Junior explorer Taruga Minerals (ASX: TAR) has announced the start of an auger drilling program at its wholly-owned Mt Craig project in South Australia.
The program aims to obtain geochemical profiles across newly-defined, clay-hosted rare earth element (REE) and copper targets which lie at depths of between 2m and 20m.
The targets were identified through the review of recent high-resolution geophysics, mapping and drill data.
Auger drilling will be accompanied by additional ground magnetics, geophysical modelling and mapping in preparation for a reverse circulation campaign at the project next month.
Standard surface soils geochemistry profiles and ground magnetics will also be employed over outcropping targets.
Taruga chief executive officer Thomas Line said the auger work would provide geochemical profiles of the soil and regolith over targets concealed by shallow cover.
“The auger can drill down to approximately 14m, allowing us to obtain indicators of clay-hosted REE deposits as well as concealed copper mineralisation which cannot be seen from the surface,” he said.
“The targets we have identified are comprised of previously unknown anomalies discovered by our team and the ground in these areas has never before been drilled.”
All exploration work currently underway at Mt Craig is being co-funded by the South Australian Government under its Accelerated Discovery Initiative (ADI).
Earlier this month, Taruga secured $650,000 in funding for REE and copper exploration at the project.
The ADI is aimed at fast-tracking new discoveries for key minerals in regional and frontier provinces using innovative technologies and concepts.
“The state government funding has supercharged our exploration budget and allowed us to accelerate the systematic targeting of new prospects at Mt Craig,” Mr Line said.
The Mt Craig project spans more than 850 square kilometres and contains 40km of prospective strike centred around the major Worrumba Anticline structure.
High-grade copper and ionic adsorption clay style REE were discovered at the project area during drilling last year and Taruga is now preparing to drill a suite of new targets next month.