Emu dives into South-West nickel hunt | Ralph-Lauren

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After nailing its maiden gold drilling campaign at the Gnows Nest project near Yalgoo, Emu NL is opening up a second and third exploration front in WA with auger drilling now set to kick off in the South-West and the Eastern Goldfields. A detailed auger campaign will drill test the company’s Viper, Graceland and 8-Mile Dam projects in the coming weeks.

The company has jumped on a suite of ‘Julimar-style’ intrusive nickel-copper targets in the South West as it seeks to replicate the spectacular success of Chalice Mining recently in the same mineral terrane.

Previous exploration at Emu’s South West projects returned some intriguing assays, including high-grade results grading up to 14 per cent copper at the Viper project.

Emu’s first-pass exploration program throughout the emergent nickel-copper terranes will initially target the Viper and Graceland projects with geochemical drilling, with exploration also being planned over the company’s 8-Mile Dam prospect in the Eastern Goldfields.

The budding explorer will employ programs of systematic auger drilling across the project areas, aimed at penetrating the veneer of sand and soil cover that blankets these targets, masking their geochemical signature. The auger sampling is designed to unearth any hidden geochemical anomalies that might be lurking nearby and act as a vector to guide future geophysical surveying and deeper drilling.

Following the success of our maiden drilling programme at Gnows Nest, EMU is launching its on ground focus over its base metals portfolio. The recently acquired Graceland and Viper Projects, along with our 8 Mile Dam Project, will be tested by a comprehensive geochemistry programme targeting Cu, Ni and PGE mineralisation.

These projects are all situated under cover within untested greenstone belts. EMU anticipates that successful results, if any, will immediately transition to follow-up geophysical and RC drilling programmes.

The company’s portfolio of nickel-copper projects is largely situated within the South West Mineral Field, a terrane that has been thrust into the spotlight in recent months following Chalice Mining’s high-profile nickel-PGE discovery at Julimar, just 70km east of Perth. The Julimar discovery produced some stunning results straight off the bat including 19m at 2.6 per cent nickel, 1 per cent copper and 9.5 grams per tonne PGE, highlighting the potential of the overlooked South West region for this style of mineralisation.

Emu pounced on the opportunity, picking up a suite of hand-picked projects across the region, including the Viper and Graceland nickel-copper projects and an option over a third project at Sunfire, which is next door to the Chalice-Venture Minerals Thor joint venture south of Bridgetown.

Sunfire already boasts a walk-up drill target at Yornup Mill, where previous drilling returned an eye-catching 19m at 1.07 per cent nickel.

Emu will likely target the Viper project first up which is located in the south of WA, adjacent to the town of Jerramungup. The project covers the 10km long Netty base metals trend which hosts the historical Netty copper mine that produced a small tonnage of high-grade copper during the early to mid-20th century.

The project has yet to be tested utilising modern exploration, representing an interesting early opportunity for Emu. Historical sampling of the Netty underground workings returned stellar grades of up to 14.1 per cent copper and 0.51 per cent nickel, which have yet to be followed up in any detail.

In addition, wide-spaced soil sampling across the Netty Trend has previously produced tantalising multi-element anomalies.

Emu is set to test more than 5km of the fertile structure with auger drilling which will probe the ground below the extensive soil cover with a view to potentially defining a clutch of new nickel-copper targets for a more substantial drilling campaign.

Next in line is the Graceland project, which lies north of Viper and is located south of the Wheatbelt town of Hyden. It sits between the famed Flying Fox nickel mine, 95km to the east and the Quicksilver nickel discovery, 7km to the west.

Graceland is a conceptual target, defined by a buried magnetic geophysical anomaly which shows all the hallmarks of a mafic-ultramafic intrusion. The target extends over 5km of strike and has yet to drill tested.

Curiously, the first-pass geophysics at Graceland indicates the presence of ten “magnetic plates” within the anomaly that may equate to deeper conductive sulphide bodies.

Emu has designed a comprehensive auger drilling program over the Graceland intrusion, which will test the target on 400m by 100m spacings, with results expected to guide future drilling programs.

Last, but certainly not least, is Emu’s 8-Mile Dam project in the steaming hot Eastern Goldfields of WA. The project is situated south-west of the Menzies gold mining centre north of Kalgoorlie, where the likes of Kingwest and Zuleika Gold are stamping their mark on the historic mineral field.

The 8-Mile Dam project was pegged following a detailed analysis of the region with previous diamond-focused exploration confirming the presence intrusive mafic stratigraphy below a blanket of sands and sediments. The upcoming auger program will consist of four lines of wide-spaced drilling across key geophysical targets designed to assist in an interpretation of the underlying stratigraphy.

With both nickel and copper reaching for decade highs, trading at US$19,000 and US$9,000 per tonne respectively, a reasonable sniff at any of Emu’s emergent nickel and copper projects is likely to cement its position as one of the ASX’s up and coming explorers.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@wanews.com.au

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