• Copper explorer Native Mineral Resources lists on the ASX after $5.7m IPO
  • Drilling is already underway at the Leane’s copper prospect
  • Company also holds prospective gold tenements in WA

Native Mineral Resources (ASX:NMR) has made its debut on the ASX and is already in the thick of the exploration game with reverse circulation drilling underway at the Leane’s copper prospect within its flagship Palmerville project in northern Queensland.

This comes after the company raised $5.7m through an IPO of 28.7 million shares priced at 20c each that closed in late October.

Shares in NMR closed unchanged at 20c.

Its initial focus is on drill testing several high-priority targets within Palmerville project and has embarked on a 15-hole, 2,000m drill program at Leane’s copper prospect as the first expression of this focus.

Leane’s was first discovered in 2007 by Lodestone Exploration when outcrops containing malachite veining were mapped at surface.

Subsequent exploration includes detailed soil geochemistry that identified strongly anomalous copper over a 1,200m extent along a north-northwest trending brecciated contact and a shallow eight hole program to test copper soil anomalies over a 500m strike length in 2010.

This returned a top intersection of 28m at 0.55 per cent copper with all holes intersecting the mineralised zone in the weathered horizon.

Native Mineral’s drill program will follow up and extend the previous shallow drilling by infilling gaps and testing the mineralised horizon below the weathered zone, which could host higher grades of copper mineralisation.

Results from this program will provide a strong basis for interpreting the geological and mineralisation setting and may support a maiden inferred resource.

The first hole has already been completed that intersected a sequence of siliciclastic lithologies as expected, as well as several fault zones prior to intersecting the target breccia horizon containing visible sulphides and copper oxides from 104m to 106m.

While drilling could not be completed due to the hole collapsing in a fault zone, it has confirmed the geological interpretation and the presence of the mineralised target horizon and demonstrated the mineralised breccia is open at the northern end of the prospect.

Initial assays are expected in mid-December.

Palmerville project

The Palmerville project covers a near continuous strike length of 130km over an area of about 1,820sqkm centered 200km west-northwest of Cairns in North Queensland.

It consists of eight Exploration Permit Minerals and one EPM application in the highly prospective Chillagoe Formation, which hosts the large Red Dome and Mungana porphyry and skarn-associated gold-copper deposits to the south of the Palmerville Project.

The Chillagoe Formation also hosts significant zinc-rich and copper-rich limestone-hosted skarn-associated deposits, particularly at King Vol, Mungana, Griffiths Hill and Red Cap.

All this means that Palmerville is prospective for porphyry and skarn associated copper-zinc-gold mineralisation in Chillagoe Formation limestone-dominant strata, porphyry-related copper-gold mineralisation in non-carbonate lithologies and other styles of mineralisation.

Previous exploration has been extensive in places with soil, stream sediment and rock chip sampling, trenching, and limited drilling.

Native Mineral has completed a review of historical mining activity and past exploration and identified 65 mineralisation occurrences and eleven initial targets for exploration.

Other projects

Besides Palmerville, the company also holds the Mount Morgan project in Queensland and tenements in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields region that may be prospective for gold.

Mount Morgan consists of a single EPM covering a 43sqkm area close to the historical Mount Morgan mine that processed 50 million tonnes of ore grading 0.7 per cent copper and 4.7 grams per tonne (g/t) gold from the 1880s to the early 1980s.

This is prospective for several styles of mineralisation including Mount Morgan style replacement deposits, intrusive related copper-molybdenum deposits, structurally controlled gold deposits, and intrusive related base metal deposits.

In Western Australia, Native Mineral has entered into an option agreement to acquire two exploration licences (EL) and two EL applications covering 540sqkm in the Yilgarn Craton.

Other companies have recently discovered new intrusion-related gold systems within the Yilgarn that has led to a greater exploration focus in areas that previously received little attention.

The optioned tenements in the Eastern Goldfields are in areas of prospective intrusive rocks, close to operating gold mines, and are in the company’s opinion underexplored.