Pantera Minerals has received the go-ahead to drill at an exciting new manganese discovery in WA’s north, which continues to grow with new rock chip samples extending the strike of the emerging find.

Pantera Minerals’ (ASX:PFE) Weelarrana project includes 958km2 of tenure, 70km south of Newman, covering either the Ilgagari Formation manganesierous shales or Backdoor Formation manganesiferous shales which host Element 25 (ASX:E25) and Firebird Metals’ (ASX:FRB) large Butcherbird and 616 manganese deposits.

But the massive tenement package remains underexplored for the steelmaking and battery metal, something Pantera’s top brass are determined to change.

A cultural and heritage survey covering Mn Area 1-4 has been completed and heritage clearance received to conduct exploration drilling on all four areas.

It comes after positive collaboration with the Karlka Nyiyaparli Aboriginal Corporation and traditional owners of the Weelarrana area, with Pantera to respect all the conditions of the agreements.

A 1200m RC drill program will test the outcropping manganese at Mn Area 1, conducted on 50m centres along five 200m long drill lines, with assays expected back in December.

Meanwhile, rock chip samples have confirmed and extended outcropping manganese mineralisation at Mn Area 3, 600m east of previous sampling, with even more samples and mapping identifying new mineralisation south of there at Mn Area 4.

Cultural & Heritage approval

“We are delighted to have received Cultural & Heritage approval for the commencement of drilling programs at Weelarrana and to have identified a further area of outcropping manganese mineralisation,” Pantera CEO Matt Hansen said.

“We believe this area holds great potential for the discovery of high-grade manganese mineralisation.

“The upcoming drill program will be the first time the manganese mineralisation within the tenement area has been drill tested, and with the high grades reported in the rock chip samples, we look forward to the results of the maiden drill program.”

ASX PFE Pantera Minerals
Pantera has found a cluster of high grade manganese samples in rock chips at Weelarrana. Pic: PFE

More ground to add

That is not all, with Pantera securing heritage agreements also for tenement applications E52/4046, 4041 and 4071, which are expected to be granted early next year.

Another tenement application, E52/4173, has been made to cover the extension of the Ilgagari Fault to the west and east, surrounding E52/3981, where subcropping goethite-chalcedony fault breccia associated with the fault returned rock chip grades up to 2.44ppm silver and 0.18ppm gold.

That application covers an impressive 35km of strike over 63 blocks.

At the newly granted E52/3891, field reconnaissance has begun, with a series of historic RAB drill lines inspected for both access and outcropping geology.

It contains 3.5km of strike of the Ilgagari Fault, with soil and rock chip sampling planned to follow up the anomalous precious metals rock chip results.

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The Ilgagari East tenement has returned anomalous precious metals samples. Pic: PFE

Stellar grades

Another 12 rock chip samples have been picked up from outcrops around the Weelarrana Project from Mn Areas 2, 3 and newly identified Area 4.

With Heritage agreements already in place, these results will improve the outlook for future drilling.

Mn Area 2 had three additional samples taken, with one returning 11.5% Mn.

Outcropping manganese mineralisation at Mn Area 4 grading up to 35.2%. Pic: PFE

But higher grades were particularly notable at Mn Areas 3 and 4.

Area 3 had 6 rock chip samples returned and 5 samples ranging from 13% Mn to a very high grade 43.6% Mn.

The new Mn Area 4 showed outcropping manganese over a strike of 280m, with three rock chip samples taken and two returning grades ranging from 12.5% to 38.2% Mn.

Since the grant of the initial E52/3878 tenement in late 2021, Pantera has taken 34 rock chip samples, identifying four prospective areas with a combined strike of over 2km.




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.