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Australian Potash vectors in on WA nickel targets

With St Barbara locked in to carry the torch in the chase for subterranean gold beneath its 100 per cent-owned Lake Wells sulphate of potash project, Australian Potash has set its sights to nearby ground north-north-east of Laverton in Western Australia where it has identified a number of high-priority nickel targets.

The Laverton Downs project, 100 per cent-owned by Australian Potash, has presented the company with what it calls “compelling targets” showing potential for Kambalda-style massive nickel sulphides.

The ASX-listed sulphate of potash developer identified the targets after running some sophisticated airborne geophysics across geochemical anomalies on its ground east of a cluster of nickel deposits near Laverton.

Importantly, the company said the fresh targets appear to line up with some “fertile” ultramafic rocks identified in 450 historical drill holes which are being worked over again by the company’s geologists.

The ultramafic rocks are known to host nickel sulphide deposits elsewhere in the region and an initial geochemical review has returned positive results at the new prospect sites.

Australian Potash undertook a focused program of helicopter-borne Versatile Time Domain Electromagnetic surveying, or “VTEM” to light up six well-defined conductive EM plates. The company said it is already planning to drill test three of the most interesting targets.

The strength of the VTEM targets generated from the first time use of this technology at Laverton Downs is highly encouraging.

Perth-based Australian Potash’s management said the company was following a similar pathway to creating value, just as it did at its Lake Wells gold project to the east.

The company’s focus has been initial, low-cost exploration to identify targets which then attract a major partner to carry on with more focused exploration under its own steam, including funding the ongoing effort.

With both gold and nickel sulphide targets, APC’s exploration team are planning a first-pass drill program to create further value in this strategically located asset.

Australian Potash said the modelled depth of the high-graded VTEM targets was approximately 100 metres to 150m below the surface and interestingly, deeper than any historical drill hole in the area.

The company’s Laverton Downs project has some impressive neighbours, with a clutch of known nickel sulphide deposits sitting just 10km or so west of its new VTEM targets.

One of the most notable nickel occurrences in the neighbourhood is Mt Windarra which currently has a mineral resource of a tad under half a million tonnes of ore grading 1.78 per cent nickel locked up in ultramafic rocks like those Australian Potash is chasing.

Interestingly, the Mt Windarra nickel mine, which has dug out dirt from as deep as 450m below surface, is just up the road from ground Poseidon Nickel kicked over back in the late 1960s.

According to mindat.org, Poseidon’s Ken Shirley intersected 3.56 per cent nickel and 0.55 per cent copper which sent Poseidon’s share price rocketing to stellar heights, giving rise to what some pundits might say was the “infamous” Poseidon nickel boom of the early 1970s.

Whilst it is still early days, the initial signs are promising that Australian Potash could well be on to something at its Laverton Downs nickel prospect.

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

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