THE CONFERENCE CALLER: If Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) and Joint Venture partner the Creasy Group continue to tackle 2021 at the same cracking pace they found themselves moving in the field during the second half of 2020, they could find themselves nominated for the Craig Oliver Award at next year’s RIU Explorers Conference. By Mark Fraser
Just eight days before his appearance at the 2021 RIU show, Azure managing director Tony Rovira told the market that an ongoing drilling campaign at the emerging Andover base metals project in Western Australia’s Pilbara had revealed new zones of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation to the east of the highly prospective VC-23 prospect.
In particular, four new drill holes (ANDD0012, 0013, 0016 and 0017) intersected shallow sulphide mineralisation associated with electromagnetic (EM) conductors at VC-23.
These latest holes followed on from multiple mineralised intersections in the first three ones announced during the second half of January, ultimately resulting in the impressive discovery of mineralisation in seven VC-23 holes.
ANDD0012 intersected 4.6 metres of continuous massive and semi-massive nickel-copper sulphides within a 19.4m-wide mineralised envelope coincident with a previously undrilled EM conductor.
Meanwhile, ANDD0013, 0016 and 0017 demonstrated continuity of sulphide mineralisation over 150m of strike, which remained open both along strike and down-dip.
High nickel and copper grades were subsequently confirmed by pXRF and verified by Azure’s on-site geologists. Two other rigs are now set to continue drilling the VC-7 conductor plate.
During his appearance at the RIU conference, Rovira said the JV partners had – after joining forces in August last year – initially identified 10 targets which indicated bedrock-hosted sulphide accumulations after conducting a number of fix looped surface EM surveys.
The project area, which covers 7,000 square kilometres and sits just south of the small town of Roebourne, had been in the hands of legendary WA prospector Mark Creasy, whose company had carried out a small amount of RC drilling in 2018, intersecting a small amount of nickel and copper mineralisation in the areas which are now known as VC-23 and VC-07.
“In addition to that there are numerous other EM conductors throughout the project and all of them are just waiting there to be drilled – they have never been drill tested, so there are a lot of opportunities on the property for finding bedrock-hosted sulphide mineralisation and potential nickel and copper-rich mineralisation,” Rovira explained.
Rovira said to date a total of 10 diamond holes had been drilled at Andover for 4,200m, with every one of them intersecting nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation.
“One of the holes has drilled over the top of the magnetic conductor and only intersected minor mineralisation, but the other nine all went through the modelled locations and all nine of those hit significant quantities of massive, and semi massive, and other styles of nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation,” he noted.
“So, to date we have tested the eastern 200m strike length of that VC-07 conductor (and) there’s at least another 800m further to the west for us to test, and we are expanding our drilling out along strike and to the west as we go.
“And the drilling is continuing – and at this stage we consider this to be: we’ve identified the body; we have a great understanding of the shape and the potential size of the body. So the diamond drilling we are doing now is with the intention of being able to produce a mineral resource at the completion of the drilling program.
“And importantly where we have drilled into EM conductors we have hit nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation – it is actually a 100 per cent hit rate.”
Azure holds a 60 per cent stake in Andover, while the Creasy Group has the remaining 40 per cent.