Figure 1: Pioneer-Novo Kangan JV Project tenements in Red (Novo’s tenements in blue). Yellow markers indicate location of gold occurrences (refer MINDEX). (Underlaying geological map is from the GSWA 1:100,000 Satirist sheet).

Photograph 1: Gold nuggets recovered from the Womerina Alluvial Gold Mine in December 1988 (refer Womerina Alluvial Gold Mine Progress report, March 1989).

Pioneer 100%, Novo earning 70% (Gold)

The Kangan Gold Project is located 80 km south of Port Hedland in the emerging western Pilbara gold precinct of WA. It comprises two granted exploration licences and two exploration licence applications (E47/3318-1, E47/3321-1, and E(A)45/4948 and E(A)47/3945 respectively) covering an area of 336 km². The Eastern-most tenement application abuts the Wodgina Lithium Mine tenements.

Interest in the Pilbara region for gold has surged as explorers engage with the exploration model proposed by Novo Resources Corp. (TSXV: NVO.V) President, Dr Quinton Hennigh.

The Model postulates:

  • Some of Earth’s earliest land masses (cratons), including Kaapvaal (Southern Africa), Dharwar, Singhbhum and Bastar (Indian subcontinent), and Pilbara (Australia) existed as a single continent, referred to as Ur by some authors including Hennigh;
  • The remnants of the Ur continent have contributed approximately 1.85, 0.35 and 0.1 billion oz gold production, respectively, or about 39% of historic global gold production, estimated to be about 5.9 billion oz [World Gold Council, 2014]. About 75% of this gold has come from the Witwatersrand Basin;
  • The hypothesis contends that huge quantities of gold were scavenged out of seawater by microbial mats starting at around 3.0-2.9 billion years before present (Ga), initiating a crustal gold depositional event. If this method of gold deposition extended throughout the proposed continent, the Pilbara region is under-represented as far as gold production is concerned.

Lithified sediments within the 3.0-2.9 Ga age (being the age of the Witwatersrand Supergroup in southern Africa, and the age-equivalent De Grey Group in the Pilbara)2 are currently the targeted rock units receiving exploration interest in the Pilbara, and rocks of this age are mapped within Pioneer’s Kangan Project (Refer to GSWA 1:100,000 Satirist sheet.)

Geological units including the Mallina Formation and Millindinna intrusive mafic and ultramafic rocks are common to the Egina and the Kangan JV Project areas, and gold-bearing lag gravels are also reported at the Womerina alluvial workings.

In 2018 Pioneer announce a significant farm-out Agreement with Novo, intended to fast track exploration at the Project. The Agreement means that future Kangan Gold Project exploration will be managed the innovative and well-funded gold explorer and the key proponent of the Pilbara Conglomerate-Gold genesis model, driven by Dr Hennigh.

In 2019 Novo announced a US $30 million farmin and joint venture agreement with Sumitomo Corporation of Tokyo, Japan, to advance Novo’s Egina project which includes Pioneer’s Kangan Project. Along with the announcement Dr Hennigh said,

“Novo’s Egina project is an early-stage, high-potential gold project. Sumitomo, upon conducting their own technical review, has developed a similar opinion. It is remarkable for an exploration company to team up with a world-class finance partner like Sumitomo. With Sumitomo’s financial backing, we aim to quickly advance Egina through exploration and test-extraction phases with the ultimate goal, should results prove favourable, of setting the project on a path to production. Novo has been developing the relationship with Sumitomo for many years, built on a foundation of mutual trust and respect. The combined teams have the technical capacity to advance this unique gold deposit and we are honoured to work with Sumitomo’s capable technical team.”

December 2019