Strategic Elements’ subsidiary Strategic Materials has confirmed a major extension to the Reefton South Gold Project on New Zealand’s South Island.  1

The project is 3km along strike from the prolific Reefton goldfield which has historical production of 2.1 million ounces of gold. Strategic has extended its exploration of the site to include the prospective gold bearing rocks under a layer of gravel and glacial till which could not be explored by previous miners.

The Australian government has previously provided airborne geophysics data to assist explorers to see through the cover on the prospective rocks, however this year the first release of New Zealand government data over the Reefton goldfield will be released, with airborne geophysical surveys currently under way.

A significant resurgence at Reefton is under way with OceanaGold developing the Globe Progress open pit mine with a JORC resource of 1.2 million ounces of gold. Oceana says Reefton has excellent potential for further exploration and success, and is seeking to reopen additional historic mines including the Blackwater mine. It is also aiming to make new discoveries through new exploration approaches.

Strategic’s managing director Charles Murphy says, “Modern exploration techniques enable exploration of rocks beneath cover and there is a global trend in new gold discoveries being made through these methods.

“It is an exciting thought to consider that the Reefton South project is a few kilometres along strike from a significant producing goldfield, and modern ‘under cover’ exploration approaches mean its prospectivity is completely wide open. We believe that new data, combined with a strategic ground holding underpinned by fundamental geological concepts, is the way forward to make new discoveries.”

Oceana recently announced a new gold discovery at Reefton near the Big River prospect after it applied a wacker drill to reach bedrock under cover. The company has announced high grade mineralization including intercepts at Big River of 3 metres @ 18.5 grams/tonne gold and at Blackwater of 1 metre @ 23.3 grams/tonne gold. The average grade of the historical mining was typically around 15 grams/tonne gold.

The mines in the Reefton goldfield are located in a zone known as the Reefton ‘Line of Lode’ which comprises a zone of folding and shearing extending for a strike length of 30km.

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