Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) reports it has discovered a suite of ‘compelling’ new copper-zinc drill targets through seismic processing at the Carrara and Jessica projects, located in the Northern Territory.
The company has identified 8 targets across the 2 projects, and stakeholder engagement and preparation of approvals for drilling have commenced, and Encounter says these ‘exciting’ targets will be refined and prioritised in the coming months with diamond drilling to commence following the northern wet season in April to May 2023.
Encounter Managing Director Will Robinson said the projects present as unique exploration opportunities.
“The South Nicholson Seismic Survey, acquired as part of the Geoscience Australia Exploring for the Future Program, has provided an incomparable dataset for mineral explorers in this part of the Northern Territory.
“We have utilised this widespread seismic coverage, together with a detailed gravity survey facilitated by the Northern Territory Geological Survey in 2022, to generate drill targets for testing in 2023”
We have utilised this widespread seismic coverage, together with a detailed gravity survey facilitated by the Northern Territory Geological Survey in 2022, to generate drill targets for testing in 2023.
The reprocessing of the seismic lines at Jessica and Carrara by HiSeis, experts in hard rock geological imaging, was the first activity completed in the partnership with South32 and the results have been revealing.
Applied extensively by the oil and gas industry, seismic modelling techniques have resulted in astounding exploration success. The application of seismic to hard rock minerals exploration has the potential to make step changes in success rates for copper and zinc discoveries in sedimentary basins.
We are delighted that South32 is planning to commence with diamond drilling at Jessica and Carrara in the 2023 field season.”
The Jessica Project covers around 6,300km-square east of Tennant Creek and is ‘prospective’ for sediment-hosted copper and IOCG style deposits, and the company says the project captures ‘compelling’ structural targets along the Brunette Downs Rift Corridor identified by Geoscience Australia in the Exploration for the Future program.
The company reports Jessica was targeted along the northern flanks of the East Tennant gravity ridge and intersected with a ‘major’ north-northwest structural corridor, and it has the potential for both basement IOCG style mineralisation and sediment-hosted copper deposits.
Systematic assessment of drill chips from water bores at Jessica has also been conducted by Encounter and a previous explorer utilising handheld XRF machines, and areas of copper anomalism were selected for chemical analysis, and for the sample interval 0m to 3m in RN28419 which returned 1.5% copper.
In partnership with South32 (ASX:S32), reprocessing of Geoscience Australia seismic data that extends through Jessica has been completed by HiSeis in order to provide greater detail of the geology and structure in the upper 1,000m.
A 2km spaced gravity survey was also completed at the project this year by the Northern Territory Geological Survey, and in addition, 1km spaced gravity infill data was collected to cover a series of ‘high priority’ magnetic targets.
The company also identified a ‘significant’ discrete gravity feature coincident with a prominent magnetic feature on the margin of a ‘large’ interpreted intrusive body, which has been named the Zeta IOCG target.
In addition, Encounter says seismic reprocessing has highlighted a discrete seismic reflector at depth immediately underlying Zeta, and has also highlighted a zone of washed out seismic character at depth beneath Zeta, interpreted to represent a potential deep rooted alteration zone associated with a crustal scale structure.
The company says this confluence of geophysical anomalism (gravity, magnetics and seismic) together with the structural context makes Zeta a priority target.
The Carrara Project was secured by Encounter following the release of the South Nicholson Seismic Survey, and a key finding of this survey is the correlation of prospective stratigraphic units from the Isa Superbasin into the Carrara Sub-basin where the ‘prospective’ Isa Superbasin units are modelled closer to the surface.
The ‘giant’ Century Zinc Mine is located on the eastern margin of the Carrara Sub-basin, and the company says there is a ‘clear’ correlation of the Century mine stratigraphy across the basin in the Geoscience Australia seismic data.
In 2020, a 1,751m deep stratigraphic drillhole (NDI Carrara-1) was completed as part of the National Drilling Initiative funded by the Minex CRC, and this hole was designed to validate the interpretation of the South Nicholson Seismic Survey and was located within the Carrara Project.
The company says the results of NDI Carrara 1 support the interpretation that the geology of the Isa Superbasin extends through the Carrara Sub-basin, and the presence of copper and zinc sulphide mineralisation demonstrates that sediment-hosted copper and zinc mineralising processes occur within the prospective host unit.
In 2020, a 2km spaced gravity survey over Carrara was completed by the Northern Territory Geological Survey was completed in 2022, and in partnership with South32, reprocessing of seismic lines that extend through the project has provided far greater detail of the geology and structure in the upper 1,000m resulting in the definition of multiple targets at key structural locations along the western margin of the sub-basin.
Encounter says targets will be refined and prioritised for diamond drill testing in 2023.
Encounter Resources is a mineral exploration company with a focus on discovering ‘major’ copper dominant deposits in Australia.
The company’s projects include the Jessica and Carrara Copper-Zinc Projects, The Elliot Copper Project, The Lamil Copper-Gold Project, The Yeneena Copper-Cobalt Project, the Aileron Copper-Rare Earth Project and the Sandover Copper-Lithium Project.
Images: Encounter Resources Ltd & iStock