Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) rose 1.5pc to 1.7p on Wednesday following a bumper morning that saw it announce two major drilling updates across its Australian assets.

In its first release, the business said major miner Newcrest has begun drilling at its Havieron gold-copper project in the Paterson region of Western Australia. The initial drill programme comprises around 10,000m of drilling to define the extent of mineralisation along strike and at depth within the project. Newcrest will fund all of this work, with Greatland expecting regular updates as the programme progresses.

Wednesday’s news comes after Greatland and Newcrest signed a farm-in agreement to explore and develop Havieron in March. The deal – which prompted a transformative rise in Greatland’s share price – gives Newcrest the right to acquire up to a 70pc interest in a 12-block area within licence E45/4701 covering the Havieron target. In exchange for this, the major must spend up to $65m.

Greatland’s chief executive Gervaise Heddle called Monday’s update an ‘exciting moment’ for the firm, adding that the programme would be the most extensive at Havieron to date.

‘We anticipate that Newcrest's technical expertise and understanding of the local geology will build upon our highly successful 2018 programme,’ he said. ‘We look forward to keeping shareholders updated with drill results and all other material exploration information as it is received.’

In a second update, Greatland said it expects to begin a detailed, low-level aeromagnetic survey over its Paterson Range East licence in early June. The 100pc-owned permit lies c.25km north of Havieron and covers 224km2 of Proterozoic basement rock prospective for Havieron-style gold-copper mineralisation.

Greatland said the survey will increase the resolution of around 20 magnetic targets previously identified across the licence significantly. This will assist in their geological and structural interpretation. The data thrown up by the programme will then be used with other geophysical and geochemical data sets to prioritise targets within the Paterson Range East licence.

Following this, high priority targets will undergo additional geophysical and geochemical work as well as further detailed modelling and drill testing. Heddle said the programme is part of an ‘important and ongoing process’ to prioritise the multiple geophysical targets across the company’s Paterson licences.

‘We look forward to providing investors with more detail on the high priority targets at Paterson Range East over the next few months as we apply the knowledge gained at Havieron to our exploration efforts across the region,’ he added.

Author: Daniel Flynn

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