• Capella Metals has an IPO planned for April this year raising minimum $4.5m
  • The historical Surprise mine hosts plenty of shallow, high-grade copper as evidenced by hits such as 23.77m @ 4.67% Cu from 51m
  • Portfolio underpinned by more than 2,000km2 of tenure with geology similar to large, nearby copper deposits in the Mt Isa region
  • The new float also has advanced uranium prospects surrounding Valhalla, Australia’s third-largest known U3O8 project


Special Report: Ahead of its upcoming IPO, Capella Metals is lining up thorough exploration activities based off historical mining data across a giant landholding in one of Queensland’s most prolific and historic mining districts – Mt Isa.

Capella Metals (proposed ASX:CAP) has a whopping 2,020km2 of prime tenure in the region, adjoining Glencore’s monster Mt Isa operation, where it is targeting its proven copper, base metals and uranium prospectivity.

The explorer’s initial focus is the Surprise copper-gold project, historically mined to depths of only 40m and is similar in geology to Evolution Mining’s (ASX:EVN) Ernest Henry, Carnaby Resources’ (ASX:CNB) Greater Duchess and Hammer Metals’ (ASX:HMX) Kalman mines and projects.

Capella is in good company with neighbours also including 29 Metals (ASX:29M), Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG), Austral Resources (ASX:AR1) and Paladin Energy (ASX:PDN).


Capella Metals is the latest entrant to the prolific Mt Isa mining district. Pic: Supplied (CAP)


An experienced team

Capella is led by managing director Cain Fogarty, a geologist with over 20 years of mining industry experience, especially across copper and uranium.

His global experience stems from working with mining companies in Australia, Africa and China, notably leading the team that discovered the major Equinox ore shoot at Equinox Minerals’ Lumwana copper-uranium mine in Zambia before its takeover by Barrick Gold.

The Equinox discovery came about, Fogarty says, by looking at historical data and finding discrepancies that led to missed opportunities for previous explorers, then applying new high-powered geophysical surveys ahead of drilling.

It spurred his self-professed passion for reviewing previously explored areas with more modern exploration techniques, which is one of the main reasons Capella took an interest in the Mt Isa region.

“We were attracted to the Mt Isa tenement package for its multiple shallow, high-grade deposits and the potential for giant deposits that may be concealed in structurally ‘blind’ locations,” Fogarty says.

“The Mt Isa region is one of the best places on the planet for copper and when this tenement package became available we could see straight away that the mineralised structures of surrounding projects led straight into the project area.”


Capella Metals
Capella managing director Cain Fogarty at the Surprise mine. Pic: Supplied (CAP)



During the 1970s, drill results at the Surprise project area popped up high-grade copper hits of 3.66m @ 9.53% copper from 22m at hole SH37, and 23.77m @ 4.67% copper from 51m at hole SH30.

From this, there is a defined >1km strike open in all directions and Capella believes the geology could play host to multiple high-grade copper-gold shoots leading to a mining scenario with further investigation.

The plan is to go deeper. With only shallow historical mining to a depth of ~40m, the company already has walk-up RC drill targets to test immediately post IPO.

It plans to conduct a range of geophysical and geochemical surveys that will provide a much better understanding of the tenement package ahead of a more intensive drill campaign.

Recent grab samples also depict the area’s REE prospectivity, with total rare earth oxides (TREO) of up to 844ppm recorded at the Surprise mine.


Capella Metals
A mineralised sample from Surprise. Pic: Supplied (CAP)


Further targets of Calton Hills, Conglomerate Creek and other regional-scale faults were only superficially explored across six decades from the 1950s until the 2010s, and are known to have a mix of large copper hydrothermal systems and prospective host shales along major structures which have been only sparsely tested below surface.

Interestingly, no rock chip sampling or drilling has ever been conducted along the identified 14km-long strike of the Conglomerate Creek fault, with its large bullseye magnetic anomaly, extensive stream sediment copper anomaly and historical workings all pointing to a large copper system.


Capella Metals
Capella will initially target the historical Surprise mine for further high-grade copper and gold potential. Pic: Supplied (CAP)


Yellowcake opportunity

Capella’s tenure surrounds Paladin’s 98.8Mlb @ 680ppm U3O8 Valhalla uranium project, the third-largest in Australia behind BHP’s (ASX:BHP) Olympic Dam and the Jabiluka mine.

The Queens Gift uranium prospect, located in the north of the package, hosts rock chips of up to 2.86% U3O8, and historical drilling returned grades of up to 3,235ppm and significant widths, including 69m @ 467ppm U3O8.

It also hosts a JORC 2004 resource of 1.02Mlb U3O8 @ 430ppm defined by Deep Yellow (ASX:DYL) back in 2011 requiring follow up to assess growth potential.

Four more uranium prospects showed up to 1,548ppm from RC drill holes and rock chip samples of up to 5,440ppm.

Reviews of the historical exploration have revealed dozens of targets for Capella to sink its teeth into with reconnaissance sampling, augur and RC drilling planned to update the Queen’s Gift resource and prove up untested targets.

“We’ve got quite a bit of data to play with, can already see what other people have missed and are excited to launch our IPO next month so we can kick off our exploration plans,” Fogarty says.

“Our post-IPO roadmap is to initially target the old Surprise mine for high-grade copper-gold, prove up our uranium prospects and move on to our highly-prospective targets for giant discoveries across our tenure.”



This article was developed in collaboration with Capella Metals, 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.