viewAuroch Minerals Ltd

Auroch Minerals ramps up exploration strategy at high-grade nickel sulphide projects


The company has acquired additional tenements in the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt, adding to the existing pipeline of highly-prospective drill-ready targets at the Saints and Leinster nickel projects.

Auroch Minerals Ltd - Auroch Minerals ramps up Nickle exploration strategy for 2020

Quick facts: Auroch Minerals Ltd

Price: 0.17 AUD

Market: ASX
Market Cap: $41.37 m

Auroch Minerals Ltd (ASX:AOU) is focusing exploration activities at its Saints and Leinster project, two high-grade nickel sulphide projects in Western Australia.

During the June quarter, the company completed an oversubscribed placement of $2 million (before costs) through the issue of 36,363,637 fully paid ordinary shares at $0.055 per share.

The placement shares attracted a 1 for 2 free attaching option with an exercise price of 10 cents and expiry date of November 30, 2021, totalling 18,181,818 options.

The company also received a rebate of around $550,000 under the Research & Development Tax Incentive and remains well-funded to advance exploration at the Saints and Leinster projects with around $3.4 million in cash on hand at June 30, 2020.

Saints Nickel Project

In August, the company released assay results of massive nickel sulphide zones intersected in diamond drill-hole SNDD013 at the Saints Nickel Project.

The two main zones returned down-hole intersections of:

  • 1.25 metres at 3.71% nickel and 0.18% copper from 241.61 metres; and
  • 0.39 metres at 3.77% nickel and 0.26% copper from 244.08 metres.

The results were within a broader mineralised zone of 3.68 metres at 1.85% nickel and 0.26% copper from 240.79 metres.

Four diamond holes drilled for a total of 1,232 metres have now been completed at Saints.

Auroch managing director Aidan Platel said: “The high-grade nickel results from the massive sulphide zones intersected in hole SNDD013 confirm that we are in a very nickel-rich system and that our geological and DHEM modelling is providing us with the right platform to vector in on further mineralisation in order to build upon our existing resources at Saints.

“The nickel-rich results from the basal ultramafic flow, coupled with other elemental results such as magnesium, have really confirmed to our technical team that the Saint Andrews channel is a very fertile channel capable of hosting significant massive nickel sulphide mineralisation at its base.”

The company's projects in Western Australia.

DHEM surveys

DHEM surveys were completed on the four new diamond drill holes and resulted in identification of several new DHEM conductors - with two within the Saint Andrews channel near drill-holes SNDD013 and SNDD014.

Platel said: “The very strong DHEM conductors sitting just off holes SNDD013 and SNDD014 were exactly what we were hoping for, and the reason for this recent drill program.

“Where before there was a distinct lack of data to work with, we now have two very compelling drill targets for the next phase of diamond drilling as we continue to explore for that feeder channel mineralisation within the Saints system.”

Leinster Nickel Project

A reverse circulation (RC) drill program is on schedule to begin early this month at the highly prospective and untested Valdez prospect of the Leinster Nickel Project.

The program is expected to take two weeks and will consist of 3-5 RC drill holes over the 150 metres strike length of a new channel target which was identified with recent aircore (AC) drilling at the site.

The AC results showed thick intercepts of elevated nickel within a prospective and highly-fertile channel, including:

  • 9 metres at 0.41% nickel from 33 metres, including 3 metres at 0.52% from 39 metres (VZAC013);
  • 6 metres at 0.37% from 48 metres (VZAC008); and
  • 6 metres at 0.35% from 66 metres (VZAC009).

These characteristics are favourable for massive nickel sulphide mineralisation, further enhancing the potential of the Valdez target.

Aircore drilling results at the Valdez Prospect of the Leinster Nickel Project.

“High potential target”

Platel said: “Since its acquisition, the Valdez prospect has been considered a high-potential exploration target, given its location and proximity to Saracen’s (ASX:SAR) high-grade Waterloo Nickel Mine.

“The company’s exploration strategy is once again proving effective in advancing early-stage targets to high-priority drill targets.

“The excellent nickel results from the recent AC drilling of the weathered profile really highlights the potential of significant massive nickel sulphide mineralisation underneath in the fresh rock, which we look forward to testing with the upcoming RC drilling phase within the next two weeks.”

Increased tenement package

The company entered into a binding agreement with Jindalee Resources Ltd (ASX:JRL) in July to earn up to 70% of four tenements in the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt in Western Australia.

Auroch paid Jindalee $50,000 cash with a further $50,000 cash due upon completion of all earn-in commitments and must spend $500,000 on exploration across the four tenements over a three-year period, including $100,000 in the first 12 month period.

The four exploration licences comprise 217 square kilometres.

Platel said: “The four tenements have great nickel sulphide potential and the walk-up drill targets add to our existing pipeline of highly-prospective drill-ready targets at our Saints and Leinster Nickel Projects.

“The tenure is in the Eastern Goldfields region and close to some large operating gold mines, so it also has great potential for significant gold mineralisation which the company will assess as part of our exploration strategy.”

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