Great Boulder is earning up to 75% of Winchester through expenditure of $500,000 over four years, with around $100,000 already spent.
Based on metallurgical tests from GBR's nearby Mt Venn project, the high nickel-tenor at Winchester makes it particularly attractive as a blend for Great Boulder's Yamarna project along with its potential to host higher grade nickel mineralisation.
Great Boulder managing director Stefan Murphy said the Winchester project could play an important role in the company’s strategy to establish a substantial copper-nickel-cobalt operation.
“The Winchester project represents part of a large igneous province with magmatic sulphide mineralisation now identified over a vast area," he said.
“Only a very small area has been drill tested at Winchester and the presence of high-grade copper and nickel mineralisation, confirmed through petrography, is extremely promising.
“Combining Winchester with our Mt Venn and Eastern Mafic deposits at Yamarna is an important step in building a consolidated copper-nickel-cobalt business for the region.”
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Ausgold managing director Matthew Greentree said: “Great Boulder has shown a commitment to exploration in the region and has committed to spend $500,000 to earn 75% of the Yamarna project.
“The joint venture is structured so Ausgold retains a 25% free-carried interest through to a decision to mine, allowing Ausgold to focus its funds on its 100%-owned Katanning Gold Project, where the company continues to have exploration success and is progressing towards a mine development of the 1.04-million-ounce gold resource.”
Exploration activities are underway at Winchester with a 3,400-metre aircore geochemistry drilling program beginning this week and a tenement-wide ground gravity survey to start in coming weeks.
The geochemistry and gravity data will be used in conjunction with other geophysical data to map prospective intrusions and identify nickel-copper mineralisation.
Recent field mapping and a review of previous RC drilling highlighted that most drill holes have not intersected the prospective mafic-ultramafic units.
A follow-up RC drill program will be planned once the aircore drilling and gravity survey are completed.