The area between the Olympic IOCG Belt and Gawler Craton in central South Australia 590km from Adelaide is one previously overlooked by explorers, but ASX newcomer Taiton Resources believes it could be onto the next ‘province making’ discovery.


It might be a big call but Taiton Resources (ASX:T88) managing director Noel Ong says there is substantial evidence to back it.

The story dates to COVID times when Taiton’s exploration manager, David McSkimming, found himself stuck in Perth many miles away from home in Southeast Asia.

“As fate would have it, the Mines Department released all this data around the same time – so he took that information, reprocessed it and came up with compelling evidence that this location has the potential to host IOCG and porphyry at only 8 metres deep,” Ong explains.

For context, the renowned Olympic Dam deposit discovered by Western Mining back in 1975, is considered one of the world’s largest iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits and the fourth largest copper deposit globally, is located roughly 350m metres below the surface.

“Traditionally the IOCG guys are looking at up to 500 metres of cover, but where we are we can show with evidence that we are talking about between five to 20 metres in our main area and up to 50 metres in other areas,” Ong says.

“This makes us different to other explorers and will cost us a lot less to drill and mine.”


Geophysics suggest something big is lurking underneath

Rigorous geophysics programs such as target evaluation and age dating (zircon geochronological work) were undertaken to test whether the Highway Project rocks boast similar characterises to that of the Olympic Dam IOCG Belt.

“When we did the age dating, we took samples from the basement rocks and those samples came from rocks only seven metres below surface, so we know that the cover is very shallow,” Ong says.

Another compelling piece of evidence is the results of a hydro-chemical water bore analyse undertaken by CSIRO/GSSA at the ‘Merino prospect’.


Pic: Taiton Resources

The blue circles represent new areas of interest based on CSIRO’s hydro-chemical data. Pic: Supplied


The results suggest the presence of hydrothermal systems at shallow depth and show areas for potential mineralisation.

“As a further boost of confidence, they have identified the Highway Project as the largest anomalous chemical signatures from their studies,” he explains.

“We have also identified several untested gravity anomalies from the SARIG database which are coincident with the new area of interest identified by CSIRO.


Pic: Taiton Resources

The red outlines Taiton’s IOCG target area, which have been considered as ‘unmineralised’ previously. Pic: Supplied


“All the evidence seems to be pointing to what we are saying – we are not saying we have found this big Olympic Dam type deposit, but we believe we’ve got a mineral system that is missed by previous explorers and has the potential to host these types of deposits.”


Near-term developments

But the Highway Project isn’t the only project in Taiton’s portfolio.

The Lake Barlee Project is located about 65km southeast of Youanmi on an intermittent playa Salt Lake, the second largest in Western Australia.

While no substantive exploration for gold has been reported, walk-up drill targets for gold mineralisation has been defined following a drone magnetic survey on the southern end of E77/2700.

Here, the early-stage mineral explorer plans to undertake a 13-hole reverse circulation drilling program across Target A and a five-hole drill program across Target B.

“The idea is to look for something large,” Ong says.

“The focus is on the Highway Project but we will test this and quickly divert if there is no sign of bigger stuff there.”

EXPLORERS PODCAST: Taiton’s IPO aims to raise $10m before listing in November


The third project is the Challenger West Project in South Australia, about 190km northwest of the Highway Project and 135km from Coober Pedy.

While Taiton is yet to acquire any new data, the company has re-processed the existing gravity data to better highlight the relationship of the mineralisation to gravity gradients.

Taiton believes the existing data, which has a good historical indicator of district-scale mineralisation, supports a strategy for new discoveries.


Upcoming investor catalysts

Taiton is looking to raise a minimum of $7m and up to a maximum of $10 from its IPO which closes on November 11.

Funds from the IPO will be spent on a series of grassroots exploration programs across the three projects.


At Stockhead we tell it like it is. While Taiton Resources is a Stockhead advertiser, it did not sponsor this article.