Encounter Resources Ltd (ASX:ENR) has entered into an Option Agreement with global resources heavyweight BHP in relation to its Elliott prospect in Australia’s Northern Territory.
The Option Agreement provides BHP with the right to enter an earn-in and joint venture agreement covering Elliott following the completion a jointly designed and funded validation programme.
Encounter has secured a large and highly prospective project portfolio in the NT focused on the discovery of new base metal deposits under shallow cover including the Elliott, Jessica, Brunchilly, Carrara, Playford and Sandover projects.
Encounter Managing Director, Will Robinson, saidElliott was the first project secured by Encounter in the NT and comprises seven tenements covering more than 4,500 sq. km. Four of the tenements, covering over 3,000 sq. km, were granted in March 2020. The project is located on the Stuart Highway which runs along the western margin of the project.
Elliott is located at a major structural intersection on the southwestern margin of the Beetaloo Basin targeting sedimentary hosted copper. The Beetaloo Basin is part of the Greater McArthur Superbasin that hosts the giant sediment-hosted base metal deposit at McArthur River. The basin contains thick, petroleum bearing, reduced sediments which are an ideal trap sequence and structural setting for major sediment hosted base metal deposits.
Historical exploration within adjacent properties has confirmed the presence of red beds and evaporites within the sedimentary sequence which are important ingredients in sedimentary copper deposit models. The project encompasses key conceptual criteria for the formation of sedimentary copper and the target sequence is undercover and untested.
New Geoscience Australia datasets released in 2019 and 2020 have supported the conceptual and structural targeting model at Elliott. The standout, copper-in-groundwater anomaly (order of magnitude above background) in the extensive Geoscience Australia (GA) sampling program is located at Elliott. This copper-in-groundwater anomaly is supported by a copper-in-soil anomaly also collected by GA.
New datasets provided by Geoscience Australia as part of the Exploring for the Future Program provide crucial new data to open up and facilitate exploration in this covered, highly prospective and underexplored region of Australia
New data has shone a light on the potential for copper to be found under shallow cover in the Northern Territory,” Mr Robinson said.
“Encounter moved early and aggressively to secure first mover opportunities in this new frontier.
“We are delighted to be teaming up with BHP in the search for Tier 1 copper deposits at Elliott. We look forward to working alongside the highly respected BHP exploration team to validate this compelling opportunity.”