Ausmon Resources has begun some surface exploration work around Brungle region, looking for signs of chromite and copper, but current lockdowns are keeping geologists in Sydney for the foreseeable future.
The work is being conducted by a subsidiary of Ausmon Resources titled ‘New Base Metals’ and is using historical data to direct its works in the area.
Chief Geologist Mark Derriman said the company has been granted two exploration licenses and has been sending small teams of two to three people down to the tenement on Brungle Creek, 15 km northeast of Tumut.
“We’re exploring for minerals, but not mining until we have a mining license in place,” said Mr Derriman.
He said the crews last visited in late 2020, before lockdowns kept them tethered to Sydney.
The current explorations cover the McAlpine Copper and Chromite historical workings, located in and around the Red Hills State Forest, where previous studies date back close to 50 years.
“We’ve been in contact with all of the landowners in the area,” said Mr Derriman.
“Everyone of them, to a person, has been [positive].
“We stay away from houses, stay away from boring points, work in and around the pastoralists and their stocks.
“We keep everyone fully informed of what we’re doing… We leave all gates as we find them… and work with the local people and the government that owns the state forest.”
The current works are limited to geological mapping, rock chip sampling and some geophysical surveys.
“If all goes to plan, then [next] we would look at doing some drilling at certain locations within the tenement,” said Mr Derriman.
Ausmon Resources already holds exploration tenements in Broken Hill, searching for copper, zinc and cobalt, and “saw an avenue to explore for new age metals” around Brungle.
“There’s been very little active exploration [there], very little drilling and a lot of historical workings for chromite and copper,” Mr Derriman said.
“There’s some shafts and some pits, so we have historical information and one drill hole that goes back to the mid 1970’s, 1980’s.”
Copper and chromite are expected to increase in demand over the coming decades and Mr Derriman described the results from the Brungle tenement as “very encouraging” so far.
“We’re Sydney-based, so we have no plans in the short term to do anything until everything opens up,” he said.
“Once it is, we’ll go down and continue our surface exploration… [which is] low key stuff. Most of the time you won’t even know where we’ve been.”
If the encouraging results continue, Mr Derriman said the company would plan to engage a driller to conduct subsurface explorations.
That drilling could take place as soon as late 2022.