TNM Drill Down: Top gold assays for the week of Sept 30-Oct 7

A drill rig on the Estelle project northwest of Anchorage, Alaska. Credit: Nova Minerals

Our TNM Drill Down feature highlights the top gold assays of the past week. Drill holes are ranked by gold grade x width, as identified by our sister company Mining Intelligence (

TNM Drill Down, Sept. 30-Oct. 7

This week’s top three assays take us around the world, to Alaska, Morocco and Fiji, with projects by Nova Minerals (ASX: NVA), Stellar Africagold (TSXV: SPX) and Lion One Metals (TSXV: LIO), respectively.

The top hole came from Nova’s Estelle Gold project 150 km northwest of Anchorage, AK. Diamond drill hole RPM-022 hit 67 metres of 10.4 grams gold per tonne starting from 112 metres depth for a grade x width of 696.8. The hole returned an overall average grade of 3.9 grams gold per tonne over 193 metres.

The hole was drilled in the RPM North zone to complete exploration there while “a large number” of holes from RPM North and RPM South have yet to be reported because of laboratory backlogs, the company said. Infill drilling continues at the site’s Cathedral and Korbel zones.

“I am pleased to report more shallow high‐grade broad mineralization from our drilling at RPM,” Nova chief executive officer Christopher Gerteisen said. “This program is part of a targeted program designed to allow for further increases to potential measured and indicated resources.”

Nova’s Estelle project has 21 prospects in a 35 km-long area in Alaska’s Tintina Gold Belt, which is known for Victoria Gold’s (TSE: VGCX) Eagle Mine and Kinross Gold’s (TSE: K) Fort Knox Gold Mine. The RPM North zone has an inferred resource of 23 million tonnes at 2 grams gold per tonne for 1.5 million ounces with a cut-off of 0.30 grams gold per tonne.

A phase two scoping study and resource updates for Korbel and RPM are due in the near term, the company said. 

Stellar Africagold came second for the week after its diamond drill hole Tb2022p01 at the Tichka Est project intersected 165 metres of 3.5 grams gold per tonne starting from 75 metres depth for a grade x width of 545. 

Stellar completed 13 of 20 planned drill holes at zone B of the Tichka Est project in Morocco’s Atlas Mountains about 80 km southwest of Marrakech. The company adjusted the targeting as it became clear results were poor in a sub-vertical sheared structure and better near the surface in the upper part of a diorite sill. Crews dug a 240-metre trench which assayed an average of 3.5 grams gold per tonne over 155.7 metres, the company said.

Five holes hit gold mineralization, including intersections of  3.71 grams gold per tonne over 9 metres, 3.03 grams gold per tonne over 6 metres and 3.3 grams gold over 4 metres, the company said. 

“While the initial drill program did not support our first theory of the source of the gold at Zone B, it did provide us with fresh insight into the Zone B’s complex geology,” vice-president of exploration Maurice Giroux said in a news release. “We do consider the overall program to be encouraging and are looking forward to continuing the exploration at Tichka Est at Zone B with now the new geological model factored in and also at Zones A and C which also include diorite intrusives.”

Stellar is in the midst of a US$2.1-million exploration program across the three zones at Tichka Est after signing an agreement with the Moroccan government in Aug., 2020. The company also has the Namarana gold project in Mali.

Lion One Metals scored third this week with its Tuvatu alkaline gold project on the island of Viti Levu in Fiji. The diamond drill hole TUDDM-001 hit 14.96 grams gold per tonne over 24 metres from a depth of 81.8 metres for a grade x width of 359.04.

The hole was one of six drilled during June, July and August in the URW1, Murau and SKL lodes, part of the Navilawa Caldera, a 7-km diameter alkaline gold system, the company said. An indicated resource from 2018 estimates 1 million tonnes of 8.5 grams gold per tonne with a cut-off of 3 grams gold per tonne for 274,600 oz. gold. A resource update is planned for the first quarter of next year, the company said.

“These latest results underscore the continuous, high-grade nature of the mineralization at Tuvatu, Lion One chief executive officer Walter Berukoff said in a news release. “Each batch of drill results adds enormous value to the project in both addition of ounces to the total metal budget as well as clarification of important upside potential.”

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