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BHP make world-class copper discovery in South Australia

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Australian mining company, BHP have announced the discovery of a new copper, iron oxide and gold deposit near their Olympic Dam mine.

BHP have made a new copper discovery near their Olympic Dam mine in South Australia
(Image via BHP)

The discovery was made as part of a very early-stage exploration program, around 65km southeast of their current operations. 

A disclosure of drilling results at this stage is rare from mining companies of this size, which itself suggests BHP’s excitement in this discovery.

The company confirmed that four diamond drill holes, totalling 5346 metres, intersected graded 3.04% copper, 0.59 grams per tonne of gold, 346 parts per million uranium and 6.03g/t silver.

In a statement, the company stressed that “This exploration project is at an early stage and there is currently insufficient geological information to assess the size, quality and continuity of the mineralised intersections.”

However, some experts have already begun referring to it as the “thickest high-grade copper intersection seen in years.”

If the find is as successful as it appears, it will be a big win for BHP - with demand for copper expected to outweigh supplies by 2019. 

Copper demand is due to outweigh supply in 2019, due to the increased need for the metal as a vital component of motors for electric vehicles
(Image via CRU International)

Copper is a key component of power inverters and charging infrastructure used for electric vehicles. With the increase in electric cars on the roads, the need for more copper rises. And until now there has been a relative lack of new significant discoveries, and low investment in exploration. 

BHP plan to commence their next drilling program in the area in early 2019.

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