13/01/2021 - 12:35

Comet hits high-grade NSW copper

13/01/2021 - 12:35

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Comet Resources has kicked an early goal in 2021 with initial field work across its Barraba base-metal project in NSW returning high-grade copper assays. Surface sampling at the historic Murchison mine has unearthed samples grading up to 4.6 per cent copper, 4.0 per cent zinc and 0.7 per cent cobalt, confirming the high-grade nature of the mineralisation across the prospect.

A view across the old Gulf Creek mine workings and spoil at Barraba in NSW. Credit: File

Comet Resources has kicked an early goal in 2021 with initial field work across its Barraba base-metal project in NSW returning high-grade copper assays. Surface sampling at the historic Murchison mine has unearthed samples grading up to 4.6 per cent copper, 4.0 per cent zinc and 0.7 per cent cobalt, confirming the high-grade nature of the mineralisation across the prospect.

The company completed its initial reconnaissance over the Barraba project in late 2020, with work including a field assessment of the project in addition to systematic soil sampling and rock chipping across the historic workings at both the Murchison and Gulf Creek mines.

Wide-spaced sampling across both the Murchison and Gulf Creek prospects has outlined broad envelopes of anomalous base metal mineralisation which extend over several hundred metres of strike. Soil samples were initially tested on site, utilising a portable X-ray fluorescence analyser, returning peak results of over 6,200 parts per million copper and 1,500 ppm zinc, with later chemical assays undertaken by SGS Labs, validating the field results.

The Murchison mine was operated in the early 1900’s producing a small tonnage of high-grade ores containing copper, zinc and precious metals. Historical mine records show that the mine was developed to a depth of around 16m below surface and produced ores averaging 3 per cent copper but grading up to 5.1 per cent copper, providing a hint of the tenor of mineralisation that awaits future drill testing.

Recent sampling shows the mineralised system at the Murchison mine remains open along strike and is begging to be tested by an extended exploration program.

Comet Resources Managing Director, Matthew O’Kane said: “These assay results, with high copper, zinc and cobalt, have confirmed that the historic Murchison Copper Mine at the Barraba Copper Project is another area of high priority exploration interest to us. In addition to the known historical high-grade mineralisation at the Gulf Creek Mine, these results now provide us with multiple exploration targets at the project. We look forward to advancing physical exploration works on both prospects.”

The Barraba project is located in the New England province of New South Wales, approximately 550 kilometres north of Sydney. Comet’s tenure covers around 25 square kilometres of the fertile base-metal province with the project area hosting two recognised historical mining areas, namely the Murchison and Gulf Creek North mines.

Copper and zinc mineralisation at Barraba is interpreted to be associated with volcanogenic massive sulphides, or “VMS” deposit, which are a globally recognised as a significant source of both base metals. Examples of VMS ore systems include the world’s deepest copper mine at Kidd Creek in Canada and the company-making Golden Grove mine in Western Australia.

Comet’s first-pass exploration at Barraba has already turned up more than a few surprises, with the field team discovering several previously unrecognised pockets of old workings at Gulf Creek in the central tenement area and an additional historic mining area at Four Mile in the south.

The company is now planning follow up geophysics and  extensional surface sampling at the Murchison and Gulf Creek mines to firm up its targets across the two prospect areas. It then plans to step up its exploration with drilling planned for later in the year.

With two high-grade targets already on the books at Barraba and exploration in New South Wales continuing to identify a host in intriguing prospects across the base-metal rich New England province, Comet is off to a flying start in 2021 and looks to have a first mover advantage in this emerging terrane.

 

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

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