The Torrens Project (EL5614) is a joint venture between Aeris Resources (70% interest) and Kelaray Pty Ltd (a wholly owned subsidiary of Argonaut Resources NL) and is exploring for iron-oxide copper-gold (IOCG) systems.
EL5614 is located within the highly prospective Stuart Shelf Region of South Australia and lies within 50 kilometres of Oz Minerals’ Carrapateena deposit and 75 kilometres from BHP’s Olympic Dam mine. The Torrens Anomaly, a large regionally significant coincident magnetic and gravity anomaly with a footprint in excess 160km2 (larger footprint than Olympic Dam) is located within EL5614.
Drilling has been limited to 6 drill holes completed between 1977 and 2008. They have defined a large magnetite dominant with lesser hematite alteration system interpreted to form the distal component of a large IOCG system. Zones of anomalous copper mineralisation (≥0.1% Cu) were intersected from several drill holes with the most significant mineralised zone associated with TD2 (246m @ 0.1% Cu).
An airborne gravity survey over EL5614 (Torrens Anomaly) is planned to commence in late February 2018. The planned gravity survey will supersede previous gravity surveys completed over the tenement, dating back to 1976. The quality and resolution of the planned survey will greatly assist in more accurately defining IOCG targets for drill testing
Exploration activity on the project had been suspended since 2008 due to uncertainty regards the Native Title status of the project area, and Aboriginal Heritage restrictions.
On 9th August 2016, Justice Mansfield of the Federal Court handed down his decision on the Lake Torrens Overlap Proceedings (No3). These proceedings were in respect of overlapping applications for a determination of native title rights over the lands and water of Lake Torrens, claimed by three separate native title claimant groups. The Torrens Project EL5614 is located within the disputed claim area. Justice Mansfield ruled that none of the overlapping claims had been proved. All claimants have made appeals to the full court. The court at this time had not yet made a decision on the appeals and it may dismiss all the appeals. In the interim, the effect of the Mansfield decision is that the area of the project has no Native Title granted, nor any recognised Native Title claimants.
On 31 March 2017 the South Australian (ERD) Court granted the Torrens Joint Venture native title authority to enter and undertake exploration within EL 5614 under the Mining Act.
On 15 February 2018, the South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation granted an authorisation under section 23 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988. The authorisation allows for up to 70 deep diamond drill holes and covers an area of 120km2 over the Torrens gravity anomaly. Appropriately, the authorisation requires the Torrens Joint Venture to consult closely with Aboriginal groups. This was the last of three approvals required by the Joint Venture to be able to commence drilling on EL5614. Aboriginal Heritage matters is now resolved and exploration activities can commence in practice.