Papuan Precious Metals (CVE:PAU) is busy this year advancing its projects in Papua New Guinea, a country that is already host to numerous copper and gold deposits.
The miner has interests in four copper-gold, nickel, and platinum
group metals exploration projects in the region, including Mt. Suckling,
New Hanover, Waria River and Bewani Mountains.
Earlier this month, the company announced the start of a 150 metre
drill program on its Doriri Creek hydrothermal prospect on its Mt.
Suckling project, and days ago said it would expand the campaign by two
holes for a total of four. The company said the move was based on
initial positive observations from core.
The drill program will test the nickel mineralogy accompanied by high
concentrations of phosphorus minerals like palladium and platinum.
Results from the campaign are expected in the next seven to eight weeks.
The Mt Suckling project is situated at the eastern end of New
Guinea’s Central Range, one of the world’s most prolific porphyry copper
belts. It consists of the Urua Creek, Araboro Creek and loleu Creek
porphyries and includes the Dimidi Creek potassium anomaly and the
Doriri Creek hydrothermal prospect.
The three prospective porphyry prospects the company has identified
lie in a linear belt some 19 kilometres long and are localized within
the wide trace of the Keveri Fault Zone, part of the once active plate
boundary between the Australian and Pacific plates.
The Doriri Creek hydrothermal prospect is also located in the trace
of this structure, about eight kilometres west of the Urua Creek
In February, the junior mineral explorer unveiled partial results
from the uppermost 79 metres of the discovery hole at the Urua Creek
Hole URD002 hit 70 metres grading 0.10% copper from eight to 78
metres and returned 6.65 metres of 0.77% copper and 1.84 grams per tonne
of gold (g/t) from 208.85 metres to 215.5 metres. This includes 1.10
metres of 2.16% copper and 9.60 g/t gold.
Though the company did not have the results initially anticipated, VP
of corporate development and CFO Greg Downey says the project is still
advancing, with Papuan continuing to add value.
Assays from the third hole at the Urua Creek prospect are expected near the end of this month.
Downey says the company is looking at potential farm out or joint
venture agreements for its projects to assist with the higher costs of
drilling in the region. It has already piqued the interest of some major
In a recent research note from independent research firm eResearch,
analyst Yuri Belinsky said: "We expect that Papuan will be able to
delineate mineralizations at the Mt. Suckling and New Hanover projects
in 2012-2013, and that one, or both, projects will obtain a resource
estimate by 2014.
"The most compelling part of Papuan’s story is its drill program:
drilling is conducted on its projects located in areas that have
received little exploration activity in the past, but which exhibit the
same geology as that of Papua New Guinea’s existing prolific gold and
"Success in delineation of mineralization would inevitably lead to a higher corporate valuation."
The company's New Hanover copper project comprises two exploration
licences, covering 591.6 square kilometres at the northwestern end of
the Lihir-Tabar alkaline volcanic belt, host to the giant Lihir gold
deposit and the Simberi gold deposit.
Very little modern exploration has been completed on the New Hanover
epithermal systems, but a discovery here could definitely attract big
name miners, adds Downey.
Earlier this year, Papuan announced significant gold and copper
results from outcrop samples at the Metewoi River prospect on New
Hanover, which opened up exploration potential for high-sulphidation
epithermal gold and porphyry copper-gold mineralization.
The Metewoi prospect is between three and four kilometres southeast
of the Kuliuta copper-gold prospect in Papua New Guinea, which has
attracted interest for its unusual intersection of a native and sulphide
copper-bearing sub-volcanic porphyry to depths of around 500 metres
below La’mau’sing Mountain.
Papuan completed a reconnaissance exploration program in 2009 at New
Hanover, which defined 10 geochemical/alteration anomalies for follow-up
exploration, in addition to the previously located Kuliuta gold-copper
prospect. The company's reconnaissance exploration campaign located
9.67% copper in an outcrop in Metemana Creek, five kilometres southwest
With around $2.5 million in the bank, Downey says the company is
committed to all of its properties, which cost only around $250,000 to
hold per year.
The company, which is backed by Global Resource Investments, closed Thursday around 10 cents on the TSX Venture Exchange.