Why the Encounter Resources (ASX:ENR) share price is up today

The Encounter Resources share price has shrugged off concerns of Chinese copper restrictions to gain 3% on today's drilling announcement.

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The Encounter Resources Ltd (ASX: ENR) share price is up 3% in afternoon trading. This comes following the company's drilling update at its Yeneena Copper-Cobalt Project in Western Australia.

By comparison, the All Ordinaries Index (ASX: XAO) is up 1.1% today.

Shareholders in Encounter Resources and other ASX-listed miners with a focus on copper, like Sandfire Resources Ltd (ASX: SFR), received some unwelcome rumours this week courtesy of China's media outlets. Those rumours have it that copper could join wine, lobsters, coal and barley on the Chinese government's growing list of restricted Australian commodities.

China's government has yet to specifically say so. But the consensus in Australia is these restrictions are punitive measures put into place as diplomatic relations between the 2 nations have grown strained over spying allegations, Australia's Huawei 5G ban, and frictions over China's alleged detention of a million Uighurs.

Nonetheless, Encounter Resources is charging ahead. Today's gains see the Encounter share price up 63% year-to-date.

What does Encounter Resources do?

Encounter Resources is an Australian gold and copper exploration company. Encounter is moving forward with a promising group of projects in the Tanami and West Arunta regions of Western Australia in joint ventures with Australia's largest gold miner, Newcrest Mining Limited (ASX: NCM).

What sent the Encounter Resources share price higher?

This morning Encounter announced it had started a diamond drilling program (up to 1,900 metres) at its Yeneena Copper-Cobalt Project in the Patterson Province of Western Australia under the earn-in and joint venture agreement with IGO Ltd (ASX:IGO).

Under the terms of the agreement, IGO can sole fund $15 million in exploration costs over 7 years to earn a 70% interest in Yeneena.

The diamond drill program follows on magneto-telluric (MT) and electromagnetic (EM) surveys which identified a range of promising new copper drill targets at Yeneena. An initial diamond drill program will test Tarcunyah's multi-point copper anomaly as well as the Windsor EM target.

Encounter managing director Will Robinson said:

We are excited to be under way with diamond drilling at Yeneena. The compelling copper-cobalt drill targets to be tested are a result of the innovative application of modern exploration technologies in a highly fertile but covered terrain.

With Encounter's share price rallying on the drill announcement, the test hole results will be the next ones to watch for.

Motley Fool contributor Bernd Struben has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.

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