BY ELIZABETH FABRI
OZ Minerals continues to expand its exploration footprint after entering an agreement to explore for nickel and copper 500km east of its West Musgrave JV project in WA, which recently moved forward to pre-feasibility.
The joint venture in the Eastern Musgrave province in South Australia with unlisted Australian explorer Woomera Exploration will see OZ Minerals commit to drilling seven shallow targets.
After drilling is complete, OZ Minerals can earn up to 51 per cent equity in the project by achieving a total spend of $2.5 million in exploration activity within 18 months, and a 75 per cent stake if an additional $5 million is spent on exploration in the following two years.
OZ Minerals, which is currently developing the $916 million Carrapateena copper-gold project near Port Augusta, has seven other exploration earn-in agreements in place across Australia, Portugal and Mexico.
Its usual strategy has been to provide capital for drilling programs to obtain expertise in specific geologies and locations, and if the project “does not have the potential to generate substantial value” it has the option to withdraw from the arrangement.
OZ Minerals head of exploration Richard Holmes said the team would apply the Vector Residual Magnetic Intensity (VRMI) geophysical technique at Eastern Musgrave, traditionally used in iron ore and gold exploration to resolve prospective anomalies.
“Current targeting will use the VRMI technique, as it has been shown to enhance the ability to focus on prospective targets in areas with complex magnetic responses,” Mr Holmes said.
“Previous work undertaken on Woomera Exploration’s prospects has shown prospective geology and mineralisation occurring within the tenement package.
“Modelling of the processed magnetic data suggests prospective geology may occur as shallow as 10 metres below surface.
“However, traditional geophysical processing methods do not highlight the anomalies that are usually associated with mineralisation.”