Ooldea-Barton Zircon Heavy Mineral Project
The Barton project covers Tertiary beach sands deposited in the Eucla Basin along the western margin of the Gawler Craton where Iluka Resources Ltd have discovered four significant zircon-rich heavy mineral sand resources, the Jacinth, Ambrosia, Tripitaka and Gulliver deposits. More recently Dominion Mining Limited discovered a large area of greater than 1% heavy mineral sand at their Barton West project, northwest of Red Metal’s Barton tenement.
Red Metal’s Barton project is joint ventured with Cristal Mining Australia Limited, who act as manager. From first pass drilling in 2010 Cristal successfully discovered an extensive blanket of low grade, heavy mineral sand situated along the same Tertiary shore line that hosts Iluka Resources’ Mojave discovery. Bemax reported an Inferred Heavy Mineral Resource (consistent with the 2004 JORC Code), of about 285 million tonnes at an estimated grade of about 1.9% HM for the new Barton discovery. The Inferred Resource is estimated to contain about 2,600,000 tonnes of ilmenite, 460,000 tonnes of zircon, 140,000 tonnes of leucoxene and 120,000 tonnes rutile and has a low clay content averaging about 1.8%.
Cristal are encouraged by their early success and are planning additional exploration work testing for potential higher grade HM trap sites on the untested headland and embayment target and now propose to extend the existing drill traverses seeking higher-grade concentrations in shallower shoreline settings predicted towards the east.
In 2012, exploration access agreements were finalised with the Maralinga Tjarutju community allowing exploration to progress on the western joint venture tenements which incorporates the highly prospective Ooldea Range shore line trends. These shoreline trends host the zircon-rich Ambrosia, Jacinth and Tripitaka deposits currently being developed by Iluka Resources Limited.