• RC drilling has flagged high-grade (2-3%) nickel bearing vermiculite ore
  • The company is investigating the potential to selectively mine the ore
  • Vermiculite is associated with Vale SA’s large Brazilian nickel deposits


Golden Mile Resources has completed a 7 hole drilling program drilling at its flagship Quicksilver nickel-cobalt project, designed to test a high grade area beneath the oxide resource.

The 7 RC Drill holes completed for a total of 1,353m were designed to test the primary zone beneath the nickel-cobalt oxide resource in the proximity of hole 23QDD0082 which intersected 49m at 1.74% nickel (Ni), 0.071% cobalt (Co) from 30m.

The drilling highlighted a rare geological setting, which the company says may provide context of the recent discovery of high-grade (2% to 3%) nickel bearing vermiculite.

Golden Mile says it could potentially transform the project by selectively mining the high-grade vermiculite, which is rare but known to occur in part of the large Brazilian Onca and Puma nickel deposits owned by Vale SA.


Metallurgical test work underway

Stage 3 metallurgical test work at Quicksilver has already achieved nickel upgrades of 111% and 226% from low energy scrubbing and screening tests, with assays of mica concentrate at 2-3% nickel demonstrating the potential for further concentration.

“The drilling program has been invaluable for information gathering and our geological understanding now leads us to believe that we can potentially identify and orientate the vermiculite zones in the northern area of the deposit,” Golden Mile Resources (ASX:G88) MD Damon Dormer said.

“If the vermiculite forms in identifiable seams, we will be able to selectively mine the high-grade.

“Further to this there is the opportunity through secondary processing to achieve a much higher quality nickel product, for which the metallurgical test work is already underway.”


Selective mining of high-grade vermiculite

The Quicksilver project is an oxide clay hosted nickel-cobalt deposit with a current indicated and inferred resource of 23.6Mt at 0.64% nickel and 0.043% cobalt for a contained 168,500t of nickel and 11,300t of cobalt, with some rare earths and scandium to boot.

This latest RC drilling has indicated there is significant amounts of biotite in the primary zone which could be a predicter of significant quantities of vermiculite in the oxide zone.

This is an indication that there is potential for vermiculite rich seams within the oxide zone that could be selectively mined.

Being able to potentially identify the geometry and orientation of the high-grade vermiculite areas is significant because it allows for accelerated selective mining of the high-grade, high value zones with further potential of value enrichment from secondary processing for which the test work has already been initiated.


Assays pending with test work ongoing

It’s a complex geological setting which the company will get a better understanding of over the next two months as the assay results come in.

However, G88 did say it is not a typical setting for nickel- cobalt oxide resource in Western Australia “which further emphasises the unique mineralogy of the nickel-cobalt deposit that lends itself to being upgradable by simple beneficiation processes and now possibly selective mining.”

The potential to complete a scoping study on the project will be dependent on the metallurgical test work results, the company said.



This article was developed in collaboration with Golden Mile Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.


This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.