Only a sad old grump wouldn’t be getting a buzz from the modern-day gold rush taking shape in the Pilbara.
More to the point though is that the crafty promotion by the lead player in the Pilbara gold nuggets rush, Canada’s Novo Resources, is fuelling massive share price increases for a bunch of ASX-listed juniors with tenements covering the prospective lower Fortescue Group rocks, including Novo partner, Artemis (ASX:ARV).
Novo’s value has trebled since July to close to $1 billion, with the latest leg-up triggered by its remarkable live stream cross on Monday from the Denver Gold Forum at the Broadmoor Hotel in Colorado Springs to its Purdy’s Reward prospect, part of its broader Karratha project area in the Pilbara.
It was well past midnight at Purdy’s Reward where a bunch of surprisingly sprightly geologists and field hands proceeded to pluck nuggets from a patch of conglomerate exposed in a 30m x 10m x 5m pit.
Time was against the midnight miners – one of which played up to the Colorado crowd by wearing a 10-gallon hat – so they had previously marked up the spots where the metal detectors had pinged alerts some 300 times for likely locations of nuggets. Sure enough, a bit of jack hammering liberated a couple before the link to Colorado was flicked off.
The seed was sown. The suggestion is that if that one little patch could be repeated across the region’s seriously extensive conglomerates (like in South Africa’s legendary Witwatersrand), or even just sections of it, well, wouldn’t that be something. It does not matter to the punters enthralled by the Pilbara nugget hunt that no one knows at this stage if the conglomerate play will ever prove to be economic in a meaningful way. But immediate gratification is at play.
Unlike WA’s hard rock gold mines which take years of drilling to confirm as economic propositions, and where the gold is more often than not invisible to the naked eye, the recovery of the Pilbara nuggets are next to immediate, and highly visible. Does it mean a profitable mining operation is the next step? No.
Quad bikes loaded with metal detectors and jack hammers are barrelling through the bush in pursuit of the melon seed-sized gold nuggets to be had from the region’s extensive Witwatersrand-type conglomerates. It’s a sight to behold.
Kairos appears the cheap entry to Pilbara nuggets boom as race for ‘watermelon seeds’ hits fever pitch. Read more +.