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Junior explorer Rumble Resources picked up more land in the hot Paterson province earlier this year, but it’s been continually mistaken as belonging to mining giant Rio Tinto.

Back in June Rumble pegged some 1375 sq km of land in the Paterson province that has been propelled into the spotlight thanks to rumours of a big copper find in the area by Rio (ASX:RIO).

Just hours after Rumble pegged the area, Rio came along and pegged the same ground.

“We’ve always been interested in the Paterson province,” Rumble managing director Shane Sikora told Stockhead.

“So we’d been waiting for the opportunity within that area and these two [tenements] came along and we pegged them first.

“And then about five hours later Rio Tinto pegged them, but because we were the first to peg them, we got the application.”

Rumble is still waiting for its application to be approved, which Mr Sikora thinks is “not too far away”.

The company’s new project, known as Lamil, lies between Newcrest Mining’s (ASX:NCM) Telfer gold mine and Metals X’s (ASX:MLX) Nifty copper mine.

There has been some confusion over the ownership of the ground — with several maps showing it as belonging to Rio.

The map below shows Rumble’s position in the Paterson.

Rumble Resources' Lamil project in the Paterson province.
Rumble Resources’ Lamil project in the Paterson province.

Another player in the Paterson, Alta Zinc (ASX:AZI) released its own map on Wednesday to highlight it too has land in the hot spot.

Alta owns 215 sq km known as the Paterson project.

“These licences were granted in 2016 and cover highly prospective parts of the Broadhurst Formation, including the Eva Well prospect,” the company told investors.

“Analyst and media reports have focused on speculation that Rio Tinto has made a significant greenfields copper discovery in the Paterson province, sparking a scramble by other companies to secure tenements in the region.”

Alta is now planning to undertake a gravity survey during the next field season, which usually starts around April, to define future targets for follow-up exploration.

Rumble, meanwhile, already had a project, known as Braeside, which is prospective for zinc, lead, copper, silver and vanadium and extends into the Paterson province, that it has been exploring for the past year.

“We haven’t made a song and dance about [Lamil] because we’ve been focusing on our Braeside project, which we just completed drilling on and we’re waiting for the results,” Mr Sikora said.

While its flagship Braeside project remains a key focus for Rumble, the company does plan to get cracking on the new Lamil project as soon as its application is approved.

“We picked [Lamil] up for its prospectivity and for the regional structure running through it,” Mr Sikora said.

“It’s highly prospective obviously because it’s in between Nifty and Telfer and it’s on that right Paterson province zone.

“It’s about systematically exploring it but knowing that it’s in elephant country and has the right structures and features that would have the potential to host something.”

Rumble is already going through the available data from past exploration in the area and then plans to start pinpointing potential drill targets.