Newcrest will drill a total of approximately 10,000 metres (m) as part of this initial drill programme, which it is covering all the costs for.
The aim is to define the extent of the mineralisation along strike and at depth, testing the system to a depth of 1,000 metres below surface.
“It is an exciting moment for Greatland as Newcrest embarks on its first drill programme at our cornerstone Havieron gold-copper project,” said Greatland chief executive Gervaise Heddle.
“The initial 10,000-metre drill programme is the most extensive at Havieron to date and we anticipate that Newcrest's technical expertise and understanding of the local geology will build upon our highly successful 2018 programme.”
Back in March, Greatland signed a farm-in agreement with Newcrest to explore and develop Havieron.
Newcrest has the right to acquire a 70% stake in the project by spending up to US$65mln. It also has the option to buy another 5% stake in Havieron.
Exploration work to start at Paterson Range East shortly
In a separate announcement later on Wednesday, Greatland confirmed it plans to start exploration work at the nearby Paterson Range East licence early next month (June).
Due to be carried out first is a detailed, low-level airborne magnetic survey covering around 5,200-line kilometres.
Greatland said the new survey will “significantly increase” the resolution of twenty magnetic targets previously identified across the licence and will help in the structural and geological interpretation of those targets.
“Greatland's 2019 exploration programme in the Paterson is advancing on a number of fronts, with a detailed aeromagnetic survey planned at Paterson Range East, a 6,000 metre drilling programme expected to commence at Black Hills within the next few weeks, and Newcrest's first drilling programme at Havieron underway,” said CEO Heddle.
“The aeromagnetic survey at Paterson Range East is part of an important and ongoing process to prioritise the multiple geophysical targets that we have across our Paterson licences.”
Shares rose 3.4% to 1.7p on Wednesday morning.
--Updates for additional info and share price--