Western Australia-focused explorer Galileo Mining has set its sights on building a nickel operation in the Fraser Range that rivals the famous Nova-Bollinger discovery made by Sirius Resources in 2012.

Although the main focus for the newly minted company is its cobalt and nickel project called “Norseman”, Galileo – which counts Mark Creasy as its largest shareholder – has big ambitions for its Fraser Range project.

The project covers two zones of the 400km long Fraser Range belt.

The Fraser Range region shot to fame back in 2012 when Sirius uncovered the Nova-Bollinger nickel, copper and cobalt mine that eventually sold to larger rival Independence Group (ASX:IGO) for $1.8 billion.

Mr Creasy was a joint venture partner in the Nova-Bollinger project and the deal earned the well-known prospector a $630 million pay cheque.

Brad Underwood has worked with Mr Creasy for eight years and has now been tasked with taking Galileo Mining – which debuted on the ASX at the end of May – to new heights as the company’s managing director.

“I would like a bigger version of Nova, and there are plenty of global versions that are bigger,” Mr Underwood told Stockhead.

“One of the things about Nova and these types of deposits is they generally occur in belts and clusters. So it would be unusual to have a single deposit.”

Galileo’s tenements in the Fraser Range have had next to no exploration for nickel and Mr Underwood believes that presents an opportunity.

Galileo Mining shares since listing last month (ASX:GAL)
Galileo Mining shares since listing last month (ASX:GAL)

“When it comes to our tenements, they are underexplored and that’s part of the reason why we took them on – the potential is unknown,” he explained

“We think they’re a good a chance as any of being prospective.”

Possible takeover target? 

There has been some consolidation in the Fraser Range since the Nova-Bollinger deal, and Independence has been the key player.

There are only a couple of junior explorers left that haven’t already done deals – and Galileo is one of them.

And it’s no coincidence that Independence now has a 4.9 per cent stake in Galileo.

Galileo Mining managing director Brad Underwood.
Galileo Mining managing director Brad Underwood.

“I’m sure we’d be a very interesting opportunity for them if we were to demonstrate that there was some value in the Fraser Range, let alone the value of the cobalt in Norseman as well,” Mr Underwood said.

“I would be surprised if that wasn’t somewhere in the back of their minds.”

So could Galileo be the next Sirius? Galileo is hoping so.

“I was lucky enough to witness the discovery of Nova-Bollinger and how that played out because we were joint venture partners,” Mr Underwood said.

“Within three years there was a $1.8 billion transaction. So that sort of success would be fantastic if it happens for Galileo.

“Obviously we would very much aim for that level of success.”