Auroch Minerals Ltd (ASX:AOU) has started a reverse circulation (RC) drilling program targeting nickel sulphides at Valdez prospect, which is a part of the Leinster Nickel Project in Western Australia.
The 1,000-metre drill program is the second phase of exploration at Valdez, targeting a 150-metre wide fertile ultramafic channel coincident with magnetic and surface electromagnetic anomalies.
Drill-holes will be testing specifically for nickel sulphide mineralisation and subsequent down hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys will aim to identify any conductive units in the area that potentially represent massive nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Auroch managing director Aidan Platel said: “We are pleased to commence the second phase of exploration at the exciting Valdez prospect.
“The initial phase of aircore drilling successfully defined a fertile nickeliferous channel, coincident with the existing mag and EM anomalies – in other words, all of the right characteristics for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation.
“This program will test the channel target to depths up to 250 metres downhole and will provide a solid platform for DHEM surveys to define possible conductive units such as massive sulphides along the basal channel at greater depths.”
During the recently aircore (AC) program, Auroch identified the fertile ultramafic channel, where significant intersections of anomalous nickel of greater than 0.3% were present.
The channel overlies a magnetic high and is also coincident with a strong EM conductor defined by a historic surface moving-loop electromagnetic (MLEM) survey.
All of these characteristics are favourable for hosting significant massive nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Under the program, three to four holes will be drilled across the 150-metre strike length of the channel.
Holes will range between 150 metres and 300 metres depth, with all holes projected to intersect the all-important basal ultramafic-mafic contact.
DHEM will then be used to survey for any conductors in the area which will provide well-defined targets for follow-up drilling campaigns.
Platel said: “The program is expected to take approximately two weeks and we look forward to updating the market with results when they’re received.”
Orlando Drilling Pty Ltd, which has significant experience drilling in the Leinster region, has been awarded the drilling contract.
Upon completion of the Valdez RC program, the drill rig will commence an RC drill program at the Firefly and Sinclair North Prospects on the recently acquired tenement E36/895.
The company aims to advance each of its targets at the Leinster Nickel Project and continue to develop its pipeline of nickel sulphide opportunities in WA, including the nearby Saints project.