Novo Chief Regrets Midnight Metal Detector Movie

By Barry Fitzgerald | More Articles by Barry Fitzgerald

There were many factors behind the 2017 Pilbara conglomerate gold bubble.

But what really pumped up things was one of the great mining promotional events of our time.

The September 2017 event was orchestrated by the lead company in the bubble, Canada’s Novo Resources Corp (TSX-V:NVO).

Novo organised what’s known in the TV game as a live cross from the Denver Gold Forum to its Purdy’s Reward conglomerate project near Karratha in the Pilbara, a 50:50 joint venture with the ASX-listed Artemis (ARV).

It was past 1am at Purdy’s Reward where a patch of near-surface conglomerate had been exposed in a small pit that had previously been gone over with metal detectors.

For the “live” show back to Denver, the pings from the metal detector, which had been marked up with sprays of pink paint, were jack-hammered by suitable Aussie-looking types to liberate a handful of the melon seed-sized nuggets that had become synonymous with the Pilbara nugget yarn.

The implication was that as conglomerate beds (sedimentary horizon beds that can either be cemented or weathered) were seriously extensive in the Pilbara, a globally-significant new gold province was in the making.

Throw in the earlier “same-same but different” geological comparison by Novo to the source of onethird of the gold ever mined, South Africa’s fabled Witwatersrand, and the rush for Pilbara conglomerate exposure through Novo, or the 30-40 ASX-listed juniors that for a time that at least were true believers, was on in earnest.

Share prices went wild. But it didn’t last.

Plus, soaring gold price triggers big bounce in Millennium shares. Read more +

Barry Fitzgerald

About Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald has covered the resources industry for 30 years. His column highlights the issues, opportunities and challenges for small and mid-cap resources stocks - most recently penned his column for The Australian newspaper and before that, The Age.

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