Cutting-edge technology helps QMines uncover six new targets at Mt Chalmers

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By Colin Hay - 
QMines QML ASX Mt Chalmers copper gold mining resources

QMines (ASX: QML) has used state-of-the-art inversion modelling technology and government financing to unveil six new targets for testing at its Mt Chalmers copper and gold project in Queensland.

The results from advanced geophysical modelling and regional target search, part-funded by the Queensland Government’s Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI), have highlighted the half-dozen new targets and upgraded a number of previously-known ones at Mt Chalmers.

In its hunt for new volcanic hosted massive sulphide (VHMS) deposits similar to the Mt Chalmers resource, QMines brought in consultants Mitre Geophysics to initially study data acquired from a recent helicopter versatile time domain electromagnetic (VTEM) survey.

Multiple anomalies identified

That initial study identified 34 distinct anomalies, four of which have since been drilled. Three of these led to the discovery of the Artillery Road prospect, a major skarn body subject to ongoing exploration.

The VTEM survey also revealed that the Mt Chalmers mineralisation is considered weakly conductive.

This is considered to be commonly associated with a type of geological noise generated by polarisation of the ground (IP effects) which can have the effect of hiding the weak ‘normal’ electromagnetic responses.

European specialists brought in

To overcome that issue, QMines utilised the CEI funding to contract specialists, Europe’s EMergo SRL, to introduce modern processing algorithms to model these IP effects with the aim of updating the VTEM data so that it is better able to identify deep conductors.

The six new anomalies were subsequently identified, bringing the total number of target anomalies from the 2023 VTEM survey to 40.

Executive chair Andrew Sparke said the processing has also improved the strength of several existing anomalies that had previously been partly obscured by polarisation effects.

Additional massive sulphide targets

“We are excited to have identified new massive sulphide targets and enhance existing targets. The company anticipates drilling the best of these new and existing targets in 2024. With 40 anomalies to assess, QMines’ drilling and exploration pipeline should extend well into the future,” Mr Sparke said.

“Elsewhere, the combined Mt Chalmers, Woods Shaft and Develin Creek pre-feasibility study is progressing very well with multiple work streams currently underway.”

Inversion study

Only a recent development, inversion studies are included in the processing of airborne EM data in an attempt to better model IP effects.

While still in its early stages of use, the technique is believed to have the capacity to provide improved IP effect modelling.

QMines noted that, while the response from the forward model is very similar to the pre-corrected data in size and shape, the absence of IP effects makes the distinctive shape much clearer in late times.

The new methodology has now been applied to multiple anomalies of interest within the QMines tenements in the search for regional VHMS and skarn deposits.

Noticeable upgrade

Highlights amongst the new anomalies include a small mapped granite porphyry, with a clear deep response over multiple survey lines, also observed on resistivity and chargeability models.

At the Artillery Road prospect, a new broad and deep conductive zone has been discovered on the margins of the known skarn mineralisation which has been interpreted as a possible deeper extension of the same.

Of great interest to QMines, the studies have provided a noticeable upgrade to the previously identified Striker anomaly.

The Striker copper-zinc in soil anomaly prospect has now been found to coincide with an excellent chargeability anomaly.

QMines is now undertaking ongoing target ranking as it looks to further refine drilling targets for 2024 and beyond.