OZ Minerals and Minotaur Exploration are set to expand operations at their Eloise copper joint venture (JV) in Queensland, Australia.

The partners began diamond drilling in April this year and completed almost 7,600m of drilling at the Jericho site, 3km south of Eloise copper mine.

So far, the campaign revealed consistent and widespread copper-gold intersections at Jericho.

By the middle of this month, the campaign will see the accumulation of 9,000m in drill samples along 3.5km of Jericho’s extent.

As a majority stakeholder in the project, OZ Minerals (51%) has approved the expansion of drilling scope to encompass similarly defined EM targets in the region.

Planned works near Jericho will see the addition of two follow-up drill holes into the Defiance prospect and 5,000m of drilling into several untested targets.

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By GlobalData
“The inherent value of new copper deposits is apparent.”

Minotaur Exploration managing director Andrew Woskett said: “OZ Minerals’ solid support has given tremendous impetus to our prospecting and their decision now to again expand their investment, based on the Jericho results, is another endorsement.

“Minotaur appreciates the reliance placed by OZ Minerals in our technical judgment and operational capabilities. The inherent value of new copper deposits, such as Jericho, identified in the neighbourhood of the Eloise copper concentrator, is apparent.

“Minotaur’s strategic ground position and already defined drill targets close by provides the JV with multiple value-add opportunities.”

The JV partners will also undertake a regional geophysical programme to develop several new targets for drill investigation next year.

As part of the expanded scope, OZ Minerals will invest an additional A$2m ($1.43m) through to the end of this year.

OZ Minerals acquired its 51% beneficial interest in the tenements after completing a A$5m ($3.59m) Stage 1 earn-in under a binding heads of agreement with Minotaur signed in 2015.

The company can increase its stake by earning an additional 19% equity in exchange for a further A$5m ($3.59m).