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Recent announcements regarding the South Australian mineral and energy resources sectors

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This update covers the February 2017 period and is compiled from information publicly released by companies and Ministerial news releases.

Readers should refer to the latest information available on company websites, particularly in regard to making any forward investment decisions.

Company news

Alliance Resources

Exploration is progressing at Weednanna, the most advanced gold prospect of the Wilcherry Project Joint Venture between Alliance Resources (51%) and Tyranna Resources (49%). In an ASX release on 2 February 2017 Alliance announced the return of significant gold results from the reanalysis of 2012 RC samples, originally drilled by IronClad Mining (now Tyranna) for magnetite but not assayed for gold. Best results included:

  • 2 m at 30.03 grams per tonne (g/t) Au from 17 m
  • 5 m at 6.34 g/t Au from 13 m (including 3 m at 10.10 g/t Au from 13 m)
  • 3 m at 8.30 g/t Au from 53 m
  • 8 m at 1.99 g/t Au from 5 m (including 3 m at 4.03 g/t Au from 6 m)
  • 11 m at 1.43 g/t from 55 m (including 6 m at 2.13 g/t Au from 60 m).

An approximately one-month drilling program is underway at the prospect with 23 RC holes for 3,780 m planned to test three possible high-grade gold mineralised shoots (ASX release 7 February 2017).

Alliance further reported the start of ground moving loop electromagnetic (MLEM) surveys to better define two large conductors identified by its recent helicopter borne electromagnetic survey at the Wilcherry Project (ASX release 8 February 2017). The first MLEM survey covers a 1.7 km long conductor, 450 m to the northwest of previous drilling at the Zealous tin prospect. The second survey will be over a 3.0 km long conductor at the Telephone Dam silver-lead-zinc prospect.

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Andromeda Metals

Andromeda Metals has announced a revised mineral resource for its 100% owned Wudinna Gold Camp, part of its extensive Eyre Peninsula gold project (ASX release 23 January 2017). The Wudinna Gold Camp, which includes the Baggy Green, White Tank and Barns gold deposits, has a total mineral resource of 3.84 Mt at 1.62 g/t Au for 200,300 ounces (oz) using a 0.5 g/t Au cutoff grade. This comprises 0.38 Mt at 1.40 g/t Au for 17,000 oz of indicated resource and 3.469 Mt at 1.64 g/t Au for 183,300 oz of inferred resource. Each deposit is reported to remain open with the potential to further boost the total resource.

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Archer Exploration

Archer Exploration has terminated the farmin and joint venture agreement with Cobalt Bull, retaining 100% ownership of tenements that include the high-grade Ketchowla cobalt manganese project (ASX release 1 February 2017). The decision follows a favourable review undertaken on the cobalt potential of the project area and Cobalt Bull not meeting final conditions precedent as stipulated as part of the agreement. Review outcomes (ASX release 17 January 2017) included:

  • Rock chip sampling identified up to 0.59% Co and up to 48% Mn.
  • Shallow significant cobalt intercepted near surface – 11 m at 0.11% Co and 12% Mn from 6 to 17 m (including 4 m at 0.14% Co and 15.6% Mn).
  • Significant potential exists for additional cobalt and manganese mineralisation, both locally and regionally.

Archer has also confirmed its Polinga Project on Eyre Peninsula as a significant new high-grade cobalt discovery (ASX release 23 January 2017). Latest drill results include:

  • PRC0024, 6 m at 0.15% Co from 27 m and 3 m at 11% Co from 38 m
  • PRC003, 5 m at 0.095% Co from 31 m.

These results re-affirm previously high-grade cobalt reported by the company in early 2017 from the southern end of Polinga, i.e. 6 m at 0.2% Co from 32 m.

The Polinga Project comprises a large N–S-trending structure extending over 20 km and open to the north and south. Polinga complements Archer’s Ketchowla and Broken Hill cobalt projects (ASX release 22 February 2017).

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Boss Resources

Boss Resources has extended its prefeasibility study drilling program based on positive results from the January drilling program at the Jasons South uranium prospect (ASX release 3 February 2017). This drilling confirmed the trend extent of the southern high-grade mineralisation is associated with coarse to very coarse sands, and expected therefore to be highly leachable. It also confirmed a high-grade sandstone mineralisation trend open to the north which will be tested with further drilling. Significant intercepts encountered include:

  • BSC001, 3 m at 3,500 ppm pU3O8 from 105 m
  • BSC002, 5 m at 1,872 ppm pU3O8 from 105 m
  • BMR065, 1.25 m at 1,839 ppm pU3O8 from 94.4 m
  • BMR056, 1.5 m at 1,650 ppm pU3O8 from 97.2 m
  • BMR058, 1 m at 1,115 ppm pU3O8 from 93.4 m
  • BMR066, 0.75 m at 1,642 ppm pU3O8 from 101.4 m.

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Hillgrove Resources

In an ASX release on 17 February 2017 Hillgrove Resources announced significant improvements in nearly all physical production and unit cost metrics at the Kanmantoo copper mine over the December quarter with:  

  • copper production increased from 3,103 t last quarter to 3,765 t
  • gold production increased from 2,187 oz last quarter to 2,316 oz
  • processing throughput increased from 675 kt last quarter to 898 kt
  • mining unit cost decreased from $16.88 per bank cubic metre (BCM) last quarter to $15.13/BCM
  • processing unit cost decreased from $7.68/t last quarter to $6.09/t.

Hillgrove also noted that the initiatives completed over the last three quarters of 2016 have placed it on a significantly stronger financial footing that will be further improved when the Giant Pit pre-strip is completed and higher grade ore becomes available by the middle of the year.

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Marmota has announced significant near-surface gold intersections from its Phase 2, December 2016 drilling program at Aurora Tank (ASX release 1 February 2017). Best results include:

  • 16AT100, 4 m at 5.0 g/t Au from 32 m (8 m at 3.6 g/t Au from 32 m)
  • 16AT107, 4 m at 3.1 g/t Au from 16 m
  • 16AT115, 4 m at 3.2 g/t Au from 12 m
  • 16AT118, 4 m at 2.8 g/t Au from 16 m
  • 16AT124 4 m at 3.2 g/t Au from 44 m
  • 16AT126, 4 m at 9.4 g/t Au from 40 m
  • 16AT128, 4 m at 2.7 g/t Au from 28 m (12 m at 1.6 g/t Au from 20 m).

A major highlight of Phases 1 and 2 drilling to date is the confirmation of significant gold mineralisation over a 750 m strike length, consistently within 50 m of the surface.  

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WPG Resources

WPG Resources achieved a major milestone with the pouring of the first tonne of gold from Challenger Mine since mining operations were restarted under WPG’s management in May 2016. Tarcoola Mine ore is now also being treated through the Challenger mill, with the production in February of the first blended Challenger–Tarcoola gold bars (ASX release 6 February 2017).

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Ministerial news releases

Animal life starts in South Australia: new state fossil emblem announced

Jack Snelling, Minister for the Arts
15 February 2017

South Australia now has a state fossil emblem – a tangible link to its rich geological past and to its future as a home for ecotourism and geotourism. The Ediacara fossil, called Spriggina, will join the floral (Sturt’s desert pea), faunal (hairy-nosed wombat), marine (leafy sea dragon) and gemstone (opal) emblems.

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