Auroch Minerals Sharpens Nickel Exploration Focus

COMMODITY CAPERS: Auroch Minerals (ASX: AOU) boasts ownership of a highly prospective nickel sulphide portfolio located within the Goldfields region of Western Australia.

The portfolio includes the Saints, Leinster and Nepean nickel projects, all located in the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt, which has demonstrated itself to be a top-quality address for discovery of nickel sulphide mineralisation.

The Nepean project lies approx. 25 kilometres south of Coolgardie and contains the historic high-grade Nepean nickel sulphide mine, which was the second producing nickel mine in Australia, producing 1,108,457 tons of ore between 1970 and 1987 for 32,202 tons of nickel metal at an average recovered grade of 2.99 per cent nickel.

A recent three-hole diamond program was undertaken at Nepean in May this year, drilling into known shallow high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation directly south of the historic Nepean nickel mine.

The drilling returned results that confirmed the high-grade and high tenor nature of the modelled near-surface nickel sulphide mineralisation, including:

4.64 metres at 2.99 per cent nickel and 0.13 per cent copper from 71.58m.

“We continue to be amazed by the nickel sulphide mineralisation at Nepean,” Auroch Minerals managing director Aidan Platel said.

“The high nickel grades seen in the net-textured sulphide mineralisation in hole NPDD007 which historically was referred to as the `triangular ore zone’ mineralisation is testament to the high nickel tenor (nickel content in the sulphides) of Nepean, and highlights how we can potentially achieve very high-grade nickel intersections from zones of relatively little sulphides, which has huge implications for how we go about exploring the 10 kilometres of potential strike at Nepean, as well as for the upcoming Nepean Deeps drill program.”

Meanwhile, Auroch has also been busy at the Leinster project where RC and diamond drilling produced pleasing results from the Woodwind, Firefly and Brass prospects.

The dual phase first-pass drill program consisted of five high priority diamond drill-holes drilled in March and April, followed by nine RC holes drilled in May and June.

Recent assay results included:

8m at 0.45 per cent nickel from 19m;

5m at 0.30 per cent nickel from 66m and 4m at 0.30 per cent nickel from 80m;

7m at 0.40 per cent nickel from 52m;

2m at 0.50 per cent nickel from 30m;

1m at 0.56 per cent nickel from 159m;

1m at 0.45 per cent nickel from 41m; and

4m at 0.30 per cent nickel from 251m.

“This new round of assay results from the recent drilling at the Leinster project further highlights the high prospectivity of the recently-identified trend of fertile ultramafics to the north of the known shallow high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Horn prospect and justify follow-up exploration efforts as we attempt to vector in on potential new discoveries of significant nickel sulphide mineralisation,” Platel said.

“Two DHEM conductors identified by the first phase of drilling provide high-priority walk-up drill targets that we will test with our next drilling campaign at Leinster planned for later this quarter.

“In addition to our evolving exploration programs and targets at Leinster, we are looking forward to commencing the high impact Nepean Deeps diamond drill program…at our Nepean nickel project, which aims to test for possible extensions to the known high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation below the historic mine workings.

“We are also looking to finalise access and approvals for RC drilling at the priority Ragless Range zinc target at the Arden project in South Australia. With major drill programs and ongoing exploration over multiple projects scheduled for the next few months, it is an exciting time for the company and its shareholders.”