Break­ing ground in the Pil­bara

Tay­lar Amonini finds out just why the in­dus­try is be­com­ing so pop­u­lar again.

Pilbara News - - Front Page - Tay­lar Amonini

While a bit of gold prospect­ing on the week­end has never been new or un­usual for Pil­bara lo­cals, com­pa­nies have by­passed gold for iron ore — un­til now.

In the last three months gold dis­cov­er­ies have per­me­ated the news and the hype is grow­ing. But why is this hap­pen­ing? The

North West Tele­graph went ex­plor­ing to find out.

De­spite gold be­ing searched for in the Pil­bara for more than 100 years, the re­cent rush was sparked when Canada’s Novo Re­sources be­gan find­ing small wa­ter­melon seed-shaped gold nuggets at Artemis Re­sources’ Purdy’s Re­ward prospect.

In early Au­gust Artemis Re­sources, in part­ner­ship with Kar­ratha prospec­tor Will Scott, dis­cov­ered 547g of nuggets worth more than $25,000. Since then ex­plor­ers with neigh­bour­ing ten­e­ments have be­gun scour­ing their land for sim­i­lar finds.

What makes these nuggets special over those found by your av­er­age Joe on the week­end is they are in­dica­tive of con­glom­er­ate-style gold min­er­al­i­sa­tion em­bed­ded in sed­i­men­tary rock — mean­ing the nuggets are em­bed­ded in rock sim­i­lar to fos­sils. This type of nuggets have been found in the mas­sive Wit­wa­ter­srand Basin in South Africa — the worlds big­gest known gold re­serve pro­duc­ing 50 per cent of all the gold ever mined on earth.

The dis­cov­ery has sparked two the­o­ries: that WA’s NW re­gion was ei­ther once con­nected to or is of a sim­i­lar struc­ture to South Africa’s Wit­wa­ter­srand Basin and that the con­glom­er­ate of gold wraps around the area’s Hamer­s­ley Range.

“There’s po­ten­tially gold right down to the Ash­bur­ton River, com­ing all the way up to Kar­ratha and Whim Creek and go­ing out to Mar­ble Bar and Nul­lagine and wrap­ping right around the Hamer­s­ley Range,” Kar­ratha prospec­tor Will Scott said. “Even if it’s not too deep, it runs hun­dreds of kilo­me­tres and that’s a lot of gold and if it does prove real it would make Kal­go­or­lie look like a pin­prick.”

While this mod­ern-day Pil­bara gold rush may seem like an overnight thing, prospec­tors have been search­ing for over a decade.

Long-time Pil­bara prospec­tor, Den­nis O’Mara, part­nered with Kala­ma­zoo Re­sources more than 10 years ago.

Kala­ma­zoo chair­man, Luke Reinehr, said the find­ing of this type of nugget could mean a fo­cus on the Pil­bara as big as the iron ore in­dus­try had brought.

“It’s fan­tas­tic for a cou­ple of rea­sons,” he said. “For one, the worlds’ ex­plo­ration fo­cus for gold is on the Pil­bara now and this could mean a jobs boost for the re­gion. We saw ex­am­ples in Vic­to­ria and the Gold­fields of eco­nomic booms hap­pen­ing with gold rushes, even sim­ply down to stores sell­ing wheel­bar­rows and metal de­tec­tors to bring in money and jobs.”

Kala­ma­zoo Re­sources was the lat­est ex­plo­ration com­pany to ac­quire eq­uity in the re­gion’s Pil­bara gold projects.

’There’s gold in them thar hills’: Kala­ma­zoo Re­sources chair­man Luke Reinehr.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.