• M2R has confirmed bedrock copper mineralisation in diamond drilling at the Whaleshark project in WA
  • Company is looking for iron oxide copper gold mineralisation like BHP’s giant Olympic Dam deposit
  • More drilling planned once a heritage survey is completed


Diamond drilling has confirmed bedrock copper mineralisation at the Whaleshark project in WA, where Miramar Resources is exploring for monster iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) deposits beneath the Northern Carnarvon Basin.

Since acquiring the Whaleshark project in early 2021, Miramar Resources’ (ASX:M2R) has carried out a range of work including shallow aircore drilling, which returned strongly anomalous copper, cobalt, gold, silver and other IOCG pathfinders.

Iron oxide copper gold ore deposits (IOCG), like BHP’s (ASX:BHP) Olympic Dam, are simple-to-process concentrations of copper, gold and other economic minerals.

They also have the reputation to be company makers, given their tremendous size, with Olympic Dam being the third largest copper equivalent deposit and third largest gold deposit in the world.

The company says its initial 3-hole diamond drilling program at the project has now returned assays of up to 0.2% copper and 0.11g/t gold.


Looking for WA’s first IOCG deposit

Bedrock copper sulphide mineralisation has now been confirmed by XRF and assays, with results from the initial diamond drilling results including:

  • 1m at 0.10g/t gold (119-120m) and 1m at 31.4ppm molybdenum and 1022ppm tungsten (433-434m);
  • 0.4m at 0.2% copper and 1.07ppm silver (231.5 – 231.9m); and
  • 1m at 0.11g/t gold (134-135m).

“Whaleshark is an exciting project with potential to discover Western Australia’s first IOCG deposit,” Miramar executive chairman Allan Kelly said.

“We are looking for a large deposit here, and there is plenty of room to find one.

“Each phase of our exploration is helping bring us closer to that potential discovery.”

Since commencing exploration at Whaleshark, the company have narrowed the target down from a very large Mobile Metal Ions (MMI) surface geochemical anomaly, outlined aircore copper, gold and silver anomalism and intersected bedrock copper sulphide mineralisation in the first diamond drilling program.

“Given the positive indicators seen at Whaleshark so far, including copper mineralisation and anomalous IOCG pathfinders within the Whaleshark granodiorite, we believe we are in the right area,” Kelly said.


Geochemical vectors could point the way

Examination of the multi-element XRF and assay data from this program has highlighted geochemical vectors that could be useful for further exploration for IOCG mineralisation at Whaleshark.

Published data from the Prominent Hill and Carrapateena IOCG deposits in South Australia showed that monazite grains related to IOCG mineralisation have high lanthanum and cerium concentrations, and correspondingly low yttrium and thorium concentrations, when compared to ‘background’ samples.

This diagnostic high lanthanum and cerium geochemical signature has also been observed in analysis of cover sediments over the Prominent Hill deposit.

At Whaleshark, the aircore and diamond drilling results show similar distributions of lanthanum and cerium values from both XRF and multi-element analysis, suggesting a geochemical vector towards potential IOCG mineralisation in the northwest, where a large magnetic anomaly is seen.

The company plans to undertake more drilling at the project once a heritage survey over proposed diamond and aircore drill targets has been completed.



This article was developed in collaboration with Miramar Resources, 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.