Kincora starts next phase of drilling at Trundle as funds pile back into copper
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Kincora Copper has kicked off drilling of its highly prospective Dunn’s North target at the brownfield Trundle project as it works quickly to find out if it could be sitting on the next major copper-gold porphyry discovery.
Dunn’s North, in the porphyry-rich Macquarie Arc region of NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt, is attractive to Kincora Copper (ASX:KCC) because of open ore grade mineralisation near surface siting on the margin of a much larger target and interpreted porphyry source.
The target was identified using the same geophysical tech that unearthed the massive Oyu Tolgoi copper-gold mine in Mongolia and was the focus last week of a $US126m deal between Robert Friedland’s Ivanhoe Electric and Ma’aden for generating new targets in Saudi Arabia.
The aim of this first hole by Kincora is to for the first time follow up this previous shallow ore grade hit of 10m at 1.99 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.12% copper from 36m (end of hole 48m).
Kincora says the hole was interpreted to have drilled just short of an associated untested and large-scale porphyry system.
Porphyry deposits, like Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) Oyu Tolgoi, are generally very large, occur in a series or cluster of deposits, and are responsible for ~60 per cent of the world’s copper, most of its molybdenum, and significant amounts of gold and silver.
“The target is a larger porphyry deposit responsible for that ore grade mineralisation and the geophysical features,” John Holliday, technical committee chair, and Peter Leaman, VP of exploration, noted.
The geophysics supports a further 200-400m extension to the existing mineralised system in the first hole at Dunn’s North.
Drilling will test five adjacent systems and separate large-scale porphyry targets across an existing 3.2km mineralised strike that remains open.
“The Dunn’s North prospect is the first to be tested of five high conviction, standalone, large-scale, new porphyry discovery opportunities that are scheduled to be drilled during this program at Trundle,” Holliday and Leaman said.
“This conviction is underpinned by strong geological vectors and complementary geophysics identified in our recent extensive technical reviews.”
Favourable gold, copper and pathfinder element results were identified at the Dunn’s North and South prospects during Kincora’s detailed 2022 technical reviews of the Trundle Park prospect and adjacent open mineral systems.
In an updated corporate presentation, Kincora highlights that the Dunn’s North and South targets have more favourable vectors than what led to the respective discovery holes at the initial E22 and E27 deposits and open pit mines at Northparkes, which were both found with their respective first diamond drill holes.
Kincora’s commenced ~3,350m diamond drilling program will test open ore grades at three shallow and one deeper target.
The latter is supported by a grant Kincora received late last year under the NSW government’s New Frontiers Exploration program to drill a 1,100m hole testing the porphyry source of the emerging Southern Extension Zone skarn discovery.
The Southern Extension Zone hosts the largest mineralised skarn system in NSW, which is believed to be representative of the size of the porphyry source.
Kincora’s last hole in the Southern Extension Zone returned 34m at 1.45g/t gold and 0.25% copper driven by the first sign of a porphyry source and vein that drove 2m at 19.9g/t gold and 2.43% copper.
Trundle is the only brownfield project held by a listed junior in Australia’s foremost porphyry belt and is located within the same mineralised complex as Australia’s second largest porphyry mine, Northparkes, which has an endowment of 24Moz gold equivalent.
Drilling will continue until midway through the second quarter of 2023, with first assays slated for delivery in March.
Funds are now amassing a hefty, long position in copper fuelled by China’s relaxing of its COVID restrictions, record low inventory levels, continued risks to copper supply and expectations that the world’s largest metals buyer is back in business.
2022 was a year of short positions, with Citi estimating that a 400,000-tonne collective investment short position was accumulated over the middle of last year in a $7,800-8,600 price band, according to Kitco.
Some $3 billion of short positions are now under pressure thanks to the price rally.
“To the degree these short positions have not already covered, this may support copper in the short term”, Kitco quoted Citi as saying.
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.