18/08/2021 - 14:09

Askari Metals ramps up WA copper-gold exploration

18/08/2021 - 14:09

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New kid on the ASX block, Askari Metals has high-jumped into its planned work program at the Callawa copper project with a detailed mapping and sampling campaign across its highly prospective Pilbara tenements in Western Australia. The company’s 100 per cent owned Callawa tenure covers 167 square kilometres in the Pilbara’s north, east of Rio Tinto’s famed Winu discovery.

Drilling in the Paterson province of Western Australia. Credit: File

New kid on the ASX block, Askari Metals has high-jumped into its planned work program at the Callawa copper project with a detailed mapping and sampling campaign across its highly prospective Pilbara tenements in Western Australia.  The company’s recently granted and 100 per cent owned Callawa tenure is located approximately 90 kilometres north-east of Marble Bar and covers more than 167 square kilometres in the Pilbara’s north, east of Rio Tinto’s famed Winu discovery, which is rated as one of the world’s most significant copper discoveries of the past decade.

The project sits within some of the most sought-after tenure in the country, where the Pilbara craton meets the revered Paterson province of WA. The ground has an understandable reputation as being ‘elephant country’, having produced the Telfer gold mine, the Nifty copper mine and more recently, the 500 million tonne Winu copper discovery.

Askari has appointed seasoned epithermal-porphyry expert John Crossing  to complete a detailed mapping program across its Callawa project, which overlies part of a “ring structure” that shows the hallmarks of a potential porphyry intrusion. Whilst much of the company’s tenure is covered in a thick blanket of alluvial and wind-blown sediments, there are some areas of strategic outcrop.

In addition, renown consulting group Newexco has been engaged to review and plan possible geophysical surveys over the area.

The Callawa project covers an area of the Warrawagine Granitoid Complex which is a sequence of mafic and ultramafic metamorphosed igneous rocks. Green malachite copper mineralisation in quartz veins has been recorded in several locations with associated elevated gold. Askari said the extent of alteration around the veins may indicate the presence of a significant mineralised system. 

Despite the presence of outcropping copper mineralisation, the project area appears to have received only scant attention from previous explorers. Limited rock chipping of several areas of outcrop has returned some stunning results including samples grading up to 9.35 per cent copper with 25.9 g/t silver and 7.63 per cent copper with 15.7 g/t silver. These results hint at the presence of a high-grade epithermal copper system which may be feeding off a deeper porphyry intrusive.

Interestingly, whilst there was short program of shallow air-core drilling punched into the tenure the early 2000s, drilling appears to have been confined to existing tracks and failed to test the identified copper anomalies within the project area. It did, however, uncover anomalous lead-zinc mineralisation, suggesting the potential underlying presence of potential volcanic-associated massive sulphide style mineralisation.

Askari has now completed all necessary environmental and native title surveys and this mapping and geophysical review will help the company pin down the all-important drill targets within the Callawa tenure.

Vice-President of Exploration and Geology, Johan Lambrechts said: “Callawa represents an underexplored opportunity, despite some spectacular historical exploration results that have not been followed up on, thereby demonstrating significant exploration potential for copper, lead, zinc and gold mineralisation and we are chomping at the bit to get stuck into it.”

Askari Metals has recently completed drilling at its wheatbelt Burracoppin copper project where it targeted a swag of historical high-grade drill results up to 71.39 grams per tonne gold.  

With a tidy portfolio of copper-gold projects in both WA and NSW, Askari is well placed to take advantage of the current strength in metal markets. For now, the exploration at Callawa will keep the team busy as they wait for the eagerly anticipated assay results from  Burracoppin.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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