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Esperance Minerals is a mineral exploration company, with interests in Shale Oil tenements, and interests in Kununurra and Yampi Sound tenements in Western Australia, which are highly prospective in Iron, Base Metals and Gold. Esperance also has interests in East Coast Minerals and Energie Future.


The Kununurra Base Metal Project (KBM) is prospective for iron, gold, silver, lead, copper and zinc. The project is 5Km west of the regional town of Kununurra with access via the Victoria Highway between Kununurra and the port of Wyndham which traverses the project area from east to west. During the quarter a VTEM survey was undertaken. Initial data has been received and Esperance is now waiting for final data so it can be processed and interpreted. The project area covers the north-western portion of the Halls Creek Mobile Zone (HCMZ) which formed as a result of convergence and collision between the largely undeformed Kimberley Craton and the North Australian Craton.

Bandicoot Range
Bandicoot Range is an isolated hilly range stretching up to 250m above the surrounding flat terrain. Within this area three major ferruginous horizons are recognized with thicknesses varying from 5 to 10m and in addition there are several thinner iron-rich horizons. The central iron-rich horizon can be traced along a strike length in excess of 6km. No modern work has been undertaken on Bandicoot and a reassessment of the project is warranted.

Shangri La
At Shangri La there are six en-echelon mineralised quartz veins in Hart Dolerite. The veins can be traced for up to 300m. Some 1,450m of drilling was carried out and mineralisation was reported to have been intersected to a depth of 80m. A maximum drill intercept of 435 g/t gold at a depth of 25m was reported. An estimated historical (non JORC) Exploration Target1 of 34,500 tonnes at 7.6% lead, 301.69 g/t silver and 5.59 g/t gold was outlined in three ore shoots. Extracting and stockpiling of ore commenced in early 1970 but it appears that only a fraction of the mineralisation may have been mined as excavations are only to a depth of 5 metres.

Shangri La South
At Shangri La South immediately south of the highway several mineralised quartz veins have been opened up by three small open cuts. Analysis results from sampling returned an overall grade of 12.9% lead, 0.8% copper, 145 g/t silver and 3.88 g/t gold. The vein system appeared to be identical to that at Shangri La. The principal mineral is argentiferous galena with lesser amount of malachite, azurite, pyromorphite and traces of free gold.

Silver Hills North
This prospect is constituted by a swarm of mineralised veins (about 1000m strike length). Surface assays from a strongly mineralised gossanous quartz vein returned 8.36 g/t gold, 195 g/t silver and 5% lead. Clay alteration appears to be associated with this mineralisation. Five trenches were dug and several more samples returned spectacular values for gold (up to 11.5 g/t), silver (maximum 1350 g/t) and lead (17%).

Donkey Hills South
At the Donkey Hill South prospect malachite and galena-bearing quartz veining were discovered over an area of 100 by 130 metres. Trenching exposed several narrow mineralised quartz veins which returned assays including 5.95 g/t gold, 1450 g/t silver, 7.4% copper and 4.40% lead.

North Kimberley
For a number of reasons, the North Kimberley area remains underexplored. Contributing factors include its remoteness and limited accessibility because of the rugged terrain and the presence of dense vegetation in the areas of low relief. Despite this, the limited exploration undertaken to date has resulted in the discovery of several swarms of strongly mineralised vein systems. This high grade precious and base metal mineralisation is associated with faulting and the intrusion of one of the largest dolerite sill complexes in the world, the Hart Dolerite (Ruddock, 2003).

Yampi Sound Project

The Yampi Sound Project (YSP) is prospective for Copper, Iron and Uranium and is covered by Exploration Licence 04/1448. The YSP is located on the Yampi Peninsula in the West Kimberley Region of Western Australia approximately 100km north of the regional centre and port of Derby. The tenement was granted on the 03/02/2006 and is for 5 years, expiring on the 02/02/2011. During the quarter 50% of the tenement was surrendered in line with statutory requirements. The central part of the tenement which contains all of the currently identified targets has been retained.

Iron occurrences have been located within the tenement. Tenement holders to the north are Koolan Island and to the south FMG Resources, who both represent significant Iron ore miners.

Aeromagnetic and radiometric data has been purchased, and has had a detailed geological and structural analysis. Targets generated by this analysis have identified copper, Uranium and Iron ore targets that now require field investigations.

Due to the onset of the wet season these targets will be investigated after March/April 2010. In the mean time all regulatory and indigenous approvals will be sought to access the tenement.

Previous exploration on the ground has been limited over the project area. Most work has been in the form of remote sensing. Its remoteness and absence of suitable vehicle tracks is a major obstacle. Despite these impediments numerous copper anomalism and copper workings and also some iron ore occurrences have been found. In addition a recently flown aerial survey located several radio-active anomalies.

The geological review of the Yampi Sound Project undertaken by CRAE geologists outlined the potential for the presence of sediment-hosted copper mineralisation similar to the world-class Copper belt deposits in Zambia and Zaire as its geological setting shows many similarities. These similarities were confirmed by the discovery of at least two sediment hosted copper occurrences in the Yampi Peninsula one at the McLarty Range east of the project area and another at Mundurral River within the licence. Even more significant was the delineation of several uranium anomalies near known copper mineralisation, an association commonly found in the Zambian Copper belt.

Known copper ore production in the area came from two mines: the Monarch workings and the Yampi Sound Copper Mine. Between 1914 and 1915 the Yampi Sound Copper Mine produced around 93 tonnes of ore at an average grade of 22.8% copper. This mine, which has not been worked since 1920, lies within the licence along the western bank of the Coppermine Creek, a large tidal inlet. The ore was boated away from the workings which are right on the shore. At this deposit chalcocite, malachite, cuprite and other copper-bearing minerals occur in quartz veins up to 60cm thick emplaced into sheared and altered Wotjulum Porphyry.

Alpha Oil Shale Deposit

The Alpha deposit is located in central Queensland and is approximately 750 air kilometres from Brisbane and approximately 500 kilometres west of the regional centre Rockhampton by road. The nearest township Alpha is a small rural community located 62 kilometres south east of the township Alpha deposit. The Alpha Township has a major rail line which links to the towns of Emerald, Rockhampton and Gladstone. The Blair Athol coal mine is located 170 kilometres away and further to the north are located coal mines of the Bowen Basin which is one of Australia’s two major bitumous coal producing regions.

The oil shale resource comprised an upper coal seam and a lower seam which contains a torbanite lens enclosed in coal. The interval above the upper seams consists primarily of cross bedded and rippled quartzose to lithic sandstone and conglomerate with minor siltstone and claystone. At the only torbanite outcrop in the deposit, in Tommy Stains Gully, the torbanite-coal interval is overlain by 1.1m of siltstone and fin-grained sandstone, which in turn is overlain by channel deposits comprising a basal conglomerate grading upwards to cross-bedded sandstone. Above this is a thin siltstone and claystone bed that is overlain by four metre massive sandstone. The interval between the two seams is dominantly quartzose to lithic sandstone with minor conglomerate, siltstone, and claystone. Maximum thickness of the inter-seam interval is 17m. The seams dip the west at less than 5°.

The results from the drill data to date, suggests that the area is divided into three structural blocks by two faults. Historically, resource calculations have been used to separate the total resources into the three resource blocks. The upper seam has been intersected in all three crops, but sub-crop of the torbanite lens is restricted to the central block. The central block is believed to have been downthrown compared to the north and south central block. The upper seam is comprised solely of cannel coal oil shale that has yielded up to 150 LTOM, as measured by the Fischer assay techniques. The lower seam comprises of a cannel coal oil shale seam that encloses the torbanite oil lens. The Alpha deposit is a rich oil shale composed mostly of algal components.

Nagoorin Oil Shale Deposit

The Nagoorin deposit is situated in the elongated north westerly trending Boyne Valley which is located in the Nagoorin Graben. The Graben is located at the intersection of three structural features, the Boyne Valley Fault, the Yarrool fault and the Barila shear. The Graben is surrounded by the north-west trending middle to late Devonian to Carboniferous and Permian sedimentary, volcanic and low-grade metamorphic rocks. The Permian Miriam Vale Grandodionite is found to the east of the deposit and to the west the Triassic Glassford complex cuts across the older rocks.

The Nagoorin deposit contains a tertiary sequence of 1.5km thick, with the fossil fuel resource being a sequence of interbedded lamosite oil shale and cannel coal. The licence for Nagoorin deposit covers an area of 6,854 hectares and geological data was obtained during the exploration programme that started in to 1980 and drilled 57 fully cored holes.

A gravity survey identified two north-westerly trending gravity lows (with dimensions of 13km x 4km and 5km x 1.5km), corresponding to the thickest parts of the sequence. Four Sirotem surveys and a magnetic survey were also carried out to confirm the gravity data and tie down the boundaries of the deposit.

The magnetic survey identified three intrusions and another two were identified during the exploration drilling programmes. These small intrusions appear to have very narrow aureoles and as such, little of the fossil fuel resource appears to have been sterilized. The eastern margin of the Nagoorin deposit is interrupted as a series of parallel normal faults marking the boundary of the graben.

The Nagoorin deposit like all tertiary oil shale deposits in Queensland, is part of a thick tertiary sequence which comprises of several inter-bedded lamosite coal streams of varying oil yields, Carbonaceous (rich in Carbon) oil shale seams and barren beds usually comprising shale and or claystone also occur.

Lowmead Oil Shale Deposit

The deposit of tertiary age is situated in an elongated north westerly trending valley which marks the axis of the Lowmead Graben. The target is located 5km west of the Electra Fault which has been traced for over 150km.

A gravity survey2 identified a gravity low (with dimensions of approximately 15km by 4.5km) in the north east of the graben and this corresponds to the thicker sections of the tertiary sequence which contains the fossil fuels. The gravity gradient along the eastern margin is steep and this has been interpreted to be as reflecting a series of parallel normal faults marking the boundary of the graben.

Reconnaissance magnetic traverses followed by aeromagnetic and radiometric surveys have been used to help to define the graben structure.3 The Tertiary sequence has been referred to as the Lowmead Formation and is an inter-bedded sequence of lamosite oil shale, carbonaceous oils shale, claystone and minor sandstone. Maximum thickness of the sequence is 715m.

During the period 1980 to 1984, twenty three cored holes were drilled (with an aggregate of 4,417m) with the deepest drill hole penetrating 520m of the Tertiary sequence. The recovered core was split in half and each 2m interval was assayed for oil yield as was undertaken for the Nagoorin deposit. Two 145mm cored holes were drilled to recover a bulk sample from the main oil shale units for research, scaled test work on mining, processing and retorting characteristics.

East Coast Minerals

The Company holds a direct interest of approximately 9 million ordinary shares in East Coast Minerals NL. The Board believes that the strong management team in place in East Coast and the first class projects that East Coast has will lead to a potential future upside in the investment. As the management team in East Coast has continued to develop its assets the shareholder value is improved.

Mine For

oil shale, iron ore, gold, silver, lead, copper, zinc, uranium

Location of operation(s)

Western Australia


Se 605, Level 6, 50 Clarence St
SYDNEY, NSW, Australia


(61 2) 9299 9580



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The data on Australian is intended as a guide only and is provided purely as an indication of what information can be found through official announcements. Data on this website should not be used to make an investment or trading decision. All information should be carefully cross-checked against official sources for accuracy. The publisher (Intaanetto Pty Ltd) will not be held liable for any loss arising from the use of this website.