Greatland Strike Adds Fuel To Rio Rumours

By Glenn Dyer | More Articles by Glenn Dyer

Has a massive new gold/copper discovery been made in the Eastern Pilbara region of WA, along with suggestions of a separate copper find by one of the world’s biggest miners?

A filing in London Tuesday night revealed that small explorer, Greatland Gold had made a huge gold and copper strike near Newcrest’s existing Telfer gold mine.

It is only a single hole and the grades contained could be a one-off freak hit of a rich seam, but Greatland has already reported on the area in May and says the latest “Results significantly extend the known high-grade mineralisation established in the first drilling campaign and establish new peak grades for the mineralised system.”

Greatland announced a 275-metre intersection in the hole at 4.77 grams per tonne (g/t) gold and 0.61% copper at its Havieron exploration licence. The news adds to the company’s reports in May of interesting gold-copper mineralisation in the area.

The shares on the risky AIM market in London jumped sharply to be up 36% on Monday and Tuesday.

In its announcement, Greatland noted peak gold grades of 211.3g/t and a peak copper grade of 8.45% in the recent drill intersection.

Chief executive Gervaise Heddle said in a statement elevated gold and copper results persisted to end of hole suggesting the mineralisation continued at depth below the current limit of drilling.

“Importantly, we have seen significant widths of copper well in excess of 0.5 percent,” he said.

“The results are just the first in our current campaign at Havieron and we look forward to updating shareholders on our continued progress.”

The intersection is deep – below 459 metres but the hole does indicate the prospectivity of the area where known economic gold-copper resources are at the Telfer operation of Newcrest (about 40 kilometres from the Greatland strike) and Metal X’s Nifty mine.

But the news adds to the rumours of a big find by Rio Tinto this year in the same area.

The much-rumoured discovery is 150 kilometres north-north-west of Telfer. According to reports in the West Australian newspaper Rio has set up a 50-person worker camp in the remote location and is said to have applied to build an airstrip to support its exploration efforts.

Greatland holds the three licences in the area collectively covering more than 385sqkm, which it described as being prospective for iron-oxide-copper-gold type deposits and Telfer-style gold deposits.

The company’s Havieron prospect is sandwiched between land held by Rio and Antipa Resources.

Rio holds 11,000 square kilometres of exploration ground in the area, while Andrew Forrest’s Fortescue Metals Group has around half that area after pegging activity over the past year.

The West Australian says that Independence Group, Artemis Resources and Metalicity are among companies that have sought to peg ground in the region in recent weeks.

Glenn Dyer

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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