Diversified explorer Alice Queen (ASX: AQX) plans to drill two deep holes — about 700m in each case — at its highest-ranking porphyry targets at Mendooran, a project located on the Molong Volcanic Belt (MVB) of New South Wales.
The two drill holes will target porphyry copper-gold in an area containing a northwest-southeast cross arc structure, the type of structure associated with the Cadia and Kaiser-Boda discoveries, the company says.
The drill program has been designed by Alice Queen’s chief technical adviser, John Holliday, who was a co-discoverer of Cadia.
The drilling is being supported by a “significant” grant from the NSW government’s New Frontier Co-operative Drilling fund.
Drilling culmination of four years’ work
Alice Queen managing director Andrew Buxton said the company has completed a substantial body of work from both an access and geological perspective.
“For four years we have been progressively moving towards this moment,” he said.
Alice Queen’s previous joint venture with Newcrest in the region had enabled the company to find and rank the potential scale of the targets.
“Then conscientious work over several years resulted in [our] gaining access to this previously unexplored area of the MVB,” Mr Buxton continued.
“Finally, and importantly, our exploration drilling in the area has given us confidence to head further north to not only drill near the cross arc structure that exists at the target location, but to apply for an additional exploration licence.
“We couldn’t be more excited to get the drill bit spinning and to finally see what’s down there,” he added.
Drill targets under cover by basin sediments
The MVB rocks are covered by younger basin sediments and have been explored only by Alice Queen with five previous drill holes.
Drilling will begin in the current quarter, the timing subject to ground conditions being sufficiently dry.
The joint venture with Newcrest saw the major spent $1 million on a series of surveys, which identified eight targets.