Orion Minerals Ltd’s (ASX:ORN) (JSE:ORN) joint venture partner in the Fraser Range belt in WA, Independence Group NL (ASX:IGO), has commenced diamond drilling to test several highly prospective nickel-copper and zinc-copper targets.
Drilling is currently underway at the North West Passage Prospect, part of the IGO - ORN joint venture on the Fraser Range Belt.
IGO had commissioned a five-line moving loop electromagnetic (MLEM) survey across the prospect in 2017.
Modelling of data from this survey highlighted a steeply-dipping conductor which is being targeted by diamond hole 19RAFRD1001, currently underway.
IGO Priority EM targets in the Fraser Range, showing the locality of North West Passage and Pike Trend targets, where Orion has a Free-carried Interest
Orion managing director and CEO Errol Smart said: “Through our Fraser Range joint venture with IGO, we have free-carried exposure to a first-class exploration program being undertaken by IGO in one of Australia’s most prospective new mineral frontiers – one which has remarkable similarities to our Areachap Belt Project area in South Africa.
“We are delighted that IGO has commenced diamond drilling to test a number of compelling targets at the North West Passage and Pike Prospects, which are prospective for both intrusive nickel-copper mineralisation similar to IGO’s world-class Nova-Bollinger deposit and VMS-style copper-zinc mineralisation.
“This drilling emphasises the often overlooked value in Orion’s Australian tenements, where we are partnered with one of Australia’s leading base metal exploration and mining groups and hold a free-carried interest in an extremely prospective tenement package.”
Fraser Range mineralisation is analogous to the Areachap Belt in South Africa
The drilling forms part of a larger exploration program across the northern part of the Fraser Range and it is expected that, following completion of drilling at the North West Passage, drilling will move to the highly prospective Pike Trend, located on tenement E28/2367 (IGO 70% : Orion 30%) during the latter part of 2019.
The Pike Trend comprises three distinct prospects called Pike, Pike-Eye and Hook, all of which are prospective for both coincident Ni-Cu intrusive and Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) copper-zinc massive sulphide mineralisation.
Drilling will test four conductors identified by the MLEM survey on the southern half of a linear VMS trend.
In addition, a distinct gravity high at Pike-Eye represents a compelling nickel-copper intrusive hosted target.
The combination of magmatic nickel-copper and VMS copper-zinc mineralisation in the Fraser Range is analogous to the Areachap Belt in South Africa, where Orion drilled several massive sulphide intersections in 2018, identifying both magmatic nickel-copper and VMS-style copper-zinc deposits which provide a strong growth pipeline around the company’s flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Project.