Things are sizzling in the copper market right now. When the majors start ramping up M&A you know the market is about to take off. And the explorers with prospective ground right near a headline-grabbing miner are likely to be on the radar.

Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) recently tabled a $US2.7bn bid for its partner’s stake in the massive Oyu Tolgoi mine in Mongolia, which gives us some idea of where one of the world’s largest miners thinks copper his headed.

The copper price has spiked by 124% in the past two years to $US10,302 a tonne, and at the same time new discoveries are few and far between at a time of rapidly rising demand.

Cohiba Minerals (ASX:CHK) recently expanded its portfolio to include the Warriner Creek prospect because of the strong potential for a major iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) discovery in BHP’s (ASX:BHP) backyard – South Australia’s Gawler Craton.

And the company is ramping up its IOCG hunt in the vicinity of the massive Olympic Dam mine with the start of drilling at the Warriner Creek prospect.

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.

Interestingly, the target depth in this part of the Gawler Craton is shallower than Cohiba’s Olympic Domain tenements, where follow up drilling at the Horse Well prospect has confirmed the persistence of copper, gold and silver mineralisation as well as delivered more high-grade mineralisation.

A shallower target depth means drilling at Warriner Creek will be significantly shorter.

Under the farm-in agreement two holes are planned, with the first to be drilled to 600m depth. A subsequent hole, to 400m depth, can be drilled at Cohiba’s discretion.

Prior analysis of historical data by Tigers Dominion Group, Cohiba’s farm-in partner, concluded that there is a potential significant IOCG breccia system in the area which is the focus of the current drilling campaign.

CEO Andrew Graham said the technical merits of the Warriner Creek prospect made it an “excellent fit” for Cohiba which was intent on becoming a major explorer for IOCG deposits within 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.