Recent announcements regarding the South Australian mineral and energy resources sectors
This update covers the August 2018 period and is compiled from information publicly released by companies.
Readers should refer to the latest information available on company websites, particularly in regard to making any forward investment decisions.
Previous news items:
- Alliance Resources
- Andromeda Metals
- Archer Exploration
- Auroch Minerals
- Boss Resources
- Carpentaria Exploration
- Gindalbie Metals
- Havilah Resources
- OZ Minerals
- Renascor Resources
- Senex Energy
- Strategic Minerals
- Strike Energy
- Thor Mining – Environmental Copper Recovery
- WPG Resources
A high-resolution airborne magnetic and radiometric survey has commenced over Alliance Resources’ Wilcherry Hill project joint venture tenements. The almost 19,000 line kilometre survey is being flown at 100 m line spacing with 50 m infills over the central part of the project (ASX release 13 August 2018). The new magnetic data will be combined with regional litho-geochemical data to assist in gold target identification and prospect ranking.
A maiden mineral resource estimate, staged program of metallurgical work on Weednanna gold mineralisation and, given positive outcomes, a scoping study are planned for the second half of 2018.
An updated mineral resource estimate has been released for Andromeda Metals’ Carey’s Well kaolin deposit of 23.9 million tonnes (Mt) of bright white kaolinised granite using International Organization for Standardization (ISO) brightness R457 cutoff of 75 (ASX release 22 August 2018). This represents a 46.6.% increase on the 2012 estimate of 16.3 Mt (Minotaur Exploration ASX release 8 February 2012). The new resource estimate includes 8.7 Mt measured resource, 10.9 Mt indicated resource and 4.3 Mt inferred resource and will yield 12.7 Mt of bright white kaolin product.
A second round of high purity alumina (HPA) testing on halloysite kaolin from Andromeda’s Poochera deposit achieved a purity of 99.9946% Al2O3 after a single purification stage, confirming the world-class nature of the deposit (ASX release 29 August 2018). Additional HPA testing is proposed as the company continues to advance the Poochera project towards bulk sampling.
Archer Exploration has finalised terms with the University of Sydney Commercial Development and Industry Partnerships for exclusive rights to develop and commercialise intellectual property related to carbon-based quantum computing technology (ASX release 15 August 2018).
A successful collaboration has also been reported with the University of New South Wales related to the development and implementation of Archer’s Campoona graphite for use in commercially relevant lithium-ion batteries. Full-cell lithium-ion batteries that are functional and commercially scalable, and incorporate Archer’s Campoona graphite, have been assembled and validated for performance (ASX release 21 August 2018).
A maiden drilling program has commenced at Auroch Minerals’ Arden base metals project starting at Ragless Range to target depth extensions of a high-grade zinc sedimentary exhalative horizon. Radford Creek and Kanyaka prospects will also be tested where rock-chip samples have returned assays as high as 12.4% Cu, 2.4% Zn and 0.5% Co (ASX release 2 August 2018).
Drilling is underway at Auroch’s Bonaventura base metals project starting at Dewrang where a recently identified induced polarisation anomaly sits at 150–200 m depth and continues for at least 1.5 km along strike (ASX release 15 August 2018). The anomaly occurs at the convergence of two major faults and is coincident with anomalous zinc and lead in historical surface samples.
Infill drilling at the Honeymoon uranium mine, the first key component of Boss Resources’ mine restart strategy, has confirmed large high-grade continuous mineralisation zones close to the existing Honeymoon processing plant. First stage drilling recorded immediate success with drillhole BIF0044 returning 9.5 m width at 7,407 ppm pU3O8, ranking it as one of the best intersections drilled to date (ASX release 2 August 2018). Other drill intercepts greater than 2 m at a grade of 2,000 ppm pU3O8 include:
- 5.50 m at 11,248 ppm pU3O8 from 105.25 m (BIF0044)
- 2.50 m at 3,568 ppm pU3O8 from 106.25 m (BIF0048)
- 2.25 m at 3,360 ppm pU3O8 from 107.00 m (BIF0040)
- 2.50 m at 3,442 ppm pU3O8 from 111.50 m (BIF0044)
- 2.25 m at 3,147 ppm pU3O8 from 113.00 m (BIF0047)
- 2.25 m at 2,906 ppm pU3O8 from 100.75 m (BIF0036)
- 2.25 m at 2,720 ppm pU3O8 from 103.50 m (BIF0020)
- 2.00 m at 2,138 ppm pU3O8 from 104.50 m (BIF0019).
Continuity of uranium mineralisation throughout the targeted resource area was confirmed by further infill drilling (ASX release 27 August 2018). Best results include:
- 4.25 m at 2,592 ppm pU3O8 from 102.75 m grade x thickness (GT) 11,016 (BIF0069)
- 3.25 m at 996 ppm pU3O8 from 93.75 m GT 3,140 (BIF0063)
- 3.50 m at 652 ppm pU3O8 from 108.25 m GT 2,282 (BIF0068)
- 2.75 m at 813 ppm pU3O8 from 97.00 m GT 2,236 (BIF0052)
- 2.50 m at 854 ppm pU3O8 from 110.00 m GT 2,135 (BIF0099)
- 3.25 m at 600 ppm pU3O8 from 115.50 m GT 1,950 (BIF0056)
- 3.75 m at 520 ppm pU3O8 from 110.25 m GT 1,950 (BIF0066).
Results from the 200 drillhole infill program will be used to update the Honeymoon mineral resource as Boss works towards restarting uranium production.
Drilling is also in progress at the East Kalkaroo deposit, immediately east of the Honeymoon processing plant and within the Honeymoon mineral lease, and continues to intersect uranium mineralisation of significant grade and thickness throughout the resource area. Drilling remains ahead of schedule, with more than half of the planned infill program complete (ASX release 27 August 2018).
Carpentaria Exploration has entered into an agreement with Mitsui & Co. whereby the Japanese company will contribute A$5.4 million towards the Hawsons iron ore project’s bankable feasibility study for an option to buy 2 Mt of Hawsons Supergrade® product per year should the project be developed. This off-take will be secured with a US$60 million contribution to the debt funding package for the construction of a new magnetite mine 60 km southwest of Broken Hill (ASX release 6 August 2018).
Gindalbie Metals has reached the Mount Gunson copper–cobalt project Stage 1 farm-in expenditure commitment of $1.37 million and will receive a 25% interest in the project and surrounding tenement package (ASX release 22 August 2018).
In May Gindalbie announced it would enter Stage 2 of the farm in and progress the prefeasibility study. A drilling program is planned to commence in September 2018, with the Stage 2 expenditure commitment of $2.5 million expected to be met during the first half of 2019.
Havilah Resources’ latest surface sampling results have confirmed the copper–cobalt prospectivity of the Mutooroo cobalt district (ASX release 28 August 2018) and added more detail to several previously identified anomalies (ASX release 25 June 2018). Results include:
- 23 (5%) samples of greater than or equal to 1,000 ppm Cu, with the highest individual assay of 2,230 ppm (0.22%) Cu at the Sidewinder D prospect
- 52 (12%) samples of greater than or equal to 500 ppm Cu
- 127 (28%) samples of greater than or equal to 250 ppm Cu (moderately anomalous)
- 16 (4%) samples of greater than or equal to 2,500 ppm (0.25%) Co, with the highest individual assay of 3,870 ppm (0.39%) Co at the Taipan prospect
- 100 (23%) samples with greater than or equal to 1,000 ppm (0.10%) Co
- 136 (30%) samples of greater than or equal to 500 ppm Co
- 197 (44%) samples of greater than or equal to 250 ppm Co (moderately anomalous).
The Sidewinder prospect is emerging as a large new Mutooroo-style copper–cobalt target made up of nine sub-prospects (A to I), with maximum copper to 2,230 ppm (0.22%) and cobalt up to 3,460 ppm (0.35%). Five of the sub-prospects have been identified as priority 1 targets along with the Viper, Mutooroo South and drill-ready Scorpion prospects. The Taipan prospect, which recorded the highest individual cobalt assay of 3,870 ppm (0.39%), is rated priority 2 due to its low copper association.
At North Portia permitting for Stage 1 – to mine overburden and the subsequent processing of the oxide gold component of the resource – is progressing as planned and is expected to be submitted to the regulator for assessment by the middle of September 2018 (ASX release 28 August 2018).
First reconnaissance drilling has been completed by Marmota over 10 new gold targets (ASX release 10 August 2018).
Assays from drilling in May at the Goshawk deposit within the Aurora Tank gold project have been returned (ASX release 13 August 2018). Best results include:
- 1 m at 58 g/t Au from 44 m, including 6 m at 11 g/t Au from 40 m (18ATRC074)
- 1 m at 51 g/t Au from 35 m, including 3 m at 24 g/t Au from 34 m (18ATRC065)
- 1 m at 24 g/t Au from 29 m, including 3 m at 9.8 g/t Au from 28 m (18ATRC069).
Results of Phase 2 metallurgical test work at Aurora Tank, including the first metallurgical testing of mineralised core from its 2017 drilling program, have been released (ASX release 20 August 2018). Tests included combined gravity recoverable gold and cyanide leaching, variable grain size agitation and intermittent bottle roll testing. High-percentage recoveries (81.5–95.9%) were predominantly complete within 24 hours indicating that low-cost, low capital expenditure heap leaching may be a viable option for the Goshawk deposit.
OZ Minerals has completed the acquisition of Avanco Resources (ASX release 8 August 2018).
Renascor Resources has entered into an agreement with the landowner of the property that hosts the Siviour graphite project to facilitate the development of the resource, including the right to acquire an option to purchase the land next year (ASX release 22 August 2018). Development remains on schedule with funding in place to complete the definitive feasibility study leading to a decision to mine (ASX release 28 August 2018). A mining lease application has been lodged with the South Australian government.
Further improved processing using locked-cycle flotation testing has produced graphite concentrates with an average grade of 95.9% and a recovery of 93% (ASX release 31 August 2018).
A new oil discovery has been made from the first well of Senex Energy’s Cooper Basin drilling program for financial year 2019 (FY19). Breguet 1 is located on the western flank of the Cooper Basin, 1.6 kilometres west of the producing Spitfire oil field (ASX release 15 August 2018). The well is being cased and suspended and is expected to be placed on production in the second quarter of FY19 via a flowline to existing infrastructure. Preliminary evaluation of results has provided encouragement for potential follow-up appraisal drilling between the Breguet and Spitfire fields.
At Strategic Minerals’ Leigh Creek copper mine project, programs for environment protection and rehabilitation (PEPRs) for Mountain of Light and Lynda have been approved by the South Australian government (RNS release 29 August 2018). The company is preparing operations for the commencement of copper production at Mountain of Light in 2019. Drilling for metallurgical test work is underway at the Partridge North (within the Mountain of Light mining tenement) and Lynda deposits. Designed to sample shallow copper oxide mineralisation, it is expected to be finished by early September 2018. An extensive review of previous operations and metallurgical work have also been completed..
Strike Energy has provided a number of updates on production operations at the Jaws 1 appraisal wells (ASX releases 3 August 2018, 17 August 2018 and 27 August 2018). On 27 August Strike reported that recurrent water production was 1,300 barrels of water per day with the productivity of the well continuing to increase since the 17 August update. This demonstrates continued reservoir performance on trend with earlier results. The Jaws 1 wells are located at the southern Cooper Basin in Petroleum Exploration Licence 96 (Strike, operator and 66.67%; Energy World Corporation 33.33%).
Thor Mining – Environmental Copper Recovery
A series of bottle roll tests (standard recovery test work technique for heap leaching and in situ recovery projects) has successfully extracted copper from four historical core samples from Thor Mining’s Kapunda copper project in the Mid North (ASX release 28 August 2018). Up to 78% copper recovery was achieved within two days of bottle roll leach testing using glycine (a biodegradable amino acid) as the extraction agent. Other extraction agents are also being trialled. The test work is funded through an Australian Commonwealth Research Centre Project Grant (ASX release 31 July 2018). Detail of the in situ recovery process can be found on project partner Environmental Copper Recovery’s website.
WPG Resources went into receivership on 8 August 2018 (ASX release 8 August 2018).