Northern Star Resources has announced some spectacular intercepts from drilling on the Voyager 2 lode at its Paulsen’s underground gold mine 190 km west of Paraburdoo in the Pilbara region of Western Australia.

The Voyager 2 lode is located down-plunge from the Voyager 1 lode, which is currently being mined. The drill results include a 1-m intercept grading 3,390 g/mt gold within an 8.4-m intercept grading 412.5 g/mt. The intercept is 230 m vertically below the current production level and is the deepest in the history of the mine. Northern Star expects to release an initial resource for the Voyager 2 lode around mid-year 2012. The company has outlined plans to grow gold production at the mine from about 80,000 oz/y to 100,000 oz/y.

At the same time, Northern Star reports it is accelerating drilling, metallurgical test work and economic studies at its neighboring Ashburton project, with a view to establishing a stand-alone 100,000-oz/y operation there.