QMines advances Artillery Road copper discovery with new drill results
QMines (ASX: QML) has confirmed the potential of its new Artillery Road copper prospect with positive laboratory results returned from the maiden drilling campaign within the Mt Chalmers copper and gold project in Queensland.
The company recently completed 13 reverse circulation drill holes for 2,373 metres at this previously undrilled airborne electromagnetic (EM) exploration target and intersected broad copper and zinc skarn mineralisation up to 1.0% copper and 5.1% zinc.
The first stage drilling hit several intersections with copper equivalent grades up to 1.46% copper equivalent and individual grades up to 2.43 grams per tonne gold, 4.9 grams per tonne silver, 1.02% copper, 0.12% lead and 5.12% zinc over 1.0 metre intervals.
The hole also produced a strong intercept of 15 metres at 1.01% copper equivalent.
Growing understanding of the system
Managing director Andrew Sparke said that, as the last hole drilled in this program, ARRC013 reflected a growing understanding of the base distribution within this large system.
Subsequent laboratory results have confirmed copper and zinc mineralisation within a semi-massive pyrite-pyrrhotite skarn.
Mr Sparke said results to date show a classical geochemical zonation which will help guide further drilling.
QMines has also noted that, in general, copper grades are improving towards the east while zinc grades improve towards the west. All holes intersected sulphide mineralisation and returned values above 0.1 % base-metal values.
“These drilling results confirm the prospectivity of the large base metal system discovered at Artillery Road. Not only are the results significant, but the metal zoning paints an exciting picture of multiple commodities over a large area,” Mr Sparke said.
“We are thrilled to be on the ground at this early stage greenfields discovery and look forward to unlocking its full potential for our shareholders.”
Initial drilling success
In late September, QMines announced the 13-hole drilling program at Artillery Road had intersected a large tabular body of visible sulphide mineralisation.
Sulphide mineralisation uncovered in that program comprised a core of up to 80% semi-massive sulphides surrounded by replacement sulphides in an epidote-calcite envelope.
All drill holes at Artillery Road intersected this mineralised body, which is also exposed at surface as a gossan.
Initial drill holes ARRC001 to ARRC008 targeted strong Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic (VTEM) plate conductors and intersected low-grade copper mineralisation within the discovery skarn.
Typical intercepts included 10m at 0.15% copper equivalent in hole ARRC007, revealing low-grade background copper over a strike length of 600 metres.
QMines refocussed the drilling program plans after the company identified the presence of visible sphalerite in hole ARRC009, with subsequent holes drilled to the north and west intersecting 23 metres at 0.56% copper equivalent (0.9% zinc) from 205 metres in ARRC010 and 15m at 1.01% copper equivalent (1.78% zinc) from 219 metres in ARRC013.
Positive electromagnetic survey
The drilling program followed the identification and ranking of 34 EM anomalies by QMines, geophysical consultants Mitre Geophysics and successful ground investigations of the top three targets VT01, VT02 and VT03, which returned very encouraging signs of mineralisation.
The Mt Chalmers project is a high-grade historic mine that produced 1.2 million tonnes at 3.6 grams per tonne gold, 2.0% copper and 19 grams per tonne silver sporadically between 1898-1982.
Since acquiring the project in January 2021, QMines has delivered four resources at the project.
Mt Chalmers currently has a measured, indicated and inferred resource (JORC 2012) of 144,700t contained copper equivalent at 1.22% copper equivalent with 84% of the resource now sitting in the measured and indicated JORC categories.
QMines has aggressive exploration plans to grow these numbers further and the Artillery Road work is part of that.