- ASX newcomer Orange Minerals (OMX) is the latest to join the ranks of the top-notch gold opportunities in the prolific NSW Lachlan Fold Belt
- The region is home to several historical gold mines, including Newcrest’s (NCM) Cadia mine, which is one of the largest gold mining operations in the country
- Orange owns a string of assets in the area, with exploration currently primarily focussed on the Calarie project, owned in a joint venture with Godolphin Resources (GRL)
- Further, Orange is purchasing a 100 per cent interest in the Wiseman’s Creek and Ophir projects from Godolphin for a flat $550,000, giving Orange a major effective discount on JV commitments already made for the projects
- Orange’s exploration strategy and shrewd managerial decisions come from a team with decades of experience under its belt
New South Wales’ Lachlan Fold Belt has been home to many operating gold mines over the past several decades, but ASX-listed Orange Minerals (OMX) believes there is more to be found in this prolific region.
Gold projects in the area include Alkane Resources’ (ALK) Tomingley mine, CMOC Resources’ North Parkes mine, Golden Cross Resources’ (GCR) Copper Hill project and, of course, Newcrest’s (NCM) Cadia mine, which is one of the largest gold mining operations in the country.
The company’s portfolio of assets in NSW includes the Calarie, Wisemans Creek, Copper Hill, Ophir, and Boda area projects.
Valuable assets, strategic exploration
Orange’s primary focus in the Lachlan Fold Belt region is the Calarie project, which Orange owns in a joint venture with fellow ASX-lister Godolphin Resources (GRL).
Over the 2022 financial year so far, Orange has completed a first-phase drilling program in the area, with 10 reverse circulation (RC) holes drilled at Calarie for 1044 metres.
The purpose of the drilling work was to validate historical drill holes from the Calarie region while looking to extend mineralised horizons struck in previous drill programs.
Orange said it planned to take on a resource review and plan a second phase of drilling as soon as it received assays from the RC holes.
So, why has OMX chosen Calarie as its first major project for development in New South Wales?
Firstly, it comes down to location. The Calarie tenements, which span some 137 square kilometres, lie within the Forbes-Parkes Belt, which hosts several medium- to large-scale mineral resources and historical and active gold mines.
Moreover, this area has a long history of mining, with the major London-Victoria gold mine and processing plant, which processed ore from the Mt Aubrey BHP open pits mined back in 1990, just north of the Calarie tenements.
Secondly, the fact that this region of NSW is a proven mining-friendly area bodes well for any junior working to develop a new project in the region.
Given its relatively close proximity to the North Parkes mine, it’s clear Orange’s Calarie project lies in a mining-friendly region.
Of course, while Calarie may be Orange’s furthest-along NSW project in terms of exploration progress, that doesn’t mean the company has been inactive at its other assets.
A savvy deal
In March, Orange announced it was purchasing its remaining interest in the Wiseman’s Creek and Ophir projects from Godolphin for a flat $550,000, giving Orange a major effective discount on JV commitments already made for the projects.
Orange had previously struck a farm-in deal for both projects under which it could earn a 70 per cent interest in each tenement by spending $1 million on each project — so $2 million in total — by the end of February 2026.
Now, Orange will instead nab 100 per cent control of both tenements for much cheaper: the $550,000 to be spent on the assets will be paid in a half-half mix of cash and scrip.
Orange Managing Director David Greenwood said by purchasing a 100 per cent interest in both the tenements, Orange had greater control over exploration work and timeframes and the ability to “effectively steer its own destiny”.
“A drill programme is planned at Wisemans in the short term to test a number of targets where previous exploration had significant drill hole intersections,” Mr Greenwood said.
The company continues to operate Calarie in an earn-in joint venture arrangement with Godolphin.
Orange’s exploration strategy and shrewd managerial decisions come from a team with decades of experience under its belt.
A wealth of experience
At the helm of Orange Minerals is Managing Director and CEO David Greenwood.
Mr Greenwood brings with him over three decades of experience in the resources industry across a range of commodities. He has worked internationally in exploration, production, marketing, business development, and investment analysis for the resources sector.
John Campbell Smyth serves as the company’s non-executive Chairman and offers 25 years of experience in fund management, capital markets, and corporate finance in the venture capital and resources sectors.
Also on the OMX board is non-executive director Conrad Karageorge, who is currently CEO of ASX-listed Amani Gold (ANL) and has held management and strategy consulting roles at Argent Minerals (ARD) and MinRex Resources (MRR).
In the meantime, investors and miners alike are keeping a close eye on Orange’s NSW Lachlan Fold Belt as the company sits primed for success in this historic region.