The fifth prospect drilled by Highlands Pacific at its Star Mountains project in Papua New Guinea has encountered copper-gold porphyry style mineralization. The Kum Kom prospect is about 25km northeast from the Ok Tedi mine and just 5km north of the Olgal porphyry that was identified in 2012 and which contained a 596 metre intersection of 61% copper and 0.85 grams/tonne gold.
Results from the first diamond drill hole at the prospect have revealed 22 metres @ 1.42% copper and 0.57 grams/tonne gold from 146 metres, 10 metres @ 0.68% copper and 0.21 grams/tonne gold from 220 metres, and 68 metres @ 0.97% copper and 0.37 grams/tonne gold from 280 metres downhole.
Highlands Pacific’s managing director John Gooding says, “This is another highly encouraging discovery, highlighting the potential copper-gold systems that exist in this important new district. The reason why we are excited about the identification of skarns is twofold – first their high grades make them more economically attractive in their own right and second they can be an indicator of the potential source or host part of the porphyry system.”
Drilling at the Star Mountains site was suspended in December due to an unseasonal dry spell which prevented food and fuel supplies being shipped to the Ok Tedi supply town of Tabubil. Recent rains have improved the river heights and it is expected drilling will recommence in February.
The Star Mountains licence area hosts the Nong River, Mt Scorpion and Tifalmin prospects which lie along the highly prospective New Guinea Orogenic belt renowned for the already established world-class Grasberg, Frieda, Ok Tedi and Porgera deposits.
John Gooding says the company’s strategy for Star Mountains is to identify near-surface copper-gold deposits of between 100-200 million tonnes that can be easily mined to make a contribution to the production options for the Ok Tedi processing plant, which is about 20km south.
He says discussions with Ok Tedi Mining Limited will continue this year regarding the potential for collaboration and possible studies. (Read more about Highlands Pacific in the current edition of The ASIA Miner which can be downloaded from www.asiaminer.com)