Newcrest hails drilling results at Western Australia Havieron gold-copper project
Australia’s largest gold producer, Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM), has unveiled what it is calling “excellent” drill results from Greatland Gold’s (LON:GGP) Havieron gold-copper project, in the Paterson region of Western Australia.
Drilling work at the asset, kicked off in May, is being carried out and fully funded by Newcrest as part of a joint venture it signed with the London-based miner in March. That farm-in deal gives the Aussie gold producer the option to acquire 70% of the project.
To become the majority owner, Newcrest would have to invest $65 million on exploration and development over five years. This would be on top of the A$5 million it has already committed for the 2019-2020 year.
The results posted on Tuesday extend Havieron’s mineralization by a further 100 metres to the north and showed high grades of up to 7.9 grams per tonne across a 43 metre intersection. While being “highly encouraging”, the company noted the project was still in the early stages.
The gold major is now preparing for a larger, second phase of the drilling program at the gold project, which is located 45km west of its own Telfer mine.
Newcrest, which is also the world’s No. 3 gold producer by market value, has been aggressively searching for juniors with appealing assets to jointly develop them.
In March, it acquired a 70% stake in Canada’s Red Chris copper and gold mine from Imperial Metals (TSX: III). The very next day, it set up the Havieron JV with Greatland Gold (LON:GGP).
The Paterson region hosts several large gold and/or copper deposits such as Nifty, Winu and Newcrest’s Telfer. The world’s second-largest mining company, Rio Tinto (ASX, LON:RIO), is very invested in the area as well.
Its recent application for nearly 30 exploration licenses has sparked a stampede into adjacent lots by other explorers, who see the miner’s aggressive activity as an indicator of a highly promising find.