An update to existing resources at NickelSearch’s Carlingup project is on the cards after maiden drilling confirmed the presence of bulk nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Reverse circulation drilling at the RAV8 deposit intersected disseminated nickel sulphide between 56m to 76m thick that remains open to the west of Shoot 1, adding to the known remnant extensions to the massive sulphide mineralisation at Shoot 3.

Notable intersections are 22m grading 0.6% nickel from a down-hole depth of 85m including 5m at 1.1% nickel and a separate 25m interval at 0.5% nickel from 112m at NIS006, and 15m at 0.8% nickel from 79m including 12m at 0.9% nickel and 10m at 0.7% nickel from 112m at NIS005.

NickelSearch (ASX:NIS) says it will estimate a maiden resource at the RAV5 prospect after drilling defined a >0.7% nickel mineralised outline over an area of between 300m to 400m long and 50m to 200m wide that remains open to the west and down plunge.

Meanwhile, drilling at RAV4 West returned encouraging broader intervals of disseminated sulphides in the hanging wall of higher-grade nickel intersections. This is in addition to the remnant extensions to massive sulphide mineralisation to the east.

The company also completed a large diameter diamond drill program at the RAV8, RAV4 West and RAV1 targets to increase its understanding of each deposit while providing samples of both high-grade massive sulphide and lower grade disseminated nickel to establish the best processing routes going forward.

“We are very pleased with the results of our 2021 program that will add significant value to our current resource base across several deposits,” managing director Nicole Duncan said.

“We are now very excited to embark on the next phase of greenfields exploration work programs, which aims to unlock the hidden potential of new nickel sulphide discoveries across our very large strategic tenement package at Carlingup”.


Nickel exploration bearing fruit

Besides the drilling, the company also cut and resampled eight historical diamond core holes from RAV8 to establish confidence in the current resource of 13.2Mt grading 0.6% nickel, or 75,000t of contained nickel.

This sampling exercise will also help establish the potential grades of lower grade disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation that it believes is located on various stockpiles at the RAV8 mine site and available for early production.

At RAV5, the 11 holes totalling 1,200m returned nickel intersections of between 1m and 8m that were in line with the previously reported 8m at 1% nickel, 0.6 grams per tonne PGM (platinum group metals) and 0.2% copper in NIS004.

They also indicated that two additional massive sulphide nickel intersections including NIS012 (3m at 1.1% nickel, 0.3g/t PGM and 0.4% copper) remain open to the west.

RAV5 lies on the same ultramafic unit as RAV8 and at about half the distance from that deposit as RAV1, RAV4 and RAV4-West, so is a strategic development option to support the early years of mining.


Upcoming activity

With the recently completed airborne electromagnetic survey and data from pending soil geochemistry work, NickelSearch will soon have a firm foundation to rank its identified drill targets and commence the process of systematically testing these targets with the objective of discovering new high grade nickel sulphide deposits.

Drilling will begin once required approvals are received and drill rigs can be secured.


This article was developed in collaboration with NickelSearch, 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.