Recent announcements regarding the South Australian mineral and energy resources sectors
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This update covers the April 2017 period and is compiled from information publicly released by companies and Ministerial news releases.
Readers should refer to the latest information available on company websites, particularly in regard to making any forward investment decisions.
- Alliance Resources
- Argonaut Resources
- Havilah Resources
- Investigator Resources
- Jubilee Platinum – Resilience Mining Australia
- OZ Minerals
- WPG Resources
Heavy late April rains in the north of the state saw the temporary halt to a number of mining operations including BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam copper–gold–uranium mine and WPG Resources’ Tarcoola gold mine.
Alliance Resources’ latest RC drilling program at the Weednanna gold prospect tested the strike, dip and plunge continuity of three possible high-grade gold mineralised shoots (Targets 1, 2 and 3). Significant new gold intercepts (>5 grams per tonne, g/t, Au) were reported at Target 3 (ASX release 3 April 2017), including:
- 17WDRC017, 14 m at 36.1 g/t Au from 118 m (including 5 m at 95.6 g/t Au from 120 m) and 7 m at 7.4 g/t Au from 147 m (including 1 m at 40.0 g/t Au from 149 m)
- 17WDRC021, 3 m at 5.5 g/t Au in hole from 144 m
- 17WDRC022, 3 m at 3.1 g/t Au from 84 m.
This builds on a previous best intercept at Target 3 in drillhole 98WDRC049 of 6 m at 18.6 g/t Au from 126 m.
Drilling results from Targets 1 and 2 (ASX release 10 April 2017) also included significant new gold intercepts (>5 g/t Au) including:
- 17WDRC003, 49 m at 6.3 g/t Au from 45 m (including 21 m at 10.7 g/t Au from 48 m
- 17WDRC012, 2 m at 61.1 g/t Au from 167 m
- 17WDRC011, 10 m at 6.8 g/t Au from 79 m (including 3 m at 15.5 g/t Au from 81 m)
- 17WDRC013, 7 m at 11.0 g/t Au from 82 m (including 4 m at 17.6 g/t Au from 84 m)
- 17WDRC014, 1 m at 20.5 g/t Au from 120 m
- 17WDRC015, 1 m at 16.2 g/t Au from 99 m.
Thirteen out of 16 holes from Targets 1 and 2 had intercepts >1 g/t Au.
Ground moving loop electromagnetic survey data from the Zealous and Telephone Dam base metal prospects within the Wilcherry Project Joint Venture has been interpreted and drilling targets identified (ASX release 7 April 2107).
The South Australian Environment, Resources and Development Court has granted native title authority for the conduct of exploration activities over the Torrens anomaly, marking a milestone for Argonaut Resources’ Torrens Project (ASX release 3 April 2017). Planning for a drilling program is underway, with the expectation that two remaining government approvals will be reissued in accordance with required procedures.
Aeris Resources is a 70% joint venture partner for the project, which is located within 50 km of OZ Minerals’ Carrapateena copper–gold deposit and 75 km from BHP Billiton’s Olympic Dam Mine. The joint venture has stated it looks forward to working with all traditional owners to preserve and protect heritage sites nearby to the Torrens licence.
Havilah Resources has announced early success from its PACE-supported drilling program at the Croziers copper prospect, 100 km northwest of Broken Hill (ASX release 18 April 2017). A shallowly east-dipping, depth persistent copper mineralised horizon has been confirmed from first assay results which include:
- CCRC 003, 5 m at 0.90% Cu from 69 to 74 m
- CCRC 004, 20 m at 0.54% Cu from 75 to 95 m
- CCRC 005, 15 m at 0.45% Cu from 83 to 98 m.
Havilah interpret the prospect as being hosted by the same regional mineralised horizon as its nearby Kalkaroo and North Portia copper–gold deposits.
Associated tungsten mineralisation seen in these and a number of nearby drillholes is also considered to be potentially economically significant when combined with the copper mineralisation.
A new total mineral resource estimate has been announced for the Paris silver project following completion of Investigator Resources’ late 2016 infill drilling program (ASX release 19 April 2017). The new estimate stands at 9.3 million tonnes (Mt) at 139 g/t Ag and 0.6% Pb for 42 million ounces (Moz) contained silver and 55 kilotonne (kt) contained lead at a cutoff of 50 g/t Ag. This is a 20% increase in silver grade and a 26% increase in contained silver ounces from the 2015 estimates.
Recent drilling has intersected the prospective core of a large, multi-phase porphyry mineral system at Nankivel, confirming the presence of a large, very prospective copper–mineralised porphyry system and significantly enhancing the potential for copper and gold discoveries (ASX release 26 April 2017). The newly interpreted porphyry core has a diameter of at least 800 m under <20 m of cover and is located 4 km southeast of the 42 Moz Paris silver project. Both prospects are within Investigator’s 100% held Peterlumbo tenement near Kimba on the northern Eyre Peninsula.
The company acknowledged the assistance of the state government’s PACE collaborative drilling program in making the breakthrough for South Australia’s mineral potential.
Jubilee Platinum – Resilience Mining Australia
International mines to metals specialist Jubilee Platinum has entered into an arrangement with Adelaide-based private mining company Resilience Mining Australia to secure a copper surface tailings project at Resilience’s Leigh Creek copper mine project (London Stock Exchange: AIM release 30 March 2017).
In an ASX release on 21 April 2017 OZ Minerals announced that the Carrapateena Project is proceeding at pace. Project economics and the schedule, which will see the mine produce commercial ore in the second half of 2019, remain as announced in the prefeasibility study (PFS) executive summary in November 2016.
At 31 March 2017, $53 million of the $90 million budget has been spent, with the remaining $37 million for work including continued decline construction, further mine design optimisation to bring it to feasibility study level, and to accelerate all other non-mining Carrapateena work packages via an early contractor involvement model.
The company also reported that:
- The Tjati Decline had reached 1,202 development metres and depth of 166 m.
- Three critical threats identified in the PFS – power, water and caveability – had been reduced.
- A transmission connection agreement had been signed.
- A corridor for the transmission line had been identified in partnership with key stakeholders.
- A dedicated project director for the concentrate treatment plant (CTP) had been appointed and land purchased near Port Augusta, which is now the preferred location for the CTP.
WPG Resources has had early success with its Challenger Deeps drilling program reporting highly encouraging gold assays from the first drillhole, 17CUD2071, which was designed to target the M1, Aminus and Challenger West lodes (ASX release 11 April 2017). Results range from <0.01 to 740.17 parts per million gold and intercepts on the target structures are:
- M1, 1.66 m (true width) at 14.32 g/t Au from 58 m
- Aminus, 0.86 m (true width) at 45.12 g/t Au from 121 m (including 0.26 m at 139.69 g/t Au)
- Challenger West, 0.86 m (true width) at 232.12 g/t Au from 140 m (including 0.26 m at 740.17 g/t Au).
Ministerial news releases
Iron Road project approved for Eyre Peninsula
Premier Jay Weatherill
03 May 2017
Iron Road has received a mining lease and development approval for a $4.5 billion project set to create nearly 2,000 jobs during construction and 700 jobs over the 25-year life of the mine. If the company meets the conditions of the approval the Central Eyre Iron Project will be Australia’s largest magnetite mine, estimated to produce 21.5 million tonne each year. The project will include the construction of a new 145 km rail link and deepwater port at Cape Hardy, near Tumby Bay. The port will also be able to be used to export other goods from the region, such as grain.
- Read the news release on the Minister's website
- Read more about the Central Eyre Iron Project on Iron Road's website