SOUTH Australian-based Minotaur Exploration has sold its wholly-owned Roxby Downs tenements to BHP Billiton for $10 million. The sale and purchase deed between Minotaur and BHP involves five of Minotaur’s exploration tenements that cover 2555 square kilometres in the Gawler Craton, near BHP’s Olympic Dam operation in South Australia.
As part of the agreement, another BHP subsidiary relinquished its 41 per cent interest in the Mutooroo/Thackaringa joint venture at Bonython Hill, allowing Minotaur to regain 100 per cent ownership of the base metal project.
In a statement, Minotaur said the deep exploration of geophysical targets around Roxby Downs was inconsistent to its risk portfolio, and reported that it would turn its focus to exploration on its Cloncurry iron oxide copper gold tenements. “The sale allows the company to sharpen its exploration focus on its Cloncurry area IOCG-style targets, where cover depth to basement rocks is typically around 100m, unlike Roxby Downs tenements where the cover sequence is often much deeper,” Minotaur reported.
“Minotaur came to the view that deep exploration of geophysical targets around Roxby Downs, together with access impediments to the Woomera Protected Area, represents a risk profile incompatible with the company’s means and is an undertaking more suited to major exploration enterprises.”
As part of the agreement, Toro Energy and its subsidiary Minotaur Uranium Resources have agreed to cancel their uranium rights to two of the tenements and Bonython Hill, subject to a payment of $500,000 by Minotaur.
The Gawler Craton is a geological domain recognised for the occurrence of several large, high quality iron oxide, copper, gold and uranium deposits such as Olympic Dam, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill.
Minotaur said the $9.5 million it will retain following the payment to Toro and Minotaur Uranium Resources would be used to further exploration on its copper-gold prospects around the Ernest Henry, Osborne and Eloise mines near Cloncurry, as well as seeking new opportunities for gold development projects within Australia.
By Helena Bogle