Great Southern picks up underexplored tenure next to a historic high-grade copper mine
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Special Report: Great Southern Mining (ASX:GSN) will bolster its already-exciting North Queensland portfolio by picking up ground next door to the historic, Dianne mine which produced at exceptional grades of +20 per cent copper.
The 360sqkm acquisition increases Great Southern’s presence in a region the company calls ‘elephant country’ – an area where miners and explorers go hunting for the big, tier 1 deposits.
Early in July, Great Southern intersected what could be the edges of a massive, Mt Carlton-like gold-silver-copper system at its Edinburgh Park project in North Queensland.
Mt Carlton, one of the highest-grade open pit gold mines in the world, will produce up to 105,000oz in FY19 at an all-in sustaining cost of between $670 and $720 per ounce.
Great Southern’s newly acquired exploration tenure in the Hodgkinson province is highly prospective for polymetallic VMS deposits — incredibly rich sources of metals such as copper, lead, zinc, gold and silver.
VMS deposits are also known for their ‘clustering effect’, which can lead to multi-generational mining operations.
This tenure is located right next to the historic high-grade Dianne copper mine.
Dianne produced 69,820t of direct shipping grade ore assaying an incredible 18 to 26 per cent copper and 359 g/t silver between 1979 and 1983.
There’s potential for more high-grade copper deposits at depth below a number of key prospects, Great Southern says.
These prospects, which are geologically similar to Dianne, are characterised by copper-gold ‘lenses’ which could represent the fringes of larger VMS deposits.
The area has not been subject to a significant degree of modern exploration techniques, which provides “exceptional exploration upside”, executive chairman John Terpu says.
“There are a number of historical references to VMS prospects within the application area, where noted mineralisation is similar to the geology of the incredibly high-grade Dianne copper mine deposit,” he says.
“This provides the company an immediate focus area to undertake detailed exploration activities to potentially identify similar style high-grade copper deposits for follow up drill programs,” he says.
And there’s also potential for large bulk tonnage gold resources, Great Southern says. Small scale and artisanal operators have mined over 1.3moz of gold from various lode and placer deposits over the last hundred years.