Aditya Birla Minerals is primarily focused on copper production and holds copper exploration tenements around the existing Nifty and Maroochydore Copper Projects. Focusing on resource building for underground mining for its Western Australian copper mines, the company has until recently undertaken near mine and regional exploration activities including drilling.
Since inception in 2003, Aditya Birla Minerals has concentrated on mine development and resource and reserve delineation drilling within and adjacent to current projects. The company’s has aggressive exploration activities at Nifty and Maroochydore projects in Western Australia, Australia. Aditya Birla Minerals has continued to pursue international exploration and development opportunities.
Advanced Exploration - Western Australia
Aditya Birla Minerals has expanded its tenement holding to 3,365 sq. km of copper exploration and mining tenements (including applications) around the Birla Nifty Copper Operation (BNCO) in the Great Sandy Desert, WA. In addition to the Nifty exploration tenements, the company holds exploration and mining rights to the Maroochydore Copper Project, located only 110km from the Nifty mine site, approximately 1,033sq.km (including applications). Exploration targets are generated using the integration of data from a comprehensive geological, geophysical, geochemical database using stratigraphic and structural interpretation with specialist input in critical fields.
The Nifty Copper Operation lies approximately 430km southeast of the Port Hedland loading facility at the western margin of the Great Sandy Desert.
Birla Nifty Copper Project
Recent near mine drilling North West of the pit encountered sub-economic quantities of copper mineralisation in a footwall shale horizon which requires follow-up down plunge to test the possibility for improved grades and thickness in footwall shales at depth below the Nifty copper deposit.
Drill hole YNC350, approximately 2Km southwest of Nifty located minor copper mineralisation.
Prior drilling, collared approximately 1 km along strike to the northwest of the pit intersected 1m @ 4.21% Cu from 329m depth in YNC304.
Finch Copper Prospect
This prospect lies in the Nifty syncline approximately 15km south of Nifty. Interpretations of regional electromagnetic, magnetic and gravity geophysical data extending from Finch to Nifty were completed and provide a good correlation with the Nifty stratigraphic sequence. Copper sulphide mineralisation at Finch has been intersected during limited previous drilling in the Nifty syncline and is spatially associated with a local plunge reversal, splay faulting, a major NE-trending cross-fault and lateral dispersion of secondary copper mineralisation along and across strike.
Greater Rainbow Prospects
The Greater Rainbow regions prospects (located 25Km NW of the Nifty mine) are present near surface and at depth over an area of approximately 10km x 25km due to repetition of the host stratigraphy by folding and faulting. The conductive formations represent synclinal tracts of Broadhurst Formation in which prior exploration has been focussed.
Copper anomalism is present in many historic holes distributed over this area where reconnaissance drilling has often not tested these areas to depth. Broad areas of copper anomalism (>150ppmCu) occur over areas highlighted in pink. Moderate to strong levels of copper anomalism (250 to >1000ppm) clustered around a major fault junction near the Grevillea-Stirling prospects.
Nifty Regional Exploration
As an aid to targeting a new metallogenic interpretation of the entire Nifty and Maroochydore drilling database has been completed which resulted in the delineation of three regional scale corridors defined by predominance of copper, lead-zinc and copper-gold metal associations.
Filtering, imaging and interpretation of the high resolution aeromagnetic survey data acquired in FY13 over the Nifty and Maroochydore areas and re-interpretation of regional high quality VTEM data over the Nifty mine and regional areas were completed. Prospect-specific desktop analysis of all updated geophysical, geological and geochemical data from the Nifty near mine, Nifty Regional and Maroochydore areas has generated a series of exploration targets.
Birla Maroochydore Copper Project
The Maroochydore Copper Project lies approximately 110km south-east of the Nifty copper mine.
3D Modelling of the Maroochydore primary sulphide material was completed and a maiden mineral resource estimate released to ASX. This is the first primary copper sulphide resource discovered in the Great Sandy Desert since the discovery of Nifty.
Maroochydore Mineral Resource
The latest Maroochydore Oxide and Supergene mineral resource as at 31 March 2015 is shown below.
Oxide and Supergene Mineral Resources
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Sulphide Mineral Resources
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The previous drilling programmes predominantly tested a broad area of the eastern Maroochydore tenement areas to depths of 300 to 800m. Drilling tested blind large scale structures based upon specialist interpretation of detailed magnetic and gravity data. All holes intersected Broadhurst Formation sediments, gabbro intrusive and the target zone at the predicted depth. Most holes intersected moderate to strong pyrrhotite but were deficient in chalcopyrite. Weak chalcopyrite was intersected in drill holes 13MAD007 and 13MAD010, extending the north-westerly strike of the Maroochydore copper sulphide mineralisation by a further kilometre and to a vertical depth of 600m down plunge with a best copper intersection of 5m @ 0.35% Cu from 614m at a 0.3% Cu cut-off ( 13MAD010).
The Maroochydore deposit lies adjacent to the Nifty deposit. It is approximately 110km south east of Nifty and 60km south of Newcrest’s Telfer mine. This centroid is also approximately 13km north-west from the northern boundary of the Rudall River National park.
Magnetic highs west of the deposit are interpreted as possible repetitions of a magnetic pyrrhotite horizon identified within a number of previous holes in the immediate footwall to the Copper Horizon.
Detailed magnetic modelling indicates the presence of a synclinal structure lying to the west of the Maroochydore copper deposit. Drill holes 13MAD008 and 13MAD009 located structural complications at the western boundary of the Maroochydore oxide deposit, suggesting possible down-folding or down-faulting to the west.
The information in this release that relates to Mineral Resources for the Nifty and Maroochydore copper projects is based on and accurately reflects reports prepared by DataGeo and Sivasamy in 2013-15. Mr Ball and Mr Sivasamy have the necessary experience relevant to the style of mineralisation, the type of deposit and the activity undertaken to qualify as a ‘Competent Person’ under the JORC Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (2012 Edition). Mr Ball and Mr Sivasamy have given their consent to the inclusion of the material in the form and context in which it appears. Mr Ball is Principal of DataGeo Geological Consultant (an independent geological consultancy). Mr Sivasamy is a full time employee of Aditya Birla Minerals Limited.
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