Astute to resume drilling at ‘compelling’ Georgina targets 

Astute Metals (ASX:ASE) is scheduled to restart drilling at its Leichhardt East prospect, as part of its Georgina IOCG Project in the Northern Territory for mid-2024. 

The $10.26 million market capitalisation company says the completion of constrained gravity inversion modelling at 3 prospects in the central tenement area has revealed ‘compelling’, untested, high-density IOCG targets, with nearby drillholes that exhibit elevated key IOCG pathfinder metals such as uranium, silver, bismuth and copper. 

Astute has reviewed and evaluated each of the targets and has elected to proceed with drill testing of the high-density Leichhardt East target as a first step. 

Leichhardt East is considered to have the highest prospectivity based on its size, high-density character, structural location and depth to the target. This initial drilling will be undertaken in June/July 2024. 

The initial hole will also provide proof-of-concept that the novel geophysical modelling approach undertaken by the company is effective at identifying high-density targets under cover. Once proven successful, further drillholes will be designed and permitted for the Banks and Leichhardt West prospects.

A specialised workflow was developed by Mitre Geophysics (Mitre) to bring together gravity, Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) survey and geological inputs to arrive at the final constrained inversion model for Leichhardt East, which was reported in detail on 11 January 2024. 

The company says an additional step has since been introduced to the workflow whereby the elevation of the lower contact surface of the ANT low-velocity zone was adjusted downward to match an average best-fit with the lower contact of the Georgina basin limestone in each of five pre-existing drill-holes in the survey area. 

This additional step is reportedly expected to better reflect the actual position of the lower contact of the Georgina Basin limestone, and thus improve modelling outcomes.

The former owner of the Georgina Basin Project, Greenvale Energy (ASX:GRV), previously drilled a single hole into each of these targets, both of which intersected ‘elevated’ levels of copper, silver, and bismuth, metals associated with IOCG-style deposits. 

With geophysical modelling work essentially complete and key characteristics of the 3 high-impact targets understood, Astute has elected to test Leichhardt East as first priority, given its size, high-density character, and depth to target.  

Executive Chairman Tony Leibowitz says the company will also move forward with a new phase of drilling at its lithium claystone projects in Nevada, US, in parallel with Georgina drilling.  

“Following our recent success in defining a strong IOCG target at Leichhardt East, modelling of the existing geophysical and gravity data has now produced two additional compelling IOCG drill targets at Banks and Leichhardt West. These results have added significant value to the Georgina IOCG Project and represents one of the most compelling discovery opportunities in our portfolio. 

We are now moving ahead with plans to drill test these exciting new targets, with our initial focus expected to be on Leichhardt East because of its size and other defining characteristics.”

The modelling process has remained largely unchanged from that which identified the strong IOCG target at Leichhardt East, as reported by Mining.com.au earlier this year.

Astute Metals is a diversified ASX-listed explorer with a clear focus on finding and developing critical metals required for electrification and the global energy transition. 

The company’s Georgina Project sits in the East Tennant Mineral Province of the Northern Territory. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Astute Metals
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.