A STAWELL-BASED mineral exploration company believes there might be a copper-gold porphyry deposit near Cherrypool.
Navarre Minerals did a 3D geophysics survey at its Eclipse prospect in December.
Using induced polarisation, geologists searched for copper and gold mineralisation deep below the surface.
Drill samples were also logged and scanned on site using a portable x-ray fluorescence instrument.
The instrument gives geologists instant feedback on whether samples contain significant mineralisation.
Managing director Geoff McDermott said preliminary results pointed to a porphyry target.
Final results are due this month.
The findings could lead to a second phase of drilling, aimed at finding the deeper porphyry copper deposit.
“There also appears to be a secondary blanket of copper,” Mr McDermott said.
Navarre geologists believe a layer of chalcocite mineralisation has developed over the larger porphyry deposit.
“We can’t wait to get out there and start testing it, but we’ve got to temper that by making sure we’ve got all the information together first,” Mr McDermott said.
The company was scheduled to start a drilling program targeting the secondary copper blanket a week ago.
It was delayed because of the Grampians fires, but Mr McDermott expected the program to be finished early in the month.
About a year ago, state and federal government researchers unearthed a belt of volcanic rock known as the Miga Arc while surveying the geology of western Victoria.
Mr McDermott said the belt stretched from the coast near Warrnambool to Glenthompson, up to Natimuk and Mitre and through to the South Australian border.
“If our search is successful, this will provide a major boost for the region and the state,” he said.
Northern Grampians Shire Council will discuss the future of Stawell Gold Mines at its meeting on Monday night.
Mayor Kevin Erwin expects two reports to be tabled: a final list of options for the continued use of the mine and for the site’s future after mining ends.