Shree Minerals (ASX: SHH) has formed a joint venture with unlisted Territory Lithium to explore the latter’s Northern Territory ground for gold and base metals.
Shree, which previously primarily focused on developing a direct-shipping iron ore project, acquired a gold property in Western Australia last year.
This latest deal sets up the Arunta joint venture, which takes in the Box Hole, Edwards Creek and Bruce projects in the NT. Exploration results have been reported by all previous owners of these projects.
Edwards Creek, 100km north of Alice Springs, was explored in 1980 by the former CRA Exploration (CRAE), an arm of what is now Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), and a company that was legendary for the mass of exploration it carried out across Australia.
Shree said Edwards Creek has mineralisation similar to that at the Jervois copper project in the NT owned by KGL Resources (ASX: KGL).
CRAE’s assay rock chip samples showed the presence of copper, lead and zinc. A subsequent owner drilled two holes, one returning 4.5m at 2.5% copper and 0.67% lead. Then, the former zinc-lead giant Pasminco mapped the area.
The 127sq km Box Hole project, located 250km northeast of Alice Springs, is prospective for large tonnage lead-zinc deposits of the Mississippi Valley type.
In the 1960s, the project area was hand-mined for the sulphide mineral galena, with 15 tonnes being produced with average grades of 66% lead, 58.5 grams per tonne of silver and 0.43% bismuth.
The third copper-gold project, Bruce, can be accessed via the Plenty Highway running north of Alice Springs. The Northern Territory Geological Survey conducted rock chip sampling there with returned grades of up to 53g/t gold.
Shree may earn 50% equity in the Arunta joint venture by spending $50,000, after which the parties will provide finance on a pro-rata basis.
Shree executive director Sanjay Loyalka said the Arunta joint venture gives shareholders another “exciting” opportunity, being additional to the development of the Nelson Bay River iron project in Tasmania and the exploration of the Golden Chimney project in WA.
Golden Chimney lies 180km north of Kalgoorlie and 13km south of the Ulysses gold mine, which was originally mined by the former Sons of Gwalia and is now held by Genesis Minerals (ASX: GMD).
Exploration priorities have been set
Shree said it considers the source of the conductor at Edwards Creek has not been adequately explained, with the gossan remaining open down dip and along strike.
The company plans to review previous exploration data to help targeting of the mineralised horizon along strike. Sampling and reconnaissance work is also needed.
At Box Hole, work will include close-spaced soil sampling, followed by the drilling of high priority targets.
As for Bruce, regional aerial imagery interpretation by Shree has identified several other quartz veins throughout the project area.