AusQuest Limited (ASX: AQD) has identified a near-term drilling target at the Hamilton Copper Project in North West Queensland following the completion of successful down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys.
DHEM has identified a potential off-hole conductor that occurs close to the mineralised BIF sequence that was intersected in hole HMDD015, which was drilled to test a large-scale coincident magnetic/gravity response.
Follow-up diamond drilling comprising two holes for ~1,100m targeting the off-hole conductor and a possible fold closure adjacent to hole HMDD015 has been agreed under the Strategic Alliance Agreement (SAA) with a subsidiary of South32 Limited.
Drilling is scheduled to commence around the end of October, subject to drill rig availability, and should take approximately two weeks to complete. Assay data is expected six to eight weeks after the completion of drilling.
The Hamilton Copper Project contains mineralised banded iron formations (BIFs) similar to those hosting the Osborne copper-gold deposit (global resource ~36Mt @ 2% Cu and 1g/t Au), located approximately 70km to the north.
The mineralised BIF sequence encountered in drill-hole HMDD015 is relatively thick (~60m down-hole), contains highly anomalous copper (up to 8,200ppm Cu) plus elevated gold (to 0.175ppm Au), bismuth (to 6.3ppm Bi), selenium, sulphur and LREE values, and occurs within a strongly carbonate-altered sequence of psammitic sediments.
Down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys were completed within drill-hole HMDD015, and holes HMDD012, HMDD014 within the southern prospect, using 500m x 500m transmitter loops and a DigiAtlantis three-component probe.
Modelling of the results from HMDD015 has identified a possible off-hole conductor of moderate strength (1,000 to 2,000 siemens) near the base of the drill-hole plus several in-hole responses due to concentrations of iron within the BIF stratigraphy. The steep dips of the modelled plates are compatible with dips of the BIF in the core, suggesting that the untested conductor is closely associated with the mineralised BIF sequence.
Detailed gravity surveys are planned to provide further insight into the distribution of the BIF sequences and ironstone accumulations within both the northern and southern prospects, before additional drilling in 2022 is considered under the SAA.
The Hamilton Project covers a belt of magnetic rocks extending over a strike length of approximately 30km from north to south under Eromanga Basin cover, which varies from ~190m thick in the north to ~220m in the south.
Managing Director, Graeme Drew, said numerous magnetic targets within this belt have never been tested by drilling.
Mr Drew said the results of the DHEM surveys and a better understanding of the structural setting at both prospects had significantly improved the direction and planning of future drilling programmes.
“Exploring under cover is never easy but we can now see a clearer forward pathway, which will hopefully speed up the discovery process,” he said.
“This next round of drilling, and the acquisition of detailed gravity data over the prospects, should go a long way towards understanding the potential of this area to host a new copper (+/- gold) discovery.
“We look forward to the commencement of drilling operations and to reporting results to our shareholders as they become available,” he said.
For further information please visit: http://www.ausquest.com.au/