Auroch has kicked off its much anticipated Nepean Deeps diamond drill program that will examine the potential for nickel mineralisation below old mine workings.

The first two holes of the program are designed primarily as platform holes for downhole geophysical surveys though they will also test the projected ultramafic-mafic footwall contact 400m below the historical underground workings of the high-grade Nepean nickel mine.

Auroch Minerals (ASX:AOU) adds that the remaining four holes will then test the highest priority targets for potential nickel sulphide mineralisation.

“We are thrilled to be underway on our maiden diamond drill program at the Nepean Deeps target area,” managing director Aidan Platel.

“There is great potential for the known high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation of the historic Nepean mine to extend at depth below the pegmatite veins at the base of the old mine workings, and we have designed this drill program accordingly to systematically test this high-priority target.”

The first drill hole is expected to reach target depth in three to four weeks.

3D image of the first two planned diamond drill-holes in relation to the historical Nepean mine workings, modelled footwall contact and modelled pegmatite veins. Pic: Supplied

Nepean nickel mine and deep drilling

The Nepean mine in Western Australia was the second producing nickel mine in the country and produced over 32,202 tonnes of nickel metal at an average recovered grade of 2.99% until very low nickel prices below $US4,000/t in 1987 forced production to halt.

Historical mine workings also ceased after encountering a large cross-cutting pegmatite intrusion about 500m below surface.

Auroch will drill the first two holes to test the all-important projected footwall position for potential nickel sulphide mineralisation about 400m below the underground workings.

Geophysical surveys such as down-hole electromagnetics along with down-hole magnetometric resistivity and/or down-hole induced polarisation will be used to test for any conductive units that may represent nickel sulphide mineralisation within a radius of about 100m to 150m from each drill hole.

Geological and geophysical results from these two holes will then be used to plan another four drillholes to test high-priority targets within the Nepean Deeps target area for nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Drilling is currently progressing under a single shift until the collar is completed and cased in the next few days.

A second shift will then be added so that drilling can continue 24 hours a day.




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.