Optimism surrounds Navarre Minerals drill program

There is an air of optimism and expectation surrounding the Navarre Minerals drilling site at Cherrypool.

Exploration Manager Wessley Edgar waits for a result from the XRF readings of rock chip samples at Eclipse.

Exploration Manager Wessley Edgar waits for a result from the XRF readings of rock chip samples at Eclipse.

The Stawell-based mineral explorer began its latest drill program at its Eclipse prospect, located 60 kilometres from Horsham, earlier this month.

From an outsider's perspective, the area looks like any other piece of rural Australia - plenty of open space, bush tracks surrounded by farmland with picturesque mountains nestled in the background.

However, resting in this area could be something big, something that could have the potential to generate thousands of jobs for anywhere between 50 to 100 years and pour millions of dollars into the Victorian economy.

There have been indications of a copper-gold zone uncovered at Cherrypool, and geologists believe this could be connected to a much larger and slightly deeper target.

The Eclipse site is located on the Miga Arc, an emerging copper belt located in western Victoria that extends from south of Glenthompson to the north-west of Horsham.

Government geologists say 500 million years ago, the east coast of Australia was located where the Miga Arc is sitting today. They consider the Miga Arc to be a continental margin arc type like the South American Andes copper belt. The Andes are home to the largest known collection of porphyry copper mines.

Along the Miga Arc, there were a series of volcanoes and beneath these volcanoes a type of copper deposit would be likely to form, called porphyry. Typical porphyry copper systems contain hundreds to several billion tonnes of ore grading anywhere from 0.2-1 per cent copper, with 0.2-2 grams per tonne gold.

Copper is a highly sought after metal, generally used in transmission of electrical power and is vital to those countries with growing economies such as China and India.

Navarre Minerals has been exploring the Cherrypool area since 2008, although the past 12 months have generated a lot of excitement for Managing Director Geoff McDermott and his team. Mineral exploration of Navarre's Eclipse prospect is only in the infancy stage, with currently four drill contractors, two geologists and a geological assistant working on-site with the drill program.

Federal Government scientists visited the Miga Arc area in November last year, giving the go ahead for a separate government funded 16-18 hole drill program which kicked off in April this year.

"The Government is trying to create a new pre-competitive geological data to attract mineral investment into the state," Mr McDermott said.

"The Miga Arc is mostly buried with sparse rock outcrops and the new drill information is hoped to provide the hard evidence to support an association with big ore bodies such as porphyry copper deposits."

Time may be against Navarre Minerals to complete its own drill program.

"Conditions are starting to change with the season and the ground is becoming progressively boggy. A modest rain event will probably be the end of the program for this season," Mr McDermott said.

Patience is most definitely one of the keys to success in mineral exploration and this was evident last week, when a drill hole had to be abandoned due to clay blockages.

Exploration is a confidence game and Navarre Minerals Exploration Manager, Wess Edgar, sums up what is needed in order to discover a copper deposit at Eclipse.

"Discovery requires belief, creativity, passion and leadership. It is commonly the result of intuitive leaps, false starts, mistakes and apparently irrational procedure.

"It is one the best rushes of your life when you're part of a discovery because you've worked hard towards achieving something and has the satisfaction of actually getting it."

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