It hosts one of Australia’s largest gold mines and has been explored extensively for uranium and rare earths, but the legendary Tanami Province in Australia’s red centre could play host to copper too.

Explorer Killi Resources (ASX:KLI) has cottoned on to the region’s potential for sulphide hosted copper deposits in a single 890.4m stratigraphic diamond hole drilled as part of a WA Exploration Incentive Scheme grant at its West Tanami project.

Killi had been looking to see whether the rocks known for delivering the 13Moz endowment at Newmont’s giant Callie mine could be found on its tenure.

But the most exciting find so far could be a 10m zone of significant sulphides, with visible pyrrhotite, chalcopyrite (copper mineralisation) and pyrite identified within mafic rocks.

If it turns out to be something more substantial it is an exciting proposition. Copper and other battery base metals like nickel and cobalt are expected to see demand grow exponentially in the coming decades as electric vehicles take over roads across the world.

The WA Government will tip up to $150,000 towards completion of the hole at the Fox Prospect, completed at the northern end of the West Tanami project to delineate the stratigraphic sequence within the Tanami Orogen.

Killi CEO Kathryn Cutler said it is possible the style of mineralisation found in the EIS hole had not been documented in the resource rich region of WA and the NT.

“We are extremely excited to have intersected this significant sulphide zone at West Tanami,” she said.

“The purpose of the targeted hole was to determine where the prospective stratigraphy extended in the northern end of the Project, and whether we were in the right rocks for gold mineralisation like that seen at the 13Moz Callie gold mine down the road.

“The good news is the hole did pass through a large sequence of prospective looking folded sediments with zones of quartz veining, however of serious interest is the visual copper mineralisation seen within a mafic unit.

“The Tanami province has been explored for gold, uranium and rare earth elements previously, however the prospectivity for base metals, in particular orthomagmatic systems has not been documented.

“This is the first occurrence of this style of mineralisation on the project, and possibly the region, and provides a unique opportunity for the company.”

Killi Resourcesasx kli
The Fox Prospect is located in close proximity to significant gold mines. But its base metals potential is new. Pic: KLI

More to come

There is further exploration to come, with Killi designing hole TMDD0001 to cross the stratigraphy known to host gold mineralisation 120km along strike at Callie.

In the upper part of the hole there were multiple zones of interest displaying cross-cutting quartz veins within a sandstone, adjacent to a sedimentary-mafic contact, the company said.

“A particularly interesting quartz-pyrite vein was intersected at ~218m with a strong silica and hematite alteration halo, and at 173m there was a folded and sheared shale unit with quartz veining and silica/feldspar alteration.”

Killi Resources asx kli
Sulphides, including massive sulphides and chalcopyrite, have been identified in core from a landmark EIS drill hole at West Tanami. Pic: KLI

This is characteristic of gold mineralisation styles in the region.

Despite hosting major mineral deposits the exploration data around the Tanami region is spotty, with deep cover, limited exposure at surface and a lack of available data like diamond core.

Exploration was off and on between the early 1900s and mid-1980s because of these challenges and its remote locale, with the focus specifically on uranium, rare earths and gold.

Going forward Killi plans to actively explore the base metal potential of the Tanami, with a downhole geophysical survey planned to work out if there are any adjacent sulphide bodies in proximity to the diamond hole.

A review of historical work will continue to include exploration for a potential orthomagmatic sulphide system. Meanwhile processing of data from a recent airborne magnetic and radiometric survey is underway, with results to assist in target generation.

Importantly, results remain pending for recent aircore and RC drilling, with pulps to be further analysed now for base metals and pathfinder elements.




This article was developed in collaboration with Killi 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.