Rua Gold has provided an exploration update for the Reefton Project on the South Island of New Zealand.

The company has successfully secured a five-year extension for the permit and access agreement at the Reefton Project on New Zealand’s South Island. This extension was granted by both the New Zealand Petroleum and Minerals (NZP&M) and the Department of Conservation (DoC) after consultations with the local Iwi (indigenous communities) and archaeologists.

This extension grants the company full access to conduct an extensive drill campaign across 37 sites, along with the establishment of necessary infrastructure, such as camps and pumping stations. The company now holds the rights to drill all targets identified through our comprehensive surface exploration programme, which focused on various near-mine prospects across the four mine camps within the Reefton Project permits.

The company has initiated its near-mine drill programme, starting with five targets in the Murray Creek area. This marks the beginning of a comprehensive drilling campaign aimed at testing targets in the historic districts of Murray Creek, Crushington, Capleston, and Caledonian. Collectively, these historic mines produced approximately 700,000 ounces of gold at an average grade of 25.2g/t within a 20km radius.

The first target in Murray Creek focuses on a down-dip extension of the historic mine shoot, a compelling and relatively shallow target. Historical records indicate that mining ceased at 200m, despite this being the largest lode, which contained gold grades ranging from 18.0g/t to 67.5g/t Au (Barry, 1993).

Two diamond drill holes are scheduled to explore the down-dip extensions of the lode at depth. Accurate mapping of the dyke using UAV magnetics and 3D structural mapping indicate significant potential for continuation at depth. Surface rock chip samples have shown grades up to 33 g/t Au (from No 3 Victoria Adit).

The drilling will target depths below the previously mined extent of the Victoria Lode, approximately 200m deep.

The company considers the first target at Murray Creek compelling due to its relatively shallow depth compared to historical mining depths in nearby areas such as Crushington and Ajax, where economic mining extended to depths exceeding 600m. Additionally, at Federation Mining’s Blackwater gold deposit, there is continuity of high-grade mineralization down to 1,500m depth.

Rua Gold has completed a thorough evaluation of the historic mines in the Reefton Goldfield, incorporating 3D modelling of geology, structure, and historical mine lodes. This evaluation serves as a precursor to drill testing priority targets, focusing on testing down-dip extensions and potential duplicate structures near the historic mines.

The company has initiated drilling at the first of five targets in the Murray Creek area, marking the beginning of a comprehensive drilling campaign. This campaign aims to test near-mine targets within the historic districts of Murray Creek, Crushington, Capleston, and Caledonian.

The company has awarded a total of 326,327 deferred share units (DSUs) to its non-executive directors at a set price of $0.193 per DSU. These DSUs recognise the services rendered by the non-executive directors from 1 April 2024 to 30 June 2024. They were issued under the Deferred Share Unit Plan, established on 17 April 2024, and are subject to a one-year vesting period. Each DSU grants the holder the right to receive one share of the company upon the director’s cessation from the company.