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15/03 - Exploration floats return as risk appetite increases

THERE is a bit of a buzz developing around Perth-based Cortona and the upside potential of its current drilling program at its Dargues Reef deposit on the historic Majors Creek goldfield, 60 kilometres east of Canberra in NSW.

Based on results to date from the four-drill-rig campaign and more to come, there is a growing expectation that Dargues Reef is going to end up bigger and more longer-lived than Cortona's 12.5¢ share price for a market capitalisation of $21 million might suggest.

Previously, a scoping study into Dargues Reef found an initial $30 million underground development would pull in 188,000 ounces of gold over four years at a cash operating cost of $470 an ounce.

That was based on the current stock exchange compliant resource at Dargues Reef of 1.44 million tonnes grading 6.2 grams of gold a tonne for 286,000 ounces of contained gold. Assuming the flow of results from deeper infill resource extension drilling continues, there are some in the market that reckon that Dargues Reef should be looked at as having the potential for a resource base more like 500,000-600,000 ounces of gold, with higher production to boot.

bfitzgerald@theage.com.au

Source: The Age

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