Copper find unearths mining boost for South Australia
A new copper find in South Australia has the potential to easily boost production.
Mining firm Havilah Resources has confirmed a thick copper zone at its Croziers site about 400km northeast of the state’s capital Adelaide.
Its location between the company’s Portia and Kalkaroo projects strengthens its push for plant development at Kalkaroo because the short 10 kilometre trucking distance would mean efficient extraction between the two potential deposits.
Havilah is also confident of potential extensions to the copper mineralisation because of the widespread copper anomalism in adjacent air-core drill holes, and associated magnetic anomalies.
Managing Director Chris Giles said the company was planning on more drill testing but the combination of the nearby sites could produce up to 50,000 tonnes of copper a year.
“At Kalkaroo we have about 1.1Mt of copper and 3M ounces of gold,” he said.
“Given the 50 metre wide spacing of drill holes and lack of previous reverse circulation drilling there is plenty of room for a sizeable copper-tungsten deposit, which we will follow up with further drilling in due course.”
Havilah’s five shallow reverse circulation drill holes successfully tracked the copper mineralised horizon over 200 metres down-dip, and it potentially extends at least a further 270 metres down-dip to the previous MMG intersection (see cross section below).
The South Australian Government’s AU$20m Program for Accelerated Exploration (PACE) initiative provided half the funding for the Croziers project and has set a state-wide production goal of 1Mtpa of copper by 2030.
Havilah’s first assay results from the PACE supported drilling program included:
CCRC 003: 5 metres of 0.90% copper from 69 – 74 metres
CCRC 004: 20 metres of 0.54% copper from 75 – 95 metres
CCRC 005: 15 metres of 0.45% copper from 83 – 98 metres
Dr Giles said the company’s plan for a copper production plant on the back of the recent discovery could see “significant interest” from China where power grid improvement plans and vehicle sales have driven demand.
Citi research has projected the valuation of the red metal to rise to almost US$8000 per metric tonne by 2020.
Australia has about 6 per cent of the world's economic copper resources and is ranked third after Chile (25 per cent) and the USA (16 per cent).
South Australia has almost 70 per cent of Australia’s copper resources and is home to a number of long-life deposits, including Olympic Dam, the fourth largest copper resource in the world.