Auroch to hit high priority WA nickel sulphide target
Auroch Minerals’ search for nickel in the Goldfields of Western Australia is heating up. A high priority nickel sulphide target which was recently identified through a moving loop electromagnetic, or “EM” survey at the Nepean project is now set to be drill tested. The hole will be drilled along strike of the historic Nepean nickel mine, whilst drilling campaigns at both the Leinster and Nepean projects continue to gather steam.
Auroch’s exploration efforts in WA appear to be well and truly in high gear as it looks to add to the existing resources at the Nepean, Leinster and Saints nickel projects.
Earlier this year the company commenced a 20,000m drilling campaign with a resource update for all three projects anticipated in 2021.
Cumulatively, the projects already host some 1.05 million tonnes in resources going 2.0 per cent nickel and 0.3 per cent copper, for around 21,400 tonnes of nickel and 1,600 tonnes of copper contained within the deposits.
Only last week Auroch identified what it says is a significant conductor located around 1km south of the historic Nepean mine and 250m below the surface. A rig is already on site with the target set to feel the drill bit.
The diamond hole will be drilled to a depth of between 350m and 400m aiming to intercept the modelled conductive plate at a down-hole depth of around 290m to 300m.
Auroch says that the moderate-high strength of the plate is typical of conductive bodies such as semi-massive and massive nickel sulphide mineralisation.
The effectiveness of the ground MLEM (moving loop electromagnetic) survey in detecting such a quality high-potential drill target so early in the survey has exceeded all expectations. Given the lack of historical drilling along the 10km of potential strike from the high-grade Nepean nickel mine, we have always believed that the systematic application of modern geophysical and exploration techniques would have great potential to lead to significant new nickel sulphide discoveries.
As such, the identified EM conductor is a compelling drill target for us and will be tested immediately with a diamond drill programme. Parallel to this, the MLEM survey will continue as scheduled over the critical areas of the Nepean strike, and will be completed within the next fortnight. We look forward to seeing what other conductive bodies it may uncover.
Despite the limited past drilling at depth and along strike to the old mine, one historical hole located some 50m to the north of the newly identified conductor reportedly hit disseminated nickel sulphides, adding further lustre to the potential for the current hole to hit nickel sulphides.
The hole will be drilled to a depth that is adequate to complete a follow-up down hole EM survey, allowing for further testing of extensions or other conductive bodies at depth.
Drill testing of the conductor adds to the ongoing plethora of nickel sulphide exploration works Auroch is undertaking across its tenure in the Goldfields.
Moving loop electromagnetic surveys across 10km of strike length of the Nepean ultramafics are ongoing, with a diamond drilling programme to test high-priority electromagnetic targets also underway.
At Leinster, the Woodwind and Percussion prospects are currently being drill tested with down hole EM surveys from completed holes at the two prospects also being undertaken.
The drilling campaign is set to step up a notch in the coming weeks with reverse circulation drilling of several prospects at Leinster on the cards for mid-May. At Nepean the next phase of reverse circulation drilling, which is projected to commence at the end of the month, will aim to test geochemical and geophysical targets.
Auroch already boasts some stellar intercepts from the current campaign at Nepean including 8m going 4.30 per cent nickel and 0.37 per cent copper from 35m depth. Other solid hits reported include 8m at 3.21 per cent nickel and 0.13 per cent copper from 63m, together with 5m at 3.00 per cent nickel and 0.79 per cent copper in another hole.
As the price of nickel continues to march skyward, the timing of the major exploration campaign being undertaken by Auroch appears to be on the mark. Nepean already appears to be delivering the goods and with multiple new targets begging to be drilled, the company has its hands full in 2021 as its nickel sulphide search in WA intensifies.
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