The funding is part of the SA Government’s Growth State Agenda which aims to accelerate mineral discovery through innovative exploration and research projects in regional and frontier terrains throughout the State.
In February 2020, Argonaut lodged an application under the South Australian Aboriginal Heritage Act for final authorisation to drill at the Murdie Copper Project.
The final approval required to undertake a major drilling program targeting iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits is in the consultation phase with a decision expected in August 2020.
“Compelling copper targets”
Many of the drilling targets identified by the company have two important and sought-after qualities:
- They are within or at the margin of the same Donnington Suite granite body that hosts both the Oak Dam and Carrapateena IOCG deposits; and
- The Oak Dam and Carrapateena deposits and Argonaut’s targets are defined by ‘gravity only’ geophysical anomalies.
Argonaut director and CEO Lindsay Owler said: “Large, gravity-only anomalies within Donnington Suite granite are the most compelling copper exploration targets in the country.”
Gravity targets and exploration domains.
Lower cost drilling
The ‘Exploration Program for Environment Protection and Rehabilitation’ for ongoing exploration activities including ground gravity surveys and diamond drilling at exploration licences 5937 and 5945 was approved under the South Australian Mining Act in January 2020.
This approval allows for up to 200 deep diamond drill holes into a string of large and prospective IOCG anomalies from nearshore and offshore locations on the salt crust of Lake Torrens.
Many of the granite-hosted gravity targets are at the shoreline which means that these targets can be drilled without the cost of helicopter support.
Nearshore 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.