Explorer sets main course after Paris entre

THIS successful explorer is working to create more discoveries to build on its 20 million ounce Paris silver deposit in South Australia’s southern Gawler Craton. By Ngaire McDiarmid - RESOURCESTOCKS*
Explorer sets main course after Paris entre Explorer sets main course after Paris entre Explorer sets main course after Paris entre Explorer sets main course after Paris entre Explorer sets main course after Paris entre


Well-funded Investigator Resources has six-months of intensive exploration planned, aimed to make further significant silver-lead and copper-gold discoveries in its South Australian tenements.

The company has amassed a wealth of highly prospective multi-commodity targets through detailed assessment of the region since its high-grade Paris discovery in 2011, and it has close to $A6 million cash to investigate with.

Investigator is also well-placed to benefit from the expertise it has gained through first-mover advantage in a new province with a proven deposit under its belt.

Paris' maiden JORC resource is 5.9 million tonnes at 110gpt silver and 0.6% lead, containing 20 million ounces of silver and a 38,000 tonne lead credit at a 30gpt silver cut-off.

Investigator has already identified new Paris-style silver-lead systems and considerable copper-gold potential within its original Peterlumbo/Paris tenement on the Eyre Peninsula.

"We're identifying new Paris-style systems so we're building on the potential to make more discoveries around this resource," managing director John Anderson explained.

"We've got two exciting avenues thanks to the last round of drilling we've just completed, as we've identified new Paris-style systems near Paris and we've now got the exciting development of the copper-gold potential."

Drilling results during the September quarter showed two new large silver-lead systems at Ajax, 35km east of Paris, and at Diomedes, 7km north-east of Paris, and indicated further potential at the nearby Argos North prospect, 5km north-west of Paris.

The best intersections from recent scout drilling at Argos included 42m at 11.1gpt silver, 0.46% lead and 0.3% zinc from 21m and 6m at 91.9gpt silver, 0.12% lead and 0.27% zinc from 60m; and 42m at 4.7gpt silver, 0.84% lead and 0.47% zinc from 93m to bottom of the hole at Diomedes.

Investigator also identified the Helen-Nankivel copper-gold magnetic target 3km north-east of Paris during the quarter.

Drilling intersected 9m at 1.14% copper and 0.31gpt gold from 60m and Anderson is keen to turn the company's attention to its multiple copper-gold targets at Nankivel and Trojan Horse prospects.

The 10,000m scout drilling program at Peterlumbo was extended to over 13,500m or 127 holes in response to the positive early results in the campaign.

"We've got a lot of magnetic anomalies with a good copper-gold intersection in the first one drill tested," Anderson said.

"That's very exciting because we've got about 20km of prospective strike with multiple magnetic and copper-in-soil targets in front of us to test now."

Anderson said the company was prioritising its best silver and copper targets and planned to start drilling before Christmas, with further targets expected to be readied for drilling into 2015.

"Some of our silver and copper targets require heritage surveys to clear them for drilling and some need infill soil geochemical work that we're initiating now," he said.

"We're moving forward as quickly as we can and we're well funded, so we're able to embark on this longer-term program into 2015 and we've allocated funds into April to test the essential new opportunities."

These high-priority targets all lie within the company's long-standing Peterlumbo/Paris tenement, which Investigator now owns in full after ending a joint venture mid-2014.

Investigator has also got its hands on a further 333sq.km immediately west of Peterlumbo, thanks to a deal to earn into the Thurlga Joint Venture, which was signed in August 2014.

"We believe the opportunity is enormous and we still want more ground in this very prospective area," Anderson said.

"Our original Peterlumbo tenement is still the main focus for Investigator's work - although we do have other target centres like Uno/Morgans in the same epithermal province and the iron-oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) targets on the northern Yorke Peninsula.

"Investigator has such belief in the emerging potential for the region that we were very pleased to be able to add the extra Thurlga ground right next to the Paris tenement."

Anderson has long had faith in what the southern Gawler Craton has to offer.

"That's what gets me up every morning," he said.

"It's very exciting, it's an area that different companies and I, over the years, have been working on but I think with Investigator we've cracked it.

"We've made the big step-change in understanding what the opportunities are and I think that there are a lot more interesting step-changes and discoveries to come."

Anderson first started working in the area in 1988 and recognised the epithermal potential several years later.

He pegged the ground that now contains the Paris deposit back in 2003.

"I guess I specialise in recognising emerging advances amongst what researchers are doing and turning those into exploration results," he said.

He also emphasised the expertise on Investigator's team to understand the complex geology, and acknowledged the board's strong support for greenfields exploration where the company sees the real potential for major new metal discoveries.

"The Uno fault story and the Investigator story are a very good example of where persistence can develop opportunities that have been overlooked by previous explorers," Anderson said.

"The team has developed expertise in understanding the complex geology at Paris and we're rolling that expertise out to our other target opportunities in the emerging province.

"We've also got a very good board that supports our greenfields exploration approach and we've got advantages with our track record of discovery in South Australia.

"I believe Investigator has taken an innovative approach with what to look for, where to look for it and how to look for it.

"It's demonstrated by our Paris discovery but we believe the upside is enormous and we're looking forward to the next round of discoveries here," he said.

The company has enjoyed support from investors and the federal and state governments during 2014.

Investigator raised almost $A5 million during the year towards its exploration program, which Anderson said "was a very good result in the current equities market"

Its coffers were further boosted by a $A2.3 million tax refund under the Federal Government's Research and Development Tax Incentive program.

"That rebate recognised the importance of the work we're doing in this part of South Australia's Gawler Craton," Anderson said.

He said the South Australian government's Geological Survey was also very interested and providing a lot of collaborative support to developing the new province Investigator had helped identify.

Beyond the Eyre Peninsula, Investigator has IOCG targets up its sleeve on the northern Yorke Peninsula.

"They're very high quality targets and in an area that has a lot of potential," Anderson said.

"We're looking for (BHP Billiton's) Olympic Dam-style mineralisation but more on the scale of OZ Minerals' copper-gold Prominent Hill deposit.

"We're now getting access approved with the local farmers and these targets are important because with IOCG targets it can sometimes only take one or two holes to know if you're on a winner."

Investigator has further potential on the backburner as its Eyre Peninsula tenements are also in an area known for graphite and iron ore potential, but the company is remaining focused on its silver-lead and copper-gold targets.

"In a better market, Paris would be a very good asset," Anderson said.

"It's our foundation asset at the moment but we believe we can significantly build on it through exploration in the immediate area."

His pick of the company's raft of silver targets were Ajax, Diomedes and Argos North.

"Here we believe we're in the top of Paris-style systems and we need to drill around and underneath the current scout drilling to look for the prospective base of the volcanics where the Paris deposit is located," Anderson said.

"We're looking at electrical geophysics at the moment as a way to explore these very large target systems especially for silver-lead at Diomedes and Argos North.

"These are enormous areas and I'm looking forward to going back and doing more drilling once we've done some better targeting from the surface."

Ajax was still in the frame and Investigator was increasing its detailed magnetic coverage before another round of drilling.

"At the same time, we are rapidly developing our copper-gold targets at the Nankivel and Trojan Horse prospects," he said.

"The targets are evident, the heritage and infill soil surveys are done so we're keen to get in to drill Trojan Horse before Christmas.

"Nankivel requires a bit more work but it's very much a favourite because it's the extension of this recent copper-gold hit at Helen on the edge of Nankivel rim that has 10km of prospective magnetic anomalies in its own right."

All the key silver and copper targets are within 7km of the Paris deposit that Anderson believes could just be the tip of the iceberg.

"Investigator demonstrated the silver potential with Paris, now we've unveiled the copper-gold potential we predicted there too," Anderson said.

"We've got multiple high quality targets in front of us and being well funded, we're looking to push exploration forward over the next six months.

"We believe the upside is something much bigger, either with aggregate silver-lead discoveries or through the considerable new copper-gold potential, so Investigator is very much developing itself as an exploration force," he added.

*A version of this report, first published in the November/December 2014 edition of RESOURCESTOCKS magazine, was commissioned by Investigator Resources.

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