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Tartana Resources is working to build a clearer picture of its in-ground assets in North Queensland as it prepares for an IPO on the Australian Stock Exchange.

The company plans to restart the heap leach/solvent extraction plant at the Chillagoe site, which has been on care and maintenance since 2014 and produced high quality copper sulphate.

But there are other opportunities on the four granted mining leases in the area – including developing the Queen Grade deposit into an open-cut zinc mine as well as exploring site’s deeper copper resources.

“We’re certainly excited, because of the fact the leases have been in private hands and the historical exploration has been quite sporadic,” Tartana Resources executive chairman Stephen Bartrop said.

The first step is a planned IPO this month, when the company aims to raise $4-6 million before listing on the Australian Stock Exchange in July/August.

The company has commissioned SRK Consulting to provide JORC 2012 compliant open pit exploration targets for its Queen Grade zinc project, a copper sulphide project below the existing Tartana copper mine pit and the Valentino copper project.

The projects are about 40 km north-west of Chillagoe, near Auctus’s King Vol mine. Tartana Resources acquired the Tartana project tenements in early 2018 from Solomon Mines.

Dr Bartrop said while that company had successfully produced copper sulphate for many years, the opportunities existing within its mining leases had not been quantified before.

A priority project for Tartana Resources will be extracting copper which remains in solution in ponds at the site, and potentially on leach heaps.

The value of the copper in the ponds was expected to cover the costs of the plant restart, with a small margin, Dr Bartrop said.

“Another major focus will be drilling targeting some of the copper oxide mineralisation that extends about 600m north of the existing pit,” he said.

“We will also drill out parts of the base of the existing pit where mineralisation is believed to have been left by the previous owner.

“They could both potentially provide ore for further heap leaching and maintaining copper sulphate production well into the future.”

The Queen Grade zinc project on the tenement package has an open-pit exploration target of up to three million tonnes at 10 per cent zinc and has similarities with the neighbouring King Vol mine owned by Auctus Resources.

Tartana Resources believes there could be opportunities for treating the Queen Grade zinc ore at a plant in the region and it will not be necessary to build its own concentrator on site.

New life for NQ copper site