DHEM surveys identify strong Nickel Sulphide target at Auroch’s Saints project

by Leena Thomas
Image: Auroch Minerals Limited

Auroch Minerals Limited (ASX: AOU) has announced a highly positive update on its Saints Nickel Project in WA.

The company reported that the DHEM surveys of recently completed RC drill-holes successfully identified a very strong conductor within the fertile basal channel at the T2 Target area.

AOU noted that the conductance of 15,000 – 30,000+ S is very high and typical of well-developed sulphides.

Auroch announced that a drill programme to test the DHEM conductor has been planned and will commence the first week of June.

The company said that the T2 target is the first of three advanced channel targets that will be systematically drill-tested this year, with the aim of materially increasing the existing high-grade Inferred Resource of 21.4kt of contained nickel at 2.0% Ni.

Saints project

The Saints Nickel Copper project is located 65 km north west of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia. It is located 7km east of the Goldfields Highway, and is situated approximately 50km from Poseidon Nickel Limited’s Black Swan nickel sulphide project.

The Saints project has a JORC 2012 Mineral Resources estimate of 1.05Mt @ 2.0% Ni and 0.2% Cu for 21,400 tonnes of contained nickel and 1,600 tonnes of contained copper.

DD and AC drilling

In late January-early February 2019, the Company completed 1,960 meters of air-core drilling, targeting the position of three emerging channels identified in the litho-geochemical review.

In late 2019, an 11-hole (circa 3,000m) diamond drilling programme was completed at the Saints Nickel Project, targeting untested near-resource electromagnetic plates and possible down-plunge extensions to existing high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation at the St Patricks, St Andrews, and Western Contact target areas.

Assay results received from the first six holes at Saints confirmed high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Four new targets

Four new channels, T1, T2, T3, and T4 channel targets, were confirmed by the air-core programme in the all-important basal contacts, the Eastern Footwall Contact, and the Southern Footwall Contact. These four channels are in addition to the known channels at St Patricks and St Andrews.

AOU is currently testing advanced channel targets with drilling programmes at Saints with the aim of materially increasing the existing high-grade (inferred) resource of 21.4kt of contained nickel at 2.0% Ni.

RC drilling at T2 target

The company had recently completed a 400m RC drilling programme designed to test the T2 channel target. Jarahfire Drilling Pty Ltd completed the RC programme to the highest quality.

The RC programme comprised two drill-holes, SNRC001, and SNRC002, to test the northern part of the T2 channel target, one of the new highly fertile basal channels identified by the Company.

The company announced that Down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys of both drill-holes and modelling have now been completed by Southern Geoscience Consultants.

DHEM surveys delineate strong target

AOU said that the DHEM surveys of both drill-holes successfully defined a very strong conductor located within the T2 channel between the two holes.

The company reported that the strength of the conductor was very high at 15,000 – 30,000+ S, which is considered a typical signature of well-developed sulphides.

Auroch noted that the strong conductor is also relatively discreet, which means it is less likely to be caused from conductive stratigraphic units and more likely to be from localised sulphide mineralisation.

AOU reported that the geological logging of the drill-holes and the use of a portable XRF machine in the field confirmed that the basal ultramafic unit in the T2 channel target was a highly fertile, high MgO nickel-bearing lava flow; assay results from the laboratory are pending.

These characteristics are necessary for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation, and hence greatly increase the potential of the T2 exploration target.

Follow-up RC drilling in June

Auroch Minerals announced that a follow-up RC drilling programme to test the strong conductor at T2 has already been planned, and is scheduled to commence in the first week of June.

Next steps

AOU reported that it is currently reviewing the Saints Inferred Resource and the supporting drill data to determine if further drilling is warranted. The company said that plans would be announced in due course if it is determined that additional drilling is required.

Management comments

Auroch Minerals Managing Director Aidan Platel said: “We are extremely pleased with the results of our maiden RC drilling programme at Saints. The T2 Target is an advanced exploration target with great potential to host significant nickel sulphide mineralisation, one of several that our geological team has identified at Saints.

The strength of the DHEM conductor identified by the drilling programme is typical of that from massive sulphides, and the drill-hole logging has confirmed we are in the right rocks for nickel sulphide mineralisation.

In other words, we have all the right ingredients for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation, and a compelling drill target in the DHEM conductor.

We look forward to the next RC drilling programme to test this exciting target at T2, which is scheduled to commence in the first week of June.

The T2 Target is the first of three advanced channel targets that we will systematically test with drilling programmes this year at Saints, with the aim of materially increasing the existing high-grade (inferred) resource of 21kt of contained nickel at 2% Ni.”