Askari uncovers gold nuggets on WA copper gold trail

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Gold nuggets collected at Askari Metals’ Horry copper and gold project in WA.
Camera IconGold nuggets collected at Askari Metals’ Horry copper and gold project in WA. Credit: File

Multi-element explorer Askari Metals has turned up 31 gold nuggets with an exploration technique known as gold loaming at its Horry copper and gold project 90km south-west of Halls Creek, in Western Australia’s Kimberley region. A high-definition magnetic survey was also completed over the project, lighting up multiple structures similar to the source area of gold.

Loaming for gold is a trusted old method where a prospector pans various creeks whilst keeping note of the results. The best results are then followed up with further panning until the source of gold in the waterways is identified.

Using the method, Askari has successfully tracked the source of the mineralisation after panning almost all creeks and tributaries in the project area and uncovering 20 sites exhibiting multiple gold flecks. The gold anomalism was used to guide targeted metal detecting in specific areas, resulting in a total haul of 31 gold nuggets.

The results build on areas of high-grade gold and copper mineralisation already mapped. Rock-chip samples previously collected by Askari run as high as 8.5 per cent copper and an impressive 13 grams per tonne gold.

The fact that the area identified by the loaming as the primary source for gold corresponds with an area of clear structural lineation in the magnetic data is exciting, and we plan to test the area as soon as possible.

Askari Metals Vice-President of Exploration and Geology, Johan Lambrechts

The detailed magnetic data collected via drone survey will be used in conjunction with all available data, including the gold loaming results, to help in future exploration programs at the project.

Based on structures revealed within the magnetic data, Askari believes there may be a much larger system below the surface and is eager to test its ground with an RC drill program as soon as possible. The explorer aims to complete a maiden drilling campaign by the end of winter, depending on contractor availability.

Whilst Askari’s haul of nuggets provide strong evidence of a golden endowment, the project’s location within the Halls Creek Mobile Belt means it is prospective for a range of commodities including copper, silver, nickel, lead, zinc and diamonds.

Just 50km to the north-east of Askari and within the Belt is ASX-listed Cazaly Resources’ Halls Creek copper project that comes packed with some high-grade and broad copper intercepts. Past exploration at the nearby project yielded 57m going a 5.04 per cent copper in one hole and 117m running 0.32 per cent copper in a different hole.

Although gold is still looking strong on a 50-year chart, copper prices have tumbled to their lowest level since March 2021, going as low as US$8504 per tonne.

Whilst the short-term copper price continues to unravel, Goldman Sachs, one of the world’s largest investment banks believes copper prices will be forced materially higher in the coming years because of the malleable metal’s critical role in the green energy transition.

The bank’s analysts estimate that by 2030, copper demand will grow nearly 600 per cent in a base case and by 900 per cent in the era of green technologies.

Askari Metals will be keen to see how any assays from its upcoming drill program stack up against those of its neighbour.

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