The West Arnhem Project comprises a 5,963km tenement package located in the Alligator Rivers Uranium Province (ARUP) of the Northern Territory, a Proterozoic mineral province which is known for its world-class uranium deposits.
More than US$10 billion worth of uranium (in-ground value) has been produced from the ARUP over the past 30 years, resulting in the ground being tightly controlled by major companies with a sole focus on uranium. In addition, historical exploration has been heavily focused on uranium mineralisation, with the potential for multi-metal mineral systems largely overlooked.
DevEx completed a major review of the broader exploration potential of the West Arnhem Project in 2017. This included a re-evaluation of other metal deposits discovered historically (e.g. the 756,000oz Coronation Hill gold and PGE deposit and the 378,000oz Jabiluka II gold deposit) and a reassessment of historical ore grade copper and gold intercepts which were encountered during uranium-focused exploration campaigns.
For example, drilling in 2010 by Cameco Australia Pty Ltd at the U40 prospect encountered significant copper, gold and base metal + PGE mineralisation, including:
These results were reported previously in context to the narrower uranium mineralisation encountered in drilling (see UEQ Annoucement, 16th December 2010).
Although subsequent drilling for uranium mineralisation tested the immediate vicinity of these intercepts without success, the significance of the copper, gold and PGE mineralisation - and especially the methods which can be used to expore for this style of mineralisation - appear to have been overlooked.
Approximately 12km of untested strike to the south of the U40 prospect has been identified, with further evaluation also planned to assess the broader potential for gold, copper and base metals to occur with uranium along a major regional geological feature known as the Quarry Fault Zone.
Four priority areas were identified along the Quarry Fault (U40, U40 South, Steve's West and the Namarrkon Prospects), with exploration programs including IP geophysics and detailed geological mapping commencing in late 2017.
To find more information about DevEx's reassessment of the copper-gold potential at the West Arnhem Project and the key copper-gold targets identified, click here.
Local geology within the West Arnhem Project. Copper-in-soil geochemistry is noticeably lacking on the western side of the Quarry Fault Zone. Over 12km of the QFZ is considered prospective for copper, gold, base metals and uranium mineralisation from U40 to Namarrkon Prospect.
Local prospect geology south of the U40 Prospect. Regional airborne magnetics suggests the Nabarlek Granite is cut by the Quarry Fault Zone. Broad-spaced aircore drilling at U40 South has identified significant bedrock copper mineralisation that warrants ground IP Geophysics.
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