Australian Vanadium has uncovered nickel-copper-PGE anomalies at its Coates project comparable to those at Julimar just 29km to the north-northwest.

While Coates hosts a vanadium-titanium magnetite deposit, no other metal assays were recorded until extensive digital capture and interpretation of historical data by the company suggested that it has similar geology to nearby base metals and platinum group element (PGE) discoveries.

This led Australian Vanadium (ASX:AVL) to carry out detailed XRF scans of drill core at Coates, which resulted in the discovery of base metal sulphide-bearing pyroxenite phases within the main magnetite gabbro unit.

A subsequent soil survey over the project, which covers the southern extension of similar mafic-ultramafic rocks to the sequence that hosts Chalice Mining’s (ASX:CHN) Julimar nickel-copper-PGE discovery, found that the highest platinum, chrome and nickel in soils are located to the north of the main magnetite ridge.

Importantly, copper anomalism at Coates is comparable with significant soil signatures at Julimar.

“The strong interest in the recently discovered PGE-nickel-copper mineralisation in the West Yilgarn in rich fragments of the ancient Earth’s crust, such as Julimar, is justified,” managing director Vincent Algar said.

“Other sizeable fragments with compelling geology such as Coates need to be explored with new eyes, as AVL is now doing.

“Many new discoveries will occur and AVL has the knowledge and capacity to move the project forward, while maintaining its focus on the development of the company’s flagship Australian Vanadium Project at Gabanintha.”

coates australian vanadium julimar
Coates mafic complex location. Pic: Supplied

Upcoming work

The company is kicking off further work at Coates by participating in an upcoming airborne electromagnetic survey of the greater Coates mafic complex.

This survey is aimed at defining potential massive sulphide conductors, lithology boundaries, and structural information such as folding and faulting.

Australian Vanadium notes that Chalice has successfully applied EM surveys at its Julimar project and has noted that Julimar conductor strength can be of low order and still correlate with high PGE and base metal grade domains.

It also plans to carry out further soil surveys to cover the main intrusive areas with a focus on extending sampling out from areas showing anomalous nickel, copper, chrome and platinum soil geochemistry identified in the current survey.

WA’s Exploration Incentive Scheme co-funded reverse circulation and diamond drilling is planned for the fourth quarter of 2021.

The grant of up to $112,500, or about half of a 11-hole program, will support drilling to provide a stratigraphic section through the Coates mafic intrusion.

The company has also secured 200m of historical diamond core from four holes drilled by Garrick Agnew Pty Ltd and Mt Dempster Mining in 1972-1975.

This will allow for more detailed sampling using modern XRF equipment and laboratory analysis.




This article was developed in collaboration with Australian Vanadium, 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.