• The farm-in joint venture with mining major FMG is targeting copper and gold discoveries in Queensland
  • A 4,000m drill program will kick off September
  • SER also has drill plans at its other QLD and NSW copper-gold projects


Strategic Energy Resources is gearing up to drill test giant targets next month at its Canobie farm-in joint venture project with a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group (ASX:FMG).

FMG will spend up to $8 million over six years to earn up to 80% in Canobie in northwest Queensland, with a 4,000m diamond drill program kicking off in September to test one magmatic nickel copper sulphide target and three Ernest Henry-type iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) targets.

The target is mineralisation west of the Gidyea Suture Zone, a crustal-scale fault system which hosts several significant copper-gold deposits to the south – including the giant Ernest Henry mine and the Mount Margaret (E1), Eloise and Roseby deposits.

“The first drill hole is designed to test the northern end of an elongate gravity feature interpreted as a ribbon-like chonolith intrusion,” Strategic Energy Resources (ASX:SER) managing director Managing director Dr David DeTata said.

DeTata holds extensive board experience with a number of ASX listed companies and possesses a background in chemistry and business.

“This part of the intrusion is a favourable setting for sulphide mineralisation with potential to host higher tenor nickel-copper mineralisation,” he said.

“The hole is proximal to the Kalarka Prospect, which intersected thick intervals of nickel-elevated ultramafic rock with semi-massive sulphide zones in 2021.

“The rig will then test three new compelling Ernest Henry-type magnetite IOCG targets, one at the northern end of the project and two at the southern end to complete the drill program scheduled for this field season.”

SER hosts a number of critical minerals projects across Queensland, New South Wales, the Northern Territory and South Australia.

SER’s board has affirmed it will focus on science-driven exploration in collaboration with government bodies to uncover large critical metal discoveries in Australia’s frontier locations.

The explorer has flexed this strategy by quickly pouncing on newly released government datasets to be a first mover on valuable greenfields opportunities Australia-wide.


Searching for tier 1 deposits

Iron oxide copper gold ore (IOCG) deposits, like BHP’s (ASX:BHP) Olympic Dam, can be tremendously large, simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and other economic minerals.

The world needs more Olympic Dams – which produced ~140,000t copper in FY22 – if it is to replace output from the world’s aging fleet of tier 1 mines and feed the green energy thematic.

The search for magnetite IOCG targets has now been extended beyond the JV project area, with SER applying for an additional 500km2 of tenure, which will bring the Canobie project total to over 2,300km2 once granted.

Notably, the exploration program is fully funded under Farm-In and Joint Venture Agreement with FMG, plus the Queensland Government’s new Critical Mineral Strategy which will waive rents on mineral exploration projects (from 1 September 2023) and return over $500,000 of rents to the JV.

Strategic Energy Resources will direct these funds towards on ground exploration.


Drilling to commence next month

The Canobie drilling program is set to commence in September, with Native Title clearance surveys completed, earthworks near complete, and a drill rig scheduled to arrive on site this month.

Drilling is also planned at several of the company’s other projects, following a $2.5 million capital raise in June.

The funds will be used for a diamond drill program and magnetotelluric (MT) survey at the Isa North copper-gold project in northwest Queenslandand and the MT survey at the Mundi copper-gold project in NSW.



This article was developed in collaboration with Strategic Energy Resources, 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.