The Northern Star JORC-compliant indicated and inferred resource, calculated in conjunction with CSA Global, is 8.8 million tonnes at 14.7 grams per tonne gold for 4.15 million ounces of gold, using a cut-off grade of 6.2gpt gold.
The previous estimate (inclusive of reserves) was 4.1Moz at 12.2gpt gold, using cut-off grades of 7.37-8.33gpt.
However, the new estimate excludes 765,000oz sitting in satellite deposits that formed part of the previous NI 43-101 resource.
As a result, the in-mine resource has risen by 24%.
Northern Star executive chairman Bill Beament said the maiden JORC resource was a strong start to the company’s ownership of Pogo.
“This is an important result because it not only meets, but exceeds, our understanding of the Pogo mine and our view of its potential,” he said.
The new estimate takes Northern Star’s group resource inventory to 20.5Moz at 3.4gpt gold.
Northern Star announced the US$260 million acquisition of Pogo from Sumitomo on August 30, with the transaction settling on September 28.
The company has set an exploration budget for Pogo of A$15-20 million for this financial year to be spent on resource definition and extensional drilling.
That’s in addition to the record $60 million the company is spending on exploration in Australia in FY19.
There are eight diamond drill rigs currently operating at Pogo, four underground focusing on resource definition drilling in the North Zone and Leise vein system as well as targeting resource extensions within the Fun Zone.
The other four rigs are on the surface, exploring new lateral and down-dip extensions to the main Leise vein system adjacent to the Fun Zone production area.
On a site visit to Pogo late last month, visitors got an idea of the exploration upside at Pogo.
One of the most exciting targets is Goodpaster (named after a river running through the project) with recent results of 7ft at 1.299oz per tonne (roughly 2.13m at 36.8gpt) and 8.7ft at 0.819opt, including 0.9ft at 7.13ozpt (2.65m at 23.21gpt, including 0.27m at 202.1gpt).
RBC Capital Markets analyst Paul Hissey said the resource update for Pogo was clearly a positive result.