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Auroch to commence two-fronted WA, SA drill campaign

Auroch Minerals’ exploration will shift up a gear next week as it commences drilling on two fronts in both South Australia and WA. Drilling has resumed at the company’s Arden project in South Australia and a second crew will arrive next week to kick off further drilling at its Saints Nickel play in WA where it is aiming to upgrade and potentially extend the 21,400 tonne contained nickel resource.

It also plans further exploration work on the lithium discovery it made in December at its Nepean project in WA’s Goldfields.

The company has designed a 3,700 metre diamond drill program at its 100 per cent-owned Saints nickel project across both the Saint Patrick and Saint Andrew prospects. It is working towards upgrading its 1.02 million tonne Mineral Resource Estimate, or “MRE”, currently grading 2.0 per cent nickel for 21,400 tonnes of contained nickel from the inferred to indicated category.

Along with two additional large-diameter drill-holes for metallurgical test samples, the results will flesh out the Saints Nickel project scoping study that is currently underway.

A second 2,000m drill campaign has been planned to follow the initial infill programme and test for strike and down-plunge extensions to the known nickel sulphide mineralisation at Saints.

In South Australia, at its Arden zinc-copper project, diamond drilling has recommenced at the Ragless Range prospect having been delayed due to heavy rainfalls and challenging ground conditions.

To make up for lost time, Auroch will swing a second diamond drill rig into action hoping to flesh out some earlier hits that intersected 12.8m at 4.96 per cent zinc from 53m including 3.65m at 15.47 per cent zinc from 62.15m.

In addition to ongoing exploration activities at Nepean and Arden, our focus for this quarter is a major drill programme at Saints which is fundamental for the ongoing Scoping Study due to be completed at the end of March.

We are well-funded and in a great position to continue with our aggressive exploration programmes in parallel to our mine viability studies at Saints and Nepean as we push to create real shareholder value in 2022!

The company said focus would also return to its 80 per cent-owned Nepean nickel project in Western Australia which lies roughly 25 kilometres south of the township of Coolgardie and contains the historic high-grade Nepean nickel sulphide mine.

The Nepean mine was the second producing nickel mine in Australia, yielding 1.108 million tons of ore between 1970 and 1987 for 32,202 tons of nickel metal at an average recovered grade of 2.99 per cent nickel. The total area of the project tenure is 3,128 hectares located in a highly fertile region for both nickel and gold mineralisation.

The company said a ground dipole induced polarisation, or IP, survey over the Nepean North prospect will resume shortly.

Auroch has already returned numerous eye-catching nickel hits near the historic Nepean mine, including 8m at 4.30 per cent nickel from 35m and 8m at 3.21 per cent nickel from 63m. Previous drilling at the project also delivered several stellar strikes including 3m at a sizzling 11.78 per cent nickel from 37m and 3m at 9.93 per cent nickel from 49m.

One anomaly the IP survey is chasing is more than 1.3km in strike length and according to Auroch, could represent an attractive target for orogenic gold mineralisation. A second chargeability anomaly identified by a previous survey has also given Auroch a nickel sulphide target to drill.

With money in the bank, positive results from the field and aggressive follow-up exploration programs across its projects, Auroch will be spitting out the news with plenty to keep market watchers interested.

Watch this space…

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

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