Nova Minerals Limited’s (ASX:NVA) share price increased almost 10 per cent on Wednesday 11 September 2019, following the company’s announcement of a maiden gold resource estimate from the phase 1 resource drill programme at its wholly-owned Estelle Gold Project in Alaska.
Nova Mineral’s stock began the day trading at $0.060 and reached a high of $0.069 before closing at $0.066.
An Independent Maiden Inferred JORC Resource of circa 2.5 million ounces of gold was confirmed at the Project’s Oxide Korbel deposit, one of fifteen known major occurrences at the Estelle Gold Project within the Tintina belt. As an Intrusion‐Related Gold System, the mineralisation shares geological similarities such as the Kinross’ Fort Knox Gold and Victoria Gold’s Dublin Gulch Eagles Gold Mine.
The Tintina belt is host to some of the largest deposits worldwide including the 10 million-ounce Kinross Fort Knox mine, the 39 million-ounce Donlin Creek mine and the 8-million ounce Northern Stars’ Pogo mine. Adjacent to Nova Mineral’s Project is the 9.5 million-ounce Whistler deposit and 200km south is the astounding 107 million-ounce deposit.
These findings suggest the company is well-placed to grow a large resource base around its Oxide Korbel deposit, and develop further deposits on the gold project region. Recognising the wide scale of the project, the company is committed to establishing a camp and using multiple drill rigs on site as it explores further.
Nova Mineral’s CEO Avi Kimelman is optimistic on the development of the Project and the gold market as he believes that the world is in a long-term secular bull market for gold.
“Gold is the only currency that cannot be printed at a time when major reserve currencies are being debased and negative-yielding bonds are expanding at a rapid pace,” he says. “The Estelle Gold Project offers leverage for when gold moves higher, and when the equity may become even more precious than the metal itself”.
Kimelman says that the company will continue its aggressive drilling efforts at the Project upon receiving the required permits and approvals.
“We intend to use multiple diamond drill rigs to define the footprint of the Oxide Korbel deposit, expand the resource and test additional gold targets on the Estelle property,” he says.
At the same time, Nova Minerals is seeing green shoots emerge in other parts of its portfolio.
In late August, Nova Minerals announced that its majority-owned Canadian-based company, Snow Lake Resources, had entered into preliminary discussions with Canadian-based Arctic Gateway Group for a railroad service between its Tanco mine and the Port of Churchill.
These initial discussions built upon the company’s initial logistics assessment and the major Memorandum of Understanding signed by Snow Lake and Tanco Mining Corporation in Canada in early August.
Snow Lake is planning to engage in further dialogue with Arctic Gateway Group over the coming months. Site visits have been planned, with the view to progress to formal rail capacity. Snow Lake is also commencing internal studies, and creating an approval process for the delivery of ore to the railhead or a highway.
Nova Minerals intends to deliver to the European market through the Port of Churchill and is also investigating a simple mining operation with the ore sorting facility at the Thompson Brothers Lithium Project. The logistics solution assessment is expected to boost the Thompson Brothers Lithium Project as a Canadian Tier 1 lithium deposit.
With multiple options to route the ore to the railhead, Snow Lake believes its fast-track development strategy could provide a clear and low-capex pathway to production and cash flow.
Snow Lake is committed to becoming the first lithium company to produce spodumene in Canada through the Tanco mine.
Snow Lake CEO Derek Knight says being able to produce spodumene will benefit the communities of the Town of Snow Lake, Winnipeg, Churchill and the surrounding areas.
Kimmelman says that Nova Minerals is also pressing ahead at the Officer Hill Gold Project and expects to have an update on the current drill campaign there soon.
Nova Minerals owns 30 per cent of the Officer Hill Gold Project with the remaining 70 per cent owned by Newmont Mining (NYSE:NEM), the world’s top gold producer.