KO Gold has unveiled its drilling plans for the Otago Gold District in New Zealand, targeting high-grade mineralised zones.

It intends to execute reverse circulation and diamond drilling across several exploration permits in the coming months.

This initiative is set to focus on the Carrick Goldfield within the Rise & Shine Shear Zone.

The drilling programme aims to discover high-grade shear zones or lode gold, particularly within the Carrick Goldfield, south-west of Santana Minerals’ Bendigo-Ophir Gold Project.

Additionally, the programme will test the extensions of the Hyde-Macraes Shear Zone (HMSZ) near OceanaGold’s Macraes Gold Mine.

Over the past four years, KO Gold has secured nine 100%-owned permits covering 833km² in the district.

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Recently, the company started exploratory work on its Carrick Range permit, concentrating on identifying gold-arsenic anomalies through soil and stream sediment sampling.

The results will guide the identification of potential shear zones and drilling targets. Similar sampling programmes are planned for the Rough Ridge South permit and other areas.

The company has scheduled up to 18 drill holes on the Carrick permit, targeting various styles of gold mineralisation within the Carrick-Potter Shear Zone.

Its plans also include 13 drill holes on the Smylers Gold permit to test for extensions of the HMSZ and confirm significant gold presence.

Further drilling includes up to four holes on the Hyde permit and three on the Glenpark permit, both adjacent to the Macraes mining permit, to explore the HMSZ’s extensions.

KO Gold is finalising preparations including contractor selection, landowner agreements and consultations with the Māori community.

Drilling is expected to begin within four to six weeks, supported by a geological team from Dunedin.

KO Gold president and CEO Greg Isenor said: “After several months of hard work by our geological team, including detailed drill hole targeting across our permits, I am pleased we have a robust drill hole plan for our four drill-ready exploration permits.

“Our aggressive drilling plan includes the possibility of making significant new gold discoveries at our Carrick and Hyde EP’s and delineating mineralised zones at our Smylers Gold and Glenpark EP’s.

“This initial drilling programme is just the start and depending on the results could lead to a much larger drilling programme prior to the end of 2024.”