As copper stockpiles continue to erode and prices rise, QMines (ASX: QML) is poised to begin exploring the historic high-grade Mt Chalmers gold-copper project in Queensland following its ASX debut this morning.
The company set out to raise $10 million and secured almost $11.55 million (before costs) via the issue of 38.49 million shares at $0.30 each.
Driving the company is an experienced team including several members of the former Alt Resources (ASX: ARS) which sold the historic Bottle Creek gold mine and wider Mt Ida gold project in Western Australia at a significant premium.
Within two years, the Alt team boosted its global resources in the region to 600,000 ounces of gold and 4.5Moz silver.
It also completed a pre-feasibility study on developing a stand-alone operation at Bottle Creek.
Heading up QMines as executive chairman is previous Alt executive director Andrew Sparke. He is joined by managing director Daniel Lanskey who founded Austex Oil (ASX: AOK) and grew the company from a start-up to one generating US$30 million in annual revenue.
Former Alt co-founder and managing director James Anderson will be directly involved with advancing Mt Chalmers in his role as QMines’ general manager operations.
Another previous Alt associate is Hamish Grant who will be working with QMines as an exploration geologist.
“We are excited to be able to bring this homegrown copper and gold story to the ASX,” Mr Sparke said.
“We look forward to updating you very shortly with some exciting drill results and a number of other planned initiatives,” he added.
Advancing Mt Chalmers
More than half the funds from the IPO, $6.1 million, has been allocated to exploration and development at Mt Chalmers.
Between 1898 and 1982, 1.24 million tonnes of ore was periodically mined from Mt Chalmers. The average grade was 2% copper, 3.6 grams per tonne gold and 19g/t silver.
Mt Chalmers currently encompasses 51sq km but will grow to 147sq km once applications have been granted.
QMines says the Mt Chalmers deposit is analogous to the famous volcanic-hosted massive-sulphide deposit at Kuroko in Japan.
“QMines view the Mt Chalmers project as a brownfield opportunity with potential to rapidly expand and upgrade the Mt Chalmers existing resource,” the company stated.
The existing resource totals 3.9Mt at 0.81g/t gold, 1.15% copper and 8.4g/t silver for 101,900 oz of contained gold, 44,900t of copper and 1.061Moz of silver.
An 11-hole diamond drilling program at Mt Chalmers kicked-off in February and was completed at the end of April. The program’s aim was to confirm historical drill results and upgrade the resource to indicated.
Assays from this program are anticipated before the end of June.
Starting later this month will be a 3,000m reverse circulation campaign. This program will test extensions to the known resource including mineralisation below and adjacent to the historic open pits.
Of the IPO funds allocated to exploration at Mt Chalmers, $2.7 million will be spent over the next 12 months, with almost $3.4 million to be expended in the second year.
QMines’ strategy is to become Australia’s first zero carbon copper and gold developer.
As well as Mt Chalmers, which is 17km from Rockhampton in Queensland, the company owns three other advanced projects – Silverwood (base metals), Warroo (copper-gold) and Herries Range (gold).
All-up, QMines’ projects span 978 square kilometres.
The focus on copper-gold projects comes at a time when analysts are predicting a lack of copper supply amid burgeoning demand from the green energy sector.