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Greatland’s stunning gold-copper intercept at Havieron is the kind that deals are made on

The mining scene in Western Australia is buzzing with talk about Havieron
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BigPicture
Greatland's gold intercept was world-class

It was no surprise that shares in Greatland Gold PLC (LON:GGP) jumped on news of a 275-metre intercept at the Havieron project that returned grades of 4.77 grams per tonne gold and 0.61% copper.

The initial 70% uptick to 1.72p was perhaps inevitably followed by a bout of profit taking, and the shares then fell away slightly to 1.63p.

But there could be more excitement to come, much more, as interest builds in Australia and punters start to wonder what it all means.

Intercepts of that quality don’t come along every day, and it’s no coincidence that Greatland’s results have got the industry talking and have received mainstream media attention in Australia over the past few days.

Much of the Australian commentary on the Havieron results is also dwelling on ongoing rumours that Rio Tinto has unearthed a major new copper discovery in a similar area of the Pilbara to the northwest of Greatland, something which has been a hot topic of conversation in West Perth for weeks.

It’s an area that’s already been well staked by companies, including Greatland, Rio Tinto (LON:RIO), Antipa (ASX:AZY), Newcrest (ASX:NCM) and Sipa amongst others. Newcrest is already mining at the Telfer gold mine to the west, and Greatland has in the past described the prospectivity of Havieron in terms of finding Telfer-style projects.

Meanwhile, Rio has built an exploration camp on its ground 150 kilometres north-northwest of Telfer and has been staking up more ground. It’s also locked in a deal with Antipa to secure a 75% stake in the Citadel project.

Now one of Australia’s most famous mining entrepreneurs, Andrew Forrest, is getting in on the act. His company, Fortescue Metals, recently pegged a big ground position in the area.

Not surprisingly, local speculation is abuzz that a new mining district is opening up within the already prolific Pilbara.

Into this heady mix now steps Greatland with a world-class intercept that could well be the first of many. What’s special about the Greatland result isn’t just the grade and width. It’s also that the hole ended in mineralisation.

That conceivably means that the same hole, if twinned but drilled deeper, would return even more mineralisation a second time around.

Such a hole is unlikely at this stage of the game though, as Greatland is instead now bent on drilling more holes into Havieron to see just what sort of intercepts come back from the wider area.

With the intercept at Havieron already banked, Greatland already has skin in the wider chess game that’s now developing around the district. Naysayers will point to the depth as a negative factor, but with Newcrest and Rio Tinto circling, that’s unlikely to be the deciding factor.

For major companies like that, depths of 400 metres-plus aren’t necessarily off-putting at all. Rather 275 metres of highly mineralised ore represents a real advertisement in the shop window, and it wouldn’t be surprising if before too long one major or another appeared on the Greatland share register in quite a significant way, as well as tying up a deal at the project level too.

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