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Venture revives EM survey on “Julimar lookalike” in WA

ASX-listed Venture Minerals could be gearing up for a cracking end of year after joint venture partner and rock star market darling Chalice Mining revived a previously paused ground electromagnetic or “EM” survey on its “Julimar lookalike” target at the duo’s South West nickel-copper-PGE project 240 kilometres south of Perth. The EM survey will focus on Venture’s Thor target, a 20km long magnetic anomaly that has drawn comparisons with Chalice’s revered Julimar discovery.

The survey initially kicked off in April this year but was put on hold in June following adverse weather conditions.

The remainder of Chalice’s EM program at Thor will be completed across the southern 6.5kms of the “Julimar lookalike” magnetic anomaly, where a 2018 EM survey unveiled 13 highly conductive anomalies. Chalice says it will look to follow up any bedrock conductors found through the new survey with soil geochemistry used to help define potential drill-ready targets.

Chalice got heads turning last year following its pulse quickening Gonneville nickel-copper-PGE discovery at its Julimar project around 70km north-east of Perth.

This week Chalice tabled a monster sized resource for Gonneville of 330 million tonnes at 0.94 grams per tonne palladium, platinum and gold, 0.16 per cent nickel, 0.10 per cent copper and 0.016 per cent cobalt.

In ground resources at Gonneville stand at 10m ounces of palladium, platinum and gold, 530,000 tonnes of nickel, 330,000 tonnes of copper and 53,000 tonnes of cobalt.

Chalice says Gonneville is the largest PGE find in Australian history and the largest nickel discovery in 20 years.

The market seems to agree too with punters taking Chalice’s market cap to well over $3b on the back of a $10 share price after the maiden resource was announced. Prior to the Gonneville discovery Chalice’s shareprice was bottom dwelling at around 20c.

Under the terms of the joint venture agreement with Venture, Chalice has an option to earn up to a 70 per cent interest in Venture’s South West project which includes the Thor anomaly by outlaying $3.7 million on exploration of the greenfields area over four years.

Venture says its JV-partner initially detected the EM anomalies during a ground-based geophysical survey at the South West project as part of the first stage of the JV farm-out agreement that was aimed at testing the Thor prospect.

According to Venture, the previously discovered anomalies exhibited similar-strength conductors to those unveiled in the palladium intervals found during the early drilling of Chalice’s nickel-copper-PGE discovery at Julimar.

Interestingly, Venture says the anomalies were found within 10m of a previously drilled hole where an 86m intersection of disseminated sulphides with elevated PGE levels was found.

Prior to the heavens opening above the project area and delaying completion of the initial EM program, Chalice had captured about 12.5km worth of geophysical data of the campaign’s planned 42 line-km total.

The Board is pleased to see the recommencement of our JV partner Chalice Mining’s ground EM program, with this next phase targeting the area where Venture’s own airborne EM survey delineated 13 anomalies, suggesting the current survey is highly likely to generate further bedrock conductors and potentially high priority drill targets. What is most exciting is the opportunity this gives to Venture shareholders with Chalice potentially drilling these conductors early next year with the aim of making another Julimar discovery.

The timing of the EM survey revival looks to be on the money too , with Chalice’s extraordinary share price run searing itself into the market’s psyche.

Venture could also find itself on a few more radars if the company’s “Julimar lookalike” proves to be a suitable doppelgänger.

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

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