Rock chip sampling at a new tenement has underscored the prevalence of manganese mineralisation at Pantera’s Weelarrana project in Western Australia’s Collier Basin.

Assaying of the rock chips in tenement E52/4071 – of which 23 of the 31 samples returned more than 10% manganese – topped up at 39.8% manganese with an average grade of 25.1%.

This outcropping to subcropping mineralisation occurs over a 5km by 3km area within the Balfour Formation – a known manganese host within the area – with Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE) noting that it is just 5.5km from Firebird Metals’ Hill 616 manganese deposit, which has a resource of 57.5Mt grading 12.2% manganese.

While exploration is still at an early stage, the strong rock chip results along with proximity to an existing third-party deposit goes a long way towards de-risking further exploration at the newly granted tenement.

This is further supported by maiden drilling at the project confirming the presence of near-surface manganese mineralisation.

“We are delighted to have received assay results confirming a further manganese mineralisation area within the Weelarrana project area,” chief executive officer Matt Hansen said.

“The identification of an additional area of mineralisation adds to potential for the discovery of high-grade manganese mineralisation.

“We will now undertake the approval process allowing for a first pass RC drilling program.”

Pantera Minerals asx pfe
Location of outcropping mineralisation at E52/4071. Pic: Supplied

Growing manganese footprint

E52/4071 is one of three exploration tenements that were granted in December, consolidating the company’s position over the prospective manganese host geology at Weelarrana.

The expanded 958km2 Weelarrana project area about 80km south of Newman is considered prospective for manganese and precious metal mineralisation.

All tenements that make up the project cover either the lgarari Formation manganiferous shales, Backdoor Formation or Balfour Formation manganiferous shales which are known to host economic manganese mineralisation at Element 25’s Butcherbird Deposit and Firebird Metals Hill 616 Deposit.

Despite its proximity to two significant manganese deposits, the project area remains underexplored for manganese – a deficiency that Pantera is keen to address with plans for systematic exploration within the two known stratigraphic hosts.

The company will carry out further rock chip sampling and mapping at the tenement to define the extent of the outcropping mineralisation, carry out cultural and heritage survey to allow for drilling, and carry out the first pass reverse circulation drilling in the second half of 2023.




This article was developed in collaboration with Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE), 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.