GOLD exploration company Navarre Minerals has discovered several gold nuggets while drilling at its Tandarra prospect, 40 kilometres north of Bendigo.
The nuggets, measuring up to 4.5mm in length, were found in drill chips returned from 69 metres below ground level.
Assay results from the drill hole returned a high grade intercept of 1.5 metres at 59.2 grams of gold per tonne which forms part of a broader zone assaying 4.5 metres at 23.1 grams of gold per tonne.
Examination of the drill chip sample residue revealed the gold was primary and reef hosted.
The nuggets have a black iron oxide coating and were found in combination with bleached shale and quartz.
Navarre managing director Geoff McDermott said this indicated high-grade gold mineralisation consistent with previous discoveries on the Bendigo goldfields.
Mr McDermott said the it was the first time visible gold had been sighted on the Macnaughtan line of reef.
Previous drilling had encountered ore-grade gold on the parallel Tomorrow quartz reef.