Rumble’s drilling program is eagerly awaited following work by renowned geologist Brett Keillor, writes Barry FitzGerald in his weekly Garimpeiro column

Boxing legends Cassius Clay and Sugar Ramos are lending their names to the hunt by Rumble Resources for base and precious metals at its soon-to-be-drilled Braeside project in Western Australia’s east Pilbara region.

The drilling program is eagerly awaited because the initial ten targets to be tested have been worked up to drill status by celebrated structural and project generation geologist Brett Keillor.

After long stints at Resolute Mining (ASX:RSG) and Independence Group (ASX:IGO) — two successful miners which owe their early success to exploration discoveries — Keillor joined the Rumble board as technical director last November.

From that time on Rumble (ASX:RTR) set about reviewing more than 200 exploration projects to find a potential company-maker. In March this year Rumble settled on the 1000 sq km Braeside project area which includes the historic Ragged Hills lead mine.

Since then Keillor has overseen a four-stage, modern-day exploration program employing an array of techniques to zero in on targets for the fifth stage of the proving program — testing with the drill bit.

The ten targets to be tested will not be the end of the story. They are the highest ranked in Rumble’s first pass assessment.

But many more have been identified. So many in fact that for nomenclature purposes, Rumble decided it had better find a long list of related names to draw on.

Naming after boxing greats was the solution, perhaps with the 1974 “Rumble in the Jungle” stoush between Muhammad Ali (formerly Cassius Clay) and George Foreman in the Congo as the creative stimulant.

Ahead of the drilling program kick-off, Rumble shares have been on the move. They have doubled in the last two months to 8c, valuing the company at $23.5 million (fully diluted).

Some of the increase can be attributed to the Braeside project area also hosting the Witwatersrand-style of conglomerates from which Canada’s Novo Resources and its Australian partner Artemis Resources (ASX:ARV) have been plucking melon seed sized gold nuggets in the western Pilbara region, triggering a modern day rush.

But the conglomerate nugget potential of Braeside is not a focus for Rumble at the moment.

That should come as no surprise given the imminent drilling program for high-grade zinc-lead-silver-copper deposits at Braeside along its extensive stretch of prospective rocks.

Rumble reckons it could be on to a porphyry-related volcanogenic massive sulphide system at Braeside. It uses the pipe-like cluster of base metal deposits found at the Elura mine at Cobar in NSW as an example.

Elura’s cluster of six pipes only had diameters of 30m to 120m. But because of their depth they came with a pre-mining resource of 50 million tonnes grading 8.8 per cent zinc and 5.6 per cent lead, with silver and copper credits.

Rumble won’t need to find six mineralised pipes for Braeside to become a game-changer for the company, given its modest market capitalisation.

One or two pipes carrying 5 million tonnes each would do the trick, particularly if the high-grade nature of the outcropping mineralisation encountered at a multitude of locations is confirmed at depth.

Rumble is fully-funded for the coming drill program after pulling in $1 million from a placement of shares at 3c each in June.

The farm-out of a 70 per cent interest in its Fraser Range ground in WA to Independence — Keillor’s old firm and owner of the world class Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine in the same region — has also reduced the company’s funding requirements.

Independence can earn the stake by spending $1.5 million on exploration over three years.

Apart from being free-carried until the pre-feasibility study stage to a development of any discovery, Rumble gains the benefit of Independence’s exploration expertise in the Fraser Range.