St George Mining – owner of a raft of new nickel sulphide discoveries in central Western Australia – announced that results to date are sufficient to warrant a level of confidence that the ore body will emerge as a new Australian nickel mine.
|Drill core from MAD152|
The new discovery is located 1.2 kilometres east of the known nickel-copper sulphide deposits at the Cathedrals Prospect and extends the east-west strike of high-grade mineralisation on the Cathedrals Belt to 5.5 kilometres.
John Prineas, St George Mining’s Executive Chairman confirmed that exploration drilling continued at Mt Alexander, with the drill-out of the Radar discovery scheduled to resume this week.
“With high-grade mineralisation now established over a 5.5 kiloemtre strike of the east-west oriented Cathedrals Belt, we are increasingly confident of the potential to develop a potential mining operation at the project,” said Mr Prineas.
“More than 10.5 kilometres of the Belt remains underexplored, with strong targets emerging at Fish Hook and West End, which are also scheduled for drilling in this drill programme.
“Exploration success here could add substantial volumes of mineralisation to a potential resource at Mt Alexander.”
The thickness of the ultramafic and the nickel-copper sulphides intersected at Radar is supportive of further significant mineralisation being intersected at this prospect. Assays from maiden drilling there returned best intercepts of 6 metres at 2.14 per cent nickel, 0.74 per cent copper and 1.62 grams per tonne platinum group metals from a shallow depth of just 46 metres.
Diamond drilling will resume at Radar later this week, with holes planned to test both up-dip and downdip from the significant intersection in discovery hole MAD152.
“Demand from the battery market as well as traditional stainless-steel users continues to rise, resulting in plummeting stockpiles of nickel in 2019,” Mr Prineas said.
“This has underpinned recent London Metal Exchange quotes for three-month nickel at US$17,605 oer tonne, putting the current price at close to five-year highs.”
That strengthening price has also reinforced market recognition that high-grade nickel sulphide deposits are scarce, and that new discoveries are highly prized.
“They are among the factors that are giving St George optimism that our Mt Alexander nickel project in WA’s goldfields sits now as one of the best and most advanced high-grade nickel sulphide discoveries among ASX-listed explorers,” commented Mr Prineas.
This latest discovery adds to the project’s other nearby discoveries at Stricklands, Cathedrals and Investigators, where resource definition drilling is underway.
Mr Prineas said some analysts were already speculating that the mineral inventory discovered so far at Mt Alexander could tally up to 50000 tonnes of contained nickel equivalent, with potential to discover more mineralisation with ongoing exploration.
St George has initiated early stage scoping studies to support a mining proposal and continues to work towards a maiden resource for Mt Alexander.