The Melville Island Project is under a joint venture farm in agreement with Rio Tinto, whereby Rio Tinto will earn interest in the project by effecting grant of the licence and conducting exploration.
ELA 28617 is still under application and covers 1387.67km2 in the northwestern part of the island.
Previous exploration work in and around the proposed Melville Island Tenement was carried out by:
- In 1958 the Australian Mining and Smelting Company investigated bauxite occurrences in the Snake Bay area due west of the Milikapati settlement. The company sunk three shafts to an average depth of about 3 metres. Samples collected from the shafts returned moderate grades and high reactive silica contents which did not decrease with depth. The company decided that no further work was warranted.
- Swiss Aluminium Mining Australia Pty Ltd undertook geochemical sampling of bauxite occurrence at Cache Point. This is located just to the north east of the eastern most tenement boundary.
- Gravity surveys were undertaken over Melville and Bathurst islands between 1956 and 1959 by Santos Ltd.
- During February 1992 and February 1994 RGC Exploration Pty Ltd (RGC) undertook heavy mineral sands exploration along the northern and northeast coastlines of Melville and Bathurst Islands. Exploration consisted along with aerial photograph mapping, auger and aircore drilling. The drilling results were poor with only shallow scattered heavy mineral occurrences being identified. Bauxite was identified by RGC while clearing roads however chemical analysis returned high levels of reactive silica and no further work on the bauxite potential was undertaken.