THE INSIDE STORY: Having raised $10 million on the back of a most audacious project acquisition, junior exploration play Cassini Resources (ASX: CZI) wasted no time in kicking off a comprehensive drilling campaign.
The company commenced its maiden drilling campaign at the 100 per cent-owned West Musgrave project in Western Australia just six months after acquiring it from BHP Billiton Nickel West and BHP Billiton Minerals, two subsidiaries of global mining powerhouse BHP Billiton (ASX: BHP).
The West Musgrave project contains the Nebo and Babel sister deposits, commonly referred to as Nebo‐Babel, the Succoth copper exploration prospect plus a number of prospective exploration targets.
Nebo‐Babel currently has an Inferred resource 446 million tonnes at 0.33 per cent nickel and 0.35 per cent copper (0.2 per cent nickel cut‐off) for 1.47 million tonnes of contained nickel and 1.56 million tonnes of contained copper.
“BHP originally approached the project with the intention it would become a large large‐scale, low‐grade production model,” Cassini Resources managing director Richard Bevan told The Resources Roadhouse.
“We have said from the start that, as a junior exploration company, we intend taking a different approach with the project differently, as a high-grade opportunity –a much smaller project than what BHP originally envisaged.
“That being the case we are now out there drilling with the expectation of being able to really get in there and define that high-grade ore body.”
Drilling commenced at the Nebo and Babel deposits on 2 September 2014 aiming to prove up continuity of massive nickel-copper sulphide lenses and high‐grade disseminated zones.
The drilling is also intended to upgrade a large portion of the current Inferred Resource to the Indicated category.
Cassini’s $10 million capital raising is being put to good use with the program to consist of approximately 25,000 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling and approximately 700m of diamond core drilling in a combination of infill and exploratory step‐out drilling.
At the time of writing the company had received assay results from the first four RC drill holes at Nebo, which provided it with a great deal of encouragement by intersecting anticipated high‐grade nickel and copper.
The drilling intersected – what is known as – the Marginal Breccia Zone (MBZ), which hosts the massive sulphides that have previously revealed higher‐grade nickel and copper.
The drilling also intersected wide zones of disseminated sulphide mineralisation beneath the MBZ, with grades of nickel and copper high enough to form a significant portion of the current estimated mineral resource.
Nebo-Babel is a shallow, large tonnage open pittable nickel sulphide orebody, and as such Cassini has determined a resource grade of greater than 0.7 per cent nickel and 0.6 per cent copper to be on the mark.
In light of this, the company is fairly chuffed with the assay results it received from the first four drill holes at the project, which included:
28m at 1.38 per cent nickel and 0.87 per cent copper from 63m, including 6m at 3.40 per cent nickel and 0.96 per cent copper from 84m;
29m at 1.00 per cent nickel and 0.61 per cent copper from 56m, including 2m at 3.12 per cent nickel and 1.07 per cent copper from 81m.
It is worth noting drill hole WMC0015 intersected the thickest and highest grade mineralisation to have been drilled to date on Section 371900E, easily clearing the previous best historical intercept of 16m at 0.84 per cent nickel and 0.56 per cent copper.
The result achieved by WMC0004 met the company’s expectations, having been drilled 50m down-dip from a further historical hole – WMN11, which returned 19m at 2.16 per cent nickel and 1.09 per cent copper.
The other two holes to be assayed so far, WMC0014 (11m at 0.19 per cent nickel and 0.45 per cent copper) and WMC0002 (broad anomalous zone less than 0.4 per cent nickel) returned intersections indicating the presence of broad, lower‐grade disseminated mineralisation beneath the MBZ.
Although they may not be as exciting as the results from the other two holes these are also in line with expectations as they were drilled on the periphery of the current high‐grade resource model.
“That we have intersected the best mineralisation so far supports the company’s belief that the previous drill spacing on nominal 200 metre centres was too broad to define a continuous core of higher ‐grade mineralisation,” Bevan said.
“These initial results support not only the existing resource model, but also demonstrates the potential of a higher‐grade core of mineralisation that could support an economic open pit mining operation.
“Any future results of this magnitude of nickel and copper mineralisation in both the MBZ and disseminated zones, will further demonstrate how close the company is to being able to deliver these objectives.”
Cassini is convinced further drilling at the Nebo deposit will demonstrate the continuity of higher‐grade mineralisation, at depths amenable to open pit mining methods.
The company remains confident it will deliver a maiden Indicated Resource at the end of the current drilling program.
The current higher grade Inferred Resource estimate for Nebo stands at 33.2 million tonnes at 0.73 per cent nickel and 0.59 per cent copper using a 0.5 per cent nickel cut‐off grade.
Since Cassini last visited The Roadhouse it has added some expertise to its management team.
Exploration manager, Dr Zoran Seat is a former exploration manager for Norilsk.
Dr Seat has a Bachelor of Science in Geology and a PhD in Geology.
Serendipitously, his PhD thesis focussed on Nebo‐Babel, examining the geology and nickel-copper‐PGE mineralisation of the Nebo‐Babel intrusion.
On completion of his PhD, Dr Seat worked as a geoscientist for BHP Billiton at the West Musgrave project.
Consultant mineralogist Ben Grguric also has impressive form as a geologist and mineralogist having worked for Western Mining and BHP.
While at BHP, Grguric played a major role in unravelling the geology and mineralogy of the Mt Keith nickel deposit.
He is regarded as a world leader in deposit mineralogy and its link with processing technology, particularly disseminated low‐grade nickel sulphide deposits.
“We have established a great team with a wealth of knowledge of the Nebo-Babel project, which we believe will stand us in good stead going forwards,” Bevan said.
Forwards seems to be the only direction Cassini is willing to contemplate for now with RC Drilling continuing at a steady pace and 42 holes now completed at Nebo where two rigs are currently on‐site.
Results from all other holes are still pending with numerous batches currently being processed at the assay laboratory.
A diamond core rig is just being mobilise to site, which will drill seven large‐diameter (PQ) holes through mineralised zones at Nebo and Babel to collect samples for metallurgical test work, which the company considers to be another key component of the project’s development strategy.
The final component of Cassini’s current exploration program for the Nebo-Babel project will be a RC/DD program to be carried out at the satellite Succoth copper prospect.
This work will be undertaken towards the end of the exploration program with the aim of increase the company’s current geological knowledge of the Succoth deposit.
The work will be specifically targeting near surface high-grade zones Cassini has identified to have the potential to contribute to the Nebo‐Babel development model.
Cassini Resources Limited (CZI)
…The Short Story
945 Wellington Street
West Perth WA 6005
Phone: +61 8 9322 7600
Fax: + 61 8 9322 7602
DIRECTORS and MANAGEMENT
Mike Young, Richard Bevan, David Johnson, Dr Jon Hronsky, Phil Warren, Greg Miles
Cornela Pty Ltd 5.5%
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