ESS's Godlen Ridge WA project

Essential finds multiple sulphide intercepts Golden Ridge Nickel JV in WA

Essential Metals (ASX:ESS) reports multiple nickel sulphide mineralisation intercepts following a maiden drilling program at its Golden Ridge Nickel JV Project in Western Australia, which hosts the Blair Nickel Mine.

The reverse circulation (RC) drilling operation was across five priority targets at the project, where Golden Ridge is currently managed by experienced nickel explorers and developers Australian Nickel Company (ANCO) through a farm-in JV agreement with Essential.

ANCO has the right to earn a 75% interest in the nickel and related commodities rights by spending $4 million over four years, with Essential retaining a 25% free-carried interest to a decision to mine.

ANCO drilled an initial 20-hole (3,429m) RC drilling program, as well as conducted downhole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys which have identified nickel mineralisation across all five targets.

The Blair South Prospect is located some 3km south of the closed Blair Nickel Mine and is considered ‘highly prospective’ for both high-grade (+2.5% Ni) and larger scale disseminated mineralisation (+0.6% Ni).

The ‘significant’ assays include:

  • Hole ANRC017: 25m @ 0.80% Ni and 994ppm Cu from 119m, incl. 6m @ 2.22% Ni and 2514ppm Cu from 119m (Blair South).
  • Hole ANRC019: 28m @ 0.60% Ni and 911ppm Cu from 113m, incl. 4m @ 1.41% Ni and 1050ppm Cu from 113m (Blair South)
  • Hole ANRC002: 11m @ 0.42% Ni and 470ppm Cu from 32m, and 4m @ 0.65% Ni and 215ppm Cu from 104m, incl. 1m @ 1.56% Ni and 71ppm Cu from 104m (Blair Footwall)
  • Hole ANRC005: 4m @ 0.60% Ni and 315ppm Cu from 140m (N10C Target)
  • Hole ANRC101: 2m @ 0.50% Ni and 150ppm Cu from 219m and 3m @ 0.51% Ni and 201ppm Cu from 227m (N10C Target)
  • Hole ANRC014: 2m @ 0.43% Ni and 122ppm Cu from 107m (Elias)

Addressing the results, Essential Metals Managing Director Tim Spencer said: “The success of the first drill program conducted by our JV partner ANCO is testament to the rigorous review and analysis they have undertaken since the commencement of the farm-in/JV, which involved working through vast datasets accumulated over several decades.

“Intersecting significant nickel mineralisation at all five targets bodes well for the future exploration”

Intersecting significant nickel mineralisation at all five targets bodes well for the future exploration and we look forward to ANCO’s next exploration programmes being implemented.”

The company also notes that the results gathered from the Blair South Prospect will be used to deliver an update for the historical Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) and provide important information on the platinum group element (PGE) association with the hosted nickel mineralisation.

In addition, drill holes conducted at the N10C deposit also delivered important information on the deposits geology and provide potential for zones of ‘significant’ mineralisation to exist further along this area.

The results gathered from the Blair Footwall deposit provide ‘strong’ encouragement for the concept of remobilising sulphides into footwall positions, however, the majority of the structural trends remain untested along strike to the north and throughout the entire plunge, indicating potential for similar assays in the future.

Interestingly, the presence of ‘thick’ MgO ultramafic rocks within the Elias Target area over a strike length of 300m demonstrates that a substantial channel exists at the target and confirms the prospectivity of the position.

With drilling assays finalised and returned, Essential Metals announces that it will move forward with re-assaying of historical samples, as well as additional aircore (AC) and RC drilling operations across various deposits between August and October 2022.

The Golden Ridge Project is located some 30km by sealed road to the south-east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder and hosts the historical Blair Nickel Mine, which produced a total of 1.2 Mt @ 2.63% Ni between 1989 and 2009.

The consolidated project area is considered highly prospective for the discovery  of new ‘high-grade’ komatiite-hosted nickel deposits (Kambalda style).

Images: Essential Metals Ltd
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.