Junior explorer Petratherm has snatched up more ground a few hundred kilometres north west of BHP’s spectacular Oak Dam copper discovery in South Australia.

Petratherm’s (ASX:PTR) share price – which has ranged between 3c and 4.5c over the past year — improved almost 3 per cent to 3.5c in morning trade.

The explorer told investors that the new tenement gives it 1489 square kilometres on the “Mabel Creek Inlier”, where light historical exploration shows the region is prospective for Iron Oxide-Copper-Gold (IOCG) style mineralisation.

IOCG deposits like Olympic Dam – a few hundred kilometres away — can be tremendously large, high grade, and simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and uranium ores.

Petratherm said the Mabel Creek Inlier has only been lightly explored, but a single hole drilled by BHP (ASX:BHP) in 1992 tested a magnetic anomaly 13km south of Petratherm’s application area.

Petratherm’s tenements (yellow, top left).

The hole contained broad zones of anomalous mineralisation including 28m grading 0.14 per cent copper, 614ppm lead, 0.23 per cent zinc, 2 ppm silver — 168m from surface.

Importantly the anomalies occur at a depth of between 180m and 260m — which is relatively cheap and easier to test and to develop if a discovery is made, the company said.

Mineralisation at BHP’s Oak Dam project starts between 800m and 1km below the surface.

Petratherm is currently reviewing old exploration results and processing geological and geophysical data in preparation to start field work once the tenement is granted.

The explorer, which isn’t making any money, held  about $4.4 million cash at the end of the September quarter.

Petratherm has been contacted by Stockhead for additional comment.