Barry FitzGerald: Has Legend found another Nova?
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It has been a big year for mineral discoveries.
And we’re not done with the excitement just yet as Legend Mining (ASX:LEG) prepares to release assay results from drilling at its Area D prospect in WA’s Fraser Range.
Legend (70 per cent) and legendary “prospector’’ Mark Creasy (30 per cent, and a 26.8 per cent Legend shareholder) are widely tipped to have made a Nova-style nickel-copper discovery in the third hole drilled at their Area D prospect.
Legend shares were trading at 4.2c before the stock went into a trading halt back on November 28, and then suspension on December 2, pending the release of results from the hole.
The rumour mill reckons the assays could be the most significant in the Fraser Range since the 2012 discovery of the Nova nickel-copper deposit by Sirius Resources.
Sirius was a 6c stock at the time and was later taken over by Independence Group (ASX:IGO) – a 14.2 per cent Legend shareholder – in 2015 for $1.8 billion or $4.38 a share.
Legend has indicated it might be able to release the assay results on Monday (December 9) but there could be a delay in getting results back from the lab.
The market is nevertheless hot with speculation that the assays results will indeed confirm Legend has hit something special at Area D, remembering of course that one drill hole does not make a mine.
The speculation suggests an 8m or 16m intersection of massive to semi massive sulphides grading around 4 per cent nickel was encountered, with 20m of disseminated sulphides on either side.
Remembering again that assays results are still pending, and that one hole does not make a mine, comparisons are already being made in the chatrooms with the Sirius discovery hole at Nova (4m at 3.8 per cent nickel and 1.4 per cent copper from the upper edge of a big electromagnetic anomaly).
And it can be said that things are stirring for the junior explorers with exploration ground elsewhere in the remote Fraser Range, which up until the Nova discovery, was not known for its sulphide nickel-copper potential.
Even without confirming assays yet from Legend, the mystical powers of “nearology’’ (having tenements with the same prospective rocks in regional proximity to a discovery) has been on full display.
Price gains for Fraser Range juniors benefiting from nearology excitement have ranged from 7 per cent to 80 per cent – all ahead of Legend releasing Area D’s assay results.
Galileo Mining (ASX:GAL) – Creasy is a 31 per cent shareholder – has moved from 11c to 20c since Legend’s November 28 trading halt.
Boadicea Resources (ASX:BOA) has risen from 22c to 27c. Constellation Resources (ASX:CR1) has shot up from 19c to 26c, and Orion Minerals (ASX:ORN) – which is in joint venture with Independence on nearby ground that will be the subject of a drilling program in the March quarter – got moving on Friday with a 0.2c increase to 3c.
Then there is little Fraser Range Metals (ASX:FRN) which started drilling on its patch of the Fraser Range the day after Legend went into a trading halt. It shares have risen from 2c to 2.7c in the interim.
So even without confirmation of the Legend discovery with some telling assay results, the trading halt in the stock has been something of a fillip for a bunch of other Fraser Range juniors.
The same happened for juniors active in other areas where either a major mining company, a mid-tier, or another junior, notched up exploration success stories in 2019.
Those discoveries include Rio Tinto’s (ASX:RIO) Winu copper-gold discovery in WA’s Paterson Range, the Havieron gold discovery of Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)/Greatland Gold in the Paterson, Alkane’s (ASX:ALK) Boda copper-gold discovery in NSW’s Lachlan Fold Belt, and Stavely’s (ASX:SVY) Thursday’s Gossan copper-gold discovery in western Victoria.
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