THE Bendigo region is experiencing another mining boom, with Western Australian based firm Chalice Gold issuing an application to extend their already 2865 square kilometres exploration licenses to more than 4000km2.
The company first arrived in the region in late 2017, triggered by the success of Kirkland Lake Gold in Fosterville and Catalyst Metals north of the city.
Applications covering 1353km2 exist near Serpentine and Dingee, with other areas of exploration by the company existing around St Arnaud and above Fosterville, ground which has historically had limited exploration.
Speaking to the Bendigo Weekly, Chalice’s managing director Alex Dorsch said the company was confident of striking gold from these initial exploration works – with one application notice stating works will target “gold mineralisation, including review of historical data, field reconnaissance, geophysical ground gravity survey”, before “exploration drilling if significant targets are defined”.
“The Bendigo zone which extends from the Murray river all the way south to Ballarat and Melbourne, hosts a very large quantity of gold, there’s a lot of gold that’s been discovered, but not so much in the northern zone,” he said.
“We do think there will be gold in our property, but we cannot answer yet whether it will be easy to find, or if we’ll be in economic accumulation.
“This first phase … will be trying to get proximal indications of mineralisation, so we’ll be looking for small low levels of gold in the drilling, which will hopefully point us to areas that might be of further interest.”
Work on Chalice’s earlier exploration licenses started last November, with the 3000 metres of drilling already undertaken by local and Western Australian rigs going “exceptionally well”.
According to Mr Dorsch the company is targeting a deposit in the range of five million ounces, like other areas in the region, which is considered a tier one discovery globally.
“We’d love to discover a multi-million ounce ore body,” Mr Dorsch said.
“An (cost) evaluation is very hard to determine, it’s going to be determined by grade and depth and a number of other factors.
“The size of the prize is significant – not just significant for us, but significant for the region, the town, the communities, the local venues, the region as a whole.”
This operation is the company’s primary exploration focus, and its first in Victoria, having other sites in Western Australia, Northern Territory, Queensland, as well as interests in Canada.
The company confirmed their presence in the region is a “multiple-year endeavour”, with licenses from the Victorian government, if granted, having a term of five years.
A regional office for the company is already set up in Serpentine while the explorations are under way, with Mr Dorsch confirming that if they were successful, the company would “absolutely” look at staying permanently within the region.
Chalice’s work comes as Kirkland Lake in Fosterville last year reached 1.5 million ounces discovered, while Catalyst also have further applications for exploration near Pyramid Hill.
– Sam Kane