ScandiVanadium Ltd (ASX:SVD) recently entered an agreement to acquire 100% of two prospective projects located in Western Australia: the Pascalle Gold Project, located in the Paterson Province; and the Gnama Nickel Project, located in the Fraser Range.
This strategic development gives the company exposure to some exciting exploration provinces in Western Australia, around other high-profile discoveries.
I caught up with chief executive officer David Minchin, a geologist with 15 years’ experience in exploration and mining, to discuss these latest acquisitions and the company’s plans to advance them.
The Pascalle Gold Project covers an area of 75km2 within Paterson Province (Figure 1), an area that has seen some exciting recent discoveries and major farm-ins. ScandiVanadium’s Pascalle licence is situated less than 15k kilometres (km) south-east of Newcrest Mining Ltd's (ASX:NCM) 32mln-once Telfer Mine, but due to a relatively thin 20-50 metre layer of Permian cover, it has remained largely unexplored.
Figure 1: The location of the Pascalle Gold Project
Greatland Gold PLC's (LON:GGP) 2018 Havieron discovery, located 20km to the north-east of Pascalle, demonstrated the success that can be achieved through the use of geophysics to look through Permian cover, opening up a new phase of exploration within the Paterson Province.
Havieron captured the attention of Newcrest Mining in 2019, leading to a US$65m farm-in. Since the farm-in was announced impressive drill results have continued to be returned, including 82.1 metres (m) at a grade of 2.4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold (Au) and 0.08% copper (Cu) from 557.6m (HAD066), 109m at 6.3 g/t Au and 0.71% Cu from 668m (HAD059), and 275m at a grade of 4.8 g/t Au & 0.61% Cu from 459m (HAD005).
Rio Tinto PLC (LON:RIO) is also active in the area and has completed 110,000m of drilling at its 2017 Winu discovery, with results including 681m at 0.49% Cu and 0.33g/t Au. Other exciting developments include Antipa Minerals Ltd (ASX:AZY) signing A$60mln farm-in deals with both Rio Tinto and Newcrest; and Independence Group NL's (ASX:IGO) A$32mln farm-in to Metals X Limited's (ASX:MLX) Paterson Exploration Project.
Within the Paterson Province, gold mineralisation is linked to specific trap structures associated with regional-scale basin bounding faults and granite emplacement. ScandiVanadium has benefitted from the exploration successes of other companies working in the Paterson Province, using the available geological information to refine its targeting methods. ScandiVanadium is confident that the Pascalle Project has all the right geological features to potentially host significant gold mineralisation.
At Pascalle, ScandiVanadium has identified five untested geophysical targets (Figure 2) located beneath a shallow cover, where it is believed structural traps may have concentrated gold mineralising fluids as they were transported along regional faults.
Figure 2: Geophysical targets at the Pascalle Gold Project
The Gnama Nickel Project is also located in an area that has seen an uptick in interest, namely the Fraser Ranges. Recent discoveries by Legend Mining Limited (ASX:LEG) (Mawson) and Creasy Group (Silver Knight) have renewed investors focus on the region that also contained Nova-Bollinger, which was acquired by Independence Group for A$1.8bn in 2015.
Gnama was originally identified by Sirius Exploration in 2010 when reverse circulation holes intersected a zone of nickel, copper and cobalt enrichment in the oxide zone above mixed ultramafic rocks, including 16m at a grade of 0.6% nickel (Ni), 0.14% Cu and 0.13% cobalt (Co) from 36m (SFRC5) and 20m at a grade of 0.57% Ni, 0.17% Cu and 0.08% Co from 28m (SFRC6). ScandiVanadium believes this surface enrichment to be significant as both Nova-Bollinger and Mawson were identified by an anomalous nickel and copper signature at the surface with nickel sulphide source at depth.
Assuming the completion of the acquisition in July 2020, we would anticipate ScandiVanadium commencing an extensive exploration programme at both Pascalle and Gnama in the second half of this year.