WA1 Resources (ASX: WA1) has completed a series of on-ground exploration activities including a heritage survey at the West Arunta project in Western Australia in preparation for maiden drilling later this year.
Exploration comprised geological field mapping, and soil and rock chip sampling at the Pachpadra prospect with a view to better defining key iron-oxide copper-gold (IOCG) exploration targets.
Geological mapping data is being digitised for incorporation into existing datasets in an effort to improve the understanding and location of key structures and units.
Data was also collected from a surface geochemical sampling program comprising 202 data points and samples from areas of outcrop for ultrafine fraction (UFF) analysis.
WA1 is using UFF to identify possible areas of copper, gold, base metal or rare earth elements (REE) anomalism.
REEs are considered an important pathfinder for the identification of IOCG deposits.
First of its kind
Managing director Paul Savich said the on-ground program was the first of its kind completed at Pachpadra.
“It has enhanced our understanding of the local geology and we expect the final reports and assays will better inform our maiden drilling program,” he said.
“The heritage survey of planned access tracks and drill pads is a significant milestone for our drill-readiness … our activities in the region are increasing and we remain on track for drilling in the third quarter of this year.”
Mr Savich said all samples have been submitted for analysis and results are expected within four to eight weeks.
Halls Creek location
Located approximately 490 kilometres south of Halls Creek, the West Arunta project comprises the Pachpadra, Sambhar and Urmia prospects contained within a granted exploration licence.
Prior to its acquisition of the project in 2021, WA1’s tenements had limited historical exploration for gold and copper, largely in the form of reconnaissance airborne geophysics, limited ground geophysical surveys and surface sampling.
Drilling of a single diamond hole in 2010 indicated potential for IOCG-style mineralisation and since then, the region has seen low levels of exploration.
Mr Savich said two recent events had provided renewed significant validation for the area’s IOCG exploration potential.
In late 2020, Encounter Resources (ASX: ENR) drilled a single diamond hole nearby to West Arunta which intersected hydrothermally-altered mafic intrusions with a distinctive IOCG geochemical signature and altered potassic granite.
In March 2021, Rio Tinto Exploration, a wholly owned subsidiary of Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), applied for significant tenement landholdings in the West Arunta region and entered into a staged $58.5 million farm-in and joint venture agreement across five tenements to the south held by Tali Resources.
These tenements are contiguous with WA1’s project area.