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Middle Island Resources locks in new NT copper-gold targets

The wide open expanses of the Northern Territory’s Tennant Creek area is thought to be harbouring mineralisation under cover at depth. Credit: File

Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) is onto several new iron-oxide-copper-gold and sediment-hosted base metals targets from gravity survey data at its Barkly project close to Tennant Creek in the Northern Territory. Gravity 3D inversion modelling by Southern Geoscience Consultants collected in 2023 over eight priority targets has detected several density anomalies with shapes and sizes that may represent sizeable mineral deposits according to Middle Island.

A total of eight new high priority undercover drill targets have been recognised at depths between 230-550m. The company says it will target the shallower deposits initially in the upcoming field season.

Middle Island has also been able to progress six areas to “prospect” status suggesting these could be mineable deposits after rigorous drill testing and further geochemical analysis. The new prospects complement the established Crosswinds Prospect.

Ultimately new mineral discoveries are made through drilling. We have systematically developed robust drill targets in an underexplored district where the opportunities are hidden by cover. It’s exciting to be at a point to start delivering drill hole plans. That said, the targets outlined here are just a start. It’s a large project and other equally significant targets are in the pipeline with more likely to be identified and worked up.
Middle Island Resources chief executive officer Roland Bartsch

The Barkly tenements held by Middle Island spread over a considerable 4,411 square kilometres and extend from outcropping areas near Tennant Creek beneath shallow to moderate Georgina Basin sediment cover.

The Georgina Basin extends east from Tennant Creek across the Queensland border to Mount Isa and is subdivided by several basement highs into smaller sub-basins. The principal basement high, the East Tennant Ridge, runs northeast under the Barkly Project area.

The East Tennant Corridor has recently gained recognition as a largely unexplored iron oxide-copper-gold “IOCG” mineral province with similarities observed to the Cloncurry district which hosts Evolution’s forever-giving Ernest Henry deposits and the South Australia Gawler Craton deposits which include BHP’s colossal Olympic Dam deposit. These deposits contain vast quantities of iron oxide minerals which are dense and often magnetic, making geophysical detection under cover relatively easy. Sediment hosted base metals deposits are also found in the area similar to the classic Mount Isa, MacArthur Basin and Century deposits.

In addition to copper and gold, many of the high-grade copper-gold deposits in the Tennant Creek region contain significant silver. Emmerson Resources’ recently discovered Hermitage Project is one such example. Bismuth and cobalt are also commonly found hand in hand with the copper and gold in the area and this multi-element basket of goodies is usually reasonably simple to process.

Middle Island has some high-profile neighbours, with heavyweights Rio Tinto and Newcrest holding ground in this up-and-coming district. However, the company has first-mover advantage with its sought after, semi-continuous 350km of strike along the axis of the highly prospective East Tennant Ridge.

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