AUSTRALIAN minerals explorer Gold Mountain is close to finalising its acquisition of the Wabag gold project, situated in Papua New Guinea’s Enga province.

Gold Mountain, then known as Commissioners Gold, signed a deal with PNG-based Viva No 20 to acquire the tenements and take a 20 per cent stake in the company in June last year.

The Viva 20 exploration licences, EL 1966, EL 1967 and EL 1968, and exploration licence application ELA 1969, cover a total area of 1,100 square kilometres immediately north west of the Wabag township.

The tenements are located 75 kilometres north west of Mt Hagen and 25 kilometres from the nearest airfield.

Gold Mountain completed due diligence inquiries over the company and licences in May, ahead of finalising the acquisition – with the companies concerned having been given an extension of time up until 31 July 2015 to implement the mechanics of the share transfer.

Gold Mountain said the directors anticipated the acquisition will complete prior to that date.

“The directors are excited about the direction in which the company is headed, and will provide shareholders with an update on completion of this acquisition in due course,” the company said.

The company said in its March quarterly report that the exploration licences had been performing well.

Stage one sampling results from within the Sak Creek project area EL1966 have identified a geochemical zonation considered to be associated with a potential porphyry copper-gold system.

Gold Mountain said this was a highly encouraging result, considering local artisanal miners are recovering alluvial gold from within the vicinity of the porphyry target, including large gold nuggets of up to 60 grams in weight.

The company has proposed further exploration to better define the mineralised system at Sak Creek, leading to possible drilling targets.

An intensive follow-up sampling program was completed in March, as a result of encouraging stage one sampling results at Crown Ridge EL1968.

The program consisted of stream sediment and ridge and spur soil sampling, at 50 metre spacing.

Results will be released shortly upon receipt of final assay results.

Strong anomalous gold and platinum values were received from the first-pass stream sediment sampling program at Crown Ridge, Gold Mountain said.