In October, 2021, S2 received notification from the Victorian Department of Jobs, Precincts and Regions (VDJPR) that it's wholly owned subsidiary, Southern Star Exploration Pty Ltd, was the successful applicant for Block 4 of the highly competitive North Central Victorian Goldfields Ground Release, located approximately 20km east of Bendigo and 130km north of the city of Melbourne in Victoria, Australia. As a result, the company has the sole right to apply for an exploration licence (EL007795) over what is arguably the most prospective and highly contested gold ground in Australia.
Exploration licence application EL007795 (the Greater Fosterville project) encapsulates some 394 square kilometres of the highly prospective Fosterville Goldfields and extends over 55km strike extent, surrounding the world-class Fosterville gold mine, owned and operated by Kirkland Lake Gold (“Kirkland Lake”, KLA:ASX, KL:TSX). In 2020 the Fosterville gold mine produced 640,467 ounces of gold at an average grade of 33.9 g/t, and in recent years has consistently ranked as one of the lowest cost gold mines globally, with an all-in sustaining cost (AISC) for H1 2021 of USD385/oz. Fosterville sits in the prolific Bendigo goldfields which has a history of gold prospecting and mining dating back to 1851.
The Fosterville Goldfield is located within thick Ordovician turbidite sequences of the Bendigo Zone, one of three major fault-bounded structural zones that comprise the western sub-province of the Palaeozoic Lachlan Orogen in Victoria (Caley et al., 2011). The Bendigo Zone is a 110km wide zone of folded, cleaved and faulted Ordovician quartz-rich turbidites, and is separated from the Stawell Zone by the Avoca Fault in the west and from the Melbourne Zone by the Mount William Fault in the east (Wilson et al., 2020). These major domain bounding listric faults are interpreted pathways for gold-bearing fluids to escape from deeper crustal levels, and provide a regional scale control on mineralisation (Wilson et al., 2020).
Changes in fault geometries at the shallower crustal levels promote gold-bearing fluids to migrate into subordinate structures, that may extend a number of kilometres into the hangingwall, away from the major fault zones (Wilson et al., 2020).
This has been shown to be the case at Fosterville, where the north-south trending Redesdale Fault (~2km to the east of the Fosterville), is noted as an important intrazonal fault and is located in the hangingwall of the Heathcote Fault Zone. Lower order subordinate faults, such as the Fosterville, O'Dwyer's and Sugarloaf Faults all have associated gold mineralisation and are located in the hangingwall of the Redesdale Fault (Phillips et al., 2019).
Importantly, many of these key mineralised structures, such as the Fosterville, O'Dwyer's and Sugarloaf faults, are interpreted to propagate NNW-SSE through the Greater Fosterville block (EL007795). The Fosterville Fault hosts the world class Fosterville mine.
S2 has an excellent head start to exploration on the block with multiple gold prospects and anomalies already identified by historic explorers, most recently by Kirkland Lake prior to the expiry of its tenure. Known gold occurrences include May Reef, Myrtle Creek, Rasmussen’s, Goornong South and Goornong North.
The Goornong South prospect, discovered by Perseverance Corp. in the 1990’s, is situated 2.5km north of the Fosterville Mining Lease, and sits on a parallel structure to Kirkland Lake’s new Curie Zone (refer to KLA’s ASX announcement dated 31 August 2021). The historical resource and previous drilling by Perseverance Corp. at Goornong South is yet to be verified by S2.
Later drilling by Kirkland Lake, some 1.4km south of the historical resource included significant intercepts of:
- 3.1m @ 4.98 g/t gold from 84.2m in GSDD090, and
- 1.2m @ 5.45 g/t gold from 211.1m in GSDD090
This drilling also identified previously un-recognised mineralisation 340m east of the Goornong South Prospect, with:
- 24.5m @ 1.28 g/t gold from 437m in GSDD094 (including 2.4m @ 3.68 g/t gold from 442m & 1.4m @ 6.00 g/t gold from 460.1m), and
- 0.7m @ 5.89g/t gold from 449.9m in GSDD088.
The mineralised structure at Goornong South remains poorly tested with only a limited number of holes drilled to date.
S2’s first priority will be progressing the application through to a granted Exploration Licence. A comprehensive data review and continued target generation will be undertaken before on-ground exploration commences. Community and stakeholder engagement will be an early and continued focus for the Company.
S2 would like to acknowledge the traditional owners of the land on which the project is located, including the Dja Dja Wurrung and the Taungurung groups. We look forward to forging respectful relationships with these groups and sharing in the knowledge of their specific culture and values. See also Working With Traditional Owners.
S2 also recognises that the area is home to a diverse community of stakeholders and hopes to work together with local residents of the greater Bendigo region, landowners, aboriginal representatives and businesses in a collaborative and constructive manner to unlock the economic potential of the area whilst preserving its environmental values and quality of life for all. See also Community Relations.
Greater Fosterville Project is 100% owned by Southern Star Exploration Pty Ltd, a 100% owned subsidiary of S2 Resources.
Map of the Victorian Goldfields showing Greater Fosterville Project
Map of prospects on the Greater Fosterville project
Domain scale crustal architecture
of the Palaeozoic Lachlan Orogen in Victoria, showing the location of the Fosterville Goldfield - from Wilson et al., 2020, after Willman et al. (2010) and Moore et al. (2016)