Navarre Minerals is one step closer to unearthing a major copper discovery located in Western Victoria that could have the potential to generate hundreds of jobs in the region.
As part of its ongoing exploration of its Western Victoria Copper Project, the Stawell-based gold and copper exploration company welcomed three Federal Government scientists from Geoscience Australia to Stawell last week.
Principal Research Scientist for the Onshore Energy and Minerals Division of Geoscience Australia, David Huston joined geoscientist Evgeniy Bastrakov and geologist Anthony Schofield, in running a series of analyses over rocks located in the newly emerging Miga Arc of Western Victoria.
The three day visit focused on examining drill core from Navarre's Eclipse prospect located near Cherrypool, 60 kilometres south of Horsham.
The Geoscience Australia trio's task is to identify unique minerals to date the age of the volcanic rocks forming the Miga Arc and to fingerprint their tectonic setting.
The forensic analysis of these rocks is set to provide exploration companies such as Navarre Minerals with information about the Miga Arc regional setting in terms of its mineral prosperity, with a view to attracting new investment in mineral exploration.
With information received from the State Government's Geological Survey of Victoria, Mr Huston and his team were encouraged by their findings over the three day period.
The Geological Survey of Victoria has been arguing that the Western Victoria area has the potential to contain a major type of copper deposit known as porphyry copper and the role of the Geoscience Australia scientists, who started working on this project in July this year, is to verify that idea.
They are researching known mineral occurrences that have been found in the region including Eclipse and Thursday's Gossan, located near Glenthompson in Western Victoria.
Mr Huston said their process involved collecting representative samples and taking them back to Canberra to run analyses on them to try and understand the mineralisation.
"With what we've done so far, it is consistent with the idea that 500 million years ago the Miga Arc was similar in setting to South America's Andes, host to the world's largest known porphyry copper systems. It is quite plausible at this stage."
Porphyry-style mineralisation make up some of the world's largest copper deposits occurring in places such as Chile, New Guinea and in New South Wales, Australia.
The Eclipse prospect is one of four porphyry targets identified by Navarre within its 100 per cent-owned Western Victoria Copper Project. The Project captures multiple, largely untested targets in 130 kilometres of Miga Arc volcanics.
The Eclipse prospect is mostly covered by a layer of sandstone which has concealed the porphyry target area from previous exploration. Navarre has commenced a geophysics survey to help see below the sandstone to determine the extent, geometry and trend of the sub-surface mineralisation.
The results of this survey are expected to assist with target selection for the next phase of drilling planned to commence in the first quarter of 2014.
Over the next six months, Geoscience Australia will be closely working with Navarre Minerals in trying to target and solve scientific questions in relation to the Miga Arc.
If the questions are answered and an expanded scientific project is given the green light to go ahead, it will not only benefit the region in terms of employment and prosperity, but it will have an impact on understanding how Australia grew 500 million years ago.
"There have been a lot of arguments about how Eastern Australia was put together," Mr Huston said.
"This will help academics understand how that happened. We will be able to gather information not only useful for the exploration industry, but also other groups such as universities."
Managing Director of Navarre Minerals, Geoff McDermott, agreed with Mr Huston, saying that this project has the potential to be 'a game changer' for the state in terms of the economy.
"If copper can be found in significant quantities it can generate hundreds of jobs and create millions of dollars in revenue for Victoria," Mr McDermott said.