An EM survey has uncovered a tantalising target at its East Laverton nickel project, just 45km away from Great Southern’s Duketon gold project where drilling is currently underway.

A large, 2km by 1km almost-vertical conductor has drawn the most attention out of the multiple bedrock anomalies identified by Great Southern, due to its favourable position for hosting a massive sulphide accumulations.

That this conductor is also coincident with the edge of the ‘Diorite Hill’ regional gravity anomaly only adds to its potential as a blind nickel sulphide discovery.

East Laverton is dominated by the highly prospective ‘Diorite Hill’ magmatic complex, a feature which is covered shallow modern sands.

This has hampered previous exploration.

Small wonder then that Great Southern Mining (ASX:GSN) has started designing a follow-up, tighter-spaced EM survey to refine the geometry of the modelled conductors ahead of drill testing in 2022.

“GSN has identified the East Laverton Project as highly prospective for nickel sulphide discoveries,” chief executive officer Sean Gregory said.

“This recent MLEM survey was the first modern ground-based EM survey over Diorite Hill and has identified a bedrock conductor in a favourable geological environment that represents a very intriguing target.”


great southern em conductor nickel
Southeast modelled EM bedrock conductor relative to the Diorite Hill magmatic complex. Pic: Supplied


MLEM and the four anomalies

The MLEM survey was designed and modelled by Bill Amann from exploration and geophysical consultants Newexco Exploration, who were instrumental in the discovery of numerous major nickel sulphide deposits in WA, including Nova.

It involved the laying of transmitter loops on a 1,200m by 1,200m spacing covering 70sqkm.

This identified four EM anomalies consistent with possible bedrock conductors that were then subject to infill soundings that enabled three of the anomalies to be modelled.

Great Southern identified the strongest anomaly in the southeast of the survey area at a depth of about 300m.

The Diorite Hill layered ultramafic magmatic intrusion has the potential to host large nickel sulphide deposits of the magmatic type, a style of mineralisation that was previously overlooked until the discovery of the Nova-Bollinger deposit in 2012.

While exploration at the East Laverton project is still in its early stages, the identification of highly prospective EM anomalies in a region that has hosted recent major nickel finds such as Duketon Mining’s Rosie deposit and Poseidon Nickel’s Mt Windarra mine is a tantalising hint that the company must follow up on.

Finding a nickel sulphide deposit will certainly be significant for Great Southern despite its current gold focus, thanks to the growing demand for nickel coupled with dwindling global supplies.

Rystad Energy has forecast that demand for the battery metal will increase from 2.5 million tonnes this year to 3.4Mt in 2024 due to its growing use in lithium-ion batteries for electric vehicles.

This article was developed in collaboration with Great Southern Mining, 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.