After months of speculation, Rio Tinto has finally pulled back the curtain on its exploration activity in the Paterson province.
The firm first aroused suspicion when it began pegging land on what was already considered a hot exploration site, upping its tenements from 2335 to 13,000 square kilometers – as revealed by aerial photos that were leaked to the press.
Rumours of a major copper-gold discovery began circulating in late 2017 (with Rio neither confirming nor denying the reports). But it wasn’t until yesterday that the firm announced it had uncovered a significant reserve of copper, gold and silver mineralisation.
Although assay results are not yet finalised, the figures to date suggest a high-grade reserve with wide intersections and shallow cover, according to a company statement.
“A firm that only pursues tier 1 discoveries sets up a camp of this size – we all knew the discovery would be big, but no one knew just how big”, said Angela East, Resources Editor at Stockhead, ahead of Minerals and Investment Week 2019.
“Even by the most conservative of estimates, it was enough to spur plenty of junior activity in this region and whet investor appetite.
“The trouble with ‘nearology’, though, is that it tends to be brief and juniors need to start showing instant results to sustain investor interest.
“With the volatile market we saw in late 2018, investor appetite had already started to wane quite substantially.
“With an announcement of this magnitude, I expect many will be back on board, with juniors and investors all reaping the rewards for many years to come”.
Angela East will open discussions at Minerals & Investment Week 2019, where she’ll talk more about the significance of this finding and other key developments in mineral exploration.
This year’s event features multiple conferences, including the 22nd Annual Global Iron Ore & Steel Forecast, 20th Annual Mineral Sands, and 2nd Annual Lithium & Battery Metals.