Special Report: The game is afoot at the Leinster project in WA with Auroch embarking on a diamond drilling program to test nickel targets at the Valdez and Horn prospects.

The 1,500m program will kick off at the Valdez prospect where deep reverse circulation holes and subsequent downhole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys completed this month identified a strong off-hole conductor.

Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) will then move on to the Horn prospect to test possible extensions and validate historical high-grade nickel sulphide intercepts.

“We are very excited to be kicking off diamond drilling at our Leinster Nickel Project,” managing director Aidan Platel.

“The step-by-step exploration strategy at the Valdez Prospect has consistently ticked the boxes in terms of the right characteristics for Kambalda-style nickel sulphide mineralisation, and hence the strong DHEM conductor we have identified there is a number one drill priority.”

He added that a review of historical data at Horn had revealed some exceptional high-grade nickel sulphide intercepts at shallow depths, highlighted a structural control on the mineralisation that opens up kilometres of previously untested strike to the Horn and identified some strong historical DHEM conductors that are priority targets for testing.

auroch minerals valdez nickel
Strong DHEM conductive plate overlying surface MLTEM plate and aeromagnetic highs at the Valdez Prospect. Pic: Supplied

Nickel exploration

At Valdez, the strong conductor is coincident with the modelled ultramafic-mafic lithological contact in an embayment or channel position as defined by first-pass aircore drilling completed in July.

The aircore drilling also identified the ultramafic as a fertile, nickel-bearing, high-magnesium unit, all characteristics necessary for significant nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Auroch will test this target with a single hole to a depth of about 400m and follow it up with further DHEM surveys to test and model continuity of the conductor.

Valdez is along strike and in the same rocks as Waterloo, Saracen’s (ASX:SAR) high grade nickel mine.


auroch minerals horn prospect drilling
Zoomed plan map of the Horn Prospect showing historic and planned drill-hole collars in relation to DHEM and aeromagnetics. Pic: Supplied

Over at Horn, diamond drilling will infill existing drill lines to validate historical high-grade nickel sulphide intercepts such as 14.66m at 2.19 per cent nickel and 0.48 per cent copper from 132.6m and 10.8m at 2.21 per cent nickel and 0.53 per cent copper from 144m.

It will also test potential extensions to the known sulphide mineralisation by drilling structural positions and existing DHEM plates identified as high priority following a geophysical review completed earlier this year.


This article was developed in collaboration with Auroch Minerals, 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.