A JV between Venture Minerals and Chalice Mining is shaping up as one of the most prospective projects along the Yilgarn Craton’s western margin, as the latter looks to make a follow up discovery to its famous Julimar nickel, copper and PGE find near Perth.

Located 240km south of Perth in the Balingup Metamorphic Belt, the ground was originally held by Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS), but cashed-up Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) has taken a 51% stake in the 256km2 project after investing in exploration at the site.

It can earn up to 70% by spending another $2.5 million by July next year.

The project hosts the 20km long Thor magnetic anomaly, which contains multiple EM targets and is considered a lookalike of the 26km long Julimar complex where Chalice made Australia’s biggest nickel sulphide discovery in 20 years in 2020.

Chalice’s Phase 2 auger soil geochemistry has now outlined a further two new Ni-Cu-PGE targets, one in the untested northern part of the Thor anomaly and one near the Odin Ni-Cu-PGE prospect to the east, taking the total of Ni-Cu-PGE targets identified since Chalice took the lead on exploration at South West to four.

Follow up work is likely to include a ground EM survey and/or drilling subject to government approvals, while infill auger soil geochemistry has also been sampled with results on the way.

The previous targets from the Phase-1 program have been better defined in Phase-2, with follow up work likely to include drilling.


Venture ASX VMS Discovery
Thor boasts strong similarities to the Julimar Complex. Pic: Supplied (VMS)


Positioned for success

Working as a junior partner with Chalice, one of the ASX’s top mine finders, positions Venture uniquely for upside at South West should Chalice make the discovery it’s been looking for.

It enables VMS shareholders to get the benefit of the exploration efforts in WA while progressing studies on its Mt Lindsay tin and tungsten project in Tasmania and reviews economic conditions for a potential restart of its Riley iron ore mine, also in the Apple Isle.

“Chalice have now increased the number of new interpreted magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide targets to four at the South West Project, three of which are on the highly prospective 20km long Thor Target and the fourth located near the Odin Nickel-Copper-PGE prospect,” Venture managing director Andrew Radonjic said.

“Chalice are now advancing these targets towards drill testing with Venture well positioned to take advantage of any future drilling success.

“The results of this latest work by Chalice provides further encouragement for defining additional magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide targets in the remaining underexplored areas that sit within the northern part of the 20km long Thor Target, the newly interpreted parallel ultramafic unit west of Thor, and near the Odin Nickel-Copper-PGE prospect.

“Chalice’s work continues to enhance the prospectivity of the South West Project, and this combined with their track record of exploration success provides Venture’s shareholders with multiple opportunities to participate in a new Nickel-Copper-PGE discovery.”

Nickel and copper sulphides were previously drilled by Venture at Thor and Odin.

In a maiden program in 2018, Venture drill tested two of 13 highly conductive anomalies within the southern 6.5km of the Thor magnetic feature, with the last of two holes intersecting 2.4m of massive sulphides at 0.5% copper, 0.05% nickel, 0.04% cobalt and anomalous gold and palladium.

The final data from an Xcalibur HeliTEM airborne survey over all of E70/5421 and the north-eastern portion of E70/4837 is currently being processed with outcomes regarding conductor targets to follow, Venture said.

Any resultant conductors may be potential targets for follow-up with on-ground exploration.




This article was developed in collaboration with Venture 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.