Minotaur Exploration and joint venture partners Mitsubishi Materials Corporation (MMC) and Mitsubishi Corporation (MC) will spend $557,000 this year on exploration activities at the Arthurville Copper-Gold Project in central western New South Wales, Australia.

A review of the airborne geophysical surveys completed in 2012 prompted the increase to the budget which will allow for gravity surveys, further induced polarization surveys, structural analysis and drill testing of select geophysical targets.

Under the terms of the joint venture, MMC and MC will earn an option to collectively acquire a 49% participating interest in the Arthurville tenement through total expenditure of $970,000.

The Arthurville JV site is about 20km south of Dubbo. The tenement straddles the northern extension of the Ordovician Molong volcanic belt, considered prospective for porphyry-related copper-gold mineralization and volcanic-hosted massive sulphide base metal deposits. Augur and Goodrich Resources’ Yeoval copper deposit is 5km to the south and Alkane Resources’ Toongi Rare Earth deposit is 6km west of the tenement.

Minotaur’s managing director Andrew Woskett says the targets for the next exploration program were identified in early 2012 during an airborne electromagnetic (VTEM) survey along 362 line kilometres. “Numerous geophysical anomalies were evaluated by satellite image analysis, field reconnaissance, geological mapping, soil geochemistry and rock chip sampling. Priority targets were then further examined by a reconnaissance Induced Polarization geophysical survey from which Target A118, with a positive chargeability anomaly of amplitude 12 milliradians at a depth of 50-60 metres below ground level has been selected for drill testing.”

Minotaur specializes in application of cutting-edge geophysical techniques to locate virgin mineralization deep below the surface. Often, economic mineral deposits are contained within basement rocks, buried below several hundred metres of transported cover and cannot be located through surface exploration methods such as soil sampling, geochemical assays and drilling. Minotaur’s remote sensing and interpretative approach has proven successful.

Minotaur is actively exploring IOCG-style targets in Australia, where geophysics has identified numerous sub-surface anomalies prospective for copper-gold mineralization. Each of these represents a possible Prominent Hill type ore body.