Artisanal mining of the high-grade zone is estimated to have unearthed 15,000 gold ounces through basic digging and gravity separation techniques since 2005.
Gold Anomaly removed most of the artisanal miners from this area in 2011 and drilled a standout intersection of 46m at 5.9 grams per tonne gold which included 2m at 98.2gpt gold.
With not enough drilling to prove up sufficient resources, Gold Anomaly is still confident there is money to be made by going ahead with small-scale development anyway.
"The zone is made up of a series of sub vertical fractures and associated bonanza grade ore shoots up to 1 metre wide, related to a high sulphidation epithermal gold mineralising event sourced in the deep intrusions underlying the northern end of the Nevera prospect," Gold Anomaly said.
"It is estimated that there could be some 100,000 ounces of gold in the fractures and ore shoots which are known to extend 100m from surface and potentially extend many hundreds of metres to the underlying magmatic source identified during the nearby drilling of the mixing and porphyry zones."
The explorer also defended the lack of drilling in the artisanal/high-grade zone to date as it was focused on the potential bulk tonnage "mixing zone" area and a deep, expensive porphyry copper target.
"The company will now progress testwork in the HGZ with bulldozer/excavator benching of the spur and underground exploration, initially focusing upon confirming the geological expectations of the area and bulk testing processing methods," Gold Anomaly said.
"The company intends to establish an operation to mine the HGZ in the near term, thereby
generating cash flow."
As part of the shift in strategy the explorer hired mining engineer Richard Johnson as its PNG operations general manager, saying he had extensive experience running small and large-scale projects in many countries.
"Between 2002 and 2005, he was responsible for turning around DRDGold's high-grade underground Tolukuma gold mine in PNG's Central Province into a highly profitable operation," Gold Anomaly said.
The explorer also outlined its wider plans, with a helicopter-borne magnetics and radiometrics survey in early February to scope out untested areas of the Nevera prospect, other prospects and regional exploration targets.
The Tolukuma gold mine is operated by state-owned Petromin PNG Holdings.