Perth-based explorer Hammer Metals (ASX: HMX) has confirmed the discovery of new copper-gold intercepts during a second round of drilling at the Mount Isa East joint venture in Queensland.
The December program was completed before the Christmas break and comprised two holes at the Trafalgar prospect, and one each at Shadow and Even Steven South for a total 868m.
Both Trafalgar holes intersected copper mineralisation with a significant gold credit, and delivered a best result of 55m at 1.12% copper and 0.30 grams per tonne gold from 119m, including 16m at 1.77% copper and 0.49g/t gold from 149m.
Also returned was an intersection of 32m at 1.04% copper and 0.25g/t gold from 64m including 6m at 2.38% copper and 1.45g/t gold from 91m.
Drilling at Shadow intersected 3m at 0.43% copper and 0.14g/t gold from 140m, while Even Steven South returned 4m at 0.23% copper and 0.14g/t gold from 120m.
Managing director Daniel Thomas said the results were a “fantastic start” to a drilling program which will also take in the Alpha, Charlie, Juliett and Toby East prospects.
“To intercept a broad zone of sulphide mineralisation [at Trafalgar] containing gold and copper with two wide-spaced holes is extremely encouraging,” he said.
“While the oxide mineralisation at [this prospect] has been previously exploited by small-scale miners, there are no records or evidence of this system ever having been drill-tested.”
Mr Thomas said the drilling results would be reviewed with joint venture partner Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) and further evaluation expected ahead of the next phase of exploration.
The Trafalgar prospect comprises a north-northeast copper-gold trend located on the regional scale Fountain Range Fault.
It forms part of an extensive copper-gold soil anomaly which stretches for 2.7km and contains copper mineralisation of predominantly chalcopyrite with a peripheral magnetite alteration halo and central pyrrhotite component.
Small-scale work at the historic Trafalgar copper-gold mine, approximately 19km north of Hammer’s Kalman copper-gold-molybdenum-rhenium deposit, took place from the late 1970s until the mining lease was abandoned in early 2017.
The two new holes drilled in December by Hammer reflect the first concentrated exploration work conducted in the last 40 years.
Hammer has a focus on discovering large copper-gold deposits, and holds a tenement position covering approximately 2,200sq km within the Mount Isa mining district.
Joint venture structure
The Mount Isa East joint venture covers 290sq km of Hammer’s total landholding in Queensland.
In late 2019, JOGMEC committed to spending $6 million on exploration by March 2024 to secure a 60% stake in the project.
Mineralisation at the joint venture’s iron-oxide-copper-gold targets (which comprise approximately 15% of the project area) has been considered similar to Glencore’s Ernest Henry IOCG mine near Cloncurry in Queensland’s north-west.