The sampling returned numerous assays greater than 1% copper and these high-grade results came from a strike length of more than 500 metres with mineralisation open to the north and south.
This sampling program was targeted in an area 3-4 kilometres to the south of the John Galt Heavy Rare Earth Prospect and was focused on previously identified copper occurrences.
Northern Minerals managing director and CEO George Bauk said: “These copper results were an unexpected bonus for our exploration program at John Galt.
“While we are at our core a rare earth focused company, we will always look at ways to add value for our shareholders.
“As with rare earths, copper is an important element in the electric vehicle revolution given its widespread use in these vehicles.”
John Galt project location plan.
In October 2019 the company carried out a selective rock chip sampling program over an area of 2 kilometres x 0.5 kilometres at John Galt.
Of the 24 samples collected and analysed, 12 returned assays of greater than 1.0% copper with the higher-grade samples mostly in a cluster over 500 metres of strike length.
Anomalous gold and silver assays were also observed for some of the anomalous copper samples.
Geological mapping and sample location.
Bauk said: “It is early days with respect to these copper results, however, we are extremely encouraged by the widespread and high-grade nature of the results received.”
Historical copper exploration was carried out to the south of John Galt in the early 2000s, with one notable prospect 15 kilometres away.
Explorers were targeting stratabound hydrothermal copper mineralisation and specifically the Keweenan-style copper ore bodies of Michigan, USA.
Following the end of the wet season, Northern Minerals plan further geological mapping, a follow-up soil sampling program and a ground geophysics program.
Depending on these results, a drilling program may be considered for the June quarter.
While the company has a primary focus on rare earth elements, the discovery of copper mineralisation provides the potential for commodity diversification, particularly for a company focused on electric vehicles and sustainable power generation.
Bauk added: “With the performance of Browns Range improving every day and nearing nameplate capacity, we are confident of a good year ahead.”