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Exploration update: Purdy’s Reward project

Published by
Global Mining Review,

Novo Resources Corp. (Novo) has provided an update on exploration activities at the Purdy’s Reward tenement (part of Novo’s greater Karratha gold project, Western Australia), the joint venture Novo has with Artemis Resources Ltd (Artemis).

According to Novo, the WA Government’s Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) has granted a 20 000 t excess tonnage permit for the extraction of a bulk sample from the Purdy’s Reward tenement.

Trenching is proving invaluable for providing geologic data as well as bulk sample material. Therefore, Novo recently accelerated trenching and bulk sampling activities along the strike of the daylighting conglomerate package. A comprehensive overview of trenching activities will be provided by Novo in approximately mid-December once this fieldwork is complete.

Nagrom Metallurgical Laboratory in Perth (Nagrom) has recently indicated to Novo that the first trench bulk sample grade results will be available in January.


Given the nuggety nature of gold mineralisation at Karratha, Novo considers bulk sampling the best practical means of evaluating grade and potential viability of the deposit. Prior to signing definitive agreements with Novo in August, Artemis had filed an application with the DMIRS for a 20 000 t excess tonnage permit for extraction of bulk material from the Purdy’s Reward tenement. This application was recently approved. Novo and Artemis are now working together on plans to use this permit to undertake systematic bulk sampling for grade purposes. Given what has been learnt from recent trenches, Novo envisions collection of bulk material from multiple sites and positions within the conglomerate package at Purdy’s Reward to provide the greatest understanding of this unusual gold system.



60 diamond core holes have been completed in a Northeast-trending corridor approximately 1000 m long and 100 - 400 m wide. Geologic logging of all backlogged core holes is ongoing and is expected to be completed by approximately mid-December at which point, data will be collated with trench data and used to generate a 3D model of the conglomerate package.

Over a three-week period, FORACO International SA experimented with various drill bit diameter sizes, drilling dry and wet, various sampling techniques, and a mix of sample collection tooling. Upon review of sample consistency, integrity and recovery, Novo decided it was uncomfortable with the product and its use as bulk sample material for grade estimation. Novo is reviewing other potential options for collecting bulk samples from drilling and is currently putting emphasis on collection of bulk samples from trenches. 

Recent Geologic Findings

Previously, much of the historic prospecting activity at Purdy’s Reward and Comet Well focussed on the lower, mafic igneous rock clast-rich conglomerate sequence. Recent observations in trenches continue to confirm this pattern. Novo personnel have noted metal detector strikes throughout this lower conglomerate sequence, although most occur near its base. Black chlorite-rich shale fragments are commonly observed in areas with abundant visible nuggets.

Although a limited number of samples have been analysed, current findings suggest most fine-grained gold occurs as halos of particles within a few millimetres of much coarser gold nuggets. Novo believes such fine-grained gold was remobilised and re-precipitated following burial and lithification of gold-bearing gravels. Novo believes it is possible that the fine-grained gold observed in panning of weathered rock collected from trenches, as well as the fine gold component observed in the first bulk sample, is derived from such halos of fine gold.

“We were fully aware from day one that the Karratha gold project is a coarse gold system,” commented Dr. Quinton Hennigh, President, Chairman and a Director of Novo Resources Corp.

Hennigh added: “The fact that numerous prospectors have been detecting gold here since its discovery is compelling evidence. While the ability to recover consistent, quality sample material using large diameter drilling has not yet been accomplished, trenching appears to yield acceptable bulk samples for test work. Bulk sampling at surface will be the most critical means of determining the grade, processing characteristics and viability of this deposit. We look forward to working with Artemis on ways to fast track a bulk sampling strategy at Purdy’s Reward.”


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