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Auroch ekes out more nickel sulphides at Nepean

Auroch Minerals’ Nepean nickel project in Western Australia is starting to bear more fruit, with the second diamond drill hole sunk into the Nepean Deeps target area intersecting 12.5 metres of disseminated and matrix to semi-massive nickel sulphide mineralisation from 576.8m. The company says the anomaly lies just below a down-hole electromagnetic conductor divined from its initial Nepean drill hole.

The mineralised zone was discovered within a 76.15m intersection of ultramafics from 534.65-610m down hole and is interpreted to be an underexplored sill ultramafic that lies immediately west of the mine sequence.

The recent diamond drill hole is currently 675m down-hole, en-route to a planned depth of 800m. The ongoing examination of the Nepean Deeps target area will focus on unveiling additional ultramafic intersections and nickel sulphides below the historic Nepean mine workings.

Auroch says it will turn its attention to casing the hole in preparation for a DHEM survey as soon as the drilling of its second hole is wrapped up.

We are extremely pleased to have intersected nickel sulphide mineralisation in this second hole into the Nepean Deeps target. The ultramafic unit we’ve intersected is a lot thicker than the correlating ultramafic intersected in the first hole NPDD008, and really highlights the untested potential of Nepean beneath the historic workings and beneath the level of historic exploration.

Our current interpretation is that this ultramafic is the historically named Sill 1 ultramafic, which until now was thought to be unmineralized, thus opening up a whole new potential for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation at Nepean!

The recent discovery follows the unearthing of three off-hole conductors centred at 540 metres, 1025m and 1,230m down-hole through an electromagnetic survey that followed Auroch’s maiden diamond drill hole.

The company’s recent regional exploration at Nepean included a ground-based induced polarisation geophysical survey, or “IP survey” across a 5.1 square kilometre zone over five of the company’s northern Nepean tenements.

Interestingly, the same survey method led to the discovery of the historic Nepean nickel sulphide mine in the late 1960s that churned out over a million tonnes of ore grading close to three per cent nickel.

IP surveys are a geophysical imaging procedure that is commonly used in mineral exploration programs to detect the electrical chargeability of subsurface material, typically ore. Work to date at the Nepean project has included about half a dozen geophysical lines.

The company says its most recent geophysical survey is expected to be wrapped up in about two weeks and will be used to plot a follow-up exploration campaigns.

Unlike greenfield explorers, Auroch has the distinct advantage of knowing it is operating in an area that was once mined for nickel – and with historic production at the old Nepean mine going 3 per cent nickel, it will be off the races for Auroch if it can pick up the scent of nickel grades that even hold a candle to that number.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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