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    Pinoneer Resources intersects broad nickel sulphide zones at Leo Dam prospect

    Pioneer Resources (ASX: PIO) has announced a highly encouraging update from the RC drill programme and DHEM survey undertaken at the Leo Dam prospect within its Blair-Golden Ridge Nickel Project.

    The company reported that broad disseminated nickel sulphide intercepts, including several narrower high-grade zones were returned from six stratigraphic RC drill holes.

    Significant hits include 40 metres @ 0.54% Ni from 85m; 4 metres @ 0.91% Ni from 151m including 2 metres @ 1.20% Ni from 152m; 15 metres @ 0.73% Ni from 165m including 4 metres @ 1.35% Ni from 175m, and 1 metre @ 3.11% Ni from 178m; 11 metres @ 0.71% Ni from 191m including 1 metre @ 1.12% Ni from 192m; 12 metres @ 0.56% Ni from 196m; 6 metres @ 0.70% Ni from 269m; 6 metres @ 0.64% Ni from 168m; 2 metres @ 0.89% Ni from 172m including 1m @ 1.21% Ni from 173m; and 1 metre @ 0.79% Ni from 173m.

    PIO said that the DHEM results indicate that all the holes appear to be approaching a large low-to-moderate conductive source consistent with a stratigraphic conductor. The company said that the nature of the conductive source is not known and could be attributed to deeper sulphide mineralisation or to sulphidic shales beyond the depth of the recent drilling.

    Pioneer said that one of the six drill holes will be extended to test for potential nickel sulphides along the highly prospective interpreted basal contact between ultramafic komatiite flows, black shales, and mafic basalts.

    Blair-Golden Ridge project

    The Blair-Golden Ridge Project is located approximately 30 km south-east of Kalgoorlie, within the Northern Kambalda District of Western Australia, and covers an area of 121 km².

    The important prospects of Golden Ridge Project include the Rocket Prospect and the Leo Dam prospect. The Leo Dam prospect is located approximately 2km north-north-east of the Blair Nickel Mine.

    Drilling at Leo Dam prospect

    The company had commenced a drilling programme at Leo Dam, which consisted of six reverse circulation (RC) holes totalling 1,771m with an average depth of 295m and the deepest hole reaching 403m.

    The objective of this programme was to test for the presence of massive nickel sulphides within the vicinity of hole GRRC38, drilled in December 2017, which included an intersection of 22m @ 1.02% Ni and 475ppm Cu.

    The six holes drilled as part of this programme also served as a platform for a down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) survey.

    Broad nickel sulphide zones intersected

    The company reported that broad disseminated zones of nickel sulphides were encountered in every drill hole with five high grade intersections >1% Ni with a maximum of 3.11% Ni (high tenor) returned over 1 metre. The nickel intersections are in fresh rock and are associated with two rock types, a high MgO (~30+%) peridotite, and a pyroxenite.

    Significant results include 40 metres @ 0.54% Ni from 85m (GRRC039); 4 metres @ 0.91% Ni from 151m (GRRC039), including 2 metres @ 1.20% Ni from 152m; 15 metres @ 0.73% Ni from 165m (GRRC039), including  4 metres @ 1.35% Ni from 175m, and 1 metre @ 3.11% Ni from 178m; 11 metres @ 0.71% Ni from 191m (GRRC041), including 1 metre @ 1.12% Ni from 192m; 12 metres @ 0.56% Ni from 196m (GRRC042); 6 metres @ 0.70% Ni from 269m (GRRC040); 6 metres @ 0.64% Ni from 168m (GRRC041); 2 metres @ 0.89% Ni from 172m (GRRC043), including 1m @ 1.21% Ni from 173m; and 1 metre @ 0.79% Ni from 173m (GRRC044).

    Selected high-grade nickel sulphide intersections at a 1% Ni cut-off, minimum width 1m and maximum 2m internal dilution are as shown below.

    The company said that the results confirm the prospectivity of the Leo Dam prospect for massive nickel sulphide mineralisation, with the results of geophysical surveys together with geological interpretation of the drilling results providing a clear vector for deeper follow-up drilling.

    DHEM survey

    The company reported that the DHEM survey was coordinated and interpreted by leading geoscientist consultancy, NEWEXCO.

    DHEM surveys expand the effectiveness of a drill hole by detecting ‘off-hole’ conductor responses within a field surrounding the drill hole from which the survey is conducted.

    PIO said that a total of 15 plates were modelled in all holes, with most interpreted to be associated with sediments intersected, however several off-hole EM anomalies have been identified below the deepest drill holes.

    The company reported that broad positive responses were observed in holes GRRC039 to GRRC042 and are interpreted to be sourced by a weak but large off-hole conductive source located mostly below and to the east of the holes.

    PIO said that the anomalous response observed at early to mid-delay times at the top part of the hole is quite a complex response, suggesting the presence of multiple weak conductive sources associated with hanging wall sediments.

    The company said that it is likely that any minor sulphide EM response could have been masked by the stronger positive responses emanating from the hanging wall sediments above the target areas and the black shales intersected within the ultramafic sequence itself.

    It may be noted that a few high frequency responses were identified within the ultramafic zone, particularly in holes GRRC042 and GRRC043. These high frequency responses are thought to be associated with stringer sulphides and/or magnetite intersected in the holes.

    What’s next?

    PIO said that further work is planned within the next three to six months, subject to the impact of COVID-19, with at least one of the drill holes to be extended through the modelled EM plates to test for potential nickel sulphides along the interpreted basal contact between ultramafic komatiite, black shales and mafic basalts.

    Management comments

    Pioneer Resources Managing Director, Tim Spencer, said: “We are very encouraged by the results from the recent drilling and DHEM survey at Leo Dam.

    The fact that nickel sulphides were encountered in all six holes, including some broad strongly anomalous zones, is a significant development.

    The results confirm that Leo Dam sits in a prospective channel for nickel sulphides – and there appears to be a strong EM conductor, which can indicate massive sulphides, below the depth of this drill programme.”

    Jonathan Norris
    Jonathan is a founder of Mining.com.au and has been covering the resources industry since 2018. With over 17 years experience in print, broadcast and online media, Jonathan has seen first hand the transformative effect of online niche media.

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    • Delayed Prices (USD) - Last Updated 27-06-2022
    • Gold $1,826.40
    • Silver $21.14
    • Platinum $908.00
    • Palladium $1,802.00
    • Dalian Iron Ore i2209 $113.98
    • Aluminium $2,456.00
    • Cobalt $72,400.00
    • Copper $8,381.00
    • Lead $1,915.00
    • Nickel $22,400.00
    • Tin $24,590.00
    • Zinc $3,350.00