Argonaut Resources NL (ASX:ARE) has restarted drilling at the third prioritised target within its large Torrens copper-gold anomaly in South Australia, of which it controls a 30% share with joint venture partner Aeris Resources Ltd (ASX:AIS).
The drilling rig has been moved from drill hole TD8 to drill hole TD9 following the intersection of artesian ground water at a depth of 100 metres.
Argonaut expects that TD8 will be re-drilled later in the program.
Drill hole TD7 has been completed to a depth of 858 metres and assay results are pending.
The joint venture has committed to an initial 8-10 hole, $5-million program which is part of an extensive 25-30 hole, $15-million program expected to take 18-24 months.
The Torrens anomaly is an extensive series of gravity and magnetic targets about 40 kilometres northeast of BHP Billiton Ltd’s (LON:BHP) Oak Dam West copper discovery.
Drilling will target geophysical anomalies that have similar properties to the Oak Dam West, Olympic Dam and Carrapateena copper deposits.
A heli-portable drilling rig capable of drilling deep, cored holes in remote locations is drilling from custom-made pontoons, designed to protect the salt crust and support the drilling rig.
Holes will be drilled to depths of between 800-1,500 metres into dense, iron-rich rocks which are interpreted to contain copper and gold mineralisation.
Torrens has a larger footprint than that of Olympic Dam and lies across the Torrens hinge zone, a continent-scale zone of crustal weakness that appears to have been a conduit for mineralising fluids from the Earth’s mantle.
The major iron oxide copper-gold mineralisation system at Torrens is beneath several hundred metres of sedimentary cover and was identified in drilling by Western Mining Corporation in the late 1970s.
Joint venture partners Argonaut and Aeris confirmed the discovery in drilling during 2007-2008 and aim to complete further drilling to intersect the modelled copper-gold mineralisation.
Joint venture partner Aeris took over a manager of the JV in September last year.