ASX-listed nickel hopeful, Auroch Minerals, has kicked off a second round of drilling at the Valdez prospect at its Leinster nickel project in WA, following on from a recent aircore program that uncovered a 150m-wide “fertile nickeliferous channel”.
Plenty of anomalous nickel hits were encountered within the ultramafic basal channel identified by the recently completed AC drilling work, according to the Perth-based company. The new 1,000m RC drill campaign comprising three to four holes will now target the channel that shows both magnetic and surface electromagnetic anomalies.
Auroch management says these geological characteristics have all the hallmarks that are considered favourable for hosting significant massive nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Channels predominantly host the thickest and highest-grade massive nickel sulphide mineralisation in the world-class Kambalda nickel province.
While the massive nickel sulphides in the Kambalda district are often found on the flanks of channels and in the hanging-walls due to subsequent lava flows, the main feeder channels are where the most nickel-bearing lava generally flows through, allowing for more nickel sulphides to accumulate at the base of the channels.
The initial phase of AC drilling successfully defined a fertile nickeliferous channel, coincident with the existing mag and EM anomalies – in other words, all of the right characteristics for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation.
This program will test the channel target to depths up to 250m down-hole and will provide a solid platform for DHEM surveys to define possible conductive units such as massive sulphides along the basal channel at greater depths.
The company’s latest RC drilling campaign, to be carried out by Orlando Drilling, will be undertaken along the 150m strike length of the fertile ultramafic channel, with all holes projected to intersect the basal contact target between the ultramafic and mafic rocks.
Down-hole electromagnetics will then be used to survey for any conductors in the area that potentially represent massive nickel sulphides and will help generate targets for follow-up drilling campaigns.
Drilling at Valdez is expected to be completed in a couple of weeks.
The Valdez prospect is located 40km south-east of BHP’s world-class Leinster nickel mining centre and lies along strike from Saracen Mineral Holdings’ Waterloo nickel sulphide deposit.
Auroch’s other main project is the exciting Saints nickel sulphide discovery down the road, where it recently returned high-grade nickel assays from a four-hole diamond drilling program.
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