Coda Minerals continues to put runs on the board in South Australia, with exploration at its Emmie Bluff copper discovery coming up trumps. Recent drilling has returned assays of 2.05m at 4.09 per cent copper equivalent from 408.95m and 3.49m at 2.22 per cent copper equivalent from 454.2m, with the deposit now extending along 3km of strike.
Coda Minerals has continued to put runs on the board since its highly successful listing on the ASX late last year. The copper focused explorer hit the bourse at close to a 50 per cent premium to the issue price and has barely let its feet touch the ground since.
In January of this year, Coda took a 70 per cent stake in its flagship Elizabeth Creek copper prospect in South Australia after spending more than $2.75 million over the vast project area. The joint venture is with Torrens Mining, which has itself only recently listed on the ASX.
The Coda-Torrens joint venture is now exploring a prime target in elephant country in South Australia. Coda’s Elizabeth Creek tenure is situated around 450 kilometres north-west of Adelaide and covers 739 square kilometres of highly prospective stratigraphy.
The project area is located on the eastern margin of the revered Gawler Craton of South Australia, a geological terrane that also hosts the world-class Olympic Dam copper-uranium-gold mine, which is dubbed the largest resource in the world for uranium and one of the world’s biggest copper deposits.
The same region also hosts Oz Minerals’ Prominent Hill gold-copper mine and that company’s new Carrapateena copper-gold mine which raised eyebrows about a decade ago when one drill hole, more than a kilometre long, jagged a chimney-like geological structure that produced economic looking mineral grades across the entire intercept.
The current focus of Coda’s exploration is the Emmie Bluff target, which is located on the northernmost permit where it has produced a swag of positive leads from current drilling, with deep diamond drilling returning intercepts of copper and cobalt.
Emmie Bluff sits 15 km south of BHP’s exciting new Oak Dam discovery which caught the attention of more than one or two explorers following the announcement of a 205-metre hit grading 2.04 per cent copper and 0.43 grams per tonne gold, including 44m at 5.77 per cent copper and 1.2 g/t gold, from a depth of 1,240 metres.
Other eye-catching intercepts at Oak Dam included 80m at 2.73 per cent copper and 0.44 g/t gold from 1,209m depth and 230m at 1.79 per cent copper and 0.52 g/t gold from 1,071m. The depth and tenor of grade at Oak Dam has prompted immediate comparisons between the discovery and the colossal Olympic Dam mine, which is located 85km to the north.
Olympic Dam was a discovery involving great detective work in mid-1975 by Western Mining Corporation director of exploration Roy Woodall and a regional team lead by Geoff Hudson.
The spectacular and rapid proving up of this world-class deposit involved tracking a copper geological trail from the mines around Moonta and Wallaroo on SA’s Yorke Peninsula on a presumption that the system extended and widened under deep cover further north on the Stuart Shelf. This model was proven to hold true but in a spectacular and somewhat unexpected manner.
The legendary Roy Woodall, who passed away recently, had perceived that the Stuart Shelf could contain vast, deep-seated sedimentary copper deposits similar to the Zambian copper belt. However, WMC found a far-richer prize below the sedimentary stratigraphy, uncovering the most significant Iron-Oxide Copper Gold or , “IOCG” deposit on earth at Olympic Dam.
Olympic Dam transformed South Australia into a mineral-rich State and resulted in BHP achieving a $A7.3 billion takeover of WMC in 2005.
Back in April 2019 when Stevens was Chief Executive of Gindalbie, that company reported on positive early drilling at Emmie Bluff. This proved a steppingstone for Gindalbie to sell its company and iron ore interests to joint partner Ansteel and used subsidiary Coda as a new listing vehicle with shares offered to Gindalbie shareholders.
Chairman Keith Jones has worked 40 years in the mining and resources sector and spent 10 years on the board of Deloitte Australia and has held leadership positions for 15 years with the Chinese Services Group and National Energy & Resources Group. He was also non-executive chairman of Gindalbie and joined the spin-off move.
In late February 2021, Coda began to confirm Woodall’s original exploration model, outlining a copper-cobalt discovery at Emmie Bluff which reportedly covers more than 4.5 square kilometres and remain open laterally along strike.
Coda’s recent drilling at Emmie Bluff has extended the deposit by more than 830m in three directions, with intercepts including 2.05m at 4.09 per cent copper equivalent from 408.95m and 3.49m at 2.22 per cent copper equivalent from 454.2m.
Assays confirm mineralisation continuity and represent a significant mineralised extension from historical holes drilled at Emmie Bluff.
Coda Minerals Executive Director, Chris Stevens said:“Assays from this round of drilling, as well as from historical drilling intersections, confirm that the Emmie Bluff mineralisation occurs in flat-lying beds, typically 2-6m in thickness. The key to the Emmie Bluff copper-cobalt deposit is its lateral scale. The Emmie Bluff Exploration Target already covers an area over 4.5km2, larger than King’s Park in Perth and it has considerable scope to expand. On that scale, mineralisation of this great lateral extent adds up to an impressive whole.
“Although rarely seen in Australia, these large, laterally-extensive copper deposits commonly occur in other parts of the world. Indeed, the Kupferschiefer, one of the world’s greatest copper deposits rarely exceeds 60cm in thickness but has incredible lateral extent. Although clearly there are some differences, we believe that Kupfershiefer, located in Northern Europe, is an excellent analogue, both chemically and genetically, for Emmie Bluff.
Coda has also stepped up its geophysical exploration program too, with sophisticated electromagnetic, or “EM” surveying identifying a conductor more than 400m deep and 100m from the recognised mineralisation, in what is known as the Tapley Hill Formation.
The company says the Emmie Bluff discovery is a target that consists of two layers of laterally-extensive copper-cobalt-silver mineralisation at the upper and lower contacts of the black shales in the Tapley Hill Formation.
Coda has now put forward a massive exploration target for Emmie Bluff, of between 46 and 77 million tonnes grading 0.5 to 2.3 per cent copper equivalent. The company has made it clear there has been insufficient work thus far to estimate a resource and that the exploration target is conceptual in nature.
However, the scale of this target shows scope to potentially compare it with copper projects such as the Capricorn mine in Queensland, one of the largest copper developments completed within Australia in the past decades and Sandfire Resources recently acquired T3 project in Botswana.
With drilling ongoing at Emmie Bluff and the deposit already extending along more than 3km of strike, Coda looks to be uncovering an extensive copper system in South Australia and given the pedigree of the terrane, it may well find itself tugging on the tail of a tiger as exploration continues.
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