09/06/2021 - 14:19

Coda unearths thick IOCG zone at SA copper play

09/06/2021 - 14:19


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Coda Minerals looks to have unearthed a new IOCG discovery at Emmie Bluff in South Australia. The company’s maiden drill hole has bulls-eyed over 200 metres of intense hematitic and sulphidic alteration suggesting that Coda may now be probing a massive mineralised system, sending the company’s share price skyrocketing, up by more than 235 per cent in daily trade.

Coda unearths thick IOCG zone at SA copper play
Hematite and sulphide-rich drill core from Coda Minerals’ new IOCG discovery at Emmie Bluff in South Australia. Credit: File

Coda Minerals looks to have unearthed a new iron-oxide, copper, gold, or “IOCG” discovery at Emmie Bluff in South Australia’s Gawler Craton. The company’s maiden drill hole has bulls-eyed more than 200 metres of intense hematitic and sulphidic alteration, including a 50m interval rich in copper sulphides, suggesting Coda might now be probing a massive mineralised system.

Implications of the find have reverberated around the market, with the ASX-listed copper explorer ending the trading session up more than 235 per cent and lifting the company’s market capitalisation from about $25 million at the opening of trade to more than $80 million on close.

Whilst it’s early days for Coda an IOCG discovery in the Gawler is a potentially significant development given the neighbourhood it is in. Emmie Bluff is 100km south of  BHP’s revered Olympic Dam mine, widely regarded as one of the most valuable copper-gold accumulations in the world and held up as the “type” example of an IOCG deposit.

Olympic Dam, or “OD” as it is better known in mining circles, is the world’s fourth largest copper deposit and sits atop the global uranium deposit league table. The mammoth operation also produces a host of other goodies from its rich ores including a wealth of gold and silver credits.

However, whilst OD may be something of a freak of nature, explorers and miners continue to scour the Gawler Craton in search of their own “company-making” discoveries.

In recent times, the discovery of the Prominent Hill and Carrapateena IOCG deposits have cemented OZ Minerals’ position in the world copper sector mid-tier. BHP continues to apply its proprietary knowledge, recently uncovering the Oak Dam West IOCG deposit, just 16km north of Coda’s Emmie Bluff find.

Coda Minerals Chairman, Keith Jones said:“We have long known we are exploring in elephant country – a view backed up not only by the world class projects which surround us, but also by historical and geophysical evidence of an IOCG system in the northern part of our tenure.”

“Given that we knew the enormous potential of our tenure, it is still tremendously exciting for our first deep exploration hole at Elizabeth Creek to have intersected evidence of a major IOCG system existing on our ground. This is the first drill-backed evidence obtained by Coda to support our IOCG exploration model. “

Coda’s Emmie Bluff discovery sits within the company’s Elizabeth Creek tenure, 450km north-west of Adelaide in South Australia. The company’s tenure occupies 739sq.km on the eastern margin of the Gawler Craton, which is now attracting a growing legion of copper and gold explorers as the market spotlight once again shines on the region.

Elizabeth Creek is a joint venture with ASX debutant Torrens Mining, with Coda holding a 70 per cent stake in the project and managing exploration.

The company is exploring for two distinct styles of mineralisation at Elizabeth Creek, namely African copper-belt sediment hosted deposits and giant IOCG intrusive-related mineralisation.

Coda now looks to be on the scoreboard on both counts.

It has already outlined resources of close to 20 million tonnes at close to 0.9 per cent copper and 8 g/t silver for the MG14 and Windabout sedimentary deposits. In addition, the company has an exploration target of up to 76.8Mt grading at 0.3-1.6 per cent copper for the Emmie Bluff sedimentary deposit, as it looks to finalise its maiden resource over the shallow portion of the mineralisation system.

However, Coda has thrown caution to the wind in recent weeks and started testing for IOCG mineralisation at Elizabeth Creek.

That punt is clearly paying off.

Early targeting of Prominent Hill/Oak Dam-style IOCG at Emmie Bluff involved Perth-based geophysicists Resource Potentials. An intense gravity anomaly with a deleted magnetic signature over a 1,800m-by-1,100m area highlighted the deeper target as potential IOCG system.

Previous shallow drilling across the Emmie Bluff target also returned hematitic and hydrothermal alteration, hinting at the presence of a large underlying mineral system.

Coda’s recent IOCG drilling initially intersected altered sediments and granitic units before dropping into a zone of intense hematitic alteration at about 666m below surface. The drill bit then ploughed through a 200m thick sequence of intensely altered sediments that included a 50m-wide zone of copper-rich sulphides from 797m down-hole.

Drilling terminated at 1041.6m below surface in the unaltered basement granites.

Coda Minerals Chief Executive Officer, Chris Stevens said:“We are incredibly encouraged to have encountered chalcocite, chalcopyrite and bornite at the intensity and over the length of core that we did, and we are currently investigating options to follow up these exciting results as soon as possible. We have approvals in place for multiple additional holes and anticipate mobilising a third diamond rig to Emmie Bluff in the coming days.”

“Given the size of the prize and the location of the Emmie Bluff Deeps IOCG project in a Tier-1 mineral province just 16km from one of the world’s most exciting new IOCG discoveries of recent times at Oak Dam West, we feel that we owe it to our shareholders to pursue this game-changing opportunity with vigour.”

With Coda’s IOCG drilling coming up trumps and the company appearing to have jagged a discovery with its maiden drill hole, the company certainly has the market’s attention. Assays should start to emerge from the lab in within weeks. And with more rigs flagged to join the hunt at Emmie Bluff, Coda is quickly shaping as one of the companies to watch in 2021.


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


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