JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – Australia-listed Auroch Minerals has entered into an option agreement to acquire the historic Tisová copper mine and three exploration licences in the Czech Republic, which CEO Dr Andrew Tunks said on Monday had the potential to be a “substantial unrecognised cobalt play”.
Previous exploration and mining at Tisová, which operated from 1959 to 1973, focused on the copper-rich volcanogenic massive sulphide of the deposit. However, sampling of the broader sulphide envelope has produced significant grades of cobalt, copper and gold, with grades of up to 0.68% cobalt copper having been returned from assay samples. Potential gold byproduct of between 0.2 g/t and 3.7 g/t gold were reported.
“The important point here is that while copper orebodies are not wide, they occur within a much thicker zone of pyrite and pyrrhotite mineralisation (up to 60 m), it is here, outside the copper zones, that our sampling indicates the presence of significant cobalt and gold that was not recognised during the mining phase.
“With true thickness of up to 60 m of sulphide-rich mineralisation and the deposit open in all directions there is potential for a significant operation to be developed should the grades and continuity of the cobalt and gold mineralisation be proven by new exploration drilling,” Tunks commented in a statement.
Auroch has entered into a nine-month option period, during which time it will carry out a due diligence exercise, involving the drilling of four holes. These holes will twin historical holes that intercepted thick zones of sulphide mineralisation.
Permitting for the exploration drilling programme is expected within eight weeks, thus drilling is likely to start by August or September.
On execution of the options, Auroch will reimburse the vendors of the Czech permit for about A$75 000 in costs incurred. The company will also issue 4.375-million ordinary shares on completion. A deferred consideration of five-million shares will be issued, subject to shareholder approval, on a decision to mine the project area, a change of control of Auroch or if the project is sold.