Gold drilling on track
Emerging gold explorer Torian Resources will let the drill bit do the talking as it strives to deliver shareholders an early Christmas present.
With $2.7 million in the kitty, Torian has completed its first week of drilling at its Zuleika project, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, in what many consider Australia’s hottest exploration address for gold.
Northern Star Resources managing director Bill Beament admitted that much, telling this week’s Denver Gold Forum the exploration success at the miner’s Kundana operations has been “like shooting ducks in a barrel”.
Torian’s Zuleika joint venture comprises 191sqkm — the southern tenement boundary is 5km north of Northern Star’s rich Raleigh mine and 8km north of Evolution Mining’s newly acquired Frog’s Leg mine.
Another neighbour is Phoenix Gold, the subject of a tug-of-war between Evolution and China’s Zijin Mining Group which have launched takeover bids worth $56.4 million and $47 million, respectively.
Torian managing director Matt Sullivan, the geologist who is credited with the Kanowna Belle discovery in 1989 and has had a hand in finding more than 13Moz during his 25-year career, is a big believer in where there is smoke, there is fire.
He is taking nothing for granted in the risky exploration business but is adamant “time will tell”.
“We are in that environment where if we start hitting something which looks pretty cool …let’s put it this way, we’ve already had a number of inquiries from people to put in more dollars,” he said. “I’m not here to tell people what we do and don’t have at this point, but what we do have is a good chance in a good area. “We’ve just got to do the work.” Torian was drilling this week close to the waste dump at Norton Gold Fields’ Bullant underground mine and will continue on various targets until Christmas.
It continues a rapid turnaround for Torian, which listed in 1986 as Cluff Resources Pacific and at one point was linked with Kerry Packer’s Consolidated Press Holdings over a ruby mine in the NSW Hunter Valley.
Torian chairman Andrew Sparke said recapitalising the company was “pretty tough” but strong investor sentiment is building for Australian gold stocks.
A US-based investor has thrown in $1 million. Anton Billis’ Tribune Resources and Rand Mining also has some skin in the game, around $250,000 worth of stock, but less than 5 per cent of Torian.
“You’ve got neighbours (Zijin) on our eastern boundary which purchased a block of land (Norton) for $250 million, then Evolution paid north of $400 million for La Mancha to our south and Phoenix is in play at the moment,” Mr Sparke said. “Northern Star also bought the East Kundana joint venture last year. If you look at our $20 million market cap you can start to see the potential upside — it’s an easy story to convey to investors if we can make another discovery along Zuleika.”
Torian shares were up 7.69 per cent at 28 cents yesterday.
Origin Drilling completes rotary-air-blast drilling at Torian Resources’ Zuleika project, north-west of Kalgoorlie-Boulder.
Torian Resources chairman Andrew Sparke and managing director Matt Sullivan at the Zuleika project.