Nova Minerals Limited (ASX: NVA) has unveiled a significant update on its resource estimate, within the company’s flagship Estelle Gold Project located in the prolific Tintina Gold Belt in Alaska.
CEO, Christopher Gerteisen, said the Total Mineral Resource for Korbel Main is now 518mt @ 0.3g/t for a 4.7Moz Inferred JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE).
Korbel Main’s Global Resource continues to grow. Our 2020 drilling proved successful, seeing an increase of over 2Moz from our 2019 Maiden Resource, bringing Korbel Main to 4.7Moz, which remains wide open in both directions along strike, to the west and at depth,” Mr Gerteisen said.
“We have been extremely conservative in our approach with this resource in many ways as we move towards the scoping study, including continuing to classify Korbel Main as an Inferred resource. While we do have good data density near the surface at each drill pad, the distance between the pads remains wide at several hundred meters apart.
“The Korbel deposit has turned out to be so expansive that it will take further infill drilling to get closer drill spacing to provide the data density to more confidently define continuous Indicated level resources between the
pads. This infill drilling as well as further step out drilling, is now a major focus in our ongoing 2021 drilling programme.”
Mr Gerteisen said the resource is amenable to pre-concentration using an XRT ore sorting whereby test work to date has clearly shown a substantial increase in grade can be achieved. This process involves separating the resource into a very high-grade product to be directed to the milling process circuit, and lower-grade to stockpile. With ore sorting now a definite component of the flow sheet, serious value could be created through a mill process route.
“Our test work is demonstrating that through this circuit, at each concentration stage, i.e., ore sorting and gravity, we are able to reduce volume and significant increase grade. All of this will have positive impacts on energy requirements and tailings and will lower processing costs overall,” he said.
“The potential to improve these economic drivers for the project will also impact the cut-off grade in any operating scenario, and as such we report the resource at a 0.15g/t cut-off. As we have previously stated, volume and tonnage are an essential part of economising IRGS deposits. This Resource and upcoming test work will underpin the economic studies on the Korbel Main prospect, which are now well underway.
“The completion of these studies will mark our transition to the project development phase, which we believe will demonstrate the technical and economic strengths which come from having a large, bulk tonnage project in a Tier-1 location.
“Estelle is a district scale project, and Nova is on a mission to unlock it, with multiple exciting targets that offer huge potential to continue growing the overall resource inventory across the project area. Mineralisation remains open in multiple directions and we have numerous well- established targets, some with historic drilling such as RPM, which we plan to drill and release a Maiden Resource on this year. This will add serious depth to the Estelle Gold Project pipeline with two resource deposits to continue to grow on our path to production.
“We are confident that the combination of economic and technical studies and significant resource growth will drive further increases in shareholder value over the short term as we unlock Estelle.”