Toro Energy reports further significant nickel sulphides at Dusty discovery

by Leena Thomas
Image: Toro Energy Limited

Toro Energy Limited (ASX: TOE) has announced another significant intersection of massive nickel sulphides including 4.5m cumulative of massive nickel sulphides intersected over a 9m zone of sulphide mineralisation at the Dusty nickel sulphide discovery within Yandal Gold Project in Western Australia.

The company reported that 4.5m cumulative massive nickel sulphides were intersected over a 9m zone of sulphide mineralisation n diamond drill hole from 250.9m downhole

Massive nickel sulphide mineralisation includes 1.95m from 250.9m, 0.3m from 253.2m, 2.0m from 255.5, and 0.3m from 259.6m downhole.

The company said that hand-held portable XRF (hh-pXRF) analysis at multiple locations within the massive sulphide zones returned nickel grades of between 2.04 and 7.80% nickel, which would need to be verified by geochemical analysis.

TOE said that it has used the Controlled Placement Agreement (CPA) with Acuity Capital Investment Management to raise $1.435 million.

Yandal project

Toro’s 100% owned Yandal Gold Project is located within the world class gold district, the Yandal Greenstone Belt, less than 35km NE of the multi-million-ounce Bronzewing Gold Mine.

The project comprises over 143 km2 of contiguous and untested yet highly prospective exploration ground, in the high yielding Yandal Gold District

The project has six main target areas for gold exploration, including a number of gold and nickel-copper-platinum group element (PGE) geochemical anomalies in top-of-basement rock. The target areas include Christmas, Shadow Rock, Golden Way, November Rain, Maze, and Mako.

Dusty prospect is a recently-discovered prospect within the Yandal project and is located around 50 kilometres east of the Mt Keith nickel deposit.

Drilling at Dusty prospect

The company had recently commenced a follow-up programme at the Dusty nickel sulphide discovery. TOE said that the diamond drill hole TED07 was the second hole drilled in the follow-up programme and the fifth hole drilled at Dusty overall, inclusive of the reverse circulation drill hole TERC13 drilled in late 2019.

Drill hole details for all holes drilled to date at Dusty are as below.

The first hole drilled in the current campaign, TED06, was aimed at testing for massive nickel sulphides approximately 20m down-dip (to the east) of the TED04 intersection. TED06 had intersected 12cm of massive nickel sulphides, as confirmed by hh-pXRF at the base of the komatiite from 188.7m downhole.

TED07 was aimed at testing for massive nickel sulphides approximately 100m down-dip (to the east) of the massive nickel sulphides intersected in TED04 earlier this year. TED07 was positioned in the same location as TED04 and TED06, but angled steeper at 80 degrees in order to meet target depth efficiently.

More massive nickel sulphides

The company announced that TED07 intersected a 9m zone of sulphide mineralisation from 250.9m downhole at the base of the komatiite rock unit, which included 4.5m cumulative of massive nickel sulphides starting at the top of the sulphide rich zone.

hh-pXRF analysis

TOE said that the Hand-held portable XRF (hh-pXRF) analysis at multiple locations within the massive sulphide zones returned nickel grades of between 2.04 and 7.80% nickel however this will need to be verified by geochemical analysis.

The company said that the actual average grade will need to be determined by geochemical analysis in a laboratory even though hh-pXRF grades are considered a good confirmation of the presence of nickel minerals in the massive sulphides, due to a number of different variables unique to the hh-pXRF that are difficult to quantify.

It may be noted that the previous significant intersection of massive nickel sulphides at Dusty, the 2.6m from 184.5m downhole in TED04, positioned only 100m up-dip of the intersection detailed here in TED07, was shown to have an average grade of 3.45% nickel, which is within the bounds of hh-pXRF results for this intersection.

The company said that the geological results from TED06, combined with the results from the four other holes drilled to date, suggest that the immediate area around the drilling at Dusty has been subject to structural disruption, however further drilling in the area is required to confirm this.

Wide area of nickel sulphide mineralisation

TOE said that all of the five holes drilled to date have intersected massive nickel sulphides at the base of the komatiite rock unit and all have shown that the komatiite host is sulphidised with disseminated sulphides throughout.

SEM analysis in the original RC drill hole TERC13 had suggested that the disseminated sulphides are nickel sulphides. The company said that this shows that Toro’s exploration drilling programmes at the Dusty nickel discovery have so far uncovered an area of continuous nickel sulphide mineralisation which is at least 40m wide along strike and 100m long down-dip and which is open in all directions.

The company said that the drilling at Dusty represents only one location along a 6.5 – 7.5km long magnetic trend likely to represent the continuation of the Dusty komatiite. TOE said that a further 3km stretch of magnetic trend in the south directly east of the Dusty komatiite may also be komatiite.

Re-evaluation of the geochemistry

The company announced that it is also undertaking a re-evaluation of the geochemistry at Yandal One, previously tested for large Mt Keith style low grade nickel sulphide mineralisation in 2016, given the current geochemical learnings from the massive nickel sulphides discovered at Dusty. The Yandal One komatiite provides another 4 – 8km strike length of potential komatiite host-rock in the southern area of the Project.

$1.435 million raised by placement

The company announced that it has utilised the Controlled Placement Agreement (CPA) entered into with Acuity Capital Investment Management Pty Ltd (Acuity Capital) to raise $1,435,000 (inclusive of costs) by agreeing to issue 100,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares in the capital of Toro to Acuity Capital at an issue price of $0.01435.

TOE said that the funds raised by the placement will be used to finance further drilling campaigns on the Project and for working capital.

The Company said that Acuity Capital has agreed to increase the maximum amount of capital available under the CPA to $15 million. Including the $1.435m the subject of this announcement, the Company has now utilised the CPA to raise a total of $2,635,000. Following the increase of the CPA limit to $15 million the remaining standby equity capital available under the CPA is now $12,365,000.

Updates and next steps

The company announced that the drilling continues at Dusty, with the current drill hole TED08 being positioned to test for massive nickel sulphides at the base of the komatiite approximately 40m to the southeast of the intersection in TED04, along strike of the magnetic trend. TOE said that further details will be provided as exploration continues.

Management comments

Toro Executive Chairman Richard Homsany said: “We are delighted to announce the further discovery of significant massive nickel sulphides at Dusty. Our focused exploration continues to rapidly increase the value of Toro’s highly significant discovery, as part of Toro’s broader strategy to upgrade the potential at our Yandal Project.

To receive these further excellent results at Dusty whilst we await the assay results of our recently completed RC drilling programme for gold, represents a very exciting stage for Toro and our shareholders. Our board and staff remain very enthusiastic especially whilst our diamond drilling campaign continues.

To encounter massive nickel sulphides at each and every diamond hole for which it was targeted is a credit to our exploration team led by Dr Greg Shirtliff with dedicated and focused work to unlock the value of Dusty. It also represents, at an early stage, the characteristics of a very cost effective pathway to defining potential mineralisation with further drilling.

The potential is not only very promising, it is indeed vast. Drilling at Dusty represents only one location along a 6.5 to 7.5km long magnetic trend likely to represent the continuation of the Dusty komatiite, which results to date disclose as a potentially fertile host rock.

We look forward to providing any further material updates as the current diamond drill programme progresses. We thank shareholders for their continued support.”