Greatland Gold (LON: GGP) revealed Thursday that maiden drilling at its Juri joint venture has begun. This marks a watershed moment for the project, located in Western Australia’s highly prospective Paterson province.

Under the farm-in announced at the end of November, Newcrest Mining (ASX: NCM) has the right to earn up to a 75% interest in the Juri joint venture (“JV”) licences. To do so, Newcrest must spend up to A$20 million in two stages under its five-year farm in.

At present, Greatland is manager of the JV and Newcrest’s interest is 25%. The necessary heritage clearances and government approvals for the campaign are already in place.

Drilling begins with the high-priority targets across the Paterson Range East licence, the first being Goliath – which Greatland chief executive Shaun Day called “a large ‘bulls-eye’ magnetic anomaly”.

Other Paterson Range East targets there include Outamind and Los Diablos.

Paterson Range East is only around 25 kilometres north of Greatland’s Havieron gold-copper project. Moreover, its “224 square kilometres of Proterozoic basement rocks” are prospective for Havieron-style gold-copper mineralisation.

Havieron is also a JV with Newcrest, with Newcrest having the right to earn an up to 70% interest.

Copper and gold both have prominent positions at the moment. Copper for its position as a major electric vehicle (“EV”) component, during a huge electrification push. For example, the Biden administration’s American Jobs Plan includes a $174 billion EV market investment.

The red metal is used in electric motors, as well as batteries and wiring. Copper is also used for EV charging stations, part of the necessary infrastructure to make electrification possible.

Meanwhile, as a safe haven asset, gold soared during the pandemic. While there was some initial decline in gold at the start of 2021, gold picked up again in April as vaccine-based optimism fizzled out.

The 2021 Juri JV work programme also includes drill testing the Parlay target, located in the south-west of the Black Hills licence.

Over the coming weeks, ground electromagnetic surveys will aim to better define priority drill targets at the JV.

A drill camp and infrastructure are already in place and field activities are underway.

Day said Juri is part of Greatland’s “multifaceted exploration strategy for 2021” at Paterson. He stressed that the JV work “complements” the “ongoing 65,000 metre growth drilling programme” at Havieron, as well as other exploration activity taking place at the firm’s wholly owned licenses across the region.

For example, on Monday, the company revealed it had identified multiple brand-new targets at its 100% owned Scallywag licence in Paterson.

On top of the existing four pirate-themed targets – Kraken, Barbossa, Blackbeard, and London – Greatland has added further targets like Swan, Teach and Architeuthis. The latter is another name for the giant squid.

Author: Anna Farley

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