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Novo Resources Corp
Symbol NVO
Shares Issued 354,630,279
Close 2024-05-02 C$ 0.135
Market Cap C$ 47,875,088
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Novo Resources recaps March quarter operations

2024-05-03 11:44 ET - News Release

Mr. Mike Spreadborough reports

NOVO RESOURCES CORP. MARCH QUARTERLY UPDATE

Commenting on the March quarter, Novo Resources Corp. executive co-chairman and acting chief executive officer Mike Spreadborough said: "We have made significant strides in our exploration efforts since the start of 2024, highlighted by encouraging high-grade results from Nunyerry North, which included six metres at 6.12 g/t Au [grams per tonne gold] from 37 m and 11 m at 2.52 g/t Au from 22 m. We are in the early phase of exploration at Nunyerry with the full potential of the project yet to be determined. The results from last year's maiden drill program reaffirmed our view that this high-priority exploration target has the right characteristics to become a significant gold project.

"We are focused on maintaining the strong momentum generated at Nunyerry, with an approximately 4,000 m RC drill program set to commence in the coming days. This has been designed to test multiple new targets along strike of known mineralization and down plunge of existing intercepts.

"De Grey continued to progress its sizeable work program across the Becher project, as part of our Egina earn-in/JV. De Grey has already completed over 10,500 m of combined aircore and reverse circulation drilling, as part of their planned 39,000 m program. Excellent results have been generated from the Lowe and Heckmair prospects, with drilling on track to recommence in Q2 2024.

"Novo is in a very strong financial position to continue our aggressive exploration push. Our highly experienced geological team have identified further exciting targets across our Karratha district, and we look forward to commencing drilling in the coming months and delivering on a strong pipeline of news for the remainder of 2024."

Sustainability

There were no significant safety, environment or community incidents during Q1 2024.

During the quarter, work advanced with traditional owners to ensure appropriate heritage protection for planned Nunyerry North and Karratha district drill programs commencing in second quarter 2024 and for eventual exploration in the Yandeyarra reserve (part of Novo's Egina gold camp).

Western Australian gold portfolio

Egina gold camp

The Egina gold camp (EGC) is an 80-kilometre-long contiguous tenement package, which hosts Novo's current high-priority Pilbara targets at Nunyerry North and Becher. The tenure is focused on a series of structurally complex, gold-fertile corridors and is hosted by rocks of the Mallina basin in the north and mafic/ultramafic sequences farther south. This belt will be the primary focus for Novo's 2024 Pilbara exploration programs.

In addition to the Nunyerry North and Egina joint venture, several other priority gold targets are also being progressed along the main structural corridors within the EGC. These prospects form part of Novo's regional reconnaissance program in 2024.

Nunyerry North (70 per cent Novo/30 per cent Creasy Group)

The Nunyerry North prospect lies within exploration licence E47/2973 in the southern EGC, located 150 km from Port Hedland. The tenement is subject to a joint venture agreement, with Novo holding a 70-per-cent interest and the remaining 30 per cent held by Rockford Metals Pty. Ltd., an entity of Mark Gareth Creasy (The Creasy Group). Novo completed a maiden reverse circulation drilling program of 30 holes for 2,424 m at Nunyerry North in Q4 2023.

Initial results from both surface and drilling samples at Nunyerry North in 2023 indicated visible gold or coarse nuggety gold, with early trials conducted to assess gold variability. Based on the results, Novo resubmitted all significant drill intercepts from the maiden RC program for multipot PhotonAssay whereby all sample material was split over multiple PhotonAssay pots. The final assay result was calculated as the weighted average of the pots grade and weight, which resulted in larger overall sample weights and more accurate assay results.

All significant intercepts from the Q4 2023 RC drill program noted below are now derived from multipot PhotonAssay analysis, with an average sample size of approximately two kilograms, or four pots per sample. Whilst many significant intercepts have improved by analyzing a larger sample size, the distribution of coarse gold is, by definition, variable, and consequently not all reassaying resulted in an assay upgrade.

Updated results now include best intercepts of:

  • Six m at 6.12 g/t Au from 37 m, including five m at 7.28 g/t Au from 37 m (NC017);
  • 11 m at 2.52 g/t Au from 22 m, including six m at 4.19 g/t Au from 22 m (NC014);
  • 13 m at 1.89 g/t Au from surface, including four m at 2.56 g/t Au from three m (NC004);
  • Four m at 5.71 g/t Au from 40 m, including three m at 7.47 g/t Au from 41 m (NC015);
  • 17 m at 1.34 g/t Au from 37 m, including four m at 3.77 g/t Au from 50 m (NC022);
  • 14 m at 1.14 g/t Au from 39 m (NC006).

Egina earn-in/JV (De Grey earning a 50-per-cent interest)

In the northern EGC at the Egina JV area, Novo's partner De Grey Mining Pty. Ltd. completed over 10,500 m combined AC and RC drilling at Becher on tenement E47/3673, mostly following up on Novo AC results from 2022/2023. A total of 271 infill AC holes were drilled for 7,536 m in Q4 2023, targeting the Heckmair/Irvine and Bonatti prospects. In addition, RC drilling commenced, with the first 29 drill holes for 4,154 m completed focusing on the Heckmair/Irvine and Lowe prospects.

No significant results (greater than 0.1 g/t Au) were returned from AC drilling at Irvine or Bonatti, although RC hole MSRC0030 at Irvine returned one m at 6.3 g/t Au. RC drilling at Lowe confirmed gold mineralization associated with a deformed intrusive sill, with a best intercept of eight m at 4.74 g/t Au from 96 m, including three m at 11.88 g/t Au from 100 m (MSRC0031).

Follow-up RC drilling into a base metal-gold corridor, previously defined by Novo at Heckmair, intersected a significant zone of base metal-gold mineralization from the two RC holes targeting the corridor.

Results include:

  • 10 m at 0.12 g/t Au, 29.7 g/t silver, 0.3 per cent copper, 1.5 per cent lead and 1.8 per cent zinc from 40 m (MSRC0016), including three m at 0.20 g/t Au, 59.8 g/t Ag, 0.9 per cent Cu, 2.4 per cent Pb and 2.2 per cent Zn from 47 m;
  • 24 m at 0.2 g/t Au, 13.2 g/t Ag, 0.1 per cent Cu, 1 per cent Pb and 0.1 per cent Zn from 105 m (MSRC0017), including six m at 0.48 g/t Au, 20.8 g/t Ag, 0.2 per cent Cu, 1.4 per cent Pb and 2.8 per cent Zn from 105 m.

The base metal corridor trends west-northwest through the Heckmair intrusion, with broad intervals of anomalous base metals and low-level gold mineralization mapping a fault to over 1.5 km in strike.

Becher continues to provide new and significant mineralization, such as the intercepts above, and provides significant potential for the discovery of large-scale, intrusion-related gold deposits similar to Hemi, as well as shear-hosted orogenic deposits similar to Withnell and Mallina deposits.

Karratha district prospects

In late 2023, a series of Au, Au-Cu-PGE (platinum group element) targets were developed to drill testing stage in the Karratha district. High-grade rock chip results were returned from the North Whundo Cu-Au-PGE prospect where surface sampling delineated a 1.2 km long high-order copper-palladium-gold-(platinum) soil anomaly at greater than 400 parts per million Cu and 30 parts per billion Pd. Mapping and rock chip sampling have returned highly anomalous results in a linear zone over one km strike, within and near the contact of a large structurally complex, layered mafic/ultramafic intrusive complex. Peak rock chip results include 4.1 g/t Au plus Pt plus Pd and 3.9 per cent Cu.

In late 2023, the Railway Bore Cu-Au target was identified, with peak rock chip results of 9.6 g/t Au, 11.9 per cent Cu and 26 g/t Ag. Soil sampling by Novo, based on a nominal 80 m by 40 m grid defined a coherent and coincident greater than 100 ppm Cu and greater than 10 ppb Au anomaly. The target presents at surface as an east-west-trending complex array of malachite-bearing brecciated quartz veins and sericite-silica-sulphide altered suite of porphyritic felsic intrusions. The target strikes over 300 m and is open under regolith along strike.

The East Well Cu-Au-Pd prospect displays a 60 m wide, greater than 200 ppm Cu-in-soil anomaly (portable X-ray fluorescence) trending over a strike of 450 metres, with peak pXRF soil result of 1,750 ppm Cu in soils. Rock chip sampling of quartz vein outcrop and breccia mineralization near the centre of the soil anomaly returned peak values including 1.3 g/t Au, 214 ppb Pd, 46 ppb Pt and 0.6 per cent Cu. A narrow high-grade vein related to the vein swarm at Railway Bore extends up to a kilometre to the northeast, with peak rock sample values of 73.9 g/t Au.

Forward programs -- Pilbara

Follow-up drill planning at Nunyerry North in H2 2024 includes approximately 4,000 m of RC drilling. The program will test the two km strike extent of the surface soil gold anomaly, down plunge of existing intercepts, and at depth for repeat mineralization. Diamond drilling will test for multiple stacked lodes below best intercepts to date. The prospective stratigraphy continues along strike toward s the east and repeats west of the Aurora fault. RC drilling to test these positions is ready to commence in May, 2024.

At Becher in the Egina JV, De Grey expect to recommence AC and RC drilling during Q2 2024 following up results generated from Heckmair and Lowe in the 2023 programs, and have also planned geophysical surveys for Q2 2024, including a high-resolution drone aeromagnetic survey at Becher, and ground gravity over several selected areas.

A maiden RC drill program is also planned to test three newly generated prospects in the Karratha district, with programs to be completed at Railway Bore, East Well and North Whundo. Drilling is scheduled to start early in Q3 2024 and will total approximately 3,500 m to test gold and gold-copper(plus platinum-palladium) targets defined by a combination of mapping, surface geochemistry and historic geophysics (induced polarization chargeability anomalies).

Belltopper gold project, Victoria

In Victoria, diamond drilling at the Belltopper gold project was completed late in the quarter. Summary metrics for the program are six holes for 2,529 m and final gold and multielement assay results are awaited. The program was designed to test multiple high-priority targets, including structural and intrusion-hosted/related gold targets, high-amplitude IP chargeability anomalies, and favourable structural positions within key anticline corridors, and a developing high-grade zone at the Leven Star Reef.

A program of historical core logging and sampling of several deep diamond holes drilled by previous explorers has also been initiated. This work is expected to be finalized in the first half of Q2 2024.

Battery metals joint ventures

Harding battery metals joint venture (HBMJV)

In December, 2023, Novo entered into a tenement sale agreement, joint venture agreement and co-ordination agreement with SQM Australia Pty. Ltd., a wholly owned subsidiary of Sociedad Quimica y Minera de Chile SA, in relation to five of Novo's prospective lithium and nickel exploration tenements (priority tenements) in the West Pilbara. SQM has paid Novo $10-million (Australian) ($8.84-million) for a 75-per-cent interest in the priority tenements and for an option over additional Pilbara exploration tenements, with Novo retaining a 25-per-cent interest, along with 100-per-cent ownership of the gold, silver, PGE, copper, lead and zinc mineral rights.

Andover lithium-nickel project.

Quartz Hill joint venture

In December, 2023, Liatam Mining Pty. Ltd. exceeded the required spend of $1.75-million (Australian) ($1.55-million) at the Quartz Hill project, pursuant to the earn-in agreement announced by Novo on Dec. 15, 2022, which formed the 80-per-cent/20-per-cent Quartz Hill JV between Liatam and Novo. Novo retained its 20-per-cent share of battery mineral rights as well as all gold and silver rights on these tenements. The area is considered prospective for lithium-cesium-tantalum-style pegmatite mineralization.

Work during the Quarter focused on completing exploration proposals for the Nullagine, Quartz Hill project area. No geological mapping or sampling was conducted during Q1 2024 with all geological and field staff working out of the Perth office throughout the Pilbara wet season.

Six RC drill targets are defined, targeting a five km strike of lepidolite-bearing and lithium-enriched pegmatite swarms. A total of 108 RC drill holes for 9,122 m are designed to intersect mapped pegmatites at various depths, testing for modelled zonation characteristics and anticipated spodumene zones.

A large regional, soil sampling program is designed to assist in identifying buried pegmatite swarms in three areas of no or poor outcrop:

  1. Cajuput Creek -- 799 sample locations at 300 m by 50 m centres, targeting high levels of light rare-earth enrichment (LREE) in historical soil samples;
  2. Quartz Hill West/lepidolite fields infill -- 1,611 sample locations at 200 m by 100 m centres;
  3. East Regional -- 1,514 sample locations at 300 m by 100 m centres.

Corporate

Relinquishment of tenure

The company's exploration programs across key Pilbara areas were successful in identifying priority targets for exploration follow-up in 2024, along with identifying tenure that provides little further exploration value or follow-up.

As a result, a planned relinquishment program was completed to reduce land tenure holding costs. The combined relinquishment program, transfer of some tenure in accordance with the HBMJV and the divestment of NGP has reduced the Pilbara tenure area held or managed by the company to an estimated approximately 7,000 square km and reduced annual holding costs.

Financial update

As at March 31, 2024, Novo had a cash balance of $16.7-million (Australian) ($15-million).

In addition, Novo has an investment portfolio of shares held in Australian Securities Exchange-listed and unlisted companies that is valued at $47.7-million (Australian) ($42.1-million), this consists of:

  1. ASX-listed companies, valued at $1.4-million (Australian) ($1.2-million) based on the closing price of those shares on March 31, 2024;
  2. Unlisted companies, valued at $46.3-million (Australian) ($40.9-million).

Project generation

Novo has commenced a dedicated and disciplined project generation and consolidation program to focus on identifying value-accretive opportunities across targeted precious and base metals assets that complement the current portfolio.

About Novo Resources Corp.

Novo explores and develops its prospective land package covering approximately 7,000 square kilometres in the Pilbara region of Western Australia, along with the 22-square-kilometre Belltopper project in the Bendigo tectonic zone of Victoria, Australia. In addition to the company's primary focus, Novo seeks to leverage its internal geological expertise to deliver value-accretive opportunities to its shareholders.

We seek Safe Harbor.

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