Diamond drilling of three standout geophysical anomalies in the critical metals exploration hotspot of the West Arunta has investors’ eyes back on Encounter Resources.

An initial 2,000m program, co-funded by the State Government’s Exploration Incentive Scheme by up to $220,000, will test the Caird, Crean and Worsley targets within the Aileron project, only one of which has even been drilled before.

And that drilling comprised a single hole into the Worsley target which was stopped short of the planned depth, but successfully confirmed the presence of copper, gold, niobium and rare earths mineralisation above the large geophysical anomaly.

Coinciding with the drilling, Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) is also carrying out a major Falcon gravity survey in the central and eastern parts of Aileron to further identify and refine drill targets.

“The recent high grade niobium-REE discovery by WA1 Resources at Luni is located adjacent to the southern boundary of Aileron. This exciting discovery confirms the West Arunta as a new and unexplored critical minerals province in Australia,” managing director Will Robinson said.

“The Crean, Worsley and Caird targets will be the first of the large scale magnetic and gravity anomalies to be tested at the >100km wide Aileron project in the West Arunta.

“The targets have similar geophysical characteristics to the IOCG deposits in South Australia, such as Prominent Hill, and the recently discovered niobium-REE carbonatites in the West Arunta.”

Drill targets

Caird is a bullseye, coincident magnetic and density anomaly on the Endurance fault, about 5km northwest of WA1’s Luni discovery while Crean is a regional scale magnetic anomaly with an offset gravity anomaly similar to the Prominent Hill iron-ore-copper-gold (IOCG) deposit, now owned by BHP after the recent takeover of Oz Minerals.

The Worsley target is a standout magnetic and coincident gravity anomaly with copper, gold, molybdenum, niobium and REEs noted in drillhole EAL0001, which was partially completed to a depth of 158m in October 2020.

The first results from the drill program are expected in June – July.




This article was developed in collaboration with Encounter 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.