Perth-based explorer Anax Metals (ASX: ANX) has announced recent drilling has intersected massive sulphides at the Whim Creek copper-zinc project in Western Australia’s West Pilbara region.
Formerly named Aurora Minerals under the ticker code ‘ARM’, the recently renamed and relisted company today declared the end of a metallurgical and geotechnical diamond drilling program at the Mons Cupri and Whim Creek deposits.
Three holes completed at Mons Cupri intersected “significant” mineralisation, including near-surface zones of well-mineralised copper (as chalcopyrite), zinc (as sphalerite) and lead (as galena) in the form of matrix, semi-massive to massive sulphides and stringers, Anax reported.
Importantly, the strongest mineralisation was intersected near the top of the holes and only 30m below surface.
In the one completed hole at the Whim Creek deposit, a well-mineralised chlorite-silica altered zone was encountered with sphalerite and chalcopyrite occurring in semi-massive to matrix-hosted form, followed by stringer chalcopyrite in sediments along bedding plains and in quartz veins.
Anax also announced the commencement of its initial earn-in phase on the Whim Creek project, of which it is acquiring up to 80% from VentureX Resources Ltd.
Drilling results to underpin PFS
At Mons Cupri, four diamond holes were completed for 651.5m. Three of the holes targeted areas of high and medium-grade mineralisation to be used for ore sorting and subsequent metallurgical test work that will underpin a pre-feasibility study (PFS), while the fourth was a dedicated geotechnical hole.
One hole drilled immediately to the west of the oxide pit on the existing haul road was designed to intersect shallow high-grade zinc, lead and copper mineralisation below the base of the current oxide pit, where previous drilling had returned 3.2m at 6.35% zinc, 3.29% copper, 1.68% lead, 1.9 grams per tonne gold and 95g/t silver from 33m, and 19.8m at 4.31% copper, 2.83g/t gold, 1.07% zinc, 0.38% lead and 56g/t silver from 36.2m.
Another hole was designed to drill obliquely down the plunge of the Mons Cupri deposit in the vicinity of a previous hole that intersected 2m at 9.09% zinc, 4.77% lead, 0.81% copper, 129g/t silver and 0.48 g/t gold from 51.5m, and 60.5m at 2.45% copper, 1.93% zinc, 0.48%, 42g/t silver and 0.27g/t gold from 53.7m, including 16.3m at 3.88% copper, 1.60% zinc, 0.59% lead, 44g/t silver and 0.46g/t gold from 53.7m.
Drilling at the Whim Creek deposit was designed to intersect high and moderate-grade copper and zinc sulphide mineralisation down-dip from the previously mined oxide pit.
Anax said the drilling core has been shipped to Perth and continuous XRF scanning has commenced. The XRF results will be used to compile composites for ore sorting and metallurgical test work, which is expected to underpin a PFS.
Meanwhile, gold exploration will be carried out in parallel to the Whim Creek project development and is expected to begin early next year.
Historic gold and other related data are currently being reviewed in the process of formulating the exploration plans and strategy, Anax reported.
Name change and new focus
Anax only started trading again at the start of November following a four-month long suspension, in which time it announced it would be changing its name from Aurora Minerals and acquiring a new project.
It is acquiring up to an 80% interest in the Whim Creek project from VentureX Resources through a staged earn-in process. Anax has commenced the initial earn-in phase with these latest exploration programs at Mons Cupri and Whim Creek.
Under the deal, Anax must spend $1.5 million on project development over 15 months to earn the 80% and another $2.5 million over four years to retain the interest.
The company recently raised $2 million to fund the earn-in and prepare a feasibility study on the project.