Government-funded improvements to geological datasets covering mineral-rich areas in outback Australia are starting to yield results for companies engaged in the hunt for new discoveries.

Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) is one company to benefit from new datasets provided by Geoscience Australia through the federal government’s Exploring for the Future Program.

The company used the new Geoscience datasets to identify six new projects in the Northern Territory with the potential to contain large, sedimentary-hosted copper deposits.

For example, a systematic investigation of rock chips from water bore sampling at Encounter’s Jessica project led to the company identifying near-surface copper oxide mineralisation.

The company said it would start drilling at its Jessica project in October, and it planned to carry out data validation at its other projects in the lead up to being granted these tenements as expected next year.


Encounter an early-mover in Northern Territory

Encounter said Wednesday it had moved early to secure a series of camp-scale opportunities in its project areas, which cover 14,800sqkm in the Northern Territory.

Encounter’s landholding is in a highly prospective, but vastly underexplored region under shallow cover between major the copper-gold producing areas of Mt Isa and Tennant Creek.

“The potential for sedimentary-hosted copper deposits to be found under thin cover in the Northern Territory is being opened up through the interrogation of new government datasets,” managing director Will Robinson said.


Other ASX explorers are enjoying exploration success

Castillo Copper (ASX:CCZ) has secured approvals for drilling at its Big One deposit in north Queensland, where it has identified massive hematite/cuprite chalcocite vein mineralisation.

The company said its visual identification provides credence that the Big One deposit could be part of a larger iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) system.

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

Rock chip sampling along strike at the deposit, from stockpiles and historic workings, is currently underway for follow-up analysis by Castillo.

“The fresh geological insights the field team observed at site is extremely encouraging, especially finding high-grade supergene and massive sulphide mineralisation at surface,” managing director Simon Paull said.


New geochemistry results for DevEx’s Sovereign project

DevEx Resources (ASX:DEV) reported Wednesday elevated nickel-copper and chromium values originating from new geochemistry results for its Sovereign project in WA.

The results have led to strong drilling targets within the highly prospective Julimar complex, host to Chalice Gold Mines’ (ASX:CHN) discovery located 70km northeast of Perth.

Assay results have returned values of up to 1,210 parts per million (ppm) for nickel, 395 ppm for copper, 6,830 ppm for chromium and 83 ppm for palladium and platinum at Sovereign.

Shares in DevEx climbed 14 per cent to 20c in Wednesday trade.

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