Place. Time. Targets. Errawarra’s trinity in Andover nickel pursuit
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Forged within the earth over millennia, mineralisation pays no attention to the arbitrary tenement borders that dictate where a company can and can’t drill.
This is a phenomenon which has made and broken many mineral explorers – those who have tested extensions to known trends uncovered by near neighbours in pursuit of paydirt.
Nearology is not a sure thing, and investors are right to be wary of those who spring up out of the blue in a hot area chasing whatever the going commodity may be.
However, not all companies are simply following the noise.
In the case of Errawarra Resources (ASX:ERW) and its Andover West nickel-copper project, the mineral narrative is a little more compelling than drill and hope.
Errawarra, a sub-$10 million market cap explorer with prospective projects across WA, is in the process of acquiring 80% of Andover West.
You’d never guess from the name, but the project is immediately to the west of Azure Minerals’ (ASX:AZS) flagship, 60%-owned Andover nickel-copper-cobalt sulphide project. Exploration guru Mark Creasy’s Legend Mining holds the other 40%.
Azure, the established regional player with a +$100 million market cap, recently announced a maiden mineral resource of 4.8 million tonnes at 1.11% nickel, 0.47% copper and 0.05% cobalt for 75,000t contained nickel and copper. Some 80% of the resource is classified as indicated.
When announced, Azure expressed its belief that additional resources would be defined at the project’s Ridgeway, Seaview and Skyline prospects. All signs point to big things.
That’s a big part of what makes Errawarra’s investment case so compelling.
The tenement boundaries at ERW’s Andover West project dog leg north, hosting three high-priority electromagnetic targets along the southern margin of the Andover intrusive complex which is also home Azure’s VC-07 nickel sulphide discovery at Andover.
Just 2.8km separate the pair.
Previous explorers carried out ground-based fixed-loop electromagnetic surveying over four anomalies, with moderate conductors found.
At the time, the conductors were deemed to be too small to represent well-developed massive sulphide deposits with economic potential.
But they are similar to those which were followed up by AZS next door, and Azure’s success at Andover has prompted a revisit.
Errawarra executive director Thomas Reddicliffe, who is also the project vendor, said the company felt good about its chances of success at Andover West.
“We’re confident that we’re going to drill this project and find something,” he said.
“The geophysical information at Andover West is quite compelling. The strength of the EM response is no different to anything else in the region.
“Azure’s work at Andover has been the game-changer, and we’re seeing it now with others in the region as well – there’s lots of people having a lot of success with similar sorts of targets.”
Once acquired, Errawarra will review further historical surface geochemical and drilling databases to further hone its targets, reprocess and review survey data, potentially plan new ground EM surveys using an east-to west line orientation, and review current heritage agreements and surveys, arranging additional surveys if required.
All of this works towards direct RC and/or diamond drilling of EM targets for nickel sulphide mineralisation within the Andover intrusive complex. A great space, and place, to be.
“With the electrification and decarbonisation of the economy continuing to gather pace, the successful identification of nickel sulphide deposits has potential to be value accretive for investors,” ERW chairman Jonathan Murray said on announcing the acquisition late last year.
Following up that comment in conversation with Stockhead, Reddicliffe said the time was right be in the space.
“With the nickel price, the whole world’s changed – it’s a great time to be exploring for nickel in WA,” he said.
Beyond Andover West, Errawarra holds prospective nickel and gold exploration ground from the north to the south of the state, including more nickel-copper-PGE ground in the Fraser Range, gold and nickel-copper at Errabiddy and gold at Binti Binti.
The Fraser Range ground is 30km south-west of Independence Group’s Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine – discovered by then-penny stock Sirius Resources in 2012 and resulting in a $1.8 billion takeover in 2015.
Errawarra’s Fraser Range ground is an early-stage exploration project, with priority areas identified for testing based on gravity anomalies, magnetic anomalies, geochem anomalies, and favourable geological units for hosting sulphide mineralisation.
Detailed, auger assisted soil sampling is planned to define a series of nickel-copper soil anomalies at Fraser Range and expected to be carried out in Q3.
Binti Binti is 70km north-east of Kalgoorlie and considered prospective orogenic gold mineralisation courtesy of a historic regional goldfield and associated workings within the project tenure.
A program of shallow auger drilling following up first-round aircore completed last year is planned here in Q3, and will target prospective structural trends with a view to identifying zones for deeper drilling.
Shallow, high-grade results from initial aircore included 8m at 2.76 grams per tonne gold from 26m, including 4m at 5.09g/t; and 1m at 6.61g/t from 15m.
Grab sample results from the prospector’s pit came in as high as 227.2g/t.
At the early-stage but highly prospective Errabiddy in the Gascoyne, encouraging early results achieved by previous and current explorers have excited Errawarra.
Airborne magnetic and radiometric surveys were completed last year, and follow up ground reconnaissance of target areas for potential EM surveys will be undertaken subject to interpretation of survey data.
This article was developed in collaboration with Errawarra 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.