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PACE Discovery Drilling

Collaborative drilling boosts exploration.

In a period of low exploration expenditure across the minerals industry, the South Australian Government has continued to support the sector through its collaborative PACE Discovery Drilling program. The PACE Copper initiative provided $1.3 million in grants to 13 projects across South Australia in 2016–17 (Fig. 1).

Figure 1 PACE Discovery Drilling 2016–17.

Figure 1 PACE Discovery Drilling 2016–17.

DPY9-05 Macallum Group Limited, Mount Sarah
DPY9-10 Red Metal Limited, Callabonna
DPY9-11 Gawler Resources Pty Ltd, Thurlga
DPY9-12 Teale and Associates Pty Ltd, Prospect Hill
DPY9-16 GBE Exploration Pty Ltd, Mount Denison
DPY9-21 Peninsula Resources Limited, Eyre Biogeochemical Anomaly
DPY9-24 Investigator Resources Limited, Nankivel (Peterlumbo Copper Gold)
DPY9-25 Doray Minerals Limited, Western Gawler
DPY9-31 Perilya Freehold Mining Pty Ltd, Red Range
DPY9-42 Minotaur Exploration Limited, Mount Woods
DPY9-43 SeeSaw Resources Pty Ltd, Brownlow
DPY9-44 Havilah Resources Limited, Benagerie Dome
DPY9-47 SeeSaw Resources Pty Ltd, Bower

2016–17 PACE Discovery Drilling highlights include:

  • An immediate 185% return on the government’s investment.
  • Acquisition of over 30,000 m of new drilling data.
  • Retention and creation of around 70 jobs in the mineral exploration industry, generation of around 350 indirect jobs through goods and services, and support for associated regional communities.
  • Proof of conceptual mineralisation models and identification of potential for new deposit types, leading to plans for additional exploration investment.

New mineral prospects identified

Porphyry copper, northern Eyre Peninsula. Investigator Resources identified alteration consistent with porphyry copper systems in Chile which host the world’s largest copper mines. An induced polarisation survey over adjacent areas and additional drillholes are being planned (ASX release 7 August 2017).

Iron sulfide – copper–gold (ISCG), eastern Gawler Craton. Minotaur Exploration discovered ISCG mineralisation, which, significantly, opens up a new exploration opportunity in South Australia. All currently known ISCG deposits in Australia are in the Cloncurry District, Queensland ( ASX release 2 December 2016 ). A ground electromagnetic survey was undertaken to further investigate the potential for ISCG-type mineralisation (ASX release 2 August 2017) and has led to planning for four diamond drillholes targeting shallow bedrock conductors, scheduled to commence in the fourth quarter of 2017 (ASX release 16 October 2017).

Iron oxide – copper–gold (IOCG) and ISCG, Curnamona Province. Havilah Resources and Red Metal identified rocks consistent with IOCG and ISCG mineralisation, mineralisation styles not normally associated with the Curnamona Province. Planned follow-up work included drilling at the Croziers and Bassanio prospects (ASX release 1 June 2017).

Subsequently, a PACE Copper funded magnetotelluric (MT) infill survey undertaken by the University of Adelaide and the Geological Survey of South Australia has identified a large MT conductive anomaly in the northern part of Havilah’s tenements with similarities to a large conductive zone at depth beneath the Olympic Dam IOCG-U deposit (ASX release 27 October 2017). Named Jupiter, the anomaly will be subject to further exploration with the objective of defining a drill target.

– Chris Wilcox and Tania Davies

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