The Ned’s Creek Project (Vango Mining earning 51%)

$5M JV with Vango Mining Limited (ASX:VAN) to unlock a new gold district

The Ned’s Creek project is located 150 kilometres north east of Meekatharra, Western Australia in the northern Murchison gold field. The discovery of Sandfire Resources’ DeGrussa Cu-Au deposit (10.7Mt at 5.1% Cu and 1.7g/t Au) in 2009 highlighted the potential of the region to host significant, high-grade copper deposits and initiated a new era of exploration within the Proterozoic volcano-sedimentary basins. The northern Murchison district has become one of Australia’s exploration hotspots with sustained exploration spending and a growing endowment of base metal and gold targets.

In addition to the DeGrussa deposit, the region hosts the Horseshoe Lights Cu-Au deposit (73,000t Cu metal), the Abra deposit (93Mt at 4.0% Pb and 10g/t Ag), the Magellan deposit (15Mt at 5.6% Pb), and is a significant gold producer. The Plutonic and Marymia gold deposits (>5Moz. Au), the Peak Hill/Harmony gold deposits (1Moz. Au) and numerous gold and copper workings all occur along major structural and lithological boundaries. Lodestar’s tenements span a distance of 14 kilometres in a north easterly direction along the Jenkin Fault zone; a regional scale thrust-strike slip fault and the structural divide between the Marymia Inlier and the Yilgarn Craton.

Lodestar’s regional exploration is targeting gold and base metal deposits of significant scale, utilising advanced airborne and surface geophysical surveys, regional multi-element geochemical sampling and geological mapping. Anomalies defined by these methods are tested by detailed geochemical sampling and drilling.

Lodestar has identified numerous gold and base metal drill targets in an area with no previous record of mineralisation. Advanced bedrock gold targets have been discovered at Brumby, Contessa, Central Park and Gidgee Flat with the first multi-gram gold drill intersections reported from Contessa in March 2013.

The project comprises seven tenements with a combined area of 340 square kilometres. In July 2019 Lodestar announced a farm-in and joint venture agreement with Vango Mining Limited (Vango, ASX:VAN), operator of the Marymia Gold Project, 25km north of Contessa. Vango can earn a 51% interest in the Ned’s Creek tenements by spending $5M on exploration over 3 years. Vango is targeting near-term production and construction of a stand-alone processing facility on their adjacent project. The farm-in provides access to a planned processing facility within easy trucking distance for any future production from the project and benefits Lodestar shareholders by expediting drilling of multiple advanced and green field gold targets. Drilling will initially test opportunities for near-term resource definition, followed by exploration of selected targets.   

Ned’s Creek – Exploration

The Ned’s Creek tenements have received limited previous exploration for base metals and gold. Western Mining Corporation explored and mapped the area in 1969 – 1970 during exploration for sediment-hosted Zambian Copper Belt-style mineralisation and identified the McDonald Well prospect within a wider area of copper anomalism extending over 60 square kilometres.

CRA Exploration carried out an auger geochemical survey over the McDonald Well area and identified a number of multi-element geochemical anomalies associated with the carbonaceous shale unit of the Johnson Cairn Formation.

Lodestar completed a regional VTEM survey over the northern and western part of the Ned’s Creek tenements.  The VTEM survey identified numerous anomalies (electromagnetic conductors) within the sedimentary sequence and five anomalies were targeted in the first phase of RC drilling completed at the McDonald Well prospect in February 2011.  The drill holes tested targets within a carbonaceous shale horizon (a common host to sediment-hosted copper mineralisation) and returned wide intervals anomalous in base metal and associated elements from the weathered zone.  First-pass aircore drilling at Little Well, located south of the Thaduna copper deposit, reported elevated copper from regional targets in the Thaduna greywacke; LNR460 reporting 1m at 0.65% Cu from 37m, LNR466 reporting 5m at 635ppm Cu from 40m to end of hole and LNR515, reporting 5m at 1550ppm Cu from 55m to end of hole.


Multi-element geochemical lag sampling led to the discovery of gold mineralisation at Contessa and Brumby. Follow up drilling of gold anomalies in reconnaissance aircore drilling along the southern contact of the Contessa granite led to the discovery of the Central Park and Gidgee Flat mineralisation. The terrane boundary setting, host rocks, alteration mineralogy and Au-Ag-Bi-Mo-Te association strongly resemble syenite-hosted gold deposits in the Canadian Abitibi greenstone belt and within Western Australia, the Jupiter deposit being developed by Dacian Gold. The syenite-hosted style of mineralisation includes gold deposits of significant scale and the under-explored, large magmatic – hydrothermal system at Contessa represents a highly attractive greenfield exploration opportunity.

Ned’s Creek prospect locations showing relationship between granite intrusions and mineralisation.



Shallow aircore drilling intersected significant primary gold mineralisation in syenite host rocks and the western contact has been targeted by several phases of aircore drilling.  Results from this area include:

  • Widespread aircore intersections of greater than 0.1g/t gold and rock chip samples up to 27g/t Au, within a 1km by 1km >50ppb gold in lag anomaly
  • Strong anomalies reported from a single RC drill hole in the syenite host with 37 metres of the 99m hole (LNRC019) reporting greater than 0.1g/t Au
    • 7m at 0.51g/t Au from 45m in LNRC019, including 1m at 1.87g/t Au from 50m
  • 10 metres at 2.6g/t gold from 10 metres (including 3m at 8.2g/t) in adjacent aircore hole LNR598

20m at 0.53g/t Au from 16m and 3m at 1.6g/t Au to end of hole in LNR824, a first-pass drill test of the syenite contact 700m southwest of LNRC019.

Cross–section of an exploration model for intrusion-related gold, showing the relative positions of the Brumby and Contessa mineralisation.


Visible gold in quartz vein sample from Brumby.



Aircore drilling testing a Bi-Mo lag geochemical anomaly resulted in the discovery of significant gold mineralisation. Several phases of aircore drilling have been completed and drill intersections include;

  • 21m at 3.01g/t Au from 40m in LNR656
  • 10m at 5.6g/t au from 55m in LNR533
  • 10m at 1.2g/t Au from 50m in LNR545 and
  • 15m at 3.1g/t Au from 40m in LNR546
  • 20m at 1.61g/t from 48m in LNR792
  • 8m at 3.35g/t Au from 48m in LNR810
  • 10m at 0.91g/t Au from 80m to end of hole in LNR792
  • 3m at 1.0g/t Au from 96m to end of hole in LNR806
  • 13m at 0.40g/t Au from 80m to end of hole in LNR805

3D implicit modelling of the shallow Contessa mineralisation using Leapfrog® software revealed a shallow to moderate northerly dip, suggesting a primary source towards the strongly sheared granite contact.

Plan view of Contessa aircore drilling with selected intersections shown (background TMI magnetic image).

Follow up RC and diamond drilling targeting bedrock gold over a strike distance of 240m was completed in 2017 and 2018. Significant results from this work included an intersection of bonanza high-grade gold in LNRC026;

  • A pyritic interval in LNRC026 reported 74g/t Au over 4m from 140m. Follow up assaying of the 1m split samples from the same interval reported 1m at 151g/t Au from 140m; 1m at 128g/t Au from 141m; 1m at 28.5g/t Au from 142m and 1m at 4.6g/t Au from 143m
  • Diamond hole LND003, a twin hole to LNRC026, reported 5.1m at 28.1g/t Au from 143m, including 1m at 134g/t Au
  • LNRC048 drilled 20m up-dip from LNRC026 reported 12m at 1.5g/t Au from 97m, including 2m at 5.7g/t Au from 98m

The Contessa mineralisation occurs within a major shear zone adjacent to the granite contact. The shear zone is characterised by deep weathering and intense alteration to quartz-sericite and quartz-chlorite schists and is interpreted to represent a hybrid zone of transposed altered rock types, ranging from diorite to granodiorite and granite in composition. Alteration associated with mineralisation includes sericite, silica-pyrite and albite.

Cross section view of Contessa +0.1g/t Au supergene mineralised envelope, looking east.


Plan view of Contessa drilling showing location of LNRC026.


Gidgee Flat

The Gidgee Flat discovery resulted from follow up of a reconnaissance aircore drill intersection of 8m at 2.1g/t Au in transition zone saprolite. 

Significant assays in subsequent aircore drilling include:

  • 20m at 2.4g/t Au from 44m (incl. 4m at 4.8g/t Au from 48m)
  • 15m at 3.2g/t Au from 72m (incl. 4m at 5.0g/t Au from 72m)
  • 8m at 4.2g/t Au from 48m (incl. 4m at 7.3g/t Au from 52m)
  • 12m at 2.3g/t Au from 80m
  • 16m at 1.7g/t Au from 44m
  • 4m at 11g/t Au from 48m
  • 4m at 1.5g/t Au from 74m

The mineralisation occurs within a series of moderately to steeply north-dipping shear zones adjacent to the granite contact. Deformation is less intense than at Contessa and the shear zones display silica-sericite-pyrite, carbonate, K-feldspar, haematite-magnetite and epidote alteration and are interspersed with syenite intrusives that also contain gold-bearing pyrite mineralisation. There is a close association between shear-hosted gold mineralisation and undeformed mineralised syenite intrusions as dykes and apophyses.

RC drilling along the contact has reported significant bedrock intersections, including;

  • 10m at 2.0g/t Au from 71m, including
    • 2m at 5.8g/t Au from 75m
    • 1m at 2.1g/t Au from 75m and
    • 2m at 1.5g/t Au from 77m
  • 11m at 3.5g/t Au from 80m, including
    • 1m at 5.4g/t Au from 82m
    • 1m at 14.7g/t Au from 85m and
    • 1m at 6.4g/t Au from 86m
  • 5m at 2.7g/t Au from 100m, including
    • 1m at 5.1g/t Au from 100m and
    • 1m at 4.8g/t Au from 103m
  • 18m at 0.93g/t Au from 107m, including
    • 3m at 1.6g/t Au from 108m and
    • 6m at 1.0g/t Au from 119m
  • 11m at 5.8g/t Au from 195m
  • 5m at 3.4g/t Au from 154m
  • 2m at 8.3g/t Au from 174m and
  • 1m at 10.7g/t Au from 203m, 3m at 3.0g/t Au from 215m and 1m at 7.2g/t Au from 248m

Plan view of Gidgee Flat drilling showing selected RC drill intersections (background 1VD magnetic image).


Interpreted cross section showing drill intersections and mineralised envelope.


Pyrite mineralised interval in drill core from Gidgee Flat showing silica-pyrite-haematite-K feldspar alteration associated with gold mineralisation.


Ironstone outcrop at Gidgee Flat assaying 3-4g/t Au.


Central Park

The Central Park prospect is also located on the granite contact, 800m northeast of Gidgee Flat, in an identical geological setting. Limited RC bedrock drilling has been completed at Central Park and the prospective granite contact between the two prospects has not yet been tested.

Reconnaissance aircore drilling completed in 2011 and 2014 reported multi-gram supergene gold mineralisation, including 5m at 8.9g/t Au, over a distance of 230m along the granite contact.

Follow up aircore drilling reported the following significant intersections;

  • 32m at 0.9g/t Au from 36m, including 12m at 2.0g/t Au from 36m
  • 40m at 0.35g/t Au from 36m
  • 52m at 0.5g/t Au from 28m
  • 27m at 0.5g/t Au from 48m
  • 32m at 0.6g/t Au from 12m, including 8m at 1.7g/t Au from 20m
  • 28m at 1.8g/t Au from 32m, including 12m at 3.7g/t Au from 36m
  • 16m at 1.0g/t Au from 48m

In 2018 four RC holes targeted the granite contact over a distance of 120m. This limited program was the initial test of the granite contact zone and reported very positive results from bedrock, including;

  • 21m at 0.7g/t Au from 71m and
  • 7m at 1.4g/t Au from 107m

The mineralised system remains open and the structurally displaced contact between Central Park and Gidgee Flat is an excellent target for follow up drilling.

Contact Details


Registered Office:         


1st Floor, 31 Cliff Street


Tel:   +618 9435 3200

Fax:  +618 6444 7408

 Postal Address:                 


PO Box 584


Join our Mailing List