Special Report: Norwest Minerals has hit multiple gold lodes with the first nine holes drilled in a program designed to test around existing pits at its Bulgera tenements in WA.  

The results are the first 1400 metres of a 5000-metre RC program by Norwest Minerals (ASX:NWM) at Bulgera, within the broader Marymia East project, where assays are being used to test for extensions at both depth and to known near-surface gold mineralisation.

All holes hit gold. Significant intercepts among those initially reported include:

  • 2m at 7.1 grams per tonne gold from 42m in hole BRO20031;
  • 16m at 1.6g/t gold from 84m in hole BRC20032;
  • 5m at 2.3g/t gold from 72m in hole BRC 20033;
  • And 1m at 18g/t from 90m in hole BRC20034.

After these holes, the drilling campaign was hampered when the rig suffered severe mechanical problems and was unable to continue.

Norwest CEO Charles Schaus said the program would recommence on January 14 with West Drill Drilling Company – the company which owns and operates the rigs at Vango Mining’s (ASX:VAN) Marymia gold project along strike from Bulgera.

“The mechanical issues with the RC rig were very disappointing, as were our efforts to locate a replacement rig so close to Christmas,” he said.

“That said, multiple lodes of gold mineralisation were intersected in all nine holes completed and, with drilling recommencing soon, we are confident the remainder of the program will have a significant impact on the Bulgera gold project.”

Regional promise

The Bulgera gold trend on which Norwest’s Bulgera tenements sit is an extension of the mineralised sequence which is home to both the Plutonic and Vango gold projects near Meekatharra.

These projects, which have gold resources in excess of 5.5 million ounces and 1 million ounces respectively, sit on mafic-ultramafic mine sequences where drilling has shown the gold tenor increases with depth.

Vango’s recent and aggressive testing of the Marymia project has consistently shown the highest gold grades located beneath 100m within the mine sequence.

Norwest’s Bulgera tenements include a near-surface gold resource of 2.9 million tonnes at one gram per tonne gold for 93,880 ounces of gold, with minimal historical drilling beneath 100m.

The tenements makes part of Norwest’s broader Marymia East gold project, which incorporates both the 100%-owned Bulgera tenements and the 81%-owned Marymia tenements.

Despite barely having been drilled below 100m in a region where mineralisation typically gets stronger with depth, the Bulgera project tenements have historically produced 440,799 tonnes of ore at 1.65g/t for 23,398 ounces of gold across two production windows – 1996-1998, and 2003-2004.

Ore was treated at the Marymia mining centre in the first instance, and the Plutonic processing facility during the second.

Norwest Minerals Plutonic Well geology

Plenty on the horizon

The current round of drilling at Bulgera comes on the back of a successful $2.5 million capital raise announced last September, which continued Norwest’s momentum at Marymia East.

The company acquired the project in 2019, and quickly set about establishing a resource – firstly through historical data, and then expanding it to the current +90,000oz size through shallow drilling near the existing open pits.

There are currently three shallow pits onsite at Bulgera.

Drilling under the current RC campaign is expected to recommence next week.