South Australia-focused explorer Taruga Minerals (ASX: TAR) has executed a heritage agreement with the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association, which is the body administering Native Title rights across the company’s projects in the state.
The agreement includes all Taruga’s South Australian projects — Flinders, Mt Craig and Torrens — as well as ground covered by exploration licence applications now being considered by the South Australian Government.
The agreement allows Taruga to begin heritage surveys on priority targets on its land holdings ahead of finalising a Native Title mining agreement (NTMA).
At present, the Adnyamathanha Traditional Lands Association is under special administration and not yet able to execute a mining agreement.
‘Significant’ milestone toward gaining access to project areas
Taruga says the heritage agreement now signed represents a “significant” milestone in the process of gaining land access to its South Australian projects.
Chief executive officer Thomas Line said it is a great privilege to work with the traditional owners.
“The heritage agreement with ATLA underlines our desire to work together with the Adnyamathanha people.
“We are optimistic that the process of special administration will soon allow the completion of an NMTA,” said Mr Line. This would be of mutual benefit to the company and the traditional owners.
The project operator, Taruga subsidiary Strikeline Resources, will be providing full-time jobs on the exploration teams for the Adnyamathanha people.
Copper and rare earth targets in Taruga’s sights
The Flinders project hosts what the company describes as a highly prospective copper-gold target portfolio, in the same structural setting as the giant Olympic Dam copper-gold-uranium mine owned by BHP (ASX: BHP) and the Carrapateena owned by OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL).
Taruga says the Flinders project contains significant outcropping, high grade copper-gold surface mineralisation which was the focus of historical mining in the 1800s.
The Mt Craig copper project spans more than 850sq km covering 40km of prospective strike centred around the Worrumba Anticline.
High-grade copper and ionic adsorption clay-style rare earth elements were discovered during 2021 drilling.
The Torrens iron-oxide-copper-gold project borders the company’s Flinders project.