North Stawell Minerals Limited (ASX:NSM) CEO Russell Krause discusses recent drilling results, plans through the winter months, and outlook.
Melissa Darmawan: Thanks for tuning in to Finance News. I’m Melissa Darmawan. Here to talk to us today is the CEO of North Stawell Minerals (ASX:NSM), Russell Krause. Russell, nice to see you in the Sydney studio.
Russell Krause: Pleasure to be here. It’s good to be in Sydney.
Melissa Darmawan: Now, let’s start off with an introduction of the company and the significance of the location as well.
Russell Krause: North Stawell Minerals is an ASX-listed company. It’s been listed about two years. Well, two years come September. It is primarily an exploration company focused purely on the Stawell corridor. The area is historically very significant. I think gold was first discovered in Stawell in 1853, from memory. So, it’s been one of Victoria’s historical gold provinces. It’s centrally located in the centre of Victoria. And it’s in an area which is known as a golden triangle, I suppose. So, you’ve got Stawell, you’ve got Bendigo, you’ve got Ballarat. And that area hosts the major mines that Victoria’s had, of which the three major mines being each of those centres and Stawell probably being the third one of them. And Stawell Mine has produced, or Stawell Gold Mines, those collection of mines around that region, have produced circa 6 million ounces of gold since they’ve been actually mining there.
Stawell Gold Mines is owned by a private equity group managed by Arete Capital Partners. That private equity group owns 100 per cent of Stawell Gold Mines and that private equity group is a 66 per cent shareholder in North Stawell Minerals. So, we’re focused very much on that corridor. And what we’re looking for is multimillion-ounce gold deposits like Stawell Gold Mines, like that mine at Stawell. The difference here is, though, the geological structures are the same, but we go under the Murray Basin cover. So, the mines are not as obvious or the deposits are not as obvious. So, we’ve got our work cut out in order to actually peer through that cover and discover what we’re looking for.
Melissa Darmawan: Thanks for that, Russell. Last time we spoke, you talked about the results from Gready, Lubeck Tip and also Glenorchy. There’s been some other results. Can you talk us through it?
Russell Krause: The original program was, because we’re looking under that Murray Basin cover, was we did a significant airborne gravity and a lot of geophysical work and tried to identify the structures below the surface. Our then program, our drill program, was a light-touch air-core program just to identify the mineralisation and to identify the potential targets. So, what we did was we had our geophysical targets outlined and we’re following through with just air-core to make sure that those targets are mineralised. We’ve got results back for approximately nine targets, of which I think we can safely say seven are mineralised, but there’s probably four standout targets which we have. You’ve mentioned three of them. And the last one where the results have just come in is the Forsaken province. That has returned quite significant results. So, when I say significant, this is a light touch, so we’re not looking for major intersections or gold intersections. What we’re looking for is gold anomalies. And the fact that the area is mineralised with gold and all of the various indicator metals.
Melissa Darmawan: I know that during the colder season, the land can get quite boggy. Have you been impacted by the weather?
Russell Krause: The short answer is no. So, we designed our drilling campaign, such that we were drilling mainly through the drier months. Winter’s obviously upon us now, and it’s definitely wet and boggy in certain places. So, we do have limited access, but we’ve actually finished our drilling campaign. So, we will follow through with a new campaign in the spring. But what we’ll do over the winter months is assess all of the data, bring all the rest of our geophysical data in, reassess exactly what we’ve got. We’ve got a whole lot of XRF samples to still be completed as well. And we’re currently still doing soil sampling. So, all of our work program is going on, but what we’re doing right now is we’ll have a flow of news coming out of the data as it comes back in, the assay results. And then we will also just assess everything, line up our plans, and redevelop our drill campaign once we’ve properly assessed geologically exactly what we think we have.
Melissa Darmawan: Last question from me – on the point around the outlook. You have described what we might be looking out for. Could you give us some more colour around it?
Russell Krause: Yes. Well, what we’re going to do is, as that data comes in, obviously we’ll keep the market informed. So, there’s probably two months of information that’s going to come out. So, there’ll be a consistent news flow on the various targets that we’ve drilled with the air-core rig. And we haven’t got any of the RC results yet. And we had that RC program there as well. So, there’ll be consistent news on that regard. And whilst that news is coming out, as I said, we’ll go back and reassess all the data as it comes in. We’ll reevaluate. We’ll have our geological team look at it. We’ll compare it back with exactly what we’ve seen at Stawell Gold Mines, and we’ll develop a program to come through and then follow up with a more aggressive drilling campaign, which is going to be more targeted and more focused on results. So, our first-pass campaign was just to identify the bodies, the ore bodies or potential ore bodies, and make sure they’re mineralised. Now we’ve discovered which ones are mineralised, our challenge is to actually drill those to a point where we can actually start to put together a resource. So, that’s what we’re aiming for. So, we’re looking to find, as I said, a multimillion-ounce deposit. If we start to build those ounces in the ground, then we’re getting closer and closer to where we need to be, which is another gold mine.
Melissa Darmawan: Very exciting times ahead, Russell. Look forward to the update. Thanks for coming in today.
Russell Krause: Thank you very much. It’s been an absolute pleasure, as always.