A series of large copper-zinc soil anomalies at QMines’ (ASX: QML) historic Mt Chalmers copper-gold mine in Queensland have confirmed potential for multiple look-a-like deposits.
The anomalies sit within the Permian Beserker Beds which host the high-grade mine and are believed to be similar in scale and tenor to the distinctive geochemical signature of the volcanic-hosted massive sulphide (VHMS) deposit.
They were identified from the results of a six-month regional soil geochemical data acquisition and digitisation program conducted by previous explorers Geopeko and International Nickel Australia.
Approximately 19,092 soil samples were collected when the companies operated in the Mt Chalmers area and QMines has since acquired the data from Geological Survey of Queensland reports.
The samples were notably high in copper and zinc which are target metals in Japan’s Kuroko-style VHMS mineralisation.
Importantly, 11% of all samples were greater than 85 parts per million copper and 9% exceeded 220ppm zinc.
The historic Mt Chalmers mine produced 1.2 million tonnes at 2% copper, 3.6 grams per tonne gold and 19g/t gold-silver between 1898 and 1982.
Scale and exploration potential
QMines chairman Andrew Sparke said the significance of the new soil data cannot be understated in terms of its scale and exploration potential.
“VHMS systems typically occur in a cluster which is exactly what we are seeing now at Mt Chalmers,” he said.
“It is important to note the scale of these new soil anomalies, with one being approximately 10km long and 2km wide … it is a very exciting discovery that clearly demonstrates the significant potential of the Mt Chalmers project.”
Mr Sparke said QMines would use the historical and newly-acquired geological, geochemical and geophysical datasets during drilling in an effort to locate other preserved undercover VHMS mineralised systems which may be present within the Berserker Beds.
A large reverse circulation drilling program is underway at Mt Chalmers and will comprise more than 30,000m.
Drilling will be ongoing for several weeks and designed to further validate historical data and expand and upgrade the current resource.
QMines has engaged Planetary Geophysics to manage and deliver an 1,800-line kilometre airborne electromagnetic survey over the project area to the northwest and southeast of the Mt Chalmers mine and over an extensive part of the Berserker Beds.
The survey is scheduled to commence in the current quarter and will be used in conjunction with all data sets to define future potential VHMS drill targets.
Mr Sparke said QMines had applied for further exploration permits around Mt Chalmers, extending its ground position to cover the Berserker Beds.