Chalice Mining has committed to the second stage of its exploration joint venture (JV) with Venture Minerals in a ringing endorsement for the latter’s South West project.
After recently meeting its expenditure requirement of $1.2 million to earn up to 51 per cent in South West, Chalice will now invest a further $2.5 million over the next two years to earn an additional 19 per cent interest (for a total of 70 per cent) in the nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGEs) project.
“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,” Venture Minerals managing director Andrew Radonjic said.
Located approximately 240km south of Perth in the Balingup metamorphic belt, South West is located within the highly prospective West Yilgarn nickel-copper-PGE province discovered by Chalice.
West Yilgarn hosts the Julimar discovery, which is one of the largest greenfield nickel-copper-PGE sulphide discoveries in recent history.
The Thor target, a 20km-long magnetic anomaly which contains multiple electromagnetic (EM) targets, and the Odin target are the two key prospects at South West at this stage.
“Two newly identified nickel-copper-PGE targets associated with interpreted ultramafic rocks and coincidental with magnetic and airborne electromagnetic highs open up the untapped potential of the northern part of the 20km-long Thor target,” Radonjic said.
An airborne EM survey by Venture identified 13 highly conductive anomalies within the southern 6.5km of the regional magnetic feature, of which only two have been tested by single holes in Venture’s 2018 maiden drill program.
The last drill hole (TOR05) intersected 2.4m of massive sulphide averaging 0.5 per cent copper, 0.05 per cent nickel, 0.04 per cent cobalt and anomalous gold and palladium.
The next stage for the project would involve following up the new targets with ground EM and infill geochemical sampling, to prepare the recently generated targets for potential drill testing.
Once the second stage of the earn-in is completed, Venture can then elect to either contribute 30 per cent or dilute to a minimum of 10 per cent JV interest, in which case the interest automatically reverts to a 1.25 per cent net smelter return.