AFTER becoming a gold producer in 2016 Havilah Resources will return to exploration this year seeking copper and gold resources at targets within trucking distance of the operating Portia Gold Project in South Australia. The planned budget for the 2017 drilling program is $500,000, of which 40% will be funded by the South Australian Government under a Program for Accelerated Exploration (PACE) grant.

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Drilling by Havilah Resources on one of its tenements in South Australia.

Managing director Chris Giles said one of the company’s strategic objectives for the year was to make new discoveries that were material to Havilah, using Portia cash flow. “To this end, Havilah plans to commence an exploration drilling program in the first quarter of 2017 after an almost three year hiatus.

“The drilling program has been approved by the Department of State Development and an Aboriginal heritage survey will be carried out to clear all planned drilling areas.

“It is important to note that this regional exploration will not diminish ongoing drilling in and around the current Portia open pit to expand the mining resource base, which will be operated by a separate drilling crew,” he said.

Like the Portia mine, the various exploration targets lie on the Benagerie dome, which is viewed by Havilah as having the one of the lowest risk, highest reward greenfields copper-gold exploration profiles of any area within its entire 13,000sqkm tenement holding based on:

1. Extensive mineralisation identified by previous drilling, but with little subsequent follow-up drilling.

2. Within trucking distance of Portia Gold Mine and the proposed Kalkaroo copper processing facility.

3. Geological settings and mineralisation styles that can host world-class mineral deposits.

The first priority is the 1.5km-long x 800 metre-wide Bassanio IOCG ironstone target, within 1km of Portia. Based on earlier Pasminco aircore drilling results it contains anomalous metals, including gold, copper and molybdenum. Havilah attempted to RC drill the magnetic and gravity anomaly in 2005, but drilling was abandoned due to excessive water flows and loss of air pressure. This time it is proposed to drill at least two diamond holes into the target.

The second target is up-dip and strike extensions of a shallow copper skarn at Croziers with the initial objective being a shallow, enriched oxidised copper deposit.

Target three is Portia-type high grade gold analogues at the nearby Shylock and Lorenzo prospects. Drilling will follow up many encouraging gold hits from the 1990s.

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