File

Novo Resources has officially kicked off a maiden drill campaign at its Nunyerry North project that forms the southern part of its Egina gold camp in Western Australia’s Pilbara region – hot on the heels of its ASX listing on Monday.

Management has planned a 2000m reverse-circulation (RC) program aimed at structurally-controlled gold targets and extensive gold-in-soil anomalies. Previous exploration at the operation highlighted a more than 1.4km strike of surface gold anomalies, with rock-chip samples from the Nunyerry area last year returning results including 8.81 grams per tonne gold and 7.39g/t gold.

It followed samples taken in 2021 from quartz veins, with impressive figures including 30.3g/t, 21.1g/t and 19g/t gold. The initial drilling plan covers an area of about 600m of strike over the main soil anomaly and peak rock-chip results. The average depth of drilling is 95m with a maximum depth of 120m planned in the first-pass program.

De Grey Mining is also planning a 39,000m air-core (AC), RC and diamond drilling campaign across the nearby Becher gold project this month. In June, Novo secured the support of De Grey as a cornerstone investor and potential joint venture (JV) partner, in a deal worth up to $35 million at the Becher project.

The operation spans a 20-square-kilometre area of the Egina gold camp in the underexplored Mallina Basin and directly neighbours De Grey’s bulging Mallina deposit. It lies just 2.5km south of De Grey’s Withnell South discovery.

Mallina’s resource was recently upgraded by 1.1 million ounces through ongoing drilling to now sit at a whopping 11.7 million gold ounces. The deposit forms part of De Grey’s Hemi gold project where a recently-completed scoping study suggests the operation could churn out an average gold production figure of about 427,000 ounces per annum in a 10-year period.

As part of its recent investment deal, De Grey has the right to earn a 50 per cent interest in Becher and adjacent tenements by spending $25 million in four years. The 50-50 “Egina” JV will be then formed, with a minimum $7 million to be spent within 18 months.

Separately, De Grey has agreed to take a cornerstone investment of $10 million in Novo common shares for about an 11.6 per cent interest, making it the Canadian-based company’s biggest single shareholder.

De Grey will manage all exploration at Becher under the earn-in agreement and will become the manager of the Egina JV once it is established. Novo recently completed a 61,400m AC drill campaign at Becher, sinking 2540 holes that identified 207 intercepts recording more than 0.5g/t gold and 109 hits exceeding 1g/t.

Just today, De Grey was granted a mining lease for its Hemi gold project by the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety. While the lease does not allow the company to begin development at the project, which remains subject to further approvals including environmental permits, the grant is considered a major milestone for the operation.

Novo says drilling is also planned to begin next quarter at its Bamboo-Strattons and Balla Balla gold projects in the Pilbara, in addition to its Belltopper gold project in Victoria.

The company, which is also listed in Canada, says its entry onto the ASX boards was designed to attract more Australian investors and it has wasted little time in showing them a good work ethic as it looks to add more gold ounces to its combined operations.

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