Further investigation of recent drill results from the Springfield prospect has confirmed that REZ has indeed uncovered the nickel sulphide holy grail at a project that has up until just recently only been looked at for its vast gold potential.  

Sydney-based, ASX-listed Resources & Energy Group (ASX:REZ) has confirmed that seven of the samples taken from two holes recently drilled at Springfield, part of the East Menzies project in WA, contain magmatic nickel-iron sulphides.

This is a game changing discovery for REZ.

“The confirmation of magmatic nickel-iron sulphide mineralisation is a significant and material exploration result for the Springfield project, and the East Menzies package in general,” Executive Director Richard Poole said.

“It allows for the possibility that the ultramafics and nearby lithologies may host larger accumulations of disseminated and massive nickel-iron sulphides.”

REZ made the Indiana Jones-style discovery in September last year while it was looking for more gold at East Menzies. Drilling returned a peak assay of 1m at 1.78% nickel from 98m.

The Richard Poole-led company has now confirmed the discovery following an analysis of the mineralogy, geochemistry, and textural attributes of samples taken from three drill holes.

This analysis identified the key nickel-iron sulphide bearing minerals pentlandite, violarite, smythite and gersdorffite.

Pentlandite is a nickel-iron sulphide mineral and a principal source of nickel, while violarite and smythite are supergene nickel and iron sulphide minerals associated with the partial weathering and oxidation of primary pentlandite and other nickel sulphide minerals. Gersdorffite is a nickel arsenic sulphide mineral.

Reflected light microscope image of net-textured sulphides from one sample that
comprised pentlandite (pn) extensively replaced by supergene violarite (viol),
intergrown with pyrrhotite (po) and pyrite (py).

REZ initially realised Springfield also played host to nickel after it got its hands on some old CRA (now Rio Tinto) and BHP reports that showed the two mining heavyweights had found nickel as far back as the late 60s but weren’t interested in it because they only wanted gold.

BHP back in 1986 reported significantly high values of nickel, with a peak grade of 2.9%, and as close to surface as just 6m.

This was at the Cepline prospect in the Springfield Venn zone, some 800m north of the REZ’s recent scout drilling program.

The documented occurrences of sulphides at Cepline, were also considered to be prospective features for the occurrence of magmatic nickel sulphides, volcanic exhalative nickel sulphides and base metals deposits.

REZ is targeting these occurrences rather than the shallow near-surface lateritic nickel deposits, which have been the subject of previous investigation at East Menzies and elsewhere in the broader Menzies region.

Nickel resources are usually divided between laterite or sulphide deposits.

Sulphides are the holy grail for explorers because they are easier and cheaper to process. This is also what makes nickel sulphides the preferred choice of electric vehicle battery makers.

Treasure trove of green metals

The same drilling that unearthed nickel sulphides also showed significant intervals of mineralisation that included cobalt, chromium, molybdenum, zinc, platinum and palladium.

 

 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Resources & Energy Group, 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.