OZ Minerals raises Eloise JV investment and expands scope

JV partners Minotaur Exploration and OZ Minerals are expanding exploration activity across their Eloise joint venture southeast of Cloncurry, Queensland, Australia. This has the potential to be a major copper/gold find. Key points:

• 7,600 m of drilling almost completed at ‘Jericho’, south of the Eloise copper mine
• Drilling scope expanded to encompass similarly defined EM targets nearby
• Regional geophysical surveys across new ground acquisitions
• Additional A$2 million work campaign through to end of 2018

Round-the-clock diamond drilling since April 2018 reveals consistent and wide spread copper-gold intersections at Jericho, only 3 km south of the Eloise copper mine. By mid September 9,000 m of drill samples will be accumulated along 3.5 km of Jericho’s extent. 2017 scout drilling comprised 2500 m at Jericho and regional targets; 2018 step-out drilling at Jericho comprised 7600 m.

Fully funded by OZ Minerals, the work has matured to the point where OZ Minerals (as 51% participant) endorses Jericho as a basis to expand activity onto similar targets.

Drilling at Jericho will continue until mid September then pause for lab assays and compilation of the growing drill database, so the JV is best positioned to advance this asset on a resumption of drilling.

Minotaur’s managing director, Andrew Woskett, said “OZ Minerals’ solid support has given tremendous impetus to our prospecting and their decision now to again expand their investment, based on the Jericho results, is another endorsement. Minotaur appreciates the reliance placed by OZ Minerals in our technical judgement and operational capabilities. The inherent value of new copper deposits, such as Jericho, identified in the neighbourhood of the Eloise copper concentrator is apparent. Minotaur’s strategic ground position and already defined drill targets close by provides the JV with multiple value-add opportunities”.

The new work plan, in proximity to Jericho, includes two follow-up drill holes into the Defiance prospect and 5,000 m of drilling into several untested EM targets. Drilling will start mid September and continue until the wet season shut down.

In parallel, a comprehensive regional geophysical program – comprising two large EM surveys, a gravity survey and airborne magnetics surveys – will develop a suite of new targets for drill investigation in 2019. The test areas canvass new ground that Minotaur has acquired over recent months for the Eloise JV, including an area encompassing a major regional fold of Mount Norna Quartzite, the host sequence to the Eloise mine orebody and Jericho.

The expanded scope involves a further A$2 million of investment by OZ Minerals through to the end of calendar 2018.

The Eloise project, 60 km southeast of Cloncurry, is a joint venture between Minotaur and OZ Minerals. OZ Minerals, having completed its A$5 million Stage 1 earn-in, now has 51% beneficial interest in the tenements. Work currently underway forms part of the Stage 2 earn-in where OZ Minerals may earn additional 19% equity by spending further A$5 million. Minotaur is manager and operator on behalf of the joint venture.

The Eloise JV is seeking Eloise-style copper-gold and Cannington-style silver-lead-zinc mineralisation, with both styles evident in the well-endowed mineral camp around the Eloise, Altia and Maronan deposits.

The tenor of copper values and mineralising characteristics from the J1 and J2 North plates indicates that the Jericho system has potential to host copper mineralisation of a scale similar to lodes within the nearby Eloise mine.