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Empire Metals announces maiden drilling campaign at the Pitfield Project

Published by , Editorial Assistant
Global Mining Review,

Empire Metals, the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, has announced that the Company’s maiden drill programme is scheduled to commence by 31 March at the Pitfield Copper Project located in Western Australia, with a total of 3100 m of Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling planned.


  • Commencement of a reconnaissance RC drilling campaign at Pitfield which has demonstrated strong potential to be a newly discovered ‘Giant’ copper province;
  • Drilling to focus primarily on the Mt Scratch prospect area of the licence where the Company has identified an extensive, highly chargeable-highly resistive anomaly;
  • This highly chargeable-highly resistive anomaly was identified during the recent Dipole-Dipole Induced Polarisation (‘D-D IP’) surveys (announced 6 February 2023), the results of which suggested the presence of large, disseminated sulphide mineralised zones.
  • The maiden drill campaign will consist of 20 RC drill holes covering a total of 3100 m, with the average downhole depth of each hole being approximately 150 m.

Shaun Bunn, Managing Director, said: “I am pleased to announce the confirmation of a commencement date for our maiden, reconnaissance drilling campaign at Pitfield which follows on from the success of the Company’s recent DD-IP surveying and geochemical mapping activities. The objective of this maiden drill programme is to better understand the geology and to determine the significance of the highly chargeable-highly resistive zones identified from the DD-IP survey results. We are also continuing with our soil sampling and DD-IP surveying activities over the coming months to identify additional drill targets at Pitfield and will be looking to commence a second drilling campaign once we have had the opportunity to interpret the results from this reconnaissance mission. I look forward to providing further updates on our drilling campaign as results become available.”

The Pitfield Copper Project

Empire holds a 70% interest in Pitfield which is comprised of four granted Exploration Licences (E70/5465, E70/5876, E70/6320 and E70/6323) covering 1042 km2. Pitfield is located near Three Springs, a town 313 km north of Perth, Western Australia on the Midlands Road, which until the opening of the Brand Highway in 1975 was the main road route from Perth to the state's north.

Pitfield lies within the Neoproterozoic Yandanooka intracratonic sedimentary basin which has all the hallmarks of a ‘Giant’ copper mineralised system, potentially containing multiple Sediment-hosted Stratabound Copper (‘SSC’) deposits. The Neoproterozoic is one of the major SSC mineralisation epochs, temporally associated with the break-up of the Rodinia supercontinent and is associated with several of the largest copper SSC deposits discovered to date, the most important deposits being located in the Central African Copperbelt of Zambia and Democratic Republic of Congo.

The Company’s interpretation of Pitfield and the associated geological model is based on a basin scale alteration event, involving hot oxidising, fluids carrying copper leached from the “red beds” and basement mafic rock, which upon contact with reductants within the upper siltstones/sandstones resulted in the copper precipitating and depositing along the reduced stratigraphic layers.

This view is strongly supported by the results from geophysical surveys (including gravity, magnetics, electro-magnetics and DD-IP), soil sampling and geochemical mapping, surface geological mapping and rock sampling which individually or combined have: • confirmed that an exceptionally large, oxidised fluid event has occurred, extending over 40 km N-S, as evidenced by magnetite-altered stratigraphy and corresponding reduced conductance (likely due to removal of graphite in the siltstone);

  • identified widespread copper, silver, nickel and zinc anomalism over large parts of the Yandanooka basin (both by previous explorers and Empire), particularly in association with magnetite-altered rocks;
  • identified several anomalies with DD-IP chargeable values that exceed the threshold that would be considered characteristic of the presence of disseminated sulphides; and
  • confirmed that these chargeable anomalies are also highly resistive and are closely associated with the magnetite-altered stratigraphy and are coincident with strong copper anomalism in both soils and rocks.

The DD-IP survey traverses have identified multiple drilling targets. The highly chargeable anomaly detected in the three DD-IP survey lines (PM01-03) just southwest of Mt Scratch appears to be very extensive, covering an area of at least 1500 m in length and up to 800 m wide. A second highly chargeable anomaly was identified in DD-IP survey line GC01, located 12 km south, which lies in a similar geological setting to that of Mt Scratch, highlighting the extent of the system.

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Australian mining news Copper mining news