Emu NL’s Viper copper project in WA is already looking the goods with first pass sampling across the prospect throwing up visible copper. The company’s maiden auger drilling program has tested the main copper bearing stratigraphy along more than 3 kilometres of strike where the field team has been routinely picking up samples containing visible copper mineralisation.
The company recently completed a 153-auger hole program across the Viper tenure, with Emu’s drilling focusing on the immediate strike extensions to the historic, high-grade Netty copper mine. The shallow drilling program extended for 3.6km across the mineralised mafic intrusive, which also hosts the mine. Auger drilling was undertaken on 400 metre spaced lines.
The Netty mine operated between 1907 and 1969, producing small quantities of high-grade copper ore from a shallow underground operation. Reports show the upper levels of the mine produced oxide ores rich in both malachite and azurite before transitioning into coveted, chalcopyrite sulphide mineralisation at depth.
Emu’s exploration team have confirmed a lack of modern exploration across the highly prospective target, presenting an enviable opportunity for Emu. The only significant work undertaken at the mine was a program of underground sampling in the 1980s, which returned some impressive results.
Channel sampling of the old Netty workings, which have since been backfilled by the local farmers for safety reasons, traced the historical underground workings along more than 40m of strike. The sampling returned a wealth of mineralisation with much of the ore assays tipping the scales at an eye-catching 3 to 10 per cent copper and kicking as high as 14.1 per cent copper.
Interestingly, most of the samples also show anomalous levels of nickel, with assays typically grading above 1,000 parts per million and peaking at 0.51 per cent nickel – the historical samples were not assayed for platinum group metals, perhaps adding a third string to Viper’s bow.
Emu’s Viper copper-nickel project is located in Western Australia’s Great Southern region, around 400km south-east of Perth and adjacent to the farming town of Jeeramungup. The company’s tenure covers the recognised extents of the10km long Netty base metal trend, with the centrepiece of the project being the unexplored Netty copper mine.
The company’s initial exploration program at Viper is now complete, with the auger rig having relocated some 200km to the north where it is furiously drilling across Emu’s Graceland nickel prospect. Emu is likely to follow up the current auger program with infill sampling and geophysics, should the lab confirm the company’s suspicions in the coming weeks.
With the copper price sitting at near-decade highs, trading at over US$8,800 per tonne and Emu picking up visible copper on the ground at Viper, the company is likely to be sweating on the results from the recent auger program as it begins to home in on what could potentially be the next mineral discovery in WA’s South West Mineral Field.
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