SOUTH African mining company Harmony Gold has made what it calls a “highly significant” discovery of copper-gold mineralisation at its Kili Teke exploration project in Papua New Guinea.

Assays from the first four holes drilled during diamond drill testing showed higher-grade intervals of copper-gold mineralisation up to 202 metres at 0.74 per cent copper and 0.57 grams per tonne of gold.

Drill testing was still underway and mineralisation remained open through the drill pattern over 500 metres, Harmony said.

Company chief executive Graham Briggs said the results coming from the project were very exciting.

“Given the extent of the surface copper-gold geochemical footprint yet to be tested, there is potential to develop this find into a major copper-gold deposit similar to Golpu, OK Tedi or Frieda River, which have resource cut-off grades of around 0.2% Cu,” he said.

Located on exploration licence 2310, the Kili Teke Prospect is located about 40 kilometres west of the Porgera Gold mine, with road infrastructure developed to within 14km of the prospect area, via the regional centre of Tari and the Highlands Highway.

Drilling to test four separate targets within a broad copper-gold alteration footprint was underway, the company said, with the company looking to scope out the strike and depth extent of the copper-gold mineralisation.

Further step-out drilling to the east and at depth is being carried out in order to vector to higher temperature parts of the system which are chalcopyrite and bornite dominated, and contain the highest grades.