Cohiba gears up for busy 2022 as IOCG hunt in BHP’s neighbourhood picks up pace
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Cohiba is about to embark on the busiest 15-18 months in the company’s history with exploration activity, including drilling, now either underway or planned across 3 projects in South Australia’s Gawler Craton, a well-known iron oxide-copper-gold prospective region.
Cohiba Minerals (ASX:CHK) has received approval for the next major drilling program at its Horse Well project, next door to BHP’s (ASX:BHP) big Oak Dam discovery in South Australia’s Gawler Craton – where initial drilling in 2017 delivered a massive 426m intercept that included copper grades of up to 6.07%.
Following the completion of the heritage survey for Horse Well, Cohiba has received approval from the Kokatha Aboriginal Corporation to drill 13 holes.
“With the successful completion of the heritage survey and subsequent EPEPR, the company will have a very full year ahead in delivering the next stage of the Horse Well exploration program,” CEO Andrew Graham said.
Cohiba is undertaking a multi-million-dollar exploration campaign after drilling at its Horse Well prospect earlier in 2021 encountered rock types typical of an IOCG environment and returned high grades of up to 12.15 per cent copper.
Exploration so far has uncovered multiple targets next door to BHP’s Oak Dam discovery, where over 40km of drilling has been completed and the major is fast tracking work to position the new discovery as an extension of the Olympic Dam mine, which is also an IOCG deposit.
IOCG deposits can be massive and high-grade concentrations of copper, gold, and other economic minerals. Olympic Dam, located 560km north of Adelaide, is one of the world’s most significant deposits of copper, gold, silver and uranium.
Meanwhile, drilling is also underway at Pernatty C, with the first hole past 600m so far and heading for a targeted depth of ~900m.
Pernatty C is another IOCG prospect, with drilling targeting a shallow conductivity anomaly and magnetic anomaly trend. Cohiba plans to drill a second hole into the target, depending on what the first one reveals.
Graham said the company was “very eager” to complete the Pernatty C drilling and build its understanding of the geology and structure in that area, including the potential for Zambian Copper Belt (ZCB) style mineralisation as well as IOCG mineralisation.
While Cohiba is targeting IOCG-style mineralisation at Pernatty C, the primary focus will be on the shallower, ZCB-style mineralisation.
The Pernatty C area is considered to be prospective for stratabound, copper-cobalt-silver mineralisation consistent with the nearby Mt Gunson mining area directly to the west.
Historic production from the Mt Gunson copper-cobalt-silver resource 10km to the west was 150,000 tonnes of copper and 2.1 million ounces of silver at an average copper grade of 2.44%.
These historic deposits have, more recently, been considered as analogous to the extensive copper deposits found in the ZCB and exploration efforts from neighbouring companies are heavily focused in this area.
And lastly, Cohiba has mapped out plans to start drilling the low-risk Warriner Creek project it struck a farm-in deal for in August.
“We are also very keen to commence drilling at the Warriner Creek project, where there are some exciting IOCG target zones,” Graham said.
“With the current programs of work the company expects to be actively engaged in drilling for the next 15-18 months.”
Cohiba can earn a 51% stake in Warriner Creek by spending $3m on exploration within two years. The company is only required to drill two 400m-600m holes (requiring a minimum spend of $600,000) in the first 12 months before having to decide whether to commit to more material expenditure.
This article was developed in collaboration with Cohiba Minerals, 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.