Impact jumps on potential new nickel-copper-PGE project
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Special Report: Impact Minerals has applied for five tenements prospective for nickel-copper-platinum group metals and gold in what it believes is an emerging new province.
The new 850sqkm Arkun project in the southwest Yilgarn Craton, Western Australia, has no previous exploration and contains significant gravity anomalies and “eye structures” in magnetic data.
The eye structures are similar to those at Nova-Bollinger and used a targeting criterion for similar deposits throughout the Albany-Fraser province.
Impact Minerals (ASX:IPT) says the project lies within a major 500km long and up to 30km wide deformation belt, or mobile belt, that trends northwest to southeast from the Moora-Julimar-Yarawindah area through Arkun.
While the belt is generally not recognised in many regional geology maps, the company says it is self-evident in the magnetic data and may mark an ancient terrane boundary or proto-craton margin.
These geological provinces are known globally to host major nickel-copper-PGE deposits such as Nova-Bollinger, Mawson, the Thomson fold belt in Canada and the recent Yarawindah and Julimar discoveries.
Additionally, Arkun is centred on a significant west-northwest trending gravity high that is interpreted to be caused by mafic and ultramafic rocks, which are known to host nickel-copper-PGE deposits.
The project also covers several soil and rock chip geochemical anomalies for nickel, copper and gold in regional datasets with widely spaced samples.
“Arkun is a highly prospective addition to our exploration portfolio and we acted very quickly when alerted to the opportunity,” managing director Dr Mike Jones said.
“We now have an exploration project that has excellent underlying fundamentals for the discovery of a major nickel-copper-PGE deposit as well as for the discovery of gold.”
Dr Jones says the area has never been properly explored despite the regional surface geochemistry anomalies and its apparent location on a major regional structure that has been largely ignored in geological studies.
“The recent discoveries of similar mineralisation in magmatic massive sulphides by both Chalice Gold Mines at Julimar near Perth and Legend Mining near Nova-Bollinger in the Fraser Range show that there is considerable interest in this style of mineralisation and we look forward to progressing the project over the next six months,” he added.
While the tenements are still under application pending grant, which could take about five months, the company demonstrated its keen interest by indicating its plan to carry out reconnaissance work along gazetted roads and tracks to accelerate exploration.
Impact will also complete an interpretation of the surface geology to assess the effectiveness of the previous soil geochemistry surveys and determine the best surface geochemistry technique for the area, along with an interpretation of bedrock geology from the magnetic data to identify priority areas for follow-up.
Separately, the company is preparing for a major drill program at its Broken Hill nickel-copper-PGE project.