Panther Metals has exceeded its JORC exploration target by an impressive 40 per cent with a maiden mineral resource estimate of 70.6 million tonnes at 0.7 per cent nickel and 460 parts per million cobalt for 476,000t of nickel and 32,200t of cobalt contained at its Coglia nickel-cobalt project in WA.
The company’s resource estimate is well above the 50Mt upper limit of its former JORC exploration target.
With a new exploration target of up to 62Mt on the horizon, the freshly published resource estimate has room to grow from its base.
The inferred resource was modelled using both RC and air core drilling and is separated into a north and south domain with the new exploration target bordering the south Coglia resource portion.
Further infill drilling and measurements will be required to raise the confidence in the estimate. Additionally, metallurgical test work will be required to assess preliminary processing options for the nickel and cobalt mineralisation.
The company is eyeing further drilling to infill the south Coglia domain, test the new exploration target and probe a further two prospective areas to the east.
This 70.6Mt, approximately 5km-long nickel-cobalt resource far surpasses the results expected when compared to the former JORC Exploration Target and marks Coglia as a new standalone nickel-cobalt project in the Laverton region of WA.
In a recent reinterpretation of geophysical data, the explorer has identified a significant correlation between magnetic intensity and known mineralisation within the Coglia area. In conjunction with the drill data, the geophysical reinterpretation highlighted three areas for testing, including the new exploration target.
The target, known as southern JET, is supported by a historical line of seven drill holes near the southern boundary of Panther’s ground, inspiring the company to declare an exploration target of 34Mt to 62Mt at 0.40 to 0.65 per cent nickel and 400 to 600ppm cobalt over a strike length of 2.8km and an area of 2.7 square kilometres.
The remaining two target areas cover a combined 3.7 square kilometres and whilst not supported by historical drilling are interpreted to be of significant interest.
Notably, the project’s real cobalt potential remains unconstrained because whilst all holes have assays for nickel, several historical holes lack cobalt assays.
In terms of contained nickel, Coglia’s 476,000t hoard would earn it 16th place on the Geological Survey of WA’s nickel and cobalt project rankings, behind Chalice Mining’s Julimar deposit containing 530,000t of nickel.
Whilst it may settle about halfway down the list, 16th place is no small feat when competing in the premier nickel region of Australia’s Yilgarn Craton.
The Geological Survey of WA suggests the Yilgarn Craton contains about 33Mt of nickel, a substantial amount considering the International Nickel Study Group pegs global nickel demand this year at about three million tonnes.
According to Geoscience Australia, in 2019 the nation ranked first globally with 24 per cent of the world’s economic resources for nickel, only slightly edging out Indonesia’s contribution of 23 per cent for the top spot.
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