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Image: Marmota.

South Australian exploration company Marmota is using biogeochemical sampling of tree leaves to unearth new gold deposits in the prospective Gawler Craton.

Marmota has already used the tree sampling technique to advance exploration in the area, which was successful in discovering the north-west tank at the Aurora tank gold project.

The deposit boasts multiple high-grade gold intersections that were discovered when Marmota detected elevated levels of gold in the leaves of trees at the surface of the deposit.

This included a discovery hole that featured an intersection of 105 grams per tonne, 38 metres below the surface of the trees.

The South Australian government has pledged its support to Marmota’s tree sampling work with a $225,000 grant under the Accelerated Discovery Initiative (ADI).

As announced by South Australian Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan, the ADI, which is designed to support innovation in the exploration sector, will support Marmota’s further biogeochemical exploration.

“The grant will significantly accelerate our biogeochem gold exploration program and expand its scope,” Marmota chairman doctor Colin Rose said.

“Marmota is delighted to receive the ADI grant (and) we extend our grateful appreciation to the Department of Energy and Mining and to the South Australian Government.”

Launched last November, the ADI will provide a total of $10 million in grants to open up South Australia’s untapped mineral and groundwater resources.

The grants will support drilling programs, innovative technologies, logistical support for greenfield projects, encouraging Aboriginal employment during exploration, identifying and testing new groundwater resources and testing new concepts with geophysical programs.

“Previous government-funded mineral exploration focussed on drill targets but the expanded scope of the ADI will have multiple environmental and social benefits, as well as driving significant economic gains,” van Holst Pellekaan said.