Explorer Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) is now in suspension pending the release of results from a maiden drilling program at the Julimar nickel project, 80km northeast of Perth.

Chalice has been in a trading halt or suspension since Tuesday as it finalises an announcement to the market, due on or before Monday March 23.

A six hole, 1,500m RC drilling program kicked off in Q1 2020 “as an initial test” of three new nickel targets that were recently identified via ground-based electromagnetic survey.

If Chalice has made a notable discovery at Julimar it would be interesting for two reasons.

One — Julimar is a so-called ‘generative’ project; an early stage greenfield (unexplored) opportunity largely designed to keep Chalice’s project pipeline full. It wasn’t intended to be a major focus for company right now.

And two – Julimar may be surrounded by bauxite mines and mineral sands projects but this is not in a known nickel province:

Project developer Cassini Resources (ASX:CZI) is drilling its own early stage nickel-copper-cobalt project nearby called Yarawinda Brook, but that looks to be about it.

Chalice picked up the Julimar tenements in FY2018 after a review of limited historic exploration and geophysical datasets showed the project to be prospective for nickel, copper and platinum group elements (PGEs).

Late last year, a survey identified a series high conductance, untested anomalies, interpreted to be sourced from massive sulphides in bedrock.

Targeted soil sampling over these anomalies identified “an encouraging low-order nickel anomaly” associated with conductor E, the company said.

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