Minotaur Exploration has agreed to sell five exploration tenements within its South Australian Gawler Craton project to BHP Billiton. A review of Minotaur’s options has led to the decision to sell the tenements covering 2555sqkm in close proximity to BHP’s Olympic Dam mine.
The Aus$10 million sale remains subject to ministerial consent for the renewal and transfer of the tenements and will also see subsidiary Minotaur Uranium cancel its rights to uranium minerals within the tenements. A related entity of BHP, BEA, will also relinquish its 41% joint venture beneficial interest in the Mutooroo/Thackaringa JV which applies to one of the tenements at Bonython Hill.
The Gawler Craton is recognized for the occurrence of several large high quality iron oxide copper-gold-uranium deposits including Olympic Dam, Carrapateena and Prominent Hill.
Minotaur’s managing director Andrew Woskett says the sale will allow the company to sharpen its exploration focus on its Cloncurry area IOCG-style targets. The cover depth to basement rocks in these Queensland targets is typically around 100 metres, unlike the Roxby Downs tenements where the cover sequence is often much deeper.
Minotaur believes that deep exploration of geophysical targets at Roxby Downs, along with access impediments to the Woomera protected area, represents too great a risk profile for the company.
“This is an undertaking more suited to major exploration enterprises,” says Andrew Woskett. “With the net $9.5 million in proceeds Minotaur is well positioned to upscale its attention on its copper-gold exploration prospects around the Ernest Henry, Osborne and Eloise mines near Cloncurry.”
Minotaur is also seeking new opportunities in gold development projects within Australia and has invited discussion on joint venture or acquisition proposals.