Argonaut Resources Ltd (ASX:ARE) has received confirmation that the South Australian Government has begun a consultation process required to consider its application to drill the Murdie Copper Project.
If approval is provided, drilling will target some of the most compelling iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) exploration targets in Australia.
The consultation process is the final approval required to undertake the major drilling program.
Argonaut has modelled an airborne gravity survey and an aeromagnetic survey by 3D inversion, which defined 54 distinctive anomalies.
Of these 54 anomalies, eight gravity-only anomalies were selected for 2D modelling on the basis of size and host lithology.
This 2D modelling resulted in the definition of seven anomalies that warrant drill testing with further 2D modelling required to assess many of the remaining 3D anomalies.
Lower cost drilling
The Murdie drill targets are in three operational domains - onshore, near-shore and offshore.
Each of these domains involves different drilling procedures due to different surface and subsurface conditions.
Many of Murdie's granite-hosted gravity targets are at the shoreline of Lake Torrens, which means that these targets can be drilled without the cost of helicopter support.
Near-shore targets and the most prospective offshore targets can be drilled without intersecting the artesian aquifer that frustrated 2019 drilling efforts at the neighbouring Torrens anomaly.
Authority under Aboriginal Heritage Act
In February 2020, Argonaut lodged an application under the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act for final authorisation to drill at the Murdie project.
This application seeks authorisation in similar terms to two authorisations previously granted for the neighbouring Torrens project.
The company expects that the Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation will be able to consider Argonaut’s application during August 2020.