A $3.5 million cash injection could help gold miners delve into unexplored depths on the same faultline that helped Fosterville strike it rich.
Companies Catalyst Metals and St Barbara want to form a joint venture paving the way for drilling around Drummartin, north of Bendigo.
The deal would mark an escalation in exploration of 648 square kilometres of largely un-mined land.
Generations of miners have shown little interest in the area because the rocks they searched for are covered by younger sediment, Catalyst technical director Bruce Kay said.
"You just can't physically see the type of rocks that could have gold in them from the surface," he said.
Yet several underground faultlines run through the region, including one Kirkland Lake Gold is tapping into 60km to the south at Fosterville, he said.
That mine has struck gold and is now among the most profitable in Victoria.
Until the area is explored it will remain unclear what the Drummartin patch is hiding.
"So we have to do is lots of shallow drilling, lots of geophysics, and see whether there's gold there," Mr Kay said.
This early on in the exploration process miners do not like to get their hopes up, he said.
"But the area has had such little drilling that every hole will reveal something different."
The two exploration companies plan to "shallow drilling" up to 130 metres into the ground.
"At this early stage you want to drill as many holes as you can as cheaply as possible," Mr Kay said.
"We can drill two or three holes a day and each will probably cost us something like $2000."
Mr Kay said the companies want to work with farmers and make sure it was left pristine when their drills left.
"That's a good thing to do when you are dealing with farming land."
Catalyst already has two other joint ventures north of Bendigo. One is with Hancock Prospecting near Boort and the other is with Navarre Minerals in the North Bendigo goldfield.
"Each of those has good evidence of high grade gold mineralisation. So we are following up a lot of those areas," Mr Kay said.
"The main reason you do joint ventures is to share the cost. You also get a good combination of technical expertise between the two teams."
Catalyst is asking its shareholders to green-light the partnership, according to a statement to the ASX.