Auroch Minerals Ltd (ASX:AOU) has started a 1,500-metre diamond drill program across the Valdez and Horn nickel sulphide prospects at its Leinster Nickel Project in Western Australia to test high-priority targets.
The initial drill-hole at Valdez will test a strong 7,000-14,000S down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) conductor, which is coincident with fertile ultramafic flows in a modelled basal channel position.
At the Horn Prospect, the diamond drilling will infill existing drill lines to validate historic high-grade nickel sulphide intercepts.
Excited to start drilling
Auroch managing director Aidan Platel said: “We are very excited to be kicking off diamond drilling at our Leinster Nickel Project.
“The step-by-step exploration strategy at the Valdez Prospect has consistently ticked the boxes in terms of the right characteristics for Kambalda-style nickel sulphide mineralisation, and hence the strong DHEM conductor we have identified there is a number one drill priority.
“A review of the historic data at the Horn has revealed some exceptional high-grade nickel sulphide intercepts at shallow depths that we will look to validate and build upon with this drill program.
“The review has also highlighted a structural control on the mineralisation that opens up kilometres of the previously untested strike to the Horn, as well as identifying some strong historic DHEM conductors that are priority targets for drill testing.”
The strong off-hole conductor at Valdez Prospect is coincident with the modelled ultramafic-mafic lithological contact in an embayment or channel position as defined by first-pass aircore (AC) drilling completed in July.
This AC drilling also identified the ultramafic as a fertile, nickel-bearing high-MgO unit, all characteristics necessary for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation.
The company will test this high-priority drill target with a single hole to a depth of about 400 metres and will follow this up with further DHEM surveys to test and model continuity of the conductor.
At the Horn Prospect, the diamond drilling will infill existing drill lines to validate historic high-grade nickel sulphide intercepts, which include:
- 14.66 metres at 2.19% nickel and 0.48% copper from 132.6 metres;
- 10.80 metres at 2.21% nickel and 0.53% copper from 144.0 metres; and
- 7 metres at 2.58% nickel and 0.63% copper from 158.6 metres.
The program will also test potential extensions to the known sulphide mineralisation by drilling structural positions and existing DHEM plates identified as high priority by the company via a geophysical review completed earlier this year.
A review of the historic drill-hole database by the geological team identified a structural control on the known nickel sulphide mineralisation, which increases the potential for further nickel sulphide mineralisation over kilometres of the strike to the northwest of the prospect.
Program for next year
Auroch is planning further drilling to test the strike extents with a reverse circulation (RC) drill program scheduled for early next year.
Platel added: “Both prospects have great potential to host significant nickel sulphide mineralisation and we are eager to see what results from this program will deliver.
“West Core Drilling Pty Ltd has significant experience in the Goldfields region and has been awarded the contract to complete the diamond drill program.
“The diamond core will be logged in the field and results will be reported as they are received.”