DRILLING at Minotaur Exploration’s Artemis copper-gold-zinc-silver prospect in northwest Queensland is intensifying. Two diamond rigs are in use at the prospect, which is 20km west of the Eloise copper-gold mine and southeast of Cloncurry, as part of a campaign of 40 holes for 18,000 metres of drilling.

The aim of the campaign is to test strike and down-dip extensions of Artemis mineralization. An RC rig installed pre-collars for the deeper drilling. One of the diamond rigs is on a double shift while the other is on a single shift.

Artemis is part of the Eloise Copper Joint Venture managed by Minotaur on behalf of JV partner Golden Fields Resources who, upon expenditure of $6 million, may earn a 50% beneficial interest in the tenements but excluding those parts subject to the Altia JV with Sandfire Resources. The JV work plan commits expenditure of $7.7 million from commencement in December 2013 to June 2015.

By late November five diamond holes had been completed and geochemical results received for the first two holes which targeted the southerly along-strike extent of mineralization from a discovery hole. The two holes intersected massive sulphide mineralization. The sulphides are medium to coarse grained, massive and consist predominantly of pyrrhotite, sphalerite, chalcopyrite and galena. Calcite is also present and abundance of the various mineral components varies with the content of the sulphide minerals ranging locally up to about 95%.

The massive sulphides in one hole returned assays of 19.9 metres from 153 metres @ 1.53% copper, 1.62 grams/tonne gold, 5.40% zinc, 0.77% lead, 46 grams/tonne silver and 0.19% cobalt. Those in the second hole returned 16.14 metres from 150 metres @ 3.29% copper, 2.98 grams/tonne gold, 6.61% zinc, 1.77% lead, 65 grams/tonne silver and 0.32% cobalt. This hole included a higher grade interval of 9 metres from 156 metres @ 5.15% copper, 4.26 grams/tonne gold, 8.64% zinc and 1.96% lead.

The thick, high-grade polymetallic mineralization is now confirmed for at least 50 metres along strike to the south-southwest from the discovery hole, supporting early indications that the Artemis prospect is a significant new discovery.

Meanwhile, drilling has started at Minotaur’s JOGMEC (Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation) JV project, 60km north of Cloncurry. Under the terms of the JV JOGMEC is sole-funding an exploration program, managed by Minotaur, on 18 tenements about 40km north of the Ernest Henry Mine.

JOGMEC has elected to increase the original $800,000 budget through to the end of March 2015, to $1.252 million with a resulting seven holes for 2600 metres. The campaign will test a range of geophysical targets generated by an extensive ground geophysical program.

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