Dart Mining is confident it is on to a significant copper-gold discovery at its project near the town of Mitta Mitta on the Omeo Highway in north-east Victoria.
Drilling by Dart at the historic project – it was a gold producer from 1856 to 1918 – has returned high-grade zones of gold-copper-silver, as well as highlighting the potential for a bulk tonnage porphyry copper-gold system.
“We’ve got high hopes that Granite Flat will shape up as a significant discovery,” Dart managing director James Chirnside says.
Drilling is again underway at the property following up last year’s program in which seven of the 42 drill holes were mineralised throughout, with the mineralisation continuing beyond the depth limit of the drill rig.
While the drilling returned some impressive results, the campaign also confirmed the complex nature of the mineralised system.
“So we’re about to start a geophysical program focusing in on an area three kilometres by two kilometres where we have established some very interesting mineralisation,” Chirnside says.
“The result of the survey will be really interesting and we have got all of the permissions we need to undertake an extensive reverse circulation and diamond drilling program (the company owns its own diamond drilling rig).”
At the company’s Sandy Creek project north-west of Eskdale, drilling at the historically high-grade goldfield confirmed gold mineralisation remains open at depth and along strike at the O’Dell’s, Shamrock and Honeysuckle prospects.
The full extent of the bulk-tonnage potential of the targeted altered and mineralised granite remains to be tested.
More drilling is also planned to follow up the company’s first drilling campaign at the Rushworth project in central Victoria, picked up by Dart outside of its normal north-east focus in response to the rich Swan Zone gold discovery at the nearby high-grade Fosterville mine.
Future drilling at Rushworth will focus on testing for strike and depth extensions to the multiple gold mineralised structures intersected in the recent drill program.
Dart is also stepping up lithium exploration in the region after a LIDAR survey allowed its geologists to “see through” the heavily vegetated terrain at its project in Victoria’s north-east to identify previously obscured targets.
“Using LIDAR was all about us exposing old gold mine workings, as well as building our lithium story by looking for out-cropping pegmatites,” Chirnside says.
“It delivered in spades. It showed us significant extensions of a particular pegmatite that we know is fertile with spodumene (a lithium bearing ore) grading up to 1.4 per cent.”
Pegmatite swarms in the region extend from Eskdale down to Glen Wills to the south-east, with Dart planning a drilling program later in the year in response to the LIDAR revelations, and the dramatic recovery in lithium prices in 2021.