Australian Exploration

Australian Exploration

Vital Metals Limited work focus in Australia is far North Queensland. The region hosts the companies flagship Watershed Tungsten Project about 115km northwest of Cairns, together with 7 highly prospective exploration tenements covering an area of 868km2. The Watershed Tungsten Project is poised to become one of the largest tungsten suppliers outside China. The nearby exploration tenements in one of the most prospective mineral provinces of Queensland offer outstanding opportunities for the discovery of substantial tungsten, tin, gold or copper resources, which could add value to the Watershed Project or be developed into stand-alone operations.


EPM19089 was granted to Vital in 2013. The tenement, located southeast of Watershed, contains the Elephant Creek gold prospect, which was previously explored and drill tested by BHP and other companies. The prospect is located on the same structural zone as Watershed and scheelite is present in spoil dumps of former small-scale mining operations, underpinning the prospectivity for multiple commodities.

Shallow pits have been dug by prospectors along the length of the Ivory Vein with increased activity to the northern end of the vein, surface samples taken by BHP from mined materials have assayed up to 31ppm Au. It is reported that some dollied samples of quartz vein material return visible gold.  The gold mineralisation occurs in an area 1.5km long by 1.6km wide to the north of the Mt Elephant granite.

Vital completed a 32 hole (1,537m) RC drilling program at Elephant Creek on the Ivory structure which intersected shallow high grade gold mineralisation over a 1.5km strike length:

  • IVRC2016 001: 4m @ 26.39 g/t Au from 17m
  • IVRC2016 002: 6m @ 2.23 g/t Au from 18m
  • IVRC2016 004: 8m @ 3.37 g/t Au from 42m
  • IVRC2016 006: 14m @ 2.56 g/t Au from 28m
  • IVRC2016 028: 3m @ 2.52 g/t Au from 9m

These results confirm and in some cases have exceeded the gold mineralisation intercepts reported from historical exploration drilling which was undertaken by BHP, Australian Ores and Minerals Ltd and Gateway Mining NL.

Vital is actively testing the gold potential of the Elephant Creek gold prospect.


EPM25139 was granted to Vital Metals Ltd in 2014. The tenement is located just north of the Mulligan Highway. It is host to the Peninsula copper prospect showing high grade, oxidised copper mineralisation within Hodgkinson sediments.

Copper mineralisation observed so far at Peninsula is malachite and azurite within gossanous sediment outcrop measured over a strike of over 100 meters which is located on an aeromagnetic high.  Rock chips taken from the outcrop have returned significant copper and gold mineralisation  (CU01-002: 16.7 % Cu and 0.08 g/t Au, CU01-003: 13.0 % Cu and 0.20 g/t Au).

A maiden RC drill program (2 holes for 75m) was completed in Q4 2016 and intersected a zone of elevated copper oxide minerals (malachite with minor azurite) from 11m downhole which included a significant intercept of 2m @ 0.96 % Cu from 14m (PE2016 001). Further drilling along strike and at depth will be required to test this target.

Rock chip sampling of a quartz reef (>100m exposure) located around 500m to the north of the gossan outcrop has reported very encouraging gold assays associated with copper mineralisation (8.71 g/t Au and 0.03 % Cu) and is now a target that will also require follow up.

The copper and gold results from Peninsula look very encouraging with the exploration potential of Peninsula being raised a level with the discovery of the mineralised quartz reef along strike from the copper gossan outcrop. It appears likely that Peninsula may be on the same structural corridor associated with mineralisation at Elephant Creek.

Copper-rich gossan sample from the Peninsula prospect.


EPM125102 was granted to Vital Metals Ltd in 2013. The tenement is located southwest of the former copper mining town Mt Molloy and the historic sediment hosted,high-grade copper deposit is located just 2km outside the tenement boundaries.

The primary exploration target for Vital is the Slaty Range prospect, which was the target of small-scale alluvial tin mining in the past and saw also exploration by BHP, RTZ and other companies. Historical stream sediment samples define a high grade tungsten and tin anomaly, but no follow-up work or drilling has been undertaken by the previous explorers, as they had a different exploration focus. The size and tenor of the anomaly in combination with a very favourable geological setting of the prospect around the Northedge granite provide an outstanding great opportunity for the potential discovery of a significant tungsten-tin mineralisation. Vital Metals is very excited to have added the Slaty Range prospect to its exploration portfolio and the prospect will be a priority work area in the coming field season.

SlatyRange W-Sn prospect


This tenement enclosing the Watershed deposit is host to the Watershed SouthDesailly and Desailly Northtungsten prospects located in close proximity to the south of the Watershed tungsten deposit. These prospects were partially drill tested by the Utah Development Company and hold the potential to add significant value to the Watershed project. Vital Metals is continuing exploration on these prospects with the aim to define a JORC compliant tungsten resource.

The tenement contains several additional prospects for tungsten (Mt Elephant, Henry Hill, Anomaly 17 and 18) and is also prospective for gold and copper. Vital has an ongoing regional exploration program to define new drill targets on the tenement.

View over the Mt Elephant tungsten prospect.
Coarse wolframite with scheelite from the Henry Hill prospect (left under UV light).


EPM18171 is located northwest of the Mt Carbine tungsten deposit. The tenement is not very well explored before being acquired by Vital Metals. A hyperspectral survey carried out with the support of JOGMEC in 2012 showed several anomalous areas and a tenement wide geochemical survey was commenced in 2013. The geological structures and igneous units intersecting and intruding the Hodgkinson sediments make this tenement very prospective for tungsten and tin mineralisation similar to those found in and around the Mt Carbine tungsten deposit.

Competent Person's Statement

The information that relates to Exploration Targets, Exploration Results, Mineral Resources or Ore Reserves is based on information compiled by Mr Mark Strizek, a Competent Person who is a Member or The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Strizek is a full-time employee of the Company. Mr Strizek has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaking to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 edition of the “Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves”. Mr Strizek consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.