BHP’s ‘Excitement’ Over Its Latest South Australian Copper Find Looking Justified

If a junior exploration company had said it, it would have been dismissed as a bit of hype.

But in the case in question, it was BHP boss Andrew Mackenzie, a scientist of note, as him being a fellow of London’s Royal Society (think Darwin and Einstein) tells you.

Speaking after the release of BHP’s 2019 profit this week, Mackenzie got a little excited when talking about the group’s Oak Dam discovery in South Australia’s Gawler Craton.

“You will of course have heard that we have made a major and a very exciting discovery of a new copper opportunity to the south of Olympic Dam which, of course in time, will add to our copper production,” Mackenzie said.

BHP lifted the lid on its deep but very high grade Oak Dam discovery in November last year (it is actually an old WMC discovery dating back to the 1970s but with a nice modern day interpretation of historical drill data by BHP).

BHP reported the results from four holes, the best of which was from AD-23, which returned a 180m hit grading 6.07% copper, 0.92gpt gold, 0.4kg/t uranium and 12.77gpt silver from a depth of 1,070m.

That was part of a 425.7m intersection from 1063m grading 3.04% copper, 0.59gpt gold, 0.34kg/t uranium and 6.03gpt silver.

So Oak Dam looks to be something special all right. Another 10 holes have been drilled since but results have not been released.

That forces us to rely on the bush telegraph where there is chatter that BHP has been getting more of the same from step out drilling.

The Big Australian’s success is also good news for nearby tiddler Investigator Resources. Plus, NSW copper producer Aeris Resources hits back at market doubters with some exceptional drilling results. Read more +

Barry Fitzgerald

About Barry Fitzgerald

Barry Fitzgerald has covered the resources industry for 30 years. His column highlights the issues, opportunities and challenges for small and mid-cap resources stocks - most recently penned his column for The Australian newspaper and before that, The Age.

View more articles by Barry Fitzgerald →