Chalice Mining Set to Add Julimar to List of Achievements

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Since joining the Australian bourse via a $7.5 million initial public offering back in 2006, Chalice Mining has carved quite a niche amongst the country’s home-grown exploration stocks. By Mark Fraser

And it’s not just because the company looks set to consolidate itself as a leader in Australia’s almost non-existent platinum group elements (PGE) sector.

Rather, it’s more to do with the fact that over the past 15 years Chalice has pursued fairly eclectic investment options while successfully creating wealth for its shareholders – a practice the company will no doubt continue as it advances three solid on-the-ground domestic mineral projects in 2021.

Since its IPO, Chalice has invested in a number of money-making assets which combined have – as of June last year – generated over $110 million in after-tax proceeds and sales.

Chalice’s portfolio pipeline has included district-scale precious and base metals projects, robust royalty opportunities as well as other sundry investments – both domestically and abroad.

Along the way the company has boosted its exposure to the global financial sector market through a listing on the New York-based OTCQB Venture Market, a mid-tier over-the-counter securities trading platform on which trades are conducted via dealer networks as opposed to a centralised exchange.

By taking advantage of this expertise – and using its own corporate initiatives – Chalice was able to finish 2020 with a market capitalisation of $1.27 billion (based on a then share price of $3.80), a cash balance of $126 million, combined cash and investments worth $140 million and no debt.

It was also during 2020 that the company raised $130 million to progress its wholly-owned platinum group element–nickel-copper-cobalt discovery at Julimar, some 70 kilometres north east of Perth in its home state of Western Australia.

Using high resolution airborne magnetics, Chalice interpreted the possible presence of a mafic-ultramafic layered intrusive complex (the Julimar Complex), which is now believed to extend over some 26km of strike.

This work also identified several large-scale electromagnetic anomalies (Hartog, Baudin and Jansz), which are located directly along strike from the company’s world class Gonneville PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt-gold discovery that was found during a systematic greenfields exploration program over the Gonneville Intrusion in mid-2019.

Hartog, Baudin and Jansz all represent high quality greenfields discovery opportunities over 20km of strike length across the Julimar target area.

The Hartog anomaly is Chalice’s highest priority target given its similar EM signature to Gonneville.

Exploration activities – which have been approved by the WA Government – will initially comprise prospect-scale soil geochemical sampling (200 by 100m) in conjunction with 200m-spaced moving loop EM (MLEM) and ground gravity surveys (200 by 50m) centred over the three EM anomalies.

This will be followed by infill soil geochemical sampling and further MLEM to define targets for drill testing.

The entire (approximate) 20 by 30km exploration corridor along the interpreted Julimar Complex will also be subjected to first pass exploration, including wide-spaced soil geochemistry and ground gravity surveying as well as/or MLEM.

Any further areas of interest will be infilled to define potential targets for future drill testing.

Chalice managing director Alex Dorsch said the strength and scale of Hartog’s EM target had drawn significant interest and the company now believed it could represent a different section of the intrusive complex which may be prospective for new styles of nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation.

“It should also be noted that the lack of an airborne EM response in other areas does not preclude the presence of mineralisation, as evidenced by our drilling at Gonneville,” he explained.

“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.”

Early stage metallurgical testwork completed to date on selected high grade and disseminated sulphide mineralisation samples from Gonneville returned promising flotation results, giving initial encouragement the sulphide-hosted mineralisation will be amenable to conventional flotation under standard conditions.

Chalice’s second major wholly-owned exploration project is at Pyramid Hill in Victoria, where the company holds over 5,000 square kilometres of prospective real estate north west and north east of the Fosterville gold mine.

So far it is particularly excited about a new (plus) 4km gold trend and two gold-bearing diorite intrusions.

All sit undercover in unexplored terrain. By the end of last year there were two diamond rigs working at the 4km long Karri prospect.

The third project is Hawkstone (nickel-copper-cobalt) in WA.

Described as a “new greenfield nickel sulphide opportunity in a frontier province”, it sits within an (over) 1,800sqkm holding east of the Merlin nickel-copper-cobalt prospect.