LONDON-headquartered Papua Mining plc has announced that new sampling activities at the Mt Visi prospect in New Britain has identified a large exploration target in a new area away from previous exploration activities.

The company said a recent ridge and spur rock sampling programme has suggested that an area two to three kilometres southeast of the previously drilled area at Mt. Visi is more strongly anomalous for copper than the drilled target itself.

The company says this rock sampling confirms this area as worthy of follow-up mapping. It also reported that anomalous zones north and south of Mt. Visi could also reflect porphyry centres.

Papua has reported that some 99 soil samples were collected from the south-eastern portion of the previously completed soil grid at Mt. Visi in November and December 2016.

Whilst some samples from this area, which is known as the Southeast Anomaly, remain to be analysed, however, Papua says the results so far obtained have confirmed the anomalous nature of this area. Highest copper values of 697ppm and 408ppm are generally coincident with the originally defined anomaly.

Papua said that overall, the work confirms that the Southeast Anomaly is indeed anomalous in terms of copper in soil and is worthy of further evaluation.

However, the company stated that in general, the copper in soil values are more consistently anomalous at the newly identified target area than from the already drilled target at Mt. Visi and around the Southeast Anomaly zone.

The company said that in addition to following up the encouraging results from the drilling previously completed at Mt. Visi, these results point to the necessity to carry out further exploration in the area east and south east of Mt. Visi to confirm the source of the anomalism, as these may reflect additional porphyry centres.

Rock sample results

The rock sampling was carried on a reconnaissance basis to see if any in situ float hosted mineralisation could be identified whilst completing the ridge and spur soil sampling. The key points arising from the analysis of the rock samples are:

  • Copper: eight values greater than 800ppm, with a maximum value of 36,063ppm; almost all of the significant values occur in a zone between 3,000 and 4,000 metres east of the drilled area at Mt. Visi.
  • Molybdenum: five values greater than 15ppm, with a maximum of 1,253ppm; the highest values occur 3,900 metres east of the drilled area.
  • Zinc: 12 values greater than 800ppm, with a maximum value of 8,238ppm; the anomalous values fall within the same zone as the copper mineralisation
  • Silver: Three values greater than 15ppm, with a maximum value of 100ppm; the peak value occurs 3,000 metres east of the drilled area.
Much of the the project area in New Britain is inaccessible by road and Papua Mining depends on helicopters for access to a number of those areas.

Much of the the project area in New Britain is inaccessible by road and Papua Mining depends on helicopters for access to a number of those areas.

Papua director, Hugh McCullough said the anomalous zones north and south of Mt. Visi could also reflect porphyry centres.

“This new work expands our area of interest in this highly attractive, mineralised porphyry system with the potential for a number of porphyry centres within the system as a whole. We believe that the exploration results to date clearly support our view that the Mt. Visi area is a prime target for the location of significant, mineralized copper porphyries,” Mr McCullough said.

“The data obtained has validated the decision to undertake further work at Mt. Visi and, whilst there can be no guarantee of commercial success, Mt. Visi remains an exciting target.”

He added that further exploration work in this area is clearly warranted in order to delineate drill targets.