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Orion Minerals and IGO plan drilling near new nickel-copper discovery in Fraser Range

New phase of exploration planned over three key prospect areas 16 kilometres from Legend Mining’s recently confirmed Mawson nickel-copper discovery.

Orion Minerals Ltd - Orion Minerals and IGO plan drilling near new nickel-copper discovery in Fraser Range
Orion shares are trading about 15% higher intra-day, at 1.5 cents

Orion Minerals Ltd (ASX:ORN) and partner IGO Ltd (ASX:IGO) are preparing to re-commence drilling at their joint venture tenements in Fraser Range, Western Australia.

The joint venture includes the Pike, Pike Eye, Hook and Garfish targets 16 kilometres north-east of the recently confirmed Mawson nickel-copper discovery, where Legend Mining Limited (ASX:LEG) has this week reported significant new high-grade assay results.

IGO-ORN Fraser Range joint venture tenements showing regional aeromagnetic image and locality of the Pike Prospect relative to nearby Legend Mining Mawson Prospect

Drilling completed by IGO towards the end of 2019 tested several moving-loop electromagnetic (MLEM) conductors, geochemical anomalies and magnetic features on nickel-copper targets, as well as a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) copper-zinc target, at Hook, Pike Eye and Pike.

The intersection of base metal sulphide veins, sulphide-bearing graphite-rich horizons and rocks hosting intrusive mafic-ultramafic bodies are considered an ideal setting for the discovery of magmatic massive nickel-copper sulphide deposits.

Potential for world-class magmatic nickel-copper sulphide discoveries

Orion managing director and chief executive officer Errol Smart said: "We are looking forward to the re-commencement of field work at the exciting Pike, Pike Eye, Hook and Garfish targets in the Fraser Range, which is once again emerging as front and centre of the focus of exploration attention in Australia thanks to the very exciting new nickel-copper discovery at the Mawson Prospect, which has been confirmed by Legend Mining this week.

“The widths and grades of mineralisation reported by Legend Mining this week from a prospect located just 16km broadly along trend from our JV project clearly shows that this belt is still very much ‘alive’ for world-class magmatic nickel-copper sulphide discoveries.”

Proposed drilling

IGO initially plans to drill a further 2,560 metres in six holes, including extending hole 19AFDD1008 to test a strong off-hole conductor detected below the current end-of-hole depth.

Holes are also planned to test further electromagnetic (EM) targets at Hook, Pike Eye and Pike.

At Garfish, a gravity anomaly will be drilled to test for a mafic-ultramafic intrusive.

Drilling at these targets will re-commence once extensive work has been completed to upgrade access tracks which traverse long sections of very soft, dusty terrain and are unable to support heavy drilling gear required to drill deep diamond drill holes.

In addition to follow-up diamond drilling, an extensive air-core drilling program is planned to map the surrounding bedrock geology which lies under about 100 metres of unconsolidated cover material.

Planned diamond and air-core drilling on E28/2367

Smart added “While the current Covid-19 restrictions have resulted in some unexpected frustrations for the early follow-up of the very promising drill results announced in February 2020, we are very encouraged by the progress being made by our JV partner, IGO, to establish the required services and support infrastructure so that an intensive diamond drilling program can be executed effectively at a site that is remote from water resources and currently relies on poor quality field tracks for access.

“We are also pleased by the extended plan presented by IGO to use air-core drilling to map the bedrock geology and geochemistry under unconsolidated cover over the large prospective area surrounding the initial intersection of base metal sulphides at Pike.

“Investor interest in the Fraser Range has certainly been reignited thanks to the exploration success reported by our neighbour, Legend Mining, and we are very much looking forward to the next phase of follow-up drilling planned by IGO in the coming months.”

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