A Perth-based mining company has plans to create a "Barkly super-project" east of Tennant Creek to look for copper and gold.
Middle Island Resources Limited has announced all 10 of the company's exploration licence applications in the Barkly region have now been listed for granting.
The company says the NT Department of Primary Industry and Resources has offered to withhold formal granting of the licences until the COVID-19 travel restrictions are lifted or at the company's earlier election.
The "Barkly super-project" comprises of 10 exploration licence applications covering 3253 square kilometres within the Barkly region.
The applications semi-continuously extend for over 350km along the axis of the fault-bounded East Tennant Ridge from Tennant Creek, east across the Barkly Tableland, towards the Queensland border near Mount Isa.
This tenure is held by Barkly Operations Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of Middle Island Resources Limited.
Five of Middle Island's exploration licences in the Barkly area surround or adjoin Newcrest Mining applications along the axis of the East Tennant Ridge, while those in the Tennant Creek area immediately adjoin new Rio Tinto tenements.
The Barkly project tenure includes, or lies immediately peripheral to, priority targets and corridors identified from pre-competitive research data generated under the collaborative Federal and Territory/State Governments' Exploring for the Future initiative.
Interest in the East Tennant area has grown significantly since it was selected as one of the focus areas for the four-year EFTF program, a $100.5 million initiative by the Federal Government dedicated to boosting investment in Australian mineral exploration.
An area east of Tennant Creek has been identified as "possibly" holding new mineral deposits worth up to $12.4 billion.
Importantly, several of the Company's exploration licences include or immediately adjoin several areas reserved for highly anticipated EFTF basement stratigraphic drilling and additional deep seismic traverses, originally planned to be undertaken during 2020, which may now be deferred due to COVID-19 limitations.
The Barkly super-project positions Middle Island as one of the largest tenement holders within the newly identified East Tennant province.
Iron ore, copper and gold are the targets.
Once travel restrictions are lifted and the licences formally granted, initial Middle Island work will focus on stakeholder engagement, the capture of any outstanding open file and pre-competitive data, more detailed modelling of identified exploration targets and the planning of high-resolution geophysical surveys to refine modelled targets in preparation for drill testing.
Middle Island managing director Rick Yeates said: "We are extremely pleased to confirm that all 10 Exploration Licences comprising the Barkly copper-gold project in the NT are now available for grant, making Middle Island one of the first movers and largest tenement holders along the highly prospective East Tennant Ridge.
"Middle Island has secured priority areas and targets in several cases, and the allocated areas also include or immediately adjoin several sites planned for much anticipated government stratigraphic basement drilling."
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