William (Bill) Howell is an economic geologist with over 50 years’ experience in mineral exploration management, project evaluation and mine feasibility studies around the world, including Head of Overseas Exploration for BHP (1975-1981) and Managing Director of Normandy Mining and then Newmont Mining exploration in South East Asia (1995-2003).
He has led teams through stages between discovery to feasibility of major copper and gold deposits in Papua New Guinea (Ok Tedi), Indonesia (Martabe) and Laos (Phu Kham).
Bill has been based in Vietnam since 2003, having first visited the country in 1992. Since 2011, through his role as Head of the Mining Working Group of the Vietnam Business Forum, set up by the World Bank, he has been encouraging the Vietnamese government to formulate mineral policies that will attract investment of the world’s best practice and technology to the country’s rich mineral resources but under-developed mining industry. In this role Bill has represented Vietnam at the APEC Mining Task Force meetings in the Philippines in 2015 and in Vietnam in 2017.
Bill is currently owner and Managing Director of Triple Plate Junction Limited, and is intent on finding one more major deposit.
Triple Plate Junction is a private company that has held mineral exploration rights over a metal-rich area of north-west Vietnam since 2005. Exploration mapping and sampling, helicopter-borne magnetic-radiometric surveys and shallow diamond drilling have delineated epithermal gold veins, massive chalcopyrite-bornite structurally controlled veins and skarns over a +10 sq.km. area in alkalic rocks, with some IOCG affinities, within an intercontinental rift zone where three tectonic plates meet (hence the company name) and along strike from rare-earth deposits and nickel sulphide bodies.
The target is deep underground, bulk tonnage, alkalic porphyry copper-gold mineralisation. The geological setting and mineralisation/alteration types have similar characteristics to other major, deep, underground copper-gold mass mining deposits such as the Cadia East deposit in New South Wales, Australia, the Golpu deposit in Papua New Guinea and the Hugo Dummett, Oyu Tolgai deposits in Mongolia.
Exploratory deep diamond drilling is required to establish if the deep Pu Sam Cap mineralisation has the grades and geometry to confirm its economic potential and justify full drilling out and feasibility studies. If successful, the project would be Vietnam’s second world-class deposit, along with the Nui Phao deposit, now the world’s largest polymetallic tungsten mine.