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Explorer and boutique producer Glass Earth Gold has taken an option to buy a gold and silver prospect north of the Martha mine in the central North Island, in a 50:50 venture with mining entity Geoff Loudon.
If access agreements can be struck, Glass Earth hopes to initiate a "minimum" 5000m drilling programme in the 30sq km block later this summer, which is mainly felled forest area criss-crossed with logging tracks for access, as opposed to expensive helicopter-borne transporting.
Dual-listed Glass Earth, which is producing alluvial gold from tenements in the Maniototo, is expanding its central North Island prospects from three to four in holding its option on the Neavesville tenement. Glass Earth shares were up more than 20% after the announcement, at 33c.
Glass Earth chief executive Simon Henderson said Neavesville offered an opportunity to manage and control an established historic resource with the "immediate objective" to update and improve data on the potential estimated resource.
Between the 1970s and 2007, numerous companies explored the area, but none of them subsequently went into production.
Glass Earth director Peter Liddle said when contacted once the estimated resource was updated to new international standards, a decision would be made on acquiring Neavesville from Eurasian Minerals Ltd, which had held the tenement for less than a year.
Historically, the area is estimated, from 63 drill holes totalling 8900m, to have an estimated resource of 289,000 ounces of gold and 944,000 ounces of silver, including one estimate of a gold average of 7.1g of gold per tonne, or 107,000oz from 470,000 tonnes of ore.
New Zealand-based Mr Loudon is an international explorer and mine developer, having been a foundation director of Lihir Gold Ltd, and is at present chairman of Nautilus Minerals and L&M Energy. Mr Loudon's New Dawn Energy Ltd launched a full takeover bid for the latter company in early November.
At the end of June, Glass Earth held $C1 million ($NZ1.25 million) in cash.
In late June, Glass Earth clinched $2.95 million in a private placement to refinance the $4 million buyout of its former Otago joint venture partner, then in early October raised a further $456,000 in private placement, out of Canada.