The prospectivity of Venture’s South West project has been substantiated by Chalice Mining, which opted to commit to the second stage of their joint venture.

Chalice, which was first attracted by the similarity of the Thor trend to its advanced Julimar nickel-copper-PGE project, is required to spend $2.5m over the next two years to earn a further 19% interest (to a total of 70%), in the project.

Venture Minerals (ASX:VMS) notes that the next stage of exploration at South West will include following up on new targets with ground electromagnetic surveys and infill geochemical sampling to prepare them for drill testing.

Once the second stage of the earn-in is completed Venture can then elect to either contribute 30% or dilute to a minimum of 10% JV interest, in which case the interest automatically reverts to a 1.25% net smelter royalty.

Target-rich environment

Chalice recently identified two new nickel-copper-PGE targets from auger soil geochemistry carried out over the project.

The new targets are located over interpreted ultramafic rocks within untested airborne electromagnetic anomalies that are coincident with magnetic highs at the 20km Thor trend.

Geochemical results within the new targets have stronger coincidental magmatic indicator metals, including nickel, copper, cobalt, palladium, platinum and gold, than the area covered by the recent ground EM that they are not a part of.

Additionally results from the recent maiden drill program testing priority EM conductors has indicated that the sulphide-rich mineralisation is of a volcanogenic massive sulphide style with elevated values of zinc, copper, silver and gold within sulphide-rich zones.

This is consistent with the results from the auger soil geochemistry program and previous work by Venture which highlighted the drilled areas as having more potential for VMS style mineralisation rather than magmatic nickel-copper-PGE sulphide mineralisation.

“Chalice electing to proceed to Stage Two of the South West JV is a strong endorsement of the project and highlights the potential for Thor to deliver Chalice and Venture a magmatic nickel-copper-PGE discovery in the near future,” managing director Andrew Radonjic said.

“The newly identified two nickel-copper-PGE targets associated with interpreted ultramafic rocks and coincidental with magnetic and airborne electromagnetic highs, opens up the untapped potential of the northern part of the 20km-long Thor Target.

“This, along with the recent recognition of a parallel unexplored ultramafic unit, suggests nickel exploration on this project is still at its infancy and the second stage expenditure of $2.5 million should go a long way towards unlocking the project’s potential.”

South West project

The South West project covers 256km2 about 240km south of Perth within the highly prospective West Yilgarn nickel-copper-PGE Province, which also hosts the Julimar discovery.

Julimar lookalike Thor is a 20km magnetic anomaly associated with chromium rich rocks indicative of mafic-ultramafic intrusions.

An airborne EM survey by Venture identified 13 highly conductive anomalies within the southern 6.5km of the Thor regional magnetic feature, of which only two have been tested by single holes in the company’s 2018 maiden drill program. The northern half of the survey was heavily disrupted by electrical infrastructure and is therefore untested by EM.

The other significant area is Odin, where the only hole drilled intersected nickel and copper sulphides within a highly prospective mafic-ultramafic unit that extends over 10 strike km.



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.