Catalina carving out Laverton aircore drilling

Small-cap explorer Catalina Resources (ASX:CTN) has launched a 25-hole aircore drilling program to test for gold and rare earths across its Laverton Project in Western Australia.

The company plans to drill for 1,500m across its gold and rare earth elements (REE) targets at tenement E38/3697 within the project area.

As part of the program, Catalina will drill 20 aircore holes along-strike from the Lily Pond Well mineral resource of 340,000 tonnes @ 1.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold. This resource was first identified by Sons of Gwalia back in 1999. 

Catalina, which has a $6.19 million market capitalisation, says the Lily Pond resource is hosted by the north-south-trending Barnicoat Shear Zone, which traverses the southwest corner of EL38/3697. 

This shear zone is interpreted to link the Lily Pond Well resource with Great Southern Mining’s (ASX:GSN) Mon Ami resource of 1.56 million tonnes @ 1.1g/t Au and the Ida H resource of 630,000 tonnes @ 1.4g/t Au to the north, according to Catalina. 

Catalina will also drill 5 holes to test selected magnetic anomalies in the area that it says potentially represent REE-bearing carbonatite intrusives. 

The E38/3697 tenement spans roughly 45km-square and lies 20km southeast of Laverton in Western Australia. 

This region, according to Catalina, is home to several ‘world-class’ gold, nickel, and REE deposits, and a compilation of historical exploration and aeromagnetic data has outlined a string of targets for the company to test.

Alongside its Laverton project, Catalina also owns the Kookynie West and Dundas projects in Western Australia, the Lachlan Fold Belt project in New South Wales, and the Nelson Bay River project in Tasmania.

Catalina Resources had about $3 million in cash and cash equivalents at hand at the end of December 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.

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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.

Great Boulder keeps rolling across Ironbark Corridor 

Great Boulder Resources (ASX:GBR) has in March 2024 scheduled drilling to resume at the Saltbush prospect and other targets along the Ironbark Corridor, as part of its flagship Side Well Gold Project in Western Australia.  

The $35.92 million market capitalisation company says the next phase of drilling will include additional AC and RC drilling at Saltbush, a small program of AC holes testing the new target north of Saltbush and a series of lines testing the broad pathfinder anomalies north of Ironbark. 

The company is compiling geological mapping from Side Well down to Polelle in preparation for extending and infilling auger soils coverage over the whole area. This will enable Great Boulder to complete a holistic geochemical analysis of all target opportunities. 

Given the strength of mineralised indicators at the southern end of the Ironbark corridor the company considers these southern tenements to be ‘highly prospective’ and relatively under-explored.

Great Boulder says drilling will resume after it announced today (26 February 2024) that a ‘significant, large-scale’ mineralised system exists within the Ironbark Corridor. 

Early stage exploration, comprising aircore drilling, has intersected gold north and south of Saltbush, extending mineralisation for more than 300m and remaining open in both directions. 

According to Great Boulder, Saltbush continues to show similarities to the nearby Ironbark deposit, which houses a 100,000 ounce gold resource at an average grade of 3.3 grams per tonne (g/t). 

Further, a priority target has been flagged northeast of Saltbush which demonstrates ‘extremely high’ pathfinder anomalism. Rock chip samples from a 100m-long zone of gossanous and strongly laminated quartz veins have returned assays up to 0.6g/t Au and 81g/t Ag with ‘extremely’ high pathfinder elements supported by recent AC drilling along strike.

Managing Director Andrew Paterson says the company’s early stage exploration within the Ironbark Corridor is “very exciting” as it begins to “fill in the gaps”.   

“Firstly, aircore drilling has extended the known gold mineralisation at Saltbush along strike in both directions. These results will be followed up in the next drill campaign starting in March.

Secondly we’ve identified a new target 400m away with extremely high levels of Mulga Bill-style pathfinder elements. The surface outcrop is a zone of gossanous alteration with strongly laminated quartz veins. 

The peak bismuth value is approximately ten times higher than anything we’ve seen at Side Well before, with elevated gold, silver, molybdenum and copper which are characteristic of Mulga Bill. This suggests we have both styles of mineralisation within the Ironbark corridor target area which is an exciting development.

We’ll be drilling both areas during March and I look forward to reporting the results as soon as possible.”

Great Boulder is currently compiling geological mapping from Side Well down to Polelle in preparation for extending and infilling auger soils coverage over the whole area. 

Great Boulder Resources is a mineral explorer with a portfolio of ‘highly prospective’ gold and base metals assets in Western Australia ranging from greenfields through to advanced exploration. 

The company’s Side Well Project sits near the township of Meekatharra in the Murchison Goldfield, where exploration has defined a mineral resource of 7.45 million tonnes at 2.8g/t Au for 668,000 ounces of gold. 

As of December 2023, Great Boulder Resources had $5.035 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Strickland strikes new Yandal mineralised structure

Strickland Metals (ASX:STK) has outlined a new primary mineralised structure at its Dusk til Dawn resource within its Yandal Gold Project in Western Australia through its expanded aircore drilling program.

The $162.7 million market capitalisation company says bottom-of-hole aircore intercepts highlighted a consistent 750m newly defined mineralised structure due west of Dusk til Dawn, which lies roughly 20km north-northwest of the Horse Well area. 

Both Dusk til Dawn and the new shear zone remain open down-dip and down-plunge, which Strickland says offers potential depth extensions and thicker gold intercepts where the shear zones coalesce. 

Strickland is now planning follow-up reverse circulation (RC) drilling as part of a larger exploration program across the Horse Well area. 

The new primary mineralised structure discovery comes after Strickland in November 2023 expanded its aircore drilling program to test several areas away from Horse Well, which had been the focus of most of its drilling. 

These new focus areas included the 109,000-ounce Dusk til Dawn resource, which the company says has ‘historically been poorly understood’; while previous drilling had struck ‘significant’ gold anomalism, explorers have had little understanding of the geometry or potential controls on mineralisation in the area. 

The company says the new aircore results demonstrate the potential for multiple stacked and parallel mineralised lodes that could ‘significantly’ increase the resource base of the area. 

Strickland CEO Andrew Bray says though the company’s new aircore results have successfully defined a 750m target corridor, all anomalous results were observed in the final metres of each hole — no drilling was able to penetrate fresh rock. 

“These results are a good reminder of the tremendous potential our Yandal gold project offers. 

While most of the drilling last year occurred at Horse Well (where significant new mineralisation was discovered and requires follow-up drilling), the mineralisation referred to in this announcement is over 20km away.”

Bray says the majority of the ground between these two targets remains ‘virtually unexplored’.

Meanwhile, Strickland has also kicked off RC drilling at its Rabbit Well prospect, which Bray says will focus on mapping the overall geological, alteration, and pathfinder geochemical model to ‘vector in’ on the primary source of oxide base metal mineralisation previously intersected in the area. 

Assays from this work are expected to be announced within the next 2 weeks. 

Alongside its Yandal project, Strickland also owns the Iroquois Zinc-Lead-Silver Project and the Bryah Basin Gold-Copper Project, both in Western Australia.

Strickland Metals had around $33.4 million cash and cash equivalents at hand at the end of December 2023, according to its latest quarterly report. 

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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.

Lightning Minerals’ reins in Dundas aircore drilling

Lightning Minerals (ASX:L1M) has completed an aircore drilling program at its Dundas Project in Western Australia. 

The company drilled 96 aircore (AC) holes for 3,820m to test the lithium, caesium, and rubidium geochemical in soil anomalism uncovered at surface by infill soil programs completed in late 2023. 

Lightning Minerals Managing Director Alex Biggs says completing drilling is another ‘important’ incremental step in identifying the mineralisation potential of previously uncovered lithium in-soil anomalies. 

“We have expedited this campaign efficiently and cost-effectively to allow us the best opportunity to continue to identify drill targets for future campaigns.”

Samples are enroute to the laboratory, with assay results expected to be returned within 6 to 8 weeks. 

Lightning Minerals says logistics are currently being arranged to facilitate an infill soil sampling campaign on tenement E63/2028.

A review of previous soil geochemistry results in E63/2028 warrants a follow-up program, according to Lightning, to further test the thin/stripped saprolite profile present.

The company says it is anticipated that the program could be undertaken as early as March 2024 dependent on permitting. 

Lightning is currently finalising an infill soil sampling program to follow-up on previous results at the Dundas North Project. 

The Dundas Project lies near Norseman in Western Australia and covers a 454km-square area. 

Lightning Minerals is a critical minerals-focused explorer with assets across Western Australia and Canada. The company’s project’s are prospective for lithium, base metals, and critical minerals. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $2.57 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at   

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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.