ASX-listed Venture Minerals has been buoyed by star stock market performer and joint venture partner Chalice Mining’s newly identified electromagnetic anomalies at the so-called “Julimar look-alike” target at the duo’s South West nickel-copper-PGE project about 240km south of Perth.
Chalice, which hit the headlines last year following its exciting Gonneville nickel-copper-PGE discovery at its Julimar project about 70km north-east of Perth, holds an option to earn up to a 70 per cent interest in Venture’s South West project by sinking $3.7 million into exploration of the greenfields area across four years.
The market responded warmly to the initial electromagnetic or “EM” anomalies defined by Chalice’s early work, pushing Venture’s share price up almost 15 per cent in today’s trading session to within a whisker of its 52-week high of 16￠. The company’s market cap also burst through the $200 million mark at one stage.
Perth-based Venture says Chalice detected new EM anomalies during a ground-based geophysical survey being undertaken at South West as part of the first stage of the JV farm-out agreement that is focused on probing the Thor prospect.
Venture says Thor is a 20km-long Julimar look-alike magnetic anomaly.
According to management, the new EM anomalies display similar-strength conductors to those that coughed up wide and significant palladium intervals during the early phase of drilling at Chalice’s nickel-copper-PGE discovery at Julimar.
Venture also pointed out one of the new EM anomalies occurs within 10m of a past drill hole that intersected 86m of disseminated sulphides with elevated PGE levels.
The new anomalies have been detected over selected areas of the Julimar look-alike or Thor magnetic feature as well as other interpreted mafic-ultramafic intrusions.
Prior to wet weather intervening and now delaying completion of the EM program till later this year, Chalice had acquired geophysical data for about 12.5km of the survey’s planned total of 42 line-km.
Venture says once this initial EM surveying has been finished, Chalice intends following up the EM anomalies with further infill EM and surface geochemical surveys.
Ultimately the JV hopes this work will culminate in targets being generated for drilling.
The ground EM program, though only one-third complete, has already yielded new EM anomalies. The majority of the Thor ‘Julimar look-alike’ target that already hosts several airborne EM anomalies is yet to be tested by Chalice’s EM program and the company looks forward to results from this work and potential follow up drill testing in the near future.
Venture Minerals Managing Director Andrew Radonjic
The 256-square-kilometre South West project area overlies the Balingup metamorphic belt within the new prospective – and previously largely unexplored – West Yilgarn nickel-copper-PGE province unearthed by Chalice.
South West’s two main prospects are Thor and Odin.
Thor has been dubbed the Julimar look-alike magnetic anomaly. It is associated with chromium rich rocks indicative of mafic-ultramafic intrusions, according to Venture.
A previous airborne EM survey conducted by Venture identified more than a dozen conductive anomalies within the southern 6.5km of the regional magnetic feature.
Only two were tested in the company’s maiden small round of drilling there in late 2018, with one hole at Thor intersecting 2.4m of massive sulphide mineralisation at average grades of 0.5 per cent copper, 0.05 per cent nickel, 0.04 per cent cobalt and anomalous gold and palladium.
At nearby Odin, drilling perforated nickel and copper sulphides within a prospective mafic-ultramafic unit that extends over a strike length of 10km, according to Venture.
Market watchers will be following Chalice’s moves at the South West project closely and looking out for any sniff of another western Yilgarn base metals-PGE discovery.
The stock market darling’s share price blasted off from a mere 16￠ in March last year to well above $7 in the wake of the Julimar find and its market cap has soared to more than $2.5 billion.
A massive seven-rig resource drill-out at the Gonneville deposit will feed into an expected maiden mineral resource estimate for the Chalice discovery in the September quarter this year.
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