Pioneer acquires Fraser Range nickel and gold project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Pioneer Resources (ASX:PIO) has reached an agreement with private exploration play, National Minerals to acquire a 75 per cent interest in the Fairwater project, located in the Albany-Fraser mineral province of Western Australia.

The acquisition delivers a 75 per cent interest on all commodities within the 338 square kilometre Fairwater project to Pioneer.

The total payment for the acquisition comprises $40,000 in cash, 11.5 million shares and 45 million options (15 million exercisable at 10 cents and 30 million exercisable at 30 cents).

Pioneer highlighted the project’s location indicating its proximity (50km) to the Plato prospect of Enterprise Metals (ASX:ENT) and to the market darling Nova deposit (105km) of Sirius Resources (ASX:SIR).

“Given the recent discovery of Nova and the associated acceleration of exploration in the Fraser Range, the acquisition of the Fairwater project opens the door to a very exciting exploration opportunity for Pioneer,” Pioneer Resources managing director David Crook said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Soil sampling was carried out on the project by Pan Australian Resources in 1998, which identified two nickel anomalies, each with a strike length over four kilometres, as well as a six kilometre long gold anomaly.

Pioneer noted these particular targets occur adjacent to major structural zones, which it considers may be capable of acting as conduits for a mineralising event.

“By acquiring an interest in the Fairwater project, Pioneer gains entry ass an early mover into the emerging Albany-Fraser province, which is rapidly becoming an important Western Australian mineral belt, following the discovery of the world class Tropicana gold project and the Nova nickel copper deposit,” Crook said.


Albany-Fraser province showing the Fairwater project and other metal discovery locations. Source: Company announcement

Pioneer has already earmarked two priority targets on the project – FWN001 and FWN002.

The company described the targets as robust nickel-copper anomalies occurring in similar aged rocks and in an analogous structural setting to the Nova prospect.

Soil sampling on the targets has already commenced and Pioneer said it anticipates electromagnetic (EM) surveys will be completed later this year.

Depending on the results of all this activity, Pioneer said it expects initial drilling of the project will be undertaken in the first half of 2013.