The company is planning to conduct ground gravity surveys and deep exploration drilling at the Murdie Project. Drilling will target some of the most compelling copper exploration targets in Australia.
Lake Torrens exploration licences
Argonaut chief executive officer Lindsay Owler said: “The approval of our environmental and operational plan is major step towards the discovery of copper by Argonaut in the Eastern Gawler Craton.
“The project includes numerous large gravity targets that are analogous to BHP’s nearby Oak Dam discovery.
“The discovery rate from gravity anomalies in this area is so high that none should go undrilled.”
Gravity targets and exploration domains
This is the second of three approvals required to undertake a major drilling program targeting Iron Oxide Copper-Gold (IOCG) deposits at Murdie.
Argonaut will now lodge an application under the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act.
This application seeks authorisation in the same terms as two authorisations previously granted for the neighbouring Torrens project.
Argonaut expects that the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation will be able to consider the application in April 2020.
Lower cost drilling
Many of the granite-hosted gravity targets at the Murdie Project are at the shoreline of Lake Torrens, which means that these targets can be drilled without the cost of helicopter support.
The operational approval covers both nearshore and offshore drilling.
Nearshore drilling will involve conventional truck or track-mounted drilling utilising protective road-matting to preserve the Lake Torrens salt crust.