Keep up to date with all the latest news and announcements by subscribing to our free email alerts service.
The project is located in the northern part of the Paterson Province. The Province is located in Northwestern Western Australia and is globally recognised as a prospective mineral belt for gold and gold-copper deposits such as Telfer, Big Tree and in addition, Uranium at Kintyre and basemetal deposits such as Maroochydore and Nifty with Tungsten represented in the O’Callaghans skarn deposit close to Telfer. Sipa has entered an agreement to obtain up to 80% of Ming Gold Pty Ltd’s Great Sandy tenement and has applied for an adjoining tenement ELA45/4697.
Figure 1: Location of Paterson North Project.
Sipa’s entry into the Paterson with Ming, provides a foothold into an emerging gold-copper province, with strong discovery credentials in the Paterson Province of Western Australia. The geology is interpreted to be the same prospective geological sequence which also hosts world class Au and Cu deposits such as Newcrest’s giant Telfer gold-copper-silver mine 120 km to the south.
The project adjoins Antipa Minerals Ltd’s (Antipa) Citadel project with its Magnum and Calibre gold and copper deposits containing 1.2 million ounces of gold and 139,000 tonnes of copper (AZY ASX Announcement dated 23 February 2015). In October 2015 Rio Tinto Exploration Pty Ltd (RIO) signed an agreement with Antipa to spend up to $A60m to earn a 75% interest in the Citadel project.
Recent intersections such as 23m @ 3g/t Au and 0.33% Cu and 63m @ 2.2g/t Au and 0.19% Cu. (AZY ASX Announcement 16 December 2015) from Calibre have been returned since Rio farmed in to the property. These recent results are of higher grade and width to previously announced intersections. This leads to the conclusion that these resources could soon be economic and that similar potential discoveries made by the Sipa/Ming JV would also have good economic potential.
The Great Sandy tenement contains a number of geochemical anomalies identified through initial Aircore drilling conducted by Ming in 2015, Figures 3 and 4. The most advanced target is a copper-gold-bismuth anomaly known as Obelisk, 30km northwest of Antipa’s Magnum and Calibre Copper-Gold Deposits. The Proterozoic bedrock geology under 70-120m of largely unconsolidated sand is interpreted to be the Upper Yeneena Basin sediments. A number of granite intrusions intersected in drill chips and interpreted from geophysics are also present within the tenement package and are believe to be of the same age and style as the intrusions in the immediate Telfer district.
Geology of the Paterson Province
The Proterozoic rocks of the Paterson Province in northwest Australia are well known for hosting large economic deposits of gold, copper, tungsten and uranium. Currently all operating mines and many prospects are outcropping, however, outcrop itself accounts for less than 30-35% of the area with the remaining prospective Proterozoic sequences buried beneath Permian and Quaternary sediments of the Canning Basin. The areas of deeper cover have discouraged previous explorers making this one of the most under-explored, and hence most prospective, regions of Australia.
Recent regional government funded VTEM surveys over the Paterson Province GA Report 2009/16 have revealed the nature of the covered areas (Permian and Quaternary sediments) and have estimated the depth of cover over the region. As a result additional areas have been identified within this prospective region as being accessible for exploration drilling. Figure 2 shows the regional geology of the northern Paterson area adapted and extended from GA report 2009/16.
Figure 2: (left) total magnetics 1VD (right) geology interpretation Paterson North area extended from GA record 2009/16.
Ming Gold Pty Ltd has conducted a program of exploration since 2011 over E45/3599 including reprocessing aeromagnetic data, regional and follow up detailed ground gravity collection and in 2015 the EIS (Western Australian Government Exploration Incentive Scheme) co-funded initial air core drilling campaign.
The recent drilling program was designed to test targeted areas of Proterozoic basement based on the geophysical data and analysis. Data collected included geochemical analysis, magnetic susceptibility, regional geological information, as well as to evaluate the depth-to-basement from surface information.
A total of 31 aircore-reverse circulation holes were drilled across the tenement targeting principally the coincident gravity-magnetic anomalies. 163 samples of the Permian-Proterozoic contact and Proterozoic basement were collected from the 3,205m drilled.
Figure 3: Ground gravity pseudo coloured over magnetics TMI 1VD with recent (Ming) drill hole locations.
Sipa's maiden reconnaissance program was completed in mid-September 2016 and comprised ~4,500m of Aircore/RC drilling in 45 holes. The objective was to test the Obelisk prospect, within the Great Sandy Tenement and, at a minimum, replicate the anomalous values encountered in previous drilling by Ming Gold Limited.
The drilling has confirmed that the anomaly is continuously developed over the entire strike length, including a 1.5km long zone where strongly anomalous copper and gold results were returned, and represents an outstanding target for follow-up exploration.
Of the 45 holes, 26 returned strongly anomalous copper values of >250ppm and gold values of >20ppb over 4km of strike, highlighting the potential for a significant new mineral discovery (see figures x and xx). The tenor of the anomalism and the metal association is similar to that which led to the discovery of other significant deposits in the region including the >1Moz Calibre and Magnum deposits.
Figure 4: Plan view of anomalous geochemistry in drill-holes at Obelisk, gravity image as backdrop.
Figure 5: (inset) Anomalous Aircore/RC holes over gravity image.