Auroch Minerals intersects massive nickel sulphides at Horn prospect

by Leena Thomas
Image: Auroch Minerals Limited

Auroch Minerals Limited (ASX: AOU) has announced the intersection of massive nickel sulphides from the diamond drill programme at the Horn Prospect within its Leinster Nickel Project in Western Australia.

The company reported that the first diamond drill-hole at the Horn Prospect (HNDD001) intersected 5m of nickeliferous semi-massive to massive sulphides from 120m depth. 

AOU said that the logging and sampling have been fast-tracked to confirm nickel grades via laboratory assays as soon as possible. Auroch said that the drill programme is continuing with a further 5 holes currently planned for the Horn Prospect.

The company announced that the down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) survey is currently underway on completed diamond drill-hole VZDD001 at the Valdez Prospect.

Leinster nickel project

The Leinster Nickel Project is located approximately 40km southeast of the township of Leinster and approximately 60km north-northwest of Leonora in Western Australia.

The project area is situated between the Goldfields Highway and the Leonora-Agnew Road and is close to the Eastern Goldfields Gas Pipeline. It straddles the Weebo-Mt Clifford greenstone belt.

The project consists of exploration leases E36/899 (Horn) & E36/936 (Valdez), which is held by Altia Resources Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Auroch Minerals Ltd.

There are numerous untested to partially tested nickel prospects within the Leinster project area. Significant ones include the Horn deposit and the Valdez target.

The Horn deposit has significant proximal and regional exploration potential with numerous untested or partially tested bedrock EM conductors. The Valdez target is located northeast of the project area on tenement E36/899 and lies along strike from the Waterloo nickel sulphide deposit owned by Saracen Minerals Limited.

Diamond drilling at Leinster project

The company had recently commenced a diamond drill programme at the Leinster project.

AOU said that a six-hole drill programme was planned for the Horn Prospect, of which HNDD001 was the first DD hole, targeting massive nickel sulphide mineralisation intercepted in historic drilling.

The company said that at the Valdez prospect, a single diamond drill-hole was completed to a depth of 400m.

Massive nickel sulphides at Horn prospect

The company announced that drill-hole HNDD001 successfully intersected approximately 5m of nickel-bearing semi-massive to massive sulphides at the Horn Prospect at a depth of 120.0m.

AOU said that the sulphide assemblage has been logged as pyrrhotite – pentlandite – chalcopyrite, with pentlandite being the principal nickel-bearing sulphide mineral present.

The company noted that stepping out 20m along strike from a historic intercept of 7m @ 2.58% Ni & 0.63% Cu (08BWDD0039), HNDD001 has successfully confirmed the thickness, continuity, and depth of the massive nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Horn.

AOU reported that the hole is currently being geologically logged. The company said that the sampling and assaying will be fast tracked with the aim to return laboratory assay results as soon as possible.

DHEM survey at Valdez prospect

The company reported that at the Valdez Prospect, the single diamond drill-hole, VZDD001, completed to a depth of 400m was drilled to target a strong DHEM conductor defined by deep RC drilling in October.

AOU said that a DHEM survey of the completed hole is currently underway, and logging and sampling of the drill core is pending; however, no massive nickel sulphides were observed in the core.

Next steps

The company said that the remainder of the drill programme at the Horn will further test the possible continuity of the massive nickel sulphide mineralisation along the known strike, as well as test potential extensions to the known sulphide mineralisation by drilling structural positions and existing DHEM plates identified as high priority by the Company via a geophysical review completed earlier this year.

AOU announced that it will use the results from the logging and sampling of the drill hole VZDD001 at the Valdez Prospect, along with the pending assay results from the RC drill-holes to update the litho-geochemical model of Valdez. The company said that this will be utilized together with the results from the current DHEM survey to generate further drill targets at the Valdez Prospect.

AOU announced that it is currently reviewing all Leinster project data to determine if further drilling is warranted.

Management comments

Auroch Managing Director Aidan Platel said: “We are thrilled to have successfully intersected a thick zone of nickeliferous semi-massive to massive sulphides in our first diamond drill-hole at the Horn Prospect. The intersection has confirmed the thickness and continuity of nickel sulphide mineralisation at a relatively shallow depth, which is a significant and attractive attribute of the Horn Prospect.

The second hole of six drill-holes planned to validate and potentially extend the strike of the nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Horn is now underway. We intend to fast-track processing of the drill core so that results can be on-hand as soon as possible to help develop our geological model of the Horn as the programme progresses, and we look forward to updating the market as these results are received.”