OZ Minerals possesses extensive exploration experience both in Australia and at international sites. Growth through exploration is a central part of our strategy to add value to the company.
OZ Minerals has multiple exploration earn in agreements in place with highly regarded explorers. These provide OZ Minerals with exploration expertise in specific geologic terrains and locations. Our partners in turn access capital to undertake drilling programs. OZ Minerals typically works with its partners to oversee projects while they manage on the ground activities. OZ Minerals’ growth strategy involves building a pipeline of opportunities and rigorously progressing these. In line with our capital discipline strategy, if at any time it is determined that a project does not have the potential to generate substantial value, OZ Minerals will cease expenditure and withdraw from the arrangement.
For the latest information on exploration and relevant disclosures under JORC 2012, please refer to our quarterly reports and ASX releases. Below is a brief outline of our current exploration projects.
The Sadjem project was added to the portfolio in Q3 2021 through our alliance with our partners Mineral Prospektering i Sverige AB (MPS) in Sweden. This project is targeting large, near surface copper and gold deposits along strike to the south of the Nautanen and Aitik copper and gold deposits in Northern Sweden. The exploration program will consist of an airborne EM survey, ground verification and drilling which is all planned for 2022.
The Wollogorang project in the gulf country of the Northern Territory was added to the portfolio in Q3 2021. OZ Minerals can earn a majority equity in the project held by Resolution Minerals Ltd and is targeting sedimentary hosted copper deposits in the McArthur Basin. Drilling of geophysical targets generated by surface and ground surveys is planned for the first half of 2022 following the completion of heritage surveys and other statutory approvals.
In Q1 2021, OZ Minerals entered into its first agreement generated by the Drillanthropy initiative. Drillanthropy is aimed at data science driven exploration targeting in South Australia and provides funding to drill test targets. The agreement, with Black Tiger Resources Pty Ltd, allows OZ Minerals to drill test targets on the Pandurra project, located on the northern portion of the Eyre Peninsular.
If the drilling is successful OZ Minerals has the right to earn up to 75% of the project.
In Q1 2021, OZ Minerals entered an option agreement on the Grota Verde project. The project is located ~23km NE of the Antas mine and is considered prospective for copper gold mineralisation.
Fieldwork commenced in 2021 with geological mapping / sampling and a ground EM survey to generate targets for drill testing in 2022.
In 2019, OZ Minerals expanded its partnership with Mineral Prospektering i Sverige AB by signing a new earn-in agreement on the Painirova project in northern Sweden. Painirova is located between the Mertainen iron-oxide–apatite deposit and the active Leveäniemi mine at Svappavaara in Sweden’s most prolific mining belt.
OZ Minerals made an initial commitment to acquire airborne electromagnetic (AEM) data over the tenement package; this was completed in Q3 2019. In 2020 OZ Minerals elected to proceed with the project, and will complete drilling a number of high ranked targets by end 2021.
In April 2019, OZ Minerals agreed to loan carry Minotaur Exploration’s funding share of Jericho in return for an 80% beneficial interest in the project.
In a refinement of OZ Minerals’ relationship with Minotaur Exploration in the Cloncurry area, Jericho was excised from the Eloise joint venture area to create a separate joint venture around the Jericho discovery.
OZ Minerals’ footprint in the Cloncurry District of north west Queensland was also significantly increased through the formation of the Cloncurry Regional Alliance with Minotaur Exploration which resulted in the Breena Plains JV being brought into the portfolio in 2020. Work continues on the Eloise JV in 2021.
(OZ Minerals earning up to 70%)
In December 2015, OZ Minerals and Minotaur Exploration entered into a binding Heads of Agreement for the Eloise Project, located near Cloncurry, Queensland.
The Cloncurry Mineral District contains strong mineral endowment in a variety of commodities, including Cu-Au (Ernest Henry, Eloise, Osborne and Mount Elliot/Swan deposits) and Zn-Pb-Ag (Cannington, Pegmont). The geology of the tenements indicates excellent prospectivity for high-grade Eloise-style Cu-Au and Cannington-style Pb-Zn-Ag deposits.
In February 2020, OZ Minerals and Minotaur Exploration entered into an agreement with Sandfire resources to explore the Breena Plains tenement group near Cloncurry in north-west Queensland. This joint venture initialises operations under the Cloncurry Alliance between OZ Minerals and Minotaur Exploration.
The ground is considered prospective for sulphide hosted copper-gold mineralisation, Broken Hill type and Cannington style lead-silver systems. A large electromagnetic survey was conducted in Q3 2020 and continued into 2021. Drill targets have been identified sat “The Gap” prospect and will be drill tested late in 2021.
Multi-site exploration alliance
In January 2019, OZ Minerals entered into an exploration alliance with Red Metal Limited, which significantly increased our exploration footprint in Australia.
The Alliance gives OZ Minerals an option to fund a series of mutually agreed, proof-of-concept work programs on four of Red Metal’s early-stage projects, which includes:
- Yarrie for copper-gold and copper-cobalt in WA
- Gulf for copper-gold in QLD
- Three Ways for zinc-lead-silver in QLD, and
- Lawn Hill for zinc-lead-silver in QLD
Drilling at Three Ways was completed in Q3 2021 with a decision expected on the project on receipt of all assay results and drilling is scheduled to be completed at Gulf in Q4 2021. An Airborne EM survey was completed at the Yarrie project in mid 2021 and results are being interpreted.
In December 2018, OZ Minerals entered into an earn-in agreement with private Peruvian company Inversiones Mineras La Chalina S.A.C. to explore for iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) deposits in the Arequipa district of southern coastal Peru. OZ Minerals can earn up to 100% of the project.
Historical exploration on the licences has included soil sampling, geological mapping, limited geophysics and drilling of nine holes. The drilling focussed on a small (150 x 150 metre) area near historical workings, and the majority of drill holes intersected copper mineralisation. At the Esmeralda target zone, surface copper oxide mineralisation has been traced over a strike length of 400 metres. At the Casper target a 400 x 300 metre copper-in-soil anomaly has been outlined by previous explorers. Neither target has been drill-tested.
OZ Minerals has received its maiden drill permit for the project and drilling is scheduled for early 2022.
Pantera is a high-grade copper-gold exploration project covering approximately 100km2 in the Carajás in Northeastern Brazil with exploration potential.
A drilling program is currently being assessed with the aim of identifying a maiden JORC Mineral Resource and extensions to known mineralisation.
In June 2018, OZ Minerals entered into an agreement with private explorer Mineral Prospektering i Sverige (MPS) to explore for Iron Oxide Copper-Gold (IOCG) mineralisation in the Norrbotten district of northern Sweden.
Historic exploration on the leases by previous explorers intersected a copper and zinc skarn system on the Huornaisenvuoma prospect in the southwest of the license and they also defined two small magnetite-hosted iron occurrences, Kevus and Teltaja. Subsequent gravity and electromagnetic (EM) surveying by the Swedish Geologic Survey (SGU) revealed a continuous, 3.8km long, untested gravity anomaly between Kevus and Teltaja with a coincident EM response.
In April 2021, an eight-hole winter drilling program of 1,448m was completed by our partners MPS at the Lannavarra project in Sweden. The program was designed to test several geophysical and geochemical anomalies. Minor intervals of chalcopyrite pyrrhotite were identified but no significant mineralisation was encountered.
In mid 2021 an additional licence was added to the JV where compelling copper-gold targets have been identified which will be drill tested in late 2021 / early 2022.
OZ Minerals can earn 75% of the project by spending US$10m over 66 months and has the right to purchase a further 25% equity.
The Coompana area has been the subject of a significant amount of airborne and ground geophysics conducted by the South Australian Department of State Development in collaboration with PACE Copper. The area is essentially unexplored and provides OZ Minerals with an opportunity to make exciting discoveries on this 100% owned project.