Novo Resources Corp. (TSX: NVO) has recently announced the launch of a comprehensive +20,000m aircore (AC) drilling program at the company’s flagship Becher Project, located in the northern sector of the Egina Gold Camp.
Novo Executive Co-Chairman and Acting CEO Mike Spreadborough commented on the drill program in a press release: “We are very excited to have recommenced drilling at our flagship Becher Project, as we embark on a targeted +20,000 m follow-up program for this quarter. Importantly, results from our 2022 drill program have confirmed the right geological indicators for discovery success and we believe there is significant prospectivity in the Becher area.”
The Becher Area (E47/3673), 100%-owned by Novo, boasts multiple high-priority orogenic gold targets under shallow cover in the highly prospective, yet under-explored, Mallina Basin. The project is situated approximately 28 km west-southwest of De Grey Mining Limited’s Hemi deposit and along an interpreted gold-fertile corridor, just 2.5 km south of their recent Withnell South discovery.
Novo’s 2022 drilling program has proven to be extremely successful on several fronts:
- Gold assay results from drill sampling provide confidence in the fertility of the interpreted regional structural corridors.
- Multi-element analysis of bottom-of-hole AC drill samples revealed intrusion-related “sanukitoid” signatures, known hosts to gold mineralization elsewhere in the district.
- The distribution of pathfinder elements such as arsenic, antimony, and tungsten helped finesse understanding of the controls on gold mineralization.
- The realization that the cover sequence is shallow (generally less than 10m) and less consequential than expected is particularly noteworthy.
These findings will significantly influence the targeting and prioritization of the 2023 drill programs.
Final results have been received for 1m split samples sourced from 4m composite samples in the reverse circulation (RC) and AC drilling completed in 2022. The new results closely mirror intercepts from previously reported composite samples and include high-grade assays as follows:
- 1m @ 7.27 g/t Au from 9m (F0632) at the intersection of the Irvine and Heckmair trends
- 1m @ 3.1 g/t Au from 17m (F519) at Whillans
- 1m @ 4.27 g/t Au from 17m (F1393) at Bonatti
New results also highlight potential for Intrusion Related Gold (IRG) mineralization at Irvine South, supported by highly anomalous Au-Cu results and associated pathfinder elements (Au-Ag-Cu-Bi-Mo-Sb) in AC on the most southerly line drilled in 2022. The presence of a strong magnetic target, coincident with the edge of current drill coverage and its location immediately west of the Becher epithermal vein system, provides further support for this possible target style.
The current AC program will test multiple high-priority structural and intrusion-hosted gold targets, similar to De Grey’s Mallina Gold Project. These targets have been defined by significant gold and pathfinder anomalies in an area of approximately 20 sq km, delineated in anomalous structural corridors at the Heckmair, Irvine, and Whillans prospects. Additional targets are also emerging from partly completed reconnaissance drilling at Lowe and Bonatti. A minimum of 20,000m of AC will be conducted as part of the program, which commenced in mid-April 2023 and will be completed in June 2023.
2022 Exploration Program Details
In mid-2022, Novo commenced a major exploration campaign to test multiple significant shear corridors adjacent to De Grey’s 10.6 Moz Au (JORC 2012) Mallina Gold Project. Numerous targets
were generated from detailed ground magnetic surveys, regional and local scale geochemical programs, and geological mapping. The 2022 exploration program comprised:
- 9,200m of AC drilling
- 1,000m of RC drilling
- 6,000m of diamond drilling
- Detailed mapping and rock chip sampling
The 2022 drilling campaign successfully identified multiple high-grade gold intercepts, broad mineralized zones, and a new Intrusion-Related Gold (IRG) target. The results from this exploration program have expanded Novo’s understanding of the mineralization and structural controls within the Becher Project area.
Irvine South Target
The 2022 program identified the Irvine South target, which shows potential for IRG mineralization. A highly anomalous Au-Cu signature was found in AC drilling on the southernmost line, supported by associated pathfinder elements (Au-Ag-Cu-Bi-Mo-Sb). The presence of a strong magnetic target along the edge of the current drill coverage and its proximity to the Becher epithermal vein system further supports this new target style.
2023 Exploration Program Details
The 2023 AC drilling program will test multiple high-priority gold targets that have been identified by significant gold and pathfinder anomalies within a 20 sq km area at the Heckmair, Irvine, and Whillans prospects. Additional targets are also emerging from partly completed reconnaissance drilling at Lowe and Bonatti. The program will include a minimum of 20,000m of AC drilling, which commenced in mid-April 2023 and will be completed by June 2023.
Upcoming Drilling Plans
The company’s near-term plans include additional follow-up AC drilling in areas of the project that have demonstrated significant potential. Diamond drilling will also be conducted to test high-grade mineralization at depth and to provide more precise information on the structural and lithological controls on gold mineralization.