Helix Resources provides encouraging exploration update from its NSW assets

Helix Resources Limited (ASX: HLX) has announced a highly positive exploration update from its Central NSW projects, Cobar gold project and Collerina copper project. The company reported that new gold targets have been identified and copper studies are now underway at its NSW assets.

HLX announced that a comprehensive review has been completed of the Cobar Gold Project assessing exploration potential for large scale gold systems with strong similarities to the nearby Peak Trend gold field (+4Moz.)

The company said that several new, high priority targets were identified using remote sensing data, available geochemistry, and structural interpretation.

Helix reported that first pass field assessment of historic workings and priority structural positions has commenced with 70 rock-chip samples collected.

The company reported that rock-chip samples have been dispatched to the laboratory for assay with results pending.

Helix announced that at the Collerina Copper project, scale potential has been confirmed and geophysical targets defined for additional shoots from 2020 drilling.

The company reported that new 3D implicit modelling including 2020 drill results are nearing completion.

HLX said that consulting engineers have been engaged to assess conceptual pit designs. The company said that the modelling and conceptual pit will be used to prioritise future drill targeting within the new target zones.

Cobar gold Project

The Cobar Gold Project covers an area of approximately 188km² and is located 40km south-east of Cobar in Central West NSW.

Tenements EL6140 and EL6501 cover a package of Girilambone Beds unconformably overlain in places by younger Meryula Formation, and numerous historic workings are located within the project area. The geological and structural setting is analogous to the nearby multiple-mine Peak Trend (>4Moz).

The company had completed two RC drill programs that confirmed that a significant gold system exists at Cobar project.

Previous drilling had returned intersections including – 20m @ 25.5g/t Au and 39m @ 2.4g/t Au1 at Good Friday prospect, 45m at 3.4g/t Au, and 70m at 1.1g/t Au at Boundary Prospect, 28m @ 2.3 g/t Au at Sunrise Prospect, and 43m at 2.3g/t Au at Battery Tank prospect. An Inferred 100,000oz gold JORC2012 oxide gold resource was derived from these four prospects.

The company also intersected 20m at 1.1g/t Au at Reward Prospect, 17.7g/t Au1 rockchip from historically mined lode at Lone Hand Prospect and 2.2g/t Au1 from grab sample of spoil at the Girl in Blue Prospect. Other significant prospects include Homeward Bound and Republic Prospects. 

Collerina copper project

The Collerina project is located in the Cobar-Girilambone district in Central NSW. The only modern exploration was conducted by CRA in the 1980’s; culminating in a three-hole drilling program. All three holes intersected copper mineralisation over varying widths.

In June 2014 Helix commenced field activities on Collerina. The field activities till date include prospect scale mapping and sampling, detailed hydraulic soil auger program, MLEM survey, phase 1 RC drilling, DHEM survey, phase 2 RC drilling, second DHEM survey, geological review, geological model drill testing, Regional Auger Soil Survey, additional DHEM, and diamond drilling program.

Geology review at Cobar gold project

Helix said that during the COVID19 lock-down, a comprehensive technical review was undertaken at Cobar Gold Project.

The company reported that using high resolution satellite data, structural interpretation, overlaid with both Company and historic geology, geophysics and geochemical databases, a large gold system model was developed and a series of specific target areas were identified and prioritised.

Ground access gained

A recent positive development for Helix at the Cobar Gold Project has been gaining access to the northern portion of the goldfield, which encompasses the fold closure of the Restdown Anticline. This part of the project had not been accessible since Helix’s involvement in the region. The fold nose target zone covers approximately 50km2.

The company noted that there are several new targets located in the northern portion of the historic goldfield, with site access only recently granted.

Helix said that this is the first field reconnaissance by any company in over 16 years, with only very limited and sporadic surface sampling evident in modern times.

70 samples collected

The company announced that for the first-pass assessment of historic workings and priority structural positions, 70 Rock-chip samples have been collected from priority structural and geological targets. Helix said that the initial first batch of samples have been sent to a laboratory for assay and results are pending.

Exploration activities to resume

With COVID19 travel restrictions easing, the company said that exploration activities are now expected to continue throughout the winter field season. Helix announced that approximately 50 priority points of interest have been identified across the goldfield during the review. Each of these are expected to be visited and assessed for gold prospectivity.

Engineering and geological studies at Collerina project

Helix reported that it has engaged consultant engineers to model conceptual pit designs for the Collerina Copper Deposit.

The company said that several pit design scenarios is expected to be produced using the initial Collerina Central Zone JORC Resource block model, a series of mining cost inputs based on those applicable to the region, and various copper prices.

In addition, the company is also undertaking an update of the Exploration Target shape, using 3D implicit modelling, and incorporating results from the 2020 RC drilling data.

HLX said that the combined studies are expected to provide Helix with a clearer understanding how the pit shape is influenced by the current resource model, and where additional drilling could rapidly maximise tonnes and grade from the deposit in open cut mining scenarios.

These studies are anticipated to influence the design and positions of future drilling programs at Collerina.

Scale potential confirmed and geophysical targets identified

The company reported that massive, semi-massive and disseminated copper sulphide mineralisation was intersected in a targeted zone approximately 180m down-dip from the delineated Central Zone resource envelope. The key intercept of 4m @ 3.18% Cu and 0.4g/t Au from 218m (including 1m @ 6.44% Cu and 0.8g/t Au from 218m) (primary material) was returned in CORC116.

HLX said that along strike from Central Zone, the holes drilled into this extensional target intersected zones of oxide and transitional copper mineralisation in two broad fence lines of drilling. The best result of 11m @ 1.04% Cu (oxide/transitional) from 58m (including 3m @ 2.79% Cu (transitional) from 66m) was returned in CORC107.

The company noted that the results implies a full structural repeat of the Central Zone style plunge from surface as the Northern Target Zone extends to untested FLEM targets approximately 1.5km down plunge.

At the footwall to Central Zone, a broad zone of oxide copper mineralisation was previously observed in a hole drilled approximately 40m west-southwest of CORC009.

The company said that hole CORC111 returned 46m @ 0.44% Cu from 3m including 1m @ 4.9% Cu from 31m2 (massive copper oxide – malachite). This provides strong confirmation of additional footwall mineralisation behind/below the Central Zone resource (Southern Target Zone)

DHEM analysis

Helix reported that the Downhole Electromagnetic (DHEM) analysis has identified a number of strong on-hole and off-hole responses and plates modelled. The company said that the positions of the new plates boost confidence in the plunge targets on both the new Northern Target Zone and the new Southern Target Zone.

Management comments

Helix Executive Chairman, Peter Lester, said: “Helix has taken full advantage of the recent lock-down period to undertake comprehensive technical reviews of our high-quality NSW assets. Recent advances in resolution and access to remote-sensing data, combined with reviews of our broader exploration datasets, has resulted in compelling target outcomes for both our copper and gold projects.

Significantly, at the Cobar Gold Project, studies have highlighted the potential for new largescalegold-systems with a series of quality priority targets identified. Helix has also recently gained ground access to the northern 50km2 of the goldfield, believed to be the first time in a couple of decades.

First-pass field examinations have commenced, with the first batch of rock chips from this area dispatched to the laboratory for assay. Meanwhile our flagship Copper Project, Collerina, is receiving initial conceptual open-pit design studies and new target 3D implicit modelling of the mineralisation.

These studies will help refine the positioning and priorities for the next phase of exploration, targeting the new copper zones identified in the breakthrough drilling earlier this year. We are genuinely excited by the value opportunities emerging from these reviews and studies.”

Written By Jonathan Norris
Jonathan is a founder of Mining.com.au and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.