Emmerson Resources (ASX:ERM) looks like it may have uncovered a large copper-gold system at its Whatling Hill project in New South Wales.

The company said the first deep holes drilled into the project successfully intersected the outer zones of a mineralised porphyry copper-gold system.

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Porphyry systems can be highly valuable, even if the grades are low.

A porphyry deposit is hosted in a type of granite rock, the same as most of the major copper deposits around the world.

Globally, over 60 per cent of copper, all of the world’s molybdenum, 10-15 per cent of uranium and a significant amount of gold comes from porphyry deposits.

Emmerson says the style of mineralisation at Whatling Hill is similar to other big operations in New South Wales like the Northparkes mine owned by China Molybdenum Company and Sumitomo, and Newcrest Mining’s (ASX:NCM) Cadia-Ridgeway mine — one of Australia’s largest gold mines.

“First pass drilling at Whatling Hill has been successful in establishing the presence of porphyry copper-style mineralisation over a large area and is consistent with the widespread anomalous geochemistry,” managing director Rob Bills told investors today.

“The program has been effective in providing an insight into the underlying geology in an area that is covered and has seen little previous exploration.”

One hole intersected 8m at 0.4 per cent copper from 194m, including 1m at 1.4 per cent copper and 1m at 0.9 per cent copper.

Another hole hit 17m at 0.4 per cent zinc from 300m, including 1m at 1 per cent zinc.


In other base metals news:

Tin explorer Kasbah Resources (ASX:KAS) has settled its legal battle with BDO Corporate Finance (WA) out of court. The terms of the settlement are confidential. Shares gained 2 per cent (on low volume) to trade at 5.1c on Wednesday morning.

GWR Group (ASX:GWR) says it has struck high-grade tungsten, copper and molybdenum at the “Hit or Miss prospect”, part of the Hatches Creek project in the Northern Territory. Drilling delivered grades of up to 4.68 per cent tungsten, 3.06 per cent copper and 3,578 parts per million, or 0.4 per cent, molybdenum.

The news sent shares up over 13 per cent to 13c.

Fellow tin explorer Elementos (ASX:ELT) has completed test work on a 3 tonne bulk sample from its Oropesa tin project in Spain. The company said the results demonstrate that ore sorting could potentially provide significant operational and financial benefits at Oropesa.

“A successful program could have a significant impact on the overall design of the Oropesa plant and potentially lower capital and operating costs, which will in turn increase the overall return to shareholders,” CEO Chris Creagh said.