Havilah Resources Ltd (ASX:HAV) (FRA:FWL) has secured Accelerated Discovery Initiative (ADI) funding to advance exploration of two South Australian projects, including for rare earths and copper-gold.
This funding support amounts to $275,000 with $150,000 to investigate rare earth element (REE) mineralisation and the remainder for a magnetotelluric (MT) anomaly definition study.
The ‘Investigation of REE Mineralisation in the Benagerie Dome’ project has secured matching funding to drill, sample and test REE mineralisation in the vicinity of Croziers copper prospect and to progress Kalkaroo REE studies.
A second project, ‘Jupiter MT Anomaly Definition Study’ secured matching funding of $125,000 primarily to collect more detailed MT data over the Jupiter conductive zone that will assist in drill-targeting, plus orientation MT data over the major mineralised Kalkaroo fault zone.
“Grateful for support”
Havilah technical director Dr Chris Giles said: “Havilah is most grateful to the South Australian Government for its support via the ADI funding.
“This Accelerated Discovery Fund highlights what a great place South Australia is to explore and develop mines, with a supportive mining-friendly government, low sovereign risk, safe working conditions and a best practice regulatory framework that engenders social and environmental responsibility.
“The proposals were rigorously evaluated by independent technical experts, so it is testimony to the quality of Havilah’s exploration projects that they were selected for ADI funding.”
Shares have been as much 18% higher at 13 cents intra-day and are up from 5.3 cents at the close on March 13.
SA Minister for Energy and Mining Dan van Holst Pellekaan said in a release that the ADI funding “is designed to deliver a pipeline of investment into the future … by encouraging proposals that contemplate both existing and emerging technologies and exploration techniques.”
Focus on REE potential
The primary objective of the REE project is to determine the nature, extent and economic potential of REE mineralisation in the Benagerie Ridge portion of the Curnamona Craton.
It will initially focus on the Kalkaroo Copper-Gold Project and the Croziers copper prospect where limited assays indicate potentially economic levels of the higher value REE associated with the copper mineralisation.
Using the LREE, Lanthanum, as a proxy for these elements it has been possible to broadly outline a REE mineralisation envelope at Croziers.
This partially overlaps a copper mineralisation envelope and abuts a tungsten mineralised zone.
Limited assays available for the Croziers copper prospect indicate potentially elevated levels of the higher value REE.
Comprehensive testing planned
Havilah proposes to carry out a comprehensive program of testing, which initially will include selective re-assaying of Havilah's library of historic drill sample assay pulps.
This will be followed by reconnaissance RC drilling programs to define the distribution and grades of the various REE along with the associated copper mineralisation.
Drilling will initially be targeted in areas where REE levels appear to be highest, based on the limited data available.
Mineral separation studies will be conducted in collaboration with the Future Industries Institute at the University of South Australia to determine the mineral phase that is hosting the REE and what separation methods can be employed to recover the REE-hosting minerals in order to produce a saleable product.
West Kalkaroo hole KKAC0491 has highly elevated TREO in association with gold and copper in the oxidised saprolite gold and native copper resource envelope (yellow).
In line with Critical Minerals Strategy
This proposal is closely aligned with the Commonwealth Government's Critical Minerals Strategy, which recognises security of the critical minerals supply chain (including REE) as a high priority for government backing and support.
It also accords with the State Government’s ambition to grow future battery and emerging minerals industries and transform them into a significant source of economic development, diversification, jobs and skills.
Giles said: “Havilah is pleased to undertake the collaborative work with Professor Bill Skinner and his team at the University of South Australia, that will allow us to tap into the highly specialised REE metallurgical recovery expertise and supporting facilities available right here in South Australia.”
Expand on MT survey work
The second ADI funded project aims to expand on a regional scale AusLAMP MT survey undertaken in the Curnamona Craton that identified a broad conductive zone in the upper crust.
Collaborative MT survey work in 2017 between the University of Adelaide, GSSA and Havilah followed up with MT readings taken every 2 kilometres along a 120-kilometre roughly E-W survey line.
Processing of this data by Professor Graham Heinson and his team from the University of Adelaide defined a vertical conductive zone similar to that beneath the Olympic Dam IOCG deposit, referred to by Havilah as the Jupiter MT anomaly.
By analogy, Jupiter could potentially be a pointer towards unknown near-surface copper-gold mineralisation.
There are distinct similarities between MT conductive zones beneath the Jupiter target and the Olympic Dam deposit.
Additional survey lines
The current proposal aims to cover the area with four additional short E-W MT lines to the north and south of the existing MT survey line and MT frequencies will be collected that provide information at shallower depths.
This will be supplemented by detailed gravity data and highly sensitive geochemical sampling methods.
Other geophysical methods, including ground magnetics and electrical geophysics may also be conducted to assist in defining a drilling target.
As an orientation exercise, it is proposed to run one MT line over the major mineralised fault zone at Kalkaroo believed to have been the main hydrothermal fluid channel way for Kalkaroo mineralising solutions.
There will be collaboration with Professor Heinson’s university team who will conduct the survey work and process and interpret the data as an extension of their previous collaborative research work.
Havilah will provide the logistical and financial support as well as be responsible for gathering the other independent geophysical data sets.
The basic premise is that the geological setting of the poorly explored northern Curnamona Craton is highly conducive to the formation of major copper deposits.
Discovery of new copper-gold mineralisation by this method would be a breakthrough and give impetus to new exploration initiatives in the Curnamona Craton with important future economic benefits for South Australia.
Giles said: “The University of Adelaide MT team led by Professor Graham Heinson are world recognised experts in the field of magnetotellurics and we look forward to continuing our work with them.
“With the assistance provided by this ADI funding we aim to generate successful project outcomes for the benefit of our shareholders and the South Australian economy,” he added.