Strategic Elements Ltd (ASX:SOR) has applied for drilling funds from the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) for the newly acquired Leviathan Copper-Gold-Rare Earths Project in the remote Gibson Desert of WA's Officer Basin.
The WA Government's EIS is a highly competitive process that supports innovative exploration drilling projects and has resulted in major discoveries in the state.
Companies awarded funding under the current round of the EIS will be notified in November 2019.
No Native Title determined
SOR has also confirmed that the Leviathan project does not require an Aboriginal Land Access & Mineral Exploration Agreement or Aboriginal Heritage Survey prior to drilling.
The project has a recently discovered 4-kilometre diameter gravity anomaly surrounded by up to 100 suspected volcanic pipes as reported from previous diamond exploration.
It is primarily being explored for copper, gold and rare earths.
EIS support for Behemoth
The company was previously successful in EIS support for drilling at the Behemoth project, about 140 kilometres north of Leviathan.
IGO’s Nova-Bollinger mine site was also discovered by Sirius Resources using EIS co-funded drilling.
This program provides up to $150,000 for multiple holes and importantly is determined by a review from industry experts.
SOR recently received all approvals required to drill at Behemoth and is currently finalising a drilling contract.
Gravity survey work
With no Native Title determined or Native Title Claim made, the remaining major regulatory hurdle prior to drilling at Leviathan is a Program of Works from the WA Government to use mechanised equipment.
A more detailed gravity survey is being conducted at Leviathan with no ground-disturbing activity.
The gravity survey team reports that access into the area is good, with major unsealed roads close to the project and tracks used in the previous drilling for diamonds in 2003.
These factors increase the speed in which a drilling decision and program can be progressed.
Leviathan was founded in collaboration with Dr Franco Pirajno, a global expert on mineral systems, and is considered prospective for copper-gold-rare earths mineralisation related to volcano-intrusive complexes.
A small number of the volcanic pipes were drilled by De Beers in diamond exploration with historical drill records containing multiple references to disseminated sulphides.
Recent petrographic analysis of historical drill core by Dr Pirajno confirmed a volcanic pipe that contained fragments of lead and copper sulphides.
In geology, volcanic pipes are associated with alkaline and carbonatite intrusions.
The Leviathan gravity anomaly is postulated to be the top of an alkaline intrusion and potential associated carbonatite surrounded by the volcanic pipes identified in De Beers drill cores and magnetic data.
Carbonatites consist of more than 50% carbonate material that are highly prospective for copper-gold-rare earths.