• Copper Search ready to drill two high priority targets at Peake project in South Australia’s copper and gold rich Gawler Craton
  • Paradise Dam and Douglas Creek prepped for drilling next month, the latter after two years of engagement with Arabana traditional owners
  • Copper and gold prices around record highs as CUS looks for the next Prominent Hill or Cloncurry


Special Report: After whittling down 40 geophysical anomalies to two priority targets, Copper Search is ready to begin a highly anticipated drill program next month looking for South Australia’s next major copper find.

Copper Search’s (ASX:CUS) Peake Project is located in the Gawler Craton, covering a monstrous 5560km2 of ground in one of Australia’s most prospective exploration domains.

Endowed with over 100Mt of copper and 110Moz of gold, the Craton is the top copper zone in all of Australia, home to BHP’s Olympic Dam, Prominent Hill and Carrapateena mines and Oak Dam exploration site, collectively worth well over $10 billion.

Located to the north of Prominent Hill, CUS’ Peake and Denison are thought to sit in a geological domain equivalent to the historic Cloncurry copper district in north Queensland, still producing today over 140 years since its discovery.

CUS will get the chance now to test that theory at its Paradise Dam and Douglas Creek prospects along the Karari Shear Zone, two of the top targets among the dozens identified at Peake to date.


CUS has nailed down its top targets ahead of drilling at Peake. Pic: CUS


The targets

Paradise Dam is defined by a strong chargeability anomaly of up to 50mV/V in strength and 3km in strike, identified in structural analysis and an induced polarisation survey completed in January this year.

Douglas Creek meanwhile is a large ‘classic’ shallow IOCG (iron-oxide copper-gold) style anomaly recently cleared for drilling after two years of consultations with the Arabana traditional owner group.

“This is a Prominent Hill style or Carrapateena style minerals system. This sort of magnetic anomaly here is very encouraging with that associated gravity anomaly,” CUS CEO Duncan Chessell said of the Douglas Creek target.

“We’re certainly going to put a drill hole, as you can guess, straight down the middle of that.

“It’s been high on our list for the last two years but until today we haven’t spoken about it because we could not access the target due to heritage reasons.

“We have worked hard over the last few years building good working relations with all stakeholders in the area, and significantly improve the two-way understanding with the Arabana traditional owners to seek an understanding of their goals and spiritual beliefs and communicating Copper Search’s goals for discovery and developing a Tier-1 copper mine on our Peake project.”



CUS will be drilling ‘straight down the middle’ of an IOCG style anomaly at Douglas Creek. Pic: CUS


CUS says the prospect is close to a ‘near miss’ drill hole from 2023 which hit a maximum assay of 0.45% Cu and 5.35g/t gold.

At Paradise Dam, Copper Search will look to hit a strong anomaly at a depth of 500-750m, with previous drilling on what is thought to be a weaker northern zone of the anomaly showing the chargeability anomaly is likely caused by the presence of disseminated sulphides.

Heritage clearances and drilling permits are now secured, with contractor Titeline Drilling set to begin on June 1.

The drilling program is expected to take six weeks and cost around $800,000, more than covered by Copper Search’s well-stocked $2.6 million cash stash.

At the same time geochemical sampling will take place in May and June at the Mt Denison claim to assess its gold potential and consultant Dr David Rawlings is on board to review non-copper mineral systems throughout CUS’ tenement package.


The new Copper Age

It comes at a fruitful time for gold and copper explorers, with both commodities around record highs.

New York copper futures rose to US$5.16/lb this morning amid a supply crunch and associated short squeeze, while gold futures lifted 0.8% to US$2435/oz (~$3600/oz).

Copper has become a key pillar of major commodity houses as the way for miners to play a leading role in the decarbonisation thematic, with BHP’s $64.5bn bid for Anglo American a sign of the metal’s rediscovered allure.

The Peake and Dennison domain is an especially interesting area since it was previously underexplored given its deposit-forming rocks were around 50 million years younger than other IOCG examples elsewhere in the Gawler.

But the Wills discovery by neighbour AIC Mines (ASX:A1M) in 2022 has demonstrated the area’s IOCG potential.


This article was developed in collaboration with Copper Search, 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.