New drilling at Kincora Copper’s Trundle project has got off to a very encouraging start, intersecting significant zones of potential ore grade mineralisation at shallow depths in the first holes at three targets in the world-class Lachlan Fold Belt of NSW.

The latest drilling at the brownfield site is part of Kincora Copper’s (ASX:KCC) bid to assess if the explorer could be sitting on the next major copper-gold porphyry discovery, or series of discoveries.

Porphyry deposits, such Newcrest’s flagship Cadia project in the Lachlan Fold Belt or Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) Oyu Tolgoi in Mongolia are generally very large, relatively low grade and occur in series or clusters of deposits, providing about ~60 per cent of the world’s copper, most of its molybdenum, and significant amounts of gold and silver.

Kincora’s Trundle drilling program, which it started in January, is testing five adjacent shallow, large-scale porphyry and porphyry-related targets across the 3.2km strike of the mineralised magnetic complex at the 167km2 licence.

Fortescue is currently drilling the adjacent license and potential southern extension of this complex.

Kincora’s first drill hole of this program (TRDD035) at the Dunn’s North prospect returned 12.5m at 2.77g/t gold from 77.5m, including 2m at a very high 14.2g/t gold.

At Dunn’s South prospect, located 640m to the south, hole TRDD036 uncovered 31m at 0.49g/t gold, 0.25% copper and 55ppm molybdenum from 65.9m. That included 8.6m at 1.21g/t gold, 0.26% copper and 90ppm molybdenum from 65.9m, with 1m at 6.88g/t gold, 0.30% copper and 46ppm molybdenum.

A technical review of Dunn’s North and South, and adjacent open prospects, is ongoing for follow up drilling.

At the Botfield prospect assay results are pending for hole TRDD037, but notable zones of visible mineralisation have already been prioritized for assay results and an immediate follow up hole is to shortly commence.

The reason for Kincora’s excitement at Botfield is that the prospect appears about 500m closer to surface on an uplifted fault block and is the continuation of the mineralised system from the adjacent Southern Extension Zone (SEZ) discovery.

The SEZ was Kincora’s primary drill target in 2022, a new discovery made in late 2021, where ore grade copper and gold in skarn had been confirmed over at least a 330m SSE strike and 225m W-E wide system (and open).

The SEZ is reported to host the largest mineralised skarn system in NSW, with Kincora’s last hole at this prospect returning 34m at 1.45g/t gold and 0.25% copper, including 2m @ 19.9g/t gold and 2.43% copper.

Hotbed of exploration

The first assays from Trundle have been returned just weeks after news that Fortescue Metals Group’s (ASX:FMG) and junior explorer Rimfire Pacific Mining (ASX:RIM) have both started drilling next door to Kincora’s project and are testing its margins.

Exploration activity across the mineral-rich region is stepping up fast, with multiple players announcing the progress of drilling or notable investment in planned drilling. Meanwhile Alkane Resources (ASX:ALK) has demonstrated the massive scale of what the porphyry systems in the district can hold, with a resource upgrade to almost 15Moz gold equivalent at its wider Boda-Kaiser deposits.

Encouraging prospects

John Holliday, Technical Committee chair, and Peter Leaman, VP of Exploration, said:

“Kincora’s first three drill holes from the current drill program at Trundle have been very encouraging, with all having intersected zones of potential ore grade mineralisation at relatively shallow depths.

The Botfield massive, mineralised magnetite skarn intersection has indicated that the 0.75-1km long Botfield magnetic high anomaly is likely caused by a large magnetite skarn body.  This is interpreted to be part of a very large porphyry-related copper-gold system.  The magnetic anomaly had not been tested effectively by historic drilling. The Botfield prospect will be followed up by a priority hole into the core of the magnetic anomaly 250m further to the east.

Additionally, intersecting porphyry style mineralisation at shallow depths with good grades at the Dunn’s North and South prospects provides significant encouragement in a new area of exploration. Our understanding of these new prospects has been greatly improved with gold and porphyry A veins logged at Dunn’s North and gold, copper and notably high molybdenum grades at Dunn’s South.”

In the copper gold dress circle

The Trundle project lies in the Junee-Narromine volcanic belt of the Macquarie Arc, less than 30km from the mill at the Northparkes mines within the Northparkes Igneous Complex. The complex hosts a mineral endowment of approximately 24Moz gold equivalent (at 0.6% copper and 0.2g/t gold) and is Australia’s second largest porphyry mine.

Kincora estimates the Trundle project holds a quarter of the Northparkes Igneous Complex, which to the east hosts Australia’s second largest porphyry mine Northparkes – owned by China Molybdenum Co (CMOC, 80%) and the Sumitomo Group (20%) – and a 24Moz gold equivalent endowment.

Yesterday the AFR reported that following a series of “massive premiums for copper deals in the past year” that CMOC is currently testing the market for interest in its stake in Northparkes having recovered the US$820 million it paid in 2013.





This article was developed in collaboration with Kincora Copper, 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.