AI expert joins Kincora’s hunt for copper giants
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Mining tech guru AI Earth is committing its artificial intelligence, time, and cash to helping Kincora Copper unlock the porphyry potential of the Cundumbul project not far from Alkane’s headline grabbing +10Moz Boda discovery in NSW’s prolific Lachlan Fold Belt.
Kincora Copper (ASX:KCC) has struck a deal that will see Earth AI spend up to $4.5m over two years to generate and drill test prospective targets at the Cundumbul project.
AI Earth saw an opportunity to tap into the $450bn technology metals market, of which copper is a key metal for electrification, to help fast track big discoveries into production and speed up the clean energy transition.
The company says its vertically integrated, proprietary cloud computing and integrated geological artificial Intelligence (AI) review and machine learning process is 50x more accurate and 50% cheaper than other exploration methods.
And the start-up is putting its money where its mouth is by partnering with junior Aussie explorers like Kincora to show just how effective its AI tech is. Earth AI certainly is backing itself, because it only gains an economic return if it makes a new discovery.
Kincora boss Sam Spring says the Exploration Alliance with Earth AI aims to accelerate target generation and drill testing at the Cundumbul project, which is strategically located in Australia’s foremost porphyry region – the Macquarie Arc in NSW’s famed Lachlan Fold Belt (LFB).
“Previous surface exploration and limited drilling has confirmed fertile intrusive porphyry systems in both the north and south of the project, located over 10km apart,” Spring said.
Earth AI says it has achieved a one in four greenfield discovery rate, having tested 135 AI generated targets in previously unexplored land and discovered 35 mineralised prospects.
“Earth AI has applied its proprietary cloud-based AI and machine learning technology resulting in priority targets identified for field checking,” Spring explained.
“Boots on the ground reconnaissance is expected over the summer to assist advance and refine the drill targeting process.
“The agreement with Earth AI is consistent with Kincora’s exploration strategy to systematically advance, apply industry leading geoscience and drill test our strategically located and district scale project portfolio in the Lachlan Fold Belt.”
The Cundumbul project is located in the Molong belt of the Macquarie Arc, 30km south of Boda and 70km north of Newcrest Mining’s (ASX:NCM) giant Cadia/Ridgeway operation.
The LFB is a world-class exploration jurisdiction, hosting major mines like the Cadia/Ridgeway operation, which is one of the largest and lowest cost mines globally with an endowment of 50Moz of gold and 9.5Mt of copper. Its discovery and now ongoing production underpin Newcrest being Australia’s largest gold miner.
It is also home to CMOC’s Northparkes mine, which contains 5.5Moz gold and 4.5Mt copper, and Evolution Mining’s (ASX:EVN) 14Moz Cowal mine.
Kincora, one of the most active explorers in the LFB, has been busy drilling nearly 30,000m in avid pursuit of the next “Tier 1” copper-gold deposit.
Tune into the recent Explorers Podcast to hear porphyry expert John Holliday, non-executive director and chairman of the technical committee at Kincora, discuss the company’s exploration results so far, and upcoming high impact and high conviction next phase of drilling at its flagship Trundle project and other projects in NSW.
Previous surface exploration and limited drilling has confirmed the porphyry potential of the Cundumbul project.
The partnership with Earth AI means Kincora won’t have to spend a cent on the project over the next two years, with potential to extend that agreement for another year if Earth AI likes what it sees.
If Earth AI completes at least 1500m of diamond drilling and makes a new discovery it can earn up to a 3% net smelter royalty (NSR) surrounding the discovery.
Earth AI also has the option of acquiring the new discovery area for $US1m plus a 2% NSR after two years if no resource is defined over the area and annual exploration spend drops below $US250,000.
Kincora would still retain its 65% ownership of the broader Cundumbul project.
This article was developed in collaboration with Kincora Copper, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.