Santana Minerals’ NZ gold play has pushed the company to one year returns over 680%

Tue 06 Sep 22, 11:49am (AEST)
Graphic render of a bull in the foreground of an upward stock chart
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Santana Minerals is today reporting a thick intersection over 30m of high-grade gold at the Bendigo-Ophir project in NZ
  • One year returns for Santana Minerals’ investors currently up over 680%
  • Freshest results exceed grades contained within the existing mineral resource estimate for the project

Santana Minerals’ (ASX:SMI) share price has climbed 4% in morning trade as it reports promising new assay results for gold from its ‘Rise and Shine’ (RAS) target on-site its Bendigo-Ophir gold project in NZ’s Otago Goldfields.

However, that 4% rise isn’t the most compelling datum. What is more interesting to note: the company’s share price has climbed over 680% over the last year. 

Year to date performance, in turn (read: price movements since the first of January 2022) is up over 120%. 

The upward pressure and bullish sentiment is driven mainly by a series of cores retrieved in recent months which continue to upturn thick intersections of high-grade gold. 

At this time, two diamond drill rigs remain active at the ‘Rise and Shine’ target, while a third diamond drill rig is active at the ‘Shreks’ target. Yes, the target is called Shreks. 

A fourth RC drill rig will be added to the drilling campaign by October to target areas of interest located along the 30km ‘Rise and Shine Shear Zone.’ 

A note on grades 

Investor information provider Undervalued Equity notes high grade gold is often considered that which occurs in concentrations over five grams of gold per tonne or ore (5g/t). 

Many Australian projects boasting grades at 4g/t are also considered ‘high-grade,’ and this resonates with the newest results announced by Santana today. 

Compare that to the following: 

Rise and Shine target 

  • 33m @ 04.1g/t gold from 150m depth 

  • 26m @ 05.0g/t gold from 176m depth 

Recently reported drill targets at the RAS target, posted in mid-late August, included the below 

  • 49m @ 06.4g/t gold from 152m depth 

  • 43m @ 11.2g/t gold from 165m depth 

Investors should note the impressive thick intersections of high-grade gold occur at significant depths. 

Sweet spot to find shallow targets 

Because gold mineralisation at depth incurs significantly higher costs than that of shallow deposits, company management is hoping to hit a shallow deposit to kick start the creation of an open-pit mine. 

“The confirmation by these assays of above average gold grades over substantial widths adds to the apparent continuity of this sweet spot in the southeastern part of the RAS deposit,” Santana Minerals executive director Dick Keevers said. 

“[We hope this will be] a good place to find gold in a shallow part of our conceptual future open pit, which could allow access to high grade gold in the early stages of any future mine.” 

The tin will surely shake 

Should the company progress to an open pit mine development, or an underground one; at any rate, the company will need more money. 

Santana finished the June quarter with under $3m in cash. 

At this time, the company is seeking to add a fourth drill rig on-site before early October.

The company is also eyeing an upgrade to its mineral resource estimate; a process which will likely require the company to fork over some cash to advisors. 

The Australian dollar currently buys NZD$1.12. 

With investor sentiment clearly bullish for Santana, however, the company will probably not have any trouble finding the funds. 

Santana currently boasts a market cap of $109m. 

A look at Santana's one year charts
A look at Santana's one year charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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