Taruga Minerals (ASX:TAR) has hit the reset button and is now focusing on iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) style mineralisation at the intersection of two structural corridors that host tier one projects like the giant Olympic Dam mine.

Where it gets lively is that IOCG mineralisation at the 647sqkm Flinders project has been mapped and sampled at the surface in several locations, and not under several hundred metres of sedimentary cover as is often the case with IOCG projects in the G2 corridor.

The company has secured a 12-month option agreement to acquire Strikeline Resources, which owns the Flinders project that is just 80km from Port Augusta and features power and rail access on the lease.

Copper mining was conducted on the project from 1863 to 1909 while iron oxide was mined in the 1980s from the Main Lode.

Taruga director Mark Gasson told Stockhead Flinders was an exciting new project in the Grawler Craton that sat at the intersection of the G2 structural corridor that houses the giant Olympic Dam and Carrapateena mine and the G8 corridor that hosts the Beltana zinc and Leigh Creek copper projects.

He pointed to the outcropping mineralisation as the key drawcard of the Flinders project.

“That is the big attraction. What really drew our focus was the exposed mineralisation at the Mt Stevens Thrust that has been mapped out by previous explorers over more than 6km and associated breccias,” he explained.

The Flinders project regional and structural setting
The Flinders project regional and structural setting Pic: Taruga Minerals

Gasson highlighted the Woolshed/Metabase prospects as a standout feature as they are associated with a 2km long magnetic anomaly where recent sampling returned more than 4.5 grams per tonne (g/t) gold with high copper and iron grades.

“You have all the right kinds of minerals and it is at surface,” he added.

Going forward, Gasson says Taruga will first carry out detailed soil sampling and mapping over the Woolshed/Metabase anomaly before carrying out a gravity survey to show its potential size at depth.

“We hope this thing is going to continue and that is why we need to do the gravity before drilling so we can really maximise everything when you drill that first hole,” he said.

Gasson added that the detailed sampling and mapping was expected to pick up more exposed mineralisation over the Mt Stevens Thrust.

Other prospects include the Warrakimbo Main Lode and Rambla.

Warrakimbo was mined historically for copper using artisanal methods and later for micaceous iron oxide (miox) through small scale mining operations.

Miox is a rare industrial mineral used in paints and coatings for its high chemical resistance and protective properties and is only known to occur in a few locations globally.

Recent sampling at Warrakimbo returned up to 50.2 per cent copper, 1.23 per cent cobalt and 68.4 per cent iron.

Meanwhile, Rambla is a sediment-hosted copper prospect that was the subject of artisanal mining in the late 1800s.

It sits west of the Mt Stephen Thrust and is associated with a 1.8km striking “white-rock” alteration feature which is bound by parallel North-South striking faults.

A single reconnaissance sample collected at Rambla returned 5.1 per cent copper and 5.7g/t silver.

The Warrakimbo Ranges IOCG target area showing mapped breccias associated with the Mt Stephen Thrust
The Warrakimbo Ranges IOCG target area showing mapped breccias associated with the Mt Stephen Thrust Pic: Taruga Minerals


Transaction details

On execution of the terms sheet, Targua will have to pay the vendors of Strikeline $15,000 within seven days of signing and another $25,000 within six months.

It will then need to spend $250,000 on exploration across the Flinders project before the first anniversary of signing to earn the right to exercise the option to acquire Strikeline and the Flinders project.

Should it choose to do so, Taruga will issue the sellers 40 million shares in the company, on or before May 14 2021.

The company will also have to make two milestone payments of $400,000 in cash or shares on delineating a resource of 150,000 tonnes of copper equivalent and a further $500,000 in cash or shares on the completion of a positive bankable feasibility study.