Helix Resources: A Systematic Approach to Copper Exploration

ASX-listed junior poised for a new discovery in the renowned high-grade Cobar copper district.

Helix Resources
Helix Resources: A Systematic Approach to Copper Exploration

When he took the helm in early 2021 as Helix Resources' chief executive, Mike Rosenstreich immediately set about rejuvenating the business by removing peripheral assets and getting the company well capitalised.

This process resulted in what is now an exclusive focus on the famed Cobar copper district in Central New South Wales (NSW), Australia. Helix Resources can point to some advanced projects in its highly prospective large land package there, such as its Canbelego joint venture with Aeris Resources, in respect of which its copper resource was upgraded in mid-2023.

Data-driven advantage

In what is an unusual approach for a junior mining company, considerable resources have been invested into generating comprehensive geochemical and geophysical regional datasets to create a sound platform from which to launch detailed geological investigations. An area that was once an unmapped blank canvas Rosenstreich describes as now being more like "a Jackson Pollock painting in terms of geological detail and texture".

This process of optimisation is allowing for straightforward prioritisation of drill targets - the majority of which are new - and a systematic ‘kill or advance'. Rosenstreich, now executive chair, considers that this serves to elevate the company's proposition from the crowd and ensures ‘underexplored' could never be levelled at its projects. 

This methodical data-driven de-risking line of action is delivering for the company a significant pipeline of technically compelling targets. Given their volume and that they exist in such a prodigiously mineralised environment, Rosenstreich's message to investors is to get in now before the discovery comes.

Embracing innovation

Helix Resources' capacity to screen targets quickly, effectively and cost-efficiently has recently been enhanced by its innovative utilisation of a geophysical surveying technique called Induced Polarisation (IP), not typically employed for ‘Cobar' style copper deposits. This allows it to fast-track identification of the most promising drill targets for a new discovery, while affording significant savings on drilling costs.

In early March 2023, the company reported significant IP anomalies around the Canbelego main lode mineral resource. Testing pointed to areas rich in sulphide mineralisation to a depth of 400m and highlighted potential for parallel lodes to increase the scale of the copper deposit. 

As well as using cutting edge geophysical data processing techniques to investigate the geological structure, Helix Resources continues to believe in the critical importance of ‘boots on the ground'. This sees geologists' observations hybridised with sophisticated modelled interpretations for optimised mapping.

All-in on Cobar

Rosenstreich invoked the exclusive focus on the Cobar region as an inherent advantage for Helix Resources. By not spreading itself thin across different projects in disparate jurisdictions, he explained that there is complete focus of capital. Operational efficiencies are enhanced too by having a stable, experienced exploration team based on the doorstep of its projects in NSW.

New South Wales, in which the Cobar region sits, has experienced several extreme rain and drought-related events in recent years, yet Rosenstreich remains unruffled at the prospect of more to come. He pointed to there being sufficient geographical scale to Helix Resources' land package that even when access to one tenement block may be restricted - due either to muddy conditions or competing agricultural needs - energies can be redirected elsewhere without impacting the overall agenda.

The company's tenements benefit from having several processing plants within range, and are additionally blessed with ready access to towns, sealed roads and power. In being so well served with infrastructure, the Cobar region presents Helix Resources with clear opportunities to commercialise modest resources or - should it be able to get on to a discovery pathway - scope for consolidation.

Augering at South Rochford Trend

Sound financial management

While sharing in the widely held view that a significant copper deficit is coming and that one would expect a price response to accompany that, Rosenstreich made clear that Helix Resources is not "relying on an appreciation in the copper price to make its projects work".

"It makes for a more engaged audience if our underlying commodity is on a positive price trajectory, but the current copper price isn't bad if you've got a good enough deposit," he posited.

Rosenstreich regards the company's focus on one commodity and geography as a sensible allocation of the capital it has spent since 2021, and that this speaks to its financial prudence. He explained that while Helix Resources is always looking for new opportunities to raise funds, he is respectful of the existing shareholder base's position and the support it has provided in the form of the capital raisings to date. With A$3 million still in the kitty, there exists a "significant sum of money to get well on the path to demonstrating discovery".

Future set fair

As to whether copper's long-term role in the electric vehicle transition is secure, the chief executive was keen to point out that of all the material EV components its status was assured: Peerless for its durability, malleability, reliability and superior electrical conductivity, everything is pointing to a deficit of up to ten million tonnes of copper by the end of the decade.

In a planned-for leadership development, Rosenstreich will soon be transitioning to a non-executive chair role, with current executive technical director, Dr Kylie Prendergast taking up the mantle. With her profound geological, technical and commercial pedigree, he described the chief executive-in-waiting as an "eminently qualified" recipient of the baton.

The new CEO will inherit oversight of an ongoing pipeline of new targets for drilling and testing, Under Prendergast's stewardship, the focus will remain copper and Cobar, as Helix Resources further refines its expertise in respect of both and continues along the discovery pathway.

As Rosenstreich explained, "Our attitude is that this is a numbers game: Test the targets, progress them forward, or knock them off."

The objective for the discovery company is to add to its existing copper mineral resources at Canbelego through new discoveries to generate multiple style returns for shareholders on their investments. The ‘all-in on Cobar' strategy is driven by the region's renown in respect of high-grade copper deposits and the opportunities that come with no less than six processing plants in close proximity to the company's tenements.

Systematic and methodical target generation work has ensured that Helix Resources is now on the cusp of an exciting major drill program to test its series of promising new targets.


Helix Resources

Helix Resources Limited is a minerals exploration company focused on the development of Collerina Project and Cobar Gold projects in central NSW




  • Mike Rosenstreich
  • Dr Kylie Prendergast
  • Emmanuel Correia


  • 2.3 billion

MARKET CAP (at January 24, 2024):

  • A$9.3 million


  • Mr Bulent Besim 2.8%

  • Yandal Investments Pty Ltd 2.21%

  • Ashanti Investment Fund Pty Ltd 1.43%

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