Aeris Resources has received approval from the South Australian Minister for Aboriginal Affairs and Reconciliation, meaning its Torrens copper-gold joint venture (JV) in the Stuart Shelf region can go ahead. Aeris is primarily known for its Tritton copper mine, which reached 10 years of production in 2015.
The Minister’s approval related to Section 23 of the Aboriginal Heritage Act 1988 — which dictates various rules regarding the damage, disturbance and interference of Aboriginal sites — and is the final approval needed to commence drilling of up to 70 deep diamond drill holes covering the 120km2 Torrens copper anomaly.
The site has a footprint larger than BHP’s Olympic Dam mine, which is roughly 75km away. Another nearby site is OZ Minerals’ Carapateena operation, which is about 50km away.
The Torrens JV is 70 per cent-owned by Aeris, with the remaining 30 per cent under ownership of Kelaray, a subsidiary of Argonaut Resources. The two companies first gained exploration approval in November 2017.
Aeris executive chairman André Labuschagne thanked the SA Government and local Aboriginal groups for their support, calling the approval a “massive step forward”.
“Aeris now has two avenues for significant value creation in what is a very buoyant market for copper,” he said.
“With the Torrens project we have an exciting greenfields exploration project, in a world-class iron oxide copper-gold (IOCG) province.”