Chalice Mining Ltd (ASX:CHN) (OTCMKTS:CGMLF) (FRA:C8U) has received a key access approval to additional exploration areas at its 100%-owned Julimar Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Element (PGE) Project, around 70 kilometres northeast of Perth in Western Australia.
The Minister for Environment has consented to initial non-ground disturbing activities within the Julimar State Forest on granted Exploration Licence E70/5119, under the approved Stage 1 Conservation Management Plan (CMP).
Chalice managing director Alex Dorsch said: “This access approval has been eagerly anticipated and is highly significant, as it allows us to finally start to understand the true scale of the Julimar discovery.
“We are pleased to be working together with the various state government departments and agencies to facilitate the first-ever ground-based nickel-copper-PGE exploration programs in the State Forest.”
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High priority targets
Chalice completed the first-ever airborne electromagnetic (AEM) survey over this area in September 2020, which identified several large-scale EM anomalies (Hartog, Baudin and Jansz) directly along strike from the company’s Gonneville PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt-gold discovery.
All three targets represent high-quality greenfield discovery opportunities over 20 kilometres of strike length across the interpreted Julimar layered mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex.
Dorsch said: “The targets to the north of the world-class Gonneville discovery have the potential to add material value to the project and we are incredibly excited to be the first on the ground.
“The strength and scale of the EM target at Hartog has drawn significant interest and we believe it could represent a different section of the intrusive complex which may be prospective for new styles of nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation.”
Dorsch also noted that the lack of an airborne EM response in other areas did not preclude the presence of mineralisation, as evidenced by the company’s drilling at Gonneville.
Soil geochemical sampling
Exploration activities will begin shortly and will initially comprise prospect-scale soil geochemical sampling in conjunction with 200 metre-spaced Moving Loop EM (MLEM) and ground gravity surveys centred over the Hartog, Baudin and Jansz AEM anomalies.
This will be followed by infill soil geochemical sampling and MLEM to define targets for drill testing.
The entire 20 kilometres x 3 kilometres exploration corridor along the interpreted Julimar Complex will also be subject to first-pass exploration including wide-spaced soil geochemistry and ground gravity surveying and/or MLEM.
Exploration activities will be undertaken concurrently with the ongoing 6-rig resource definition drilling program at the Gonneville discovery and are expected to be completed in the current quarter.
Julimar Complex plan view including 2020 AEM survey and 2021 planned exploration corridor.
Dorsch said that exploration activities would have negligible impact on vegetation, fauna or recreational activities within the area, and would be governed by the approved CMP.
He said: “Chalice appreciates the conservation values of the area and takes its environmental responsibilities seriously.
“We intend to test the area as quickly as possible with minimal impact according to the approved CMP, and eagerly anticipate the first results.”
Funded for future drilling
Chalice is fully funded to continue its 6-rig resource definition drill program and reconnaissance exploration activities at Julimar with around $120 million in cash.
The company plans to infill any additional areas of interest discovered at the AEM anomalies to define potential targets for future drill testing.
Dorsch said: “The planned initial reconnaissance activities aim to define drill-ready targets, which will then form the basis of a second stage approval process for drill testing.
“Drilling will ultimately determine if Julimar is a new multi-discovery mineral district.”