HIGHLANDS Pacific has released a maiden Mineral Resource for the Olgal deposit at its remote Star Mountains exploration project. The company recently regained 100% ownership of its Stat Mountain tenements after former farm-in partner Anglo American’s withdrew from the Joint Venture.

Using a 0.3% copper cut-off grade, Highlands said the deposit is estimated to contain 210 million tonnes grading 0.4% copper, for 840,000 tonnes of contained copper and 2.9 Moz contained gold.

Highlands has identified the Olgal deposit in its Star Mountains tenement area as a potential initial development and commissioned independent consulting geologists H&S Consultants Pty Ltd (HSC) to complete a resource estimate for the Olgal copper-gold deposit.
At this early stage Highlands believes a bulk mining operation seems likely for Olgal, however, the company said it is unclear if this might be an open-pit or block cave mining operation.

Highlands said Olgal appears to be a fairly typical copper porphyry, and mineralogical studies indicate that copper occurs as of fine grained disseminated chalcopyrite with local minor bornite.

Olgal is located in the Nong River lease (EL1312), which is one of seven held by Highlands in the Star Mountains project. The other leases include Tifalmin EL1392, Mt Scorpion EL1781, Benstead EL2001, Mt Abemh EL2467, Ilam River EL2478 and Lake Louise EL2517 and together the package covers approximately 1049 sq kms.

The tenements are located only 20 kms north east of the giant Ok Tedi copper mine, within the New Guinean Orogenic Belt which hosts some of the world’s largest copper porphyry and volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits including Grasberg, Frieda River, Porgera and Hidden Valley.

Highlands CEO Craig Lennon said the declaration of an Inferred Mineral Resource at Olgal was a major advance for the Star Mountains project.

“This elevates the project to a new level and adds considerable value to the exploration package. Beyond Olgal there is clearly great prospectivity, with drilling in other locations within the Star Mountains tenements frequently identifying wide intercepts of high grade mineralisation.

“The exploration efforts that have been conducted to date have greatly enhanced our knowledge of the geology of the area, enabling us to target our efforts and improve the effectiveness of our exploration programs. All the evidence gathered to date continues to suggest that the Star Mountains may host a significant copper porphyry that may ultimately support a substantial mining project.

“Our plan is to introduce a new joint venture partner to work with us to build on this maiden Olgal Inferred Mineral Resource and continue to investigate other prospects.

“In the meantime, the declaration of this resource significantly increases Highland’s total metal inventory, which includes the company’s 20% interest in the giant Frieda River copper/gold project as well as its 8.56% interest in the producing Ramu nickel/cobalt mine, and gives our investors even greater leverage to rising metal prices,” he said.