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Explorers’ delight

Monday, 4th February, 2019

A drilling rig pulling up samples for Impact Minerals. PICTURE: Supplied A drilling rig pulling up samples for Impact Minerals. PICTURE: Supplied

By Callum Marshall

Exploration company Impact Minerals has been buoyed by positive rock chip samples and in-house research showing good mineralisation prospects at their Rockwell-Little Broken Hill prospect.

A positive rock chip sample along the eastern contact of the Little Broken Hill Gabbro site has returned results of 6.5 g/t of gold, 11.8% copper and 0.15g/t of palladium, amongst other results. 

Another sample returned positive results of gold, copper, palladium and other elements.

Impact Managing Director Dr Mike Jones said that the discovery of platinum group metals such as platinum and palladium was particularly encouraging. 

“The rocks (we’ve found across) a 40km trend carry exceptional grades of platinum group metals, which are platinum, palladium and also weird minerals like osmium, iridium, ruthenium and rhodium,” he said.

“Apart from a few drill holes and some rock chip samples very few people have actually explored these things very carefully (within the area since the late 1800s.)

“They haven’t put the time and effort required to see part of something significant. 

“But we became involved five years ago when we purchased the projects, and moved them forward intermittently. 

“We did some drilling there in 2015 and returned some exceptional grades, in particular palladium. 

“There’s probably some of the highest grades of palladium in Australia there. 

“It was an exceptional result and of course palladium is at record highs at the moment.

“As a result there’s been a lot more interest in the project, not just from ourselves but from other parties asking what we’re doing with the project.”

Dr Jones said the metals were used within a lot of electronics, the auto industry as well as for new fuel cell technologies. 

“Platinum and palladium are predominately used as catalysts in the auto-mobile industry,” he said.

“Platinum mainly for diesel engines and palladium for petrol. 

Impact’s discovery follows positive iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) mineralisation at Silver City Mineral’s Copper Blows site, a mining tenement located within the same 40 kilometre trend as Impact’s LBHG site.

Although Dr Jones said the samples they’d taken had occurred years before the Copper Blows discovery, he said it was only after Silver City’s announcement that they decided to release the LBHG news.

“We had done all our work a few years ago before Silver City had made their discovery,” he said.

“Their iron oxide-copper-gold deposits come from deep within the Earth’s crust, right down to the mantle in terms of the source. As a result, it was a clear link to the platinum that we had.

“So their discovery was further confirmation that the forty kilometre trend is an exceptionally deep structure.

“It goes down thousands of kilometres, right down to the Earth’s core mantle boundary. 

“That’s a very significant factor in many of the world’s major deposits.

“So all in all it’s a very exciting development. We’ve known about it for some time but we’ve kept a little bit quiet (about it.)”

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