Quinton Todd Hennigh has spent 13 years scouring the Earth for clues to back a hunch: that the world’s biggest gold resource has lost siblings elsewhere on the planet.
Now the president of Novo Resources Corp. thinks he may have found a counterpart of South Africa’s Witwatersrand in the ancient red rocks near Australia’s northwest coast. In July, his company zeroed in on a gold find that’s confounded geologists and sparked a 500 percent surge in the explorer’s share price.
The first test on land south of the coastal town of Karratha looked good. Employing two men, a metal detector and a jack hammer, Vancouver-based Novo extracted gold nuggets as long as 4 centimeters (1.6 inches) from an exploration “trench” little more than a half-meter deep. That tiny sample hinted at ore grades that could be among the highest of any operating mine in the world.
Hennigh, 50, who’s worked as a geologist for Newmont Mining Corp. and Newcrest Mining Ltd., isn’t screaming bonanza yet. “Can I say 100 percent that this will turn into a mine right now? No, I don’t know,” he said in a phone interview, acknowledging hard work remains to determine if watermelon seed-like specks of gold can be economically mined. Still, the potential upside is seen by some as huge.
“If it’s true, this is massive,” Brent Cook, a Rockville, Utah-based geologist and mining stock analyst who booked a flight to the site three days after Novo announced the discovery. For the moment, though, the company’s valuation — C$703.6 million ($559.5 million) — is “just absurd,” says Cook.
For the rest of this article: https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2017-08-20/a-cosmic-theory-and-2-inch-lump-of-gold-drive-novo-s-500-surge