Cohiba Minerals is ramping up exploration plans at its highly prospective copper projects near BHP’s Olympic Dam and Oak Dam, plus the significant OZ Minerals assets the Big Australian is now set to acquire.

Less than a month after Cohiba Minerals (ASX:CHK) announced it had intersected the same host granite found at Oak Dam and OZ Minerals’ $1b Carrapateena iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits, the emerging copper play has a share purchase plan (SPP) targeting $2m underway.

It’s also happening as OZ Minerals (ASX:OZL) recommends to shareholders an offer of $9.6 billion to give BHP (ASX:BHP) a bigger share of global copper supply.

Funds raised under the SPP will be used for additional exploration activities at CHK’s key assets in South Australia’s IOCG dress circle within the Gawler Craton, as well as Western Australia and Queensland.

IOCG systems can be very large, high-grade, and simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and other economic minerals.

The SPP’s closing date is 9 December, with results to be announced on 14 December and the new shares will start trading on 16 December.

Horse Well kicking goals

One of Cohiba’s most exciting prospects is Horse Well, only 5km away from Oak Dam, where Cohiba unearthed the same host granite as its big-name neighbours.

The Cohiba team is now looking forward to results from drilling completed after a three-week delay due to flooding. It’s also waiting on results from in-fill drilling following up on significant anomalous zinc, lead and silver results at Pernatty C, another project in the mineral-rich Gawler Craton region.

This week’s update from Horse Well included a technical report from drill hole HWDD07 which was targeting the southern extension of the previously identified Blue Bush Fault, considered to have IOCG potential.

The intersection of the Blue Bush Fault at the approximately predicted location will boost understanding of the geophysical model at Horse Well and enable more aggressive step-out drilling.

CEO, Andrew Graham said: “The Horse Well Prospect remains a priority exploration area for Cohiba with multiple IOCG target zones having been identified. We are committed to investigating it to the fullest extent possible and applying the best technical rigour to maximise the likelihood of exploration success.

“We have identified some significant structures and IOCG characteristics with persistent low-level copper mineralisation across significant strike lengths. We have also spent considerable time reviewing the geophysics data to further assist our drill hole target selection process.

“We are building a solid IOCG story in the Horse Well Prospect and are confident of further good results.”

The looming copper gap

Technologies essential to economies reaching net zero by 2050 – such as electric vehicles, solar panels, and wind turbine batteries – all need much more copper than fossil fuel-based alternatives.

S&P Global says escalating copper demand driven by electrification is forecast to double from 25m metric tons (MMt) today to about 50 MMt by 2035.

The resulting gap is projected to reach -9.9MMt by 2035, assuming current trends in mining and recycling continue. That’s a ~20% shortfall in what’s needed for the 2050 Net-Zero Emissions target.

S&P also notes that there’s no physical scarcity of the red metal, the challenge is getting the required quantities out of the ground in sufficient time. Hence the M&A action in copper-rich regions such as the Gawler Craton.




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.