Learn How VRIFY Aided Southern Cross Gold (SXG) in Raising $16 million to Explore Its Historically Momentous Sunday Creek Project.

Nova Siegmann
Senior Manager, Content & Education
March 21, 2024
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Case Studies

Technology has changed since the Victorian gold rush of the 1850s, but the thrill of an exciting discovery remains, with SXG bringing the action to investors with interactive 3D visuals from VRIFY.

Southern Cross Gold's Sunday Creek Project

Imagine a time when anyone with the grit, determination, and ability to lift a shovel could strike it rich in gold. 

The possibility was real in the United States and Australia during the 1850s. With California and Victoria's gold rushes coinciding, the thrill of discovery - and riches - created an international frenzy. 

"It must have been an amazing time to be alive," says Michael Hudson, Managing Director at Southern Cross Gold (SXG).  

Over the past couple of years, Hudson has been mindful of the work of miners who discovered gold at Sunday Creek during the Victorian gold rush. That's because, after decades of making discoveries around the world, including Pakistan and South America, Hudson is back in his hometown, near the site of an epizonal Fosterville-style project where at the end of 2022, SXG drilled one of the best holes Hudson has seen in his career. 

"I discounted my own backyard, is the truth," Hudson says. He's found his backyard to contain what could become one of Australia's most significant gold and antimony resources.. With SXG advancing exploration with four drills on-site, the euphoria of discovery is back. Hudson is sharing the excitement with investors through VRIFY. 

"VRIFY and Southern Cross Gold came together at a very good time because we had a very exciting story to tell," says Hudson. 

Immersive 3D models help Hudson bring the wow to his investor presentations: "Wow, we've got a lot, wow, it's high grade, and also wow, there's still a lot of work to do." 

Taking Investors on a 3D Thrill Ride

With four drills turning not far from Hudson's office window, the Sunday Creek Project is post-discovery but pre-resource and pre-economic studies. 

Hudson's VRIFY presentations are all about "showing how it hangs together," which, in this case, is challenging to frame in words. 

That's in part because of the gold type at Sunday Creek. Epizonal gold was formed 380 million years ago, and unlike some massive deposits like "a loaf of bread” this gold style "is more like a ladder with handrails and lots of steps." 

3D visualizations examine consistency, the "high-grade parts," and how the "ladder" hangs together. And with VRIFY, it's not only easier to understand: it's fun to dive deep into the tangle of it all. 

And after thirty years of presenting projects to investors, Hudson knows that fun is a differentiating factor.

"Everyone presents, and everyone listens, and everyone is quite bored," he says, "and if you go into a fund manager here, you'll hear eight of the same stories a day." 

VRIFY sets Sunday Creek and SXG apart by taking audiences on a video game-like journey through the project site. 

"I tell the audience, 'You're going to have fun during this presentation, and it's going to be a bit different'. We then take a view of the surface of the Earth from the satellite down to the base of the crust and then come back up and spin the model to see where the gold fits in with these pinpricks called drill holes that we're putting into the ground," Hudson says. 

The interactive visual experience has created tangible benefits for SXG. VRIFY was a “key ingredient to help articulate the project," as Hudson says, and aided SXG to raise 16 million dollars for the project last winter. 

"I was inundated with interest after a conference at that time because people hadn't seen a presentation like this, and the results were fantastic." 

Making Complex Data Relatable to Broad Audiences

Hudson has a vision for the impact the Sunday Creek Project could have on his hometown and the world. 

Eighty-two percent of the world's antimony, "the most critical metal you've never heard of," that is the poster child for China and Russia dominance. Hudson believes Sunday Creek can potentially help rebuild a large part of the western supply chain as potentially Australia's largest antimony resource. 

But the vision can only come together with support from communities impacted by the mining operation. 

"We'd like to have a mine supported here locally and have the local people benefit and also be involved in the decision-making process," Hudson says. 

"You can't get anything up without having genuine ownership from a local point of view." 

Hudson employs VRIFY 3D visuals to bridge the technical gap in describing the impact and potential of Sunday Creek. He recently brought a VRIFY-driven presentation to a municipality meeting to share drilling information with members of the local government. 

"It helps to have the 3D model," he says. "It's relatable, and 3D makes it very tangible, so I think it helps simplify the project compared to putting up a technical slide." 

For Hudson, transparency is critical, and with 3D modeling from VRIFY, he can provide analysts, investors and community stakeholders with the most accurate representation of "how things really sit," including distances between drill holes. 

"VRIFY provides a much more transparent way of presenting the data, and it's all available on our website for us to direct people to," Hudson says. With VRIFY, SXG can empower stakeholders to access the data on their terms. 

Making History Once Again 

Exploration work at Sunday Creek has included LiDAR surveying, which maps the ground surfacing in intricate detail. LiDAR technology has helped SXG extend the historic goldfields by several kilometers and uncover the workings of miners who once scoured the grounds with picks and shovels. 

Through "the sheer amount of work" invested by historic miners - some of whom walked out of the gold fields without a cent - Hudson and his team inform their exploration by what was left behind. 

"The amount of gold produced in those days was extremely rich, handfuls of gold," Hudson says. "These miners left a very good history of how to look for it." 

Gold mining in Victoria went quiet during WWI when miners were redirected to battlefields together with a falling gold price. It took several decades to turn the mining industry's attention back to the opportunity of Victoria. A hundred and fifty years later, SXG is positioned to revive Sunday Creek and represent Australia globally with antimony and high-grade gold production. 

For Hudson, timing is everything, and the momentum of the Sunday Creek Project pairs perfectly with VRIFY's tools for bringing the story to life.  

"It's about the interactivity," Hudson says. "You can rotate the model, point things out, draw on the screen, and direct people's eyes. You can engage with the audience much better for all these points." 

"It's not just the platform itself but how VRIFY allows you to tell a more engaging story." 

With VRIFY, the past of Sunday Creek is in dialogue with the future, and it is epic from every angle. 

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