• Copper Search to drill six RC holes to follow up on iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) mineralisation intersected at target AC23
  • While previous hole 23PK01 had intersected mineralisation, it is considered to have been a near miss
  • Continuous drilling planned for the rest of this year and into 2024 on the Peake project


Copper Search’s hunt for IOCG-style mineralisation at its Peake project in South Australia is heating up with a second rig mobilised to drill six rotary mud pre-collars ahead of reverse circulation drilling.

Peake consists of ~5,500km2 of ground over the mineral rich Gawler Craton, which is best known for hosting BHP’s giant Olympic Dam iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) mine and Oz Minerals’ reliable Prominent Hill IOCG mine.

This is hugely relevant to Copper Search (ASX:CUS) for two very significant reasons.

Firstly, IOCG deposits are highly sought after, due to their potential to be incredibly large, and easy to process.

That serves to frame the tremendous potential introduced by the company’s 2022 review, which identified over 20 shallow potential IOCG targets less than 500m deep and another six deeper targets.

Adjacent explorer Demetallica, which has since been acquired by AIC Mines, added more fuel to the fire after its drilling in 2022 confirmed the prospectivity for Ernest Henry-style IOCG-copper mineralisation.

Drilling carried out earlier this year has since confirmed that IOCG-style mineralisation is indeed present with hole 23PK01 at target AC23 returning IOCG pathfinder elements lanthanum and cerium along with intriguing intercepts such as:

  • 5 metres of 0.45% copper and 0.67 g/t gold from 152m;
  • 1 metres of 0.15% copper and 0.05 g/t gold from 183m; and
  • 7 metres of 0.14% copper and 0.55 g/t gold from 293m; including 1.2m at 0.44% copper and 0.21 g/t gold from 305m and 5.5m at 0.14% copper and 1.13g/t gold from 293m including 1.1m at 0.15% copper and 5.25g/t gold from 293m.

This was followed by an induced polarisation survey that successfully mapped out the gravity anomaly at A23, which is 18km southwest along the fertile Karari Shear Zone (KSZ) from AIC’s Wills prospect where drilling intersected IOCG mineralisation, and detected the new A24 target.


Drill plan at the Peake project. Pic: Supplied (CUS).


Follow-up drilling

Copper Search is now drilling six rotary mud ‘pre-collars’ into the 60-100m of cover (sands) above the targeted basement rocks at AC23 prior to the arrival of the reverse circulation rig in late October.

In area of deep overburden, like this, a rotary drill is often used until it hits bedrock. The hole is then ‘cased’ and the bigger RC or diamond rig keeps drilling deeper where the rotary left off.

These six holes will each be drilled to a maximum depth of 650m to follow-up on the IOCG mineralisation intersected by 23PK01, which the company considers a near miss.

The drilling will test both de-magnetised and magnetised zones that form a ring-like structure at the large-scale 1400m by 600m target and highlights the company’s focus on the KSZ – a long-lived deep-tapping fault that creates a permissive structural setting for forming IOCG-style mineral systems.

Diamond drilling is also continuing at the high-priority AC02 1,800m by 1,200m target that lies on the KSZ midway between known IOCG-style mineralisation at the Wills prospect and AC23.

“We have been actively exploring for two years at our Peake project and have acquired a great deal of data and local expertise in IOCG exploration,” chief executive officer Duncan Chessell said.

“Our original 40 geophysical anomalies have been narrowed to five high priority targets on the fertile Karari Shear Zone and parallel structures.

“These drill targets have been validated by conventional modelling, passive seismic surveys and machine learning models against IOCG deposits Australia wide.

“With two rigs on site, we are leaning in on the fertile Karari Shear Zone, drill testing significant scale potential IOCG targets with drilling planned for much of the rest of the year and a pipeline of drilling planned into 2024.”



Further activity

Once the six planned pre-collars are completed and RC drilling begins, Copper Search plans to announce a more detailed location map and hole plan for all the drill holes at AC23.


This article was developed in collaboration with Copper Search, 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.