Chalice Mining has stepped up its Gonneville resource, announcing more tonnage for the history-making deposit.
In November 2021, Chalice defined an Australian-first resource at Gonneville, located within its Julimar nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGEs) project in Western Australia. The discovery boasted a 330-million-tonne (Mt) resource at the time.
Chalice has since added 20Mt to the deposit, while also increasing the palladium, platinum and gold (3E) makeup from 10 million ounces (Moz) to 11Moz.
The contained nickel has risen from 530,000 tonnes to 560,000 tonnes, with copper also boosted by an additional 30,000 tonnes (now 360,000 tonnes) and cobalt by a further 1000 tonnes (now 54,000 tonnes).
Chalice said not only is there more tonnage to Gonneville but the geological confidence has increased, with approximately 70 per cent of the resource now in the indicated category (up from about 45 per cent), while 90 per cent of the resource above a depth of 250m is now classified as indicated.
The higher-grade sulphide component of the resource (above a 0.6 per cent nickel equivalent cut-off grade) has increased from 74Mt to 82Mt, with contained 3Es within this category rising from 4.2Moz to 4.5Moz.
Since the maiden resource was announced in November 2021, drilling at Gonneville has largely been focused on shallow infill to improve the confidence level of the resource from the inferred category to indicated. Chalice has also completed step-out drilling to evaluate the broader extent of mineralisation.
“The work we have completed since publishing our maiden resource in November last year continues to demonstrate the world-class endowment, scale and quality of the Gonneville deposit,” Chalice managing director and chief executive officer Alex Dorsch said.
“Apart from further increasing the contained metal, this resource update has resulted in a significant increase in the higher-confidence indicated resource, which now represents approximately 70 per cent of the total.
“Importantly, 90 per cent of the resource above a depth of 250m is now classified as indicated, which represents a major de-risking step for the project.”
Dorsch said the indicated component of the resource will underpin a scoping study, which is set for completion in the third quarter of 2022.