Chalice Mining has unearthed the largest discovery of platinum group elements (PGE) in Australian history at its Gonneville nickel-copper-platinum deposit in Western Australia.
The discovery contains 10 million ounces of palladium, platinum and gold – collectively called 3E, one of seven PGEs.
Chalice also confirmed the largest nickel sulphide discovery in more than 20 years as part of a 330-million-tonne mineral resource boasting 530,000 tonnes of nickel, 330,000 tonnes of copper and 53,000 tonnes of cobalt.
It marks Chalice’s first discovery from its Julimar project, located 70 kilometres north-east of Perth, which was first staked by the company in early 2018.
Chalice managing director and chief executive officer Alex Dorsch said it had been a strong effort by the team to develop Gonneville at such pace.
“This is a major milestone for Chalice, coming just 18 months after our stunning first hole discovery at Julimar,” Dorsch said.
“Since then, we have completed more than 175,000 metres of diamond and RC (reverse circulation) drilling and now defined a genuine Tier 1 scale deposit of critical minerals with exceptional growth potential.”
The resource positions Chalice to become a major player in the production of “green metals”, according to Dorsch, with reasonable proximity to key infrastructure and port facilities.
Dorsch highlighted the sheer potential of Gonneville, whereby the high-grade mineralisation starts near surface.
“It is also important to emphasise that the current resource covers just seven per cent of the Julimar Intrusive Complex, which has been interpreted to cover a strike length of more than 26 kilometres,” Dorsch said.
“We know that the deposit remains open along strike to the north, and we are very much looking forward to receiving the final clearances to commence our initial low-impact drilling program in the Julimar State Forest.”
A scoping study remains ongoing for Gonneville, which will be complete before mid-2022 to clarify the initial mine development options.