JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – As more junior explorers head to the Pilbara in search for gold mineralisation similar to that found in South Africa’s Witwatersrand, Melbourne-based mining consultant Surbiton Associates has urged caution, reminding investors about the costs and risks involved in exploration.
“It is good to see such interest in gold exploration locally, but real caution is needed,” director Dr Sandra Close said on Sunday. “It is very early days and despite the publicity, there is a great difference between an exploration play and a successful mining venture. Exploration is a risky and expensive business.”
More than 25 publically-listed companies are currently exploring for gold in the Pilbara, all searching for gold that occurs in conglomerates. The theory is that rocks of a similar type and age occur in the Witwatersrand basin, which according to South Africa’ Chamber of Mines has produced more than two-billion ounces of gold.
The modern-day gold rush has ignited the share prices of several junior explorers, with the stock of Canada’s Novo Resources and its Australian joint venture partner Artemis Resources having done particularly well.
Novo and Artemis are zoning in on the Purdy’s Reward prospect, which hosts “watermelon seed gold nuggets” that they believe are indicative of Witwatersrand-style conglomerate gold. Since July, Novo’s share price has rocketed by more 900% and that of Artemis by more than 600%.
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