ASX-listed gold and base metals explorer, Comet Resources, has reached a breakthrough agreement that frees it up to proceed with exploration at the historic Barraba copper project along the Peel Fault line in the New England Fold Belt region, NSW.
ASX-listed gold and base metals explorer, Comet Resources, has reached a breakthrough agreement that frees it up to proceed with exploration at the historic Barraba copper project in the New England Fold Belt region, NSW.
The Perth-based company recently finalised the exploration agreement with private owners allowing it access to a large portion of privately held land located within its 2,375sqkm exploration licence area, which in turn takes in the Barraba project.
Comet has to contend with both freehold and crown land considerations in relation to its project tenure, with the historical Gulf Creek and Four Mile Lode mines at Barraba sitting on parcels of crown land.
Although the permitting approval process required to gain access to those old properties and surrounds has been slowed by a native title claim and the Coronavirus pandemic, the company says it is now in train and hopes to have permitting finalised soon.
Fortunately for Comet, freehold land accounts for most of the project area and it can now go full steam on exploration work, including drilling.
The ground accessible for exploration contains the old Murchison copper mine, which historically produced copper at an estimated average grade of 3 per cent and also returned historical copper assays of up to 5.1 per cent, according to the NSW Department of Resources and Geoscience.
The Barraba project runs along the Peel Fault line, which appears to be a controlling feature for mineralisation in the area.
Comet points out that volcanic massive sulphide deposits, such as those that occur at the historic Murchison, Gulf Creek and Four Mile Lode mines, often come in clusters.
Importantly, the company says a significant part of the project area has never been systematically tested using modern exploration methods.
Comet Resources Managing Director, Matthew O’Kane said: “There are multiple highly prospective exploration targets for copper within the tenement, and we are very excited to be able to commence our exploration program around the Murchison mine and the IP (geophysical) anomalies to the north of Gulf Creek starting in November.”
Comet’s planned initial exploration field activities involve a grid-based geochemical soil and rock chip sampling program together with geological mapping.
The company has struck an agreement to spend $600,000 over the next 18 months on in-ground exploration to maintain an 80 per cent interest in Barraba.
While the state’s Lachlan Fold Belt has been grabbing much of the market’s and resource companies’ attention in recent years, the underexplored New England Fold Belt district is not as crowded as its cousin. If Comet gets a few early encouraging copper sniffs, then the sleeper region may awaken.
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