Copper momentum is building for Helix Resources in the Cobar region, with a rig on site to drill the first diamond hole at the Canbelego project since 2013.  

Drilling contractor Mitchell Services is onsite at Canbelego, and will today drill CANDD001 at the project, which is a joint venture owned 70% by Helix (ASX:HLX) and 30% by Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS).

Drilling is targeting depth extensions indicated by untested downhole electromagnetic conductors carried out in 2013, and part of an initial 1100m program to be drilled at Canbelego.

A recent VTEM MAX survey highlighted previously unrecognised potential extensions and repetitions of Canbelego’s copper mineralisation.

Additional reverse circulation drilling is planned for these areas along with several other high priority targets in a follow-up program.

Meanwhile, surface electromagnetic surveys have resumed over new anomalies at both the Rochford and Collerina trends after a short rain delay. These surveys are designed to better define prospective targets identified by the recent VTEM ahead of drilling.

Helix’s team is on site and accompanied by consulting structural geologist Dr Vladimir David who is assisting with detailed core logging and planning.

This is part of a build-up of the discovery team to be based out of Orange, rather than Perth, and led by the experienced Gordon Barnes who will begin as exploration manager on May 10.

Helix managing director Mike Rosenstreich said the company was excited by the prospect of getting back out and exploring for copper.

“It’s wonderful to be on the ground with our geologists, geophysical crews and drill contractors so quickly after the completion of our $3 million capital raise,” he said.

“Whilst we don’t plan to report results ‘hole by hole’ we thought it was important to signal to shareholders that we have started the work they have invested into.

“The recent VTEM survey has been a great success and has highlighted the Canbelego area as a high priority target prospective for significant increments to the current copper resource defined there.

“Transferring our exploration HQ to Orange means we will be closer to the projects and better positioned to maintain a more aggressive exploration program.”

Canbelego has a historical 2004 JORC resource, which the initial exploration program plans to test for depth extensions.

A schematic long-section of the Canbelego copper deposit, with re-processed DHEM conductor target and approximate location of drill hole pierce points for the initial 2021 drilling. Pic: Supplied.

Momentum builds

Helix has wasted no time getting back into Cobar since the appointment of new managing director Rosenstreich in January.

The company raised $3 million to fund exploration and made the decision to shift its exploration team’s base closer to Cobar.

Orange-based Gordon Barnes’ appointment adds serious experience to Helix’s copper finding efforts.

The company said it was planning and budgeting its activities across three main activity streams:

  • The extension of existing resources at Canbelego and the Central Zone deposit;
  • Testing of targets to either progress them to resource definition type drilling, or moving on to new targets if further drilling isn’t warranted, and;
  • Target generation like the recent VTEM Max surveying and ongoing soil auger geochemistry sampling, which will be boosted by geological mapping and additional geophysical surveys.

“To underpin its copper business case the company must grow its existing copper resource base and generate new copper targets for assessment,” Helix said in its latest ASX release.

“In the past two months the company has already made significant progress along these activity paths and looks forward to providing further updates on these activities.”

Cobar calling

Helix’s Canbelego and Central Zone deposits are located in the Cobar region, an area highly endowed with copper, base metals and gold mines and large-scale mineral resources.

The company believes its projects, located along the Rochford and Collerina copper-mineralised trends respectively, show significant potential for extensions to high grade mineralisation.

Electromagnetic surveying is known as a successful discovery tool for copper in Cobar, but only 20% of the prospective copper trends on Helix tenements had EM survey coverage until March. This work identified 24 high-priority copper targets.

New management has made active effort to reinvigorate Helix, with funding allowing a dual focus on both regional target generation work to maintain a pipeline of new copper opportunities, as well as growing the existing resources to underpin a development pathway for a copper business.



This article was developed in collaboration with Helix 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.