Detecting an exciting mineral target on an underexplored project in a red-hot district is the sort of thing explorers dream about.  

Understandable then, that when Mamba Exploration (ASX:M24) uncovered 13 targets during VTEM aeromagnetic surveying at its Darling Range project, there was excitement in the air.

Bedrock conductors were found to be remarkably prevalent at the project. There was five each at the Black Hills and Mistake Creek tenements, and a further three at Batty Bog.

VTEM data showing late time bedrock conductors at Mamba’s Black Hill tenement. Pic: Supplied.

Significantly, the sort of late-time conductors detected were those associated with magnetic anomalies consistent with signatures of mafic or ultramafic rocks.

VTEM data showing late time bedrock conductors at Mamba’s Mistake Creek tenement. Pic: supplied.

Why is that important? These are the rocks known to host platinum group element-nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation in the region, including the Gonneville intrusion at market darling Chalice Mining’s (ASX:CHN) Julimar project.

Detecting this style of anomaly is one thing but detecting it when Chalice is your neighbour is another entirely.

The announcement of the anomalies came at the end of March, the result of Mamba’s first field program post listing in February – the sort of cracking pace the market loves.

It was quite the rush, according to Mamba managing director Mike Dunbar.

“The Darling Range conductors really have been what we would have liked to have seen, what we hoped to have seen, but were surprised we did see,” he said.

“When you fly a VTEM survey you want to find some conductors, but to uncover 13 was a really good outcome.

“It’s the first step in a path to where we want to be, but to find conductors on each of the tenements is a great result, and now we’re piecing together all of the historical information, understanding the geology of the areas better, planning ground EM and starting to negotiate access agreements with landowners.”

Recent early rains driven by a cyclone to WA’s north have meant many of the area’s farmers are cropping their paddocks – a factor which can drive up the price of exploration drilling when compensation for ground disturbance is factored in.

Mamba is currently assessing its options in this regard, with drilling still on the cards. But Dunbar said low-disturbance ground EM was good, low-impact option as a start.

Pending land access agreements, the company plans to carry out ground EM on the northern two tenements at the Darling Range project later in the current quarter.

Further work at the Mistake Creek tenement to the south of the project is planned for later in the year, with the area still in application phase.

Four seasons in one day

Seasonal exploration has always been the plan for Mamba, with the company’s prospectus detailing its plans in this regard.

Darling Range has stolen the headlines to some extent during the summer-autumn months, but ground has also been made at the Calyerup Creek gold project in WA’s Great Southern.

“We’ve done some ground field checking in the area, and we’re about to start a soil sampling program down there to better define some of the exciting historical targets,” Dunbar said.

“The region had rain so much earlier than normal this year – Jarramungup, near Calyerup Creek, had about 65mm of rain in a day. The area is a bit damp now, but we will be drilling later in the year at Calyerup Creek.”

A map showing historic drill results at Calyerup Creek. Pic: Supplied.

With crops growing and rains about, the change of seasons means something of a shift in focus for Mamba to its warmer, northern WA projects – Ashburton and Kimberley.

Mamba currently has two granted tenements at Ashburton, east of Carnarvon, where it plans to carry out some initial reconnaissance sampling and work out some targets.

The company will also look to progress its Kimberley projects – covering the Copper Flat, Ruby Plains and Speewah East sub-projects – covered largely by exploration licence applications.

Mamba’s Kimberley exploration project. Pic: Supplied.

Mamba is currently working with the WA government’s Department of Biodiversity, Conservation and Attractions to develop a management plan over Copper Flats, where exploration has been carried out before, after which the tenements can be granted.

“We’ve got some high-grade copper in drill holes and surface sampling there, and we’re really quite keen to get all those tenements granted and then get active in the Kimberley later this field season,” Dunbar said.

“There’s a lot going on for all of our projects, which is a really pleasing place to be so soon after listing.

“We’re doing exactly what we said we’d do in the prospectus – progressing our projects in an orderly and methodical manner, with some success to show for it along the way.”




This article was developed in collaboration with Mamba Resources, 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.