Initial assays from Auroch’s maiden drilling at the Nepean nickel project have increased its potential to be developed as a shallow open pit.

The first six holes have extended the strike length of the existing shallow, high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation at the project near Coolgardie by over 200m, to over 500m in total strike length, after intersecting some very high-grade results.

These initial results successfully extended this very high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation in from the existing mineralisation in the historic Nepean mine to the high-grade nickel mineralisation intersected in shallow drilling in 2007-08 and have laid a solid foundation for further results expected in the coming weeks.

Some of the significant intersections highlighted by Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) included:

3m at 3.70 per cent nickel and 0.33 per cent copper from 91m, including 2m grading 5.09 per cent nickel and 0.47 per cent,

1m at 5.57 per cent nickel and 0.25 per cent copper from 60m,

2m at 3.02 per cent nickel & 0.30 per cent copper from 55m, and

3m at 1.35 per cent nickel and 0.1 per cent copper from 25m within a broader 18m zone at 0.76 per cent nickel and 0.02 per cent copper from 25m

And there may be more to come.

Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) expects to receive assays from a further four holes within the next week or two.

Managing director Aidan Platel says the company is thrilled by the results with drilling extending both Sill 2 and Sill 3 – the main lenses of massive nickel sulphides in the historical Nepean mine.

“As such, we now have this very shallow, very high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation continuous for at least 500 metres of strike, which in itself presents a strong case for a potential shallow open-pit scenario that we may be able to fast-track to cash flow,” he added.

“We are also very excited to now be drilling the aeromagnetic targets along the 10km of prospective strike at Nepean, all of which have very high potential to host significant nickel sulphide mineralisation, yet they have never been previously explored with modern techniques.”

auroch minerals plan nepean nickel mine
Zoomed plan map of the Nepean Nickel Project showing completed drill-holes and results in between remnant nickel sulphide mineralisation in the historic Nepean nickel mine. Pic: Supplied

Future activity

The upcoming drill holes to the north and south of the historical Nepean mine have been designed to characterise the ultramafic units along strike and to define the important stratigraphic contact between the ultramafic hanging-wall and the basalt footwall.

All exploration drill-holes will be cased for follow-up down-hole electromagnetic surveys to test for any conductive units that may represent massive nickel sulphide mineralisation.


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.