Auroch to commence diamond drilling of high-priority target identified through the application of modern geophysical techniques at the Nepean Nickel project which could host significant nickel sulphide mineralisation.

The moderate-high strength conductor, which is typical of conductive bodies such as semi-massive and massive sulphide mineralisation, was identified by a recent high-powered ground moving-loop electromagnetic (MLEM) survey and has been modelled about 250m below surface, about 1km south of the historical high-grade Nepean nickel mine.

While the conductor is located in an area that has been poorly tested by drilling at depth, a historical drill hole 50m to the north intercepted disseminated nickel sulphides within an ultramafic unit which provides further support for Auroch that the conductive plate may represent significant nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) will test the conductor with a 350m to 400m deep drill hole to which is designed to intercept the modelled conductive plate. The hole will be drilled about 50m past the basal footwall contact with the underlying basalt unit. Drilling past the basal footwall contact will provide an adequate depth for follow-up down-hole EM surveys to test for extensions and possible additional conductive bodies at depth.

“The effectiveness of the ground MLEM survey in detecting such a quality high-potential drill target so early in the survey has exceeded all expectations,” managing director Aidan Platel said.

“Given the lack of historical drilling along the 10km of potential strike from the high-grade Nepean nickel mine, we have always believed that the systematic application of modern geophysical and exploration techniques would have great potential to lead to significant new nickel sulphide discoveries.”

He added that in parallel with drilling, the company will also continue the MLEM survey over critical areas of the Nepean strike over the next fortnight.

Nepean nickel and further activity

The Nepean project includes Australia’s second nickel operation ever, which produced 32,202t of nickel metal at an average grade of 2.99 per cent between 1970-87.

It closed because of low nickel prices — not because it ran out of metal – and Auroch’s reconnaissance drill testing of several magnetic high anomalies had returned some notable nickel intersections.

Besides the diamond drilling and ongoing MLEM survey, Auroch also plans to carry out a second phase of reverse circulation drilling program in late May or early June to test geochemical and geophysical targets along the Nepean strike.

Separately, the company is also carrying out diamond drilling at the Woodwind and Percussion prospects at its Leinster nickel project.

DHEM surveys of completed holes are also in progress while a RC program at the Woodwind, String, Brass and Firefly prospects will begin in mid-May.


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.