Embattled Investigator to focus on “nearology” after massive BHP copper find
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After a shocking 2018, former silver explorer Investigator Resources is hoping the location of its Maslins project – down the road from BHP’s spectacular copper discovery in South Australia — represents a change in fortunes.
Maslins is about 85km from BHP’s latest find at a project called Oak Dam West.
Neighbouring explorers were abuzz after BHP told investors that four diamond drill holes, totalling 5346m, had intersected spectacular IOCG-style copper, gold, uranium and silver mineralisation.
This included a 180m section grading 6 per cent copper, inside a larger 425.7m section grading over 3 per cent copper. The mineralisation starts about 1km below the surface.
Investigator (ASX:IVR) told investors that efforts to ‘farm-out’ its “high risk, high reward” Maslins project had now been deferred until a new Geoscience Australia survey of the Carrapatina region was released early this month.
A farm out agreement can reduce risk and cash burn for a smaller company by transferring part of a project to another mining company for exploration and development.
In January 2018, Investigator undertook a geophysical survey across the Maslins target area which it intends to integrate with the detailed Geoscience Australia data.
This should allow the Maslins gravity anomaly to be refined, it told investors.
Investigator had been actively seeking prospective joint venture partners to drill the project in 2019, but “in the light of the Oak Dam East discovery, the strategy for dealing with Maslins will be reviewed”, Investigator chairman David Ransom told shareholders.
A confluence of bad news saw Investigator’s share price fall 54 per cent from 2.2c in late January to $1c in November 2018.
This was attributed to a 15 per cent fall in the silver price, a negative pre-feasibility study on its former flagship Paris silver project, and a failed drilling program at its Nankivel copper gold project in South Australia.
The BHP discovery at Oak Dam saw the Investigator 1c share price increase to highs of 1.6c — a 60 per cent jump. It currently trades for around 1.3c.