Auroch Minerals (ASX: AOU) has been in tune in regional drilling around its Horn project near Leinster, drawing comparisons to BHP’s world-class Rocky’s Reward and Perseverance nickel mines. 

The nickel junior has been diligently progressing exploration at Horn since acquiring the asset in 2019 from Minotaur Exploration (ASX: MEP), striking shallow high-grade nickel-copper sulphides in drilling at Horn last year.

Now first-pass diamond drilling at the Woodwind and Percussion targets has delivered, confirming “thick intersections of disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation within fertile ultramafic rocks” up to 5km as the crow flies from Horn.
The best results included a wide 72m at 0.46% nickel from 212m in hole HNDD008 and 8m at 0.30% Ni from 296m to EOH in HNDD007.

Another hole, HNDD011, is still being assayed but has visible nickel sulphide stringers close to the basal contact, with the company believing it could suggest to massive nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Woodwind Prospect.

Check out those beautiful visible sulphides. Picture: Auroch Minerals

The Cloud points to promising comparisons

The cloud is ever present in the modern world, but the presence of “cloud” sulphides is less so in the mining world.

They are the low-grade disseminated sulphides that commonly surround high-grade nickel sulphide occurrences at BHP’s large Rocky’s Reward and Perseverance mines, around 35km from the Horn project.

The presence of these types of sulphides is one of the more interesting findings from the recent drilling at Auroch’s Leinster ground.

“After outstanding shallow high-grade nickel-copper sulphide results from drilling at the Horn Prospect in late 2020, we were intrigued by what the magnetic anomalies along strike from the Horn may hold, most of which had never seen a drill-hole,” Auroch managing director Aidan Platel said.

“The results from just our first four drill-holes have already shown that these aeromagnetic highs at the Woodwind and Percussion Prospects do indeed define thick fertile ultramafic units that have cumulate ultramafic phases with disseminated nickel sulphides.

“That is, exactly the geology seen proximal to the massive nickel sulphide mineralisation at Rocky’s Reward and Perseverance.”

That’s one of the largest nickel sulphide deposits in the world – and it’s only 35km to the north of AOU’s Leinster Project.

Platel said the diamond drilling has been particularly important for its geology team “to see these all-important textures and structures, and has helped them to identify the overturned structural setting at Woodwind, similar to that of the Horn”.

More results to come

Auroch is waiting on assays not only for the diamond drill core in HNDD011, but also has nine reverse circulation holes with down-hole electromagnetic surveys underway.

It is drilling for nickel on two fronts, with the Nepean nickel mine near Kalgoorlie also in focus.

RC drilling is ongoing at Nepean covering around 10km of strike around the historic Goldfields nickel mine.


This article was developed in collaboration with Auroch Minerals, 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.