Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX) has made a copper-gold mineralisation discovery at the Winu project in the Yeneena Basin of the Paterson Province, Western Australia.

The discovery at the Winu project, which is located around 130km north of the Telfer mine and 350km southeast of Port Hedland, was made when RTX was conducting a programme to find copper mineralisation in the Paterson Province.

Eight reverse circulation (RC) and 20 diamond holes drilled on exploration licence E45/4833 between December 2017 and the end of last year, totalling 13,286m, were part of the exploration programme.

RTX received and validated assays for all RC holes and 14 diamond holes, and assays are pending for the remaining six diamond holes.

Data from the assay results revealed relatively wide intersections of copper mineralisation associated with gold and silver.

Rio Tinto said in a statement: “While results are encouraging, the exploration project is still at an early stage and drilling to date does not allow sufficient understanding of the mineralised body to assess the potential size or quality of the mineralisation nor to enable estimation of a Mineral Resource.

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“The assessment and interpretation of existing data is ongoing and will be used to help guide the drilling in 2019.”

The Winu exploration camp is located approximately 200 km by gravel and sand track from the Great Northern Highway.

RTX plans to upgrade the sand section of the track for logistics supply purposes.

“The assessment and interpretation of existing data is ongoing and will be used to help guide the drilling in 2019.”

Furthermore, the company will continue to explore its adjacent wholly-owned licences and joint venture licences within the Paterson Province.

Separately, Rio Tinto has published a new report tilted Our approach to climate change, which uses the Task Force on Climate-related Financial Disclosures (TCFD) recommendations as a framework to assess the potential risks and opportunities of climate change and related policies.

Rio Tinto CEO J-S Jacques said: “Given our decision to strengthen our business and exit coal, we are now the only major mining company with a fossil-fuel-free portfolio, which means we are well-positioned to contribute to a low-carbon future.

“The materials we produce, from infinitely recyclable aluminium to copper used in electrification to our higher grade iron ore product, all play a part in the transition to a low-carbon economy.”