Comet prepares to drill at Barraba as copper price gains momentum

By Trevor Hoey. Published at Jun 16, 2020, in Mining

Comet Resources Limited (ASX:CRL) has provided an update on the Barraba Copper Project in NSW, including the appointment of Mart Rampe, a highly experienced geologist as the manager for all aspects of the project.

Rampe has 46 years’ experience in minerals exploration and development which includes grassroots exploration through to pre-mine development, an ideal background given Barraba’s early-stage status.

He has held senior exploration management positions in publicly listed and private exploration companies, and he has also worked with a number of commodities including gold, base metals, uranium, coal and industrial minerals.

Managing director Matthew O’Kane is confident that copper is set to see an increase in demand due to the global efforts to reduce emissions from the transport network and also from the generation of renewable electricity.

Indeed, looking at the last five years this was a key commodity price driver as the price of copper increased some 60% to approximately US$3.20 per pound.

However, the copper price slumped from more than US$2.80 per pound to a low of approximately US$2.10 per pound in the first quarter of 2020, due largely to the anticipated demand impact of coronavirus.

Ideal time to target emerging copper plays

For investors looking to take a medium to long-term approach, the demand dynamics are still in place, suggesting now may be the time for forward-looking investors to identify undervalued copper plays.

Copper is not only an important part of the batteries used in Battery Electric Vehicles (BEVs), but is also used extensively in the electric motors that drive the wheels of BEVs, and is also used intensively in the generation of electricity from renewables such as solar and wind.

There is also significant potential for post-Covid-19 fiscal stimulus initiatives by governments to provide further demand for copper, with the strong performance of the copper price over recent months providing further support for this argument.

The sharp uptick in the commodity price can be seen in the following chart.

Drilling in vicinity of historical deposits

It is important to note that the Barraba Copper Project has not been systematically tested by modern exploration techniques.

The initial exploration program will include drill testing of areas below the historically identified deposits, plus high-level exploration targets delineated by an induced polarisation (IP) survey of parts of the licence area that were not previously followed up.

To complement the drill testing, Comet will also complete downhole geophysics with the aim of providing additional information about potential parallel and blind lodes, in addition to the known historical lodes.

As volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposits often occur in clusters, this is a much-anticipated exploration program.

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