THE CONFERENCE CALLER: While he didn’t exactly give the game away during his formal presentation at the RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, Carawine Resources (ASX: CWX) boss David Boyd does have a couple of favourites when it comes to his company’s five highly prospective Australian exploration projects. By Mark Fraser
While Boyd told Resources Roadhouse he was still pretty much sitting on the fence when it came to Carawine’s extensive and diversified minerals portfolio, he had to admit there were a couple of standouts for him – and they were the first two mentioned during his time at the RIU podium.
The first is the Tropicana North gold project in his home state of WA, where the company has 80 kilometres of strike in the prospective Tropicana Belt some 400km north east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and is now looking at multiple targets.
Meanwhile, the second is the Jamieson gold-copper-zinc play in Victoria’s south east Lachlan Fold Belt, home of the high-grade Hill 50 gold deposit as well as a number of interesting porphyry targets.
“In the second half of last year we did two deals – one with a combined interest in a couple of granted tenements to the north and south of Tropicana and another deal to give us a big bunch of application ground which – together with the ground Carawine had pegged previously – basically gave us the second largest holding throughout that Tropicana Belt,” Boyd explained.
“And we’ve just finished 100-odd holes there – over December and into January we did around 3,000 metres of RC drilling and 4,000m of aircore.
“It’s a really exciting prospect, so in terms of what’s new and exciting for the company it’s definitely the Tropicana stuff, and we will see those results come through.
“But Jamieson has been bit of a mainstay for us – there’s a gold system there that is good to chase down.
“So they would be the two right now.”
In relation to Tropicana North, Carawine – as 90% partner – formed a Joint Venture with Thunderstruck Investments to take a closer look at, amongst some other prospects, the advanced Hercules and Atlantis targets which, combined, have already returned assays like 3m at 12 grams per tonne from 49m, 10m at 4.02 grams per tonne from 127m, 15m at 21 grams per tonne from 50m and 9m at 5.19g/t from 63m.
Meanwhile, over in north east Victoria, the company has also launched another drilling campaign focusing on the Jamieson volcanics, where it is confident it has found links with the prospective Stavely volcanics (in western Victoria) and Tasmania’s Mt Read volcanics.
Although down-plunge extension drilling at Hill 50 has revealed promising gold-only intercepts like 50m at 3.08 grams per tonne and 101m at 1.44 grams per tonne, other holes have included copper mineralisation as well.
These include 43m at 4.24 grams per gold and 0.3 per cent copper (with 5m at 24.1 grams per tonne gold and 0.4 per cent copper) as well as 67m at 2.94 grams per tonne gold and 0.1 per cent copper (including 11m at 13.9 grams per tonne gold and 0.2 per cent copper).
Another interesting aspect of the Carawine story is the fact it has formed a few JVs with some serious mining houses – with two partners being Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO) and Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) at its Paterson copper-gold project in WA’s east Pilbara.
With the West Paterson target, Rio Tinto has farmed-in to the tune of $5.5 million and can earn up to 80% in a discovery.
In the meantime, just to the south east at Coolbro, Fortescue’s $6.1 million farm-in can earn the iron ore miner up to 75% in any ore body found.
“When we did those deals we had already done a bit of our own work, generated targets and lifted them up to the next stage of the exploration process,” Boyd said.
“We then looked at where we could spend our money, which is hard fought for and generously guarded, and thought about where it could be best spent – at where we would get our best bang for our buck.
“So at that time we thought we would be better off concentrating on our other projects and letting the likes of Rio and FMG, who are already active in the area, become involved.
“The outlook here is probably a little longer term, but we’re happy to give away some of the interest in these projects and see these farm-in partners spend the money to advance them.
“Ultimately the outcome of these deals in the Paterson is about $12 million being spent in the ground that we don’t have to find ourselves.”