Special Report: For junior explorers a lot of value can be added during the project discovery phase. The bigger the discovery, the bigger those potential returns can be.

Junior explorers can post big gains, very quickly in the discovery phase. The most famous recent example was Sirius Resources, which jumped from 5c to $2.50 within two months of making the globally significant Nova discovery in 2012.

For lucky investors, that represented a 4000 per cent return in just 8 weeks.

Re-rating events of this magnitude don’t come along very often. But there’s always a number of exciting early stage exploration opportunities which could provide the next tier 1 discovery.

Norwest Minerals (ASX:NWR) is one junior to keep an eye on.

The explorer is completing a 1,525 meter diamond drilling programme  designed to test a company-making iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) target at the untouched Arunta West project in Western Australia.

Norwest chief executive Charles Schaus says it’s an exciting time for the explorer.

“Even the hint of an IOCG mineralisation system from the maiden diamond drill program at North Dovers has the potential to re-rate both the company and the region,” he says.

Sirius Price Chart (Supplied)

It’s a massive, massive target

Processed gravity (residual Bouguer gravity anomaly) and reduced-to-pole magnetic data clearly display the coincident highs (red to white peaks) associated with the North Dovers anomaly. (Supplied)

If an explorer makes a world-class discovery, the value of the prize can run into the billions of dollars.

Norwest is now drilling  deep into its 4km by 8km North Dovers IOCG target at Arunta West.

Iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (IOCG), like BHP’s Olympic Dam, can be colossal; just imagine a resource so large it would take five centuries to deplete.

That’s the kind of region defining, multi-generational mines IOCG deposits can become.

And the large coincident magnetic-gravity anomaly at North Dovers is actually very similar to those hosting the Ernest Henry and Olympic Dam IOCG deposits.

Underexplored ground in a prospective region

The Arunta West project covers about 1500 square kilometres in a region rapidly becoming known as Australia’s next copper province. (Supplied)

This is not a recycled project. It was actually BHP which first identified North Dovers back in 1999 as a potential Ernest Henry-style copper-gold target, but due to strict access regulations at the time, the target hasn’t been drilled – until now.

“Those issues have now been resolved making Norwest the first company sanctioned to put a drill hole into this fantastic target since its identification by BHP 20 years ago,” Schaus says.

The prospectivity of the region was further underlined after major miner Independence Group (ASX:IGO)  kicked off an aggressive 10,000m RC drilling campaign across its 19,000km of ground holding, right next door to Arunta West.


Schaus says he had geologists ask to sit on the rig because they are keen to be part of what could be a major discovery in a new region.

“I mean, BHP has just found what may be their second Olympic Dam drilling 425m at 3 per cent copper at their Oak Dam site,” he says.

“Something like that and you would never look back.”

This story was developed in collaboration with Norwest Minerals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
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