ASX-listed Adelaide Resources’ exploration efforts at the Moonta copper-gold project in South Australia have received a significant boost through the digitation of massive volumes of more than 50 years of exploration data collected by major miners.
Adelaide Resources reported that it had begun the process of digitally capturing past records with the goal of identifying prospects that could contribute to the Moonta project’s growing mineral inventory. It estimated that the cost of repeating diamond and reverse circulation drilling completed by one past explorer alone would be more than $20 million – illustrating the importance of the existing data.
The company stated that significant modern exploration of the broader Moonta project began in 1959, dominated by major mining houses including Western Mining Corporation (WMC), North Broken Hill, BHP, and Mt Isa Mines. Exploration by WMC and its joint venture partners continued for nearly three decades from 1960 to 1987.
“The old [Western Mining Corporation] data…sits in a report that is over 23,800 pages long,” Adelaide Resources managing director Chris Drown said.
“To put that is perspective that is something like the number of pages in the last printed edition of the Encyclopaedia Britannica, so it’s a mammoth task. The quality of this historical work, however, is first class.”
Mr Drown said digitising the data would take the company many months, but that it represented such a valuable resource that Adelaide Resources was committed to the task.
“We are confident the old data will reveal ‘buried treasure’ – partially explored historic prospects that have the potential to contribute to our growing copper and gold inventory on the broader Moonta Project,” he said.
The data capture initiative has already highlighted the Alford West prospect, where historic drilling data included a number of outstanding copper and gold intersections from shallow depths, such as 29 metres at 1.07 per cent copper from 44m including 9m at 2 per cent copper.
Adelaide Resources has secured landowner and government approvals to allow aircore drilling to be completed at Alford West as an immediate extension to the drilling program targeting the adjacent Paskeville and Wombat prospects.
Adelaide Resources’ 819sqkm Moonta project sits within the mineral-rich Olympic Dam copper-gold province in the Eastern Gawler Craton area of South Australia’s Northern Yorke Peninsula.