The strategic move into Australian gold exploration is an important step for POW, complementing our African base metal interests and providing portfolio diversification by commodity and jurisdiction.
Australian gold exploration and development projects are attracting considerable interest, especially in the Victorian goldfields following the remarkable discoveries at depth at the Fosterville mine.
Historic mining in the Victoria Goldfields has been alluvial or at shallow depths and they have been underexplored in modern times. Through a joint venture with Red Rock Australasia Pty Ltd (“RRAL”), we have lodged applications for the following exploration licences in Victoria.
|License Application Number||Project Name||Area (sq km)|
All license application areas have extensive evidence of gold mineralisation and in many cases recorded production and historical drilling. Analysis of historical exploration and geophysical data continues, and further updates will be provided in due course.
The discovery of gold at Ballarat in 1851 set off a gold rush in Victoria, in which an estimated 6,000 diggers arrived each week. In the 1850s, a third of the world's gold production came from Victoria. The greatest part of that production was alluvial gold, with some from near surface leads or shallow reefs.
Victoria, Australia's smallest state, has produced over 2,400 tons of gold, which is 32% of all the gold mined in Australia.
By the 1920s, the mines in the greatest Goldfields centres of Bendigo and Ballarat had ceased production, and there was a sixty-year hiatus, with gold production in 1972 dropping to 10kg or 320 oz for the entire state. Even by 1986 it was only 32,000 oz.
In 2005 commercial mining began at Fosterville east of Bendigo, and by 2016 a million ounces had been mined. Since Kirkland Lake Gold took over in 2016 the pace has accelerated, with depth grade increased, and in the first quarter of 2020 production was 175,000 oz at 41 g/t, making this site world's highest-grade gold mine. Since then new discoveries have been made at depth under cover north along strike from Bendigo.
As the Geological Survey of Victoria puts it, "the brownfields can contain world-class deposits", and intense interest in the area is developing.
RRAL's license areas cover ground adjacent to, around and along the faults from the Ballarat Mine, the only currently producing mine besides Fosterville, and the Creswick workings, as well as other prospective ground including old leads and mines where only shallow mining in the oxides has taken place and known prospects are untested by recent drilling.
Project: Red Rock Australasia
Target metals: Gold
11 licence applications covering 1,839 sq km submitted in Victoria Goldfields