Special report: Todd River Resources has today unveiled spectacular drilling results which provide more strong evidence that it has made a high-grade base metals discovery in the Northern Territory.

Todd River (ASX:TRT), which has a market cap of just $6.4 million, said the latest hole at its Mount Hardy copper and zinc project returned 13.5m grading 15.9% zinc, 5.75% lead and 0.9% copper.

The shares bounced 32 per cent to an intraday high of 11c in early trade before they closed the day at 10c.

This result follows the assay results reported last month for the discovery hole, which returned 25.15m grading 2.4% copper, 4% zinc and 3.1% lead including a high-grade portion of 9.15m grading 4.5% copper, 7.6% lead and 162g/t silver.

A combination of spectacular zinc and copper grades, significant widths in both holes, and the growing extent of the mineralisation showed Mt Hardy was emerging as an outstanding base metals discovery, said Todd River’s CEO, veteran geologist and mining executive Will Dix.

This view is supported by additional holes Todd River has drilled recently around these two holes, which have hit zones of visual mineralisation – suggesting the discovery has some legs to it.

Assays pending

Assays (or lab tests) are pending for these holes and further drilling is planned.

“We’re very excited and clearly we think we’re onto a discovery that could turn into something quite important for the company,” said Mr Dix.

Mr Dix – who cut his teeth working for the former mid-tier nickel miner LionOre Mining International (and was involved in several important discoveries for that company) – says the discovery is now at a tipping point in terms of the amount of drilling information.

Todd River's projects range from grassroots to advanced near-term developments. Map: TRT
Todd River’s projects range from grassroots to advanced near-term developments. Map: TRT

“Obviously one or two drill holes don’t make a discovery, but I think now we have enough critical mass in terms of drilling information to say that we have a significant polymetallic, high-grade base metal system on our hands.

“It’s too early to say how big it’s going to be but the standoutintercept in this key step-out hole is clearly a major breakthrough.

“Not only have we extended the mineralisation to over 200m down dip, but we have also confirmed that exceptionally high grades and tenor of mineralisation persist to significant depths – and remains open in almost all directions.

“Together with the strong zones of mineralisation encountered in the additional holes MHDDH0039 and MHDDH0040 and the highly encouraging indications from down-hole geophysics, we believe we are onto a high-grade base metal system which warrants a major exploration push by the company.”

A rare discovery

High-grade base metal discoveries have been relatively rare in the Australian exploration scene in recent years.

It’s been six years since Mark Bennett’s Sirius Resources electrified the market with the discovery of the spectacular Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper deposit in WA’s Fraser Range.

And even longer (nine years) since Sandfire Resources discovered the high-grade DeGrussa copper-gold deposit in WA’s Doolgunna district.

In both cases, the discoveries catapulted those companies from unknown penny-stocks into billion-dollar plus companies – generating vast amounts of wealth for shareholders in the process.

With these sorts of precedents in mind, investors will be keeping a close eye on how the Mt Hardy story pans out.

Because the mineralisation is polymetallic, the company is now combining information gleaned from down-hole geophysics with geochemical analysis to determine exactly where it should focus the next round of drilling.

“We’re starting to get a handle on how the geophysical conductor plates correspond with the high-grade massive sulphides, in particular where the dominant sulphide is sphalerite and often difficult to see in EM survey,” Dix says.

“Also, like any polymetallic system, we see zonation of the metals, so the geochemistry will help us to identify where the ‘sweet spots’ are from an exploration perspective.

“I think we’re going to be drilling this system for a long time to come and we’re very excited about the opportunities in front of us not only at the EM1 Prospect but also where we have other EM conductors at Mt Hardy which remain untested at this stage.”


This special report is brought to you by Todd River Resources.

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