Hot to trot with a 5 per cent nickel sulphide hit at its 80 per cent-owned historic Nepean nickel sulphide mine just 25 kilometres south of Coolgardie, Auroch Minerals has been advised that it now has a new junior partner in the project.
Fellow ASX-listed explorer, Lodestar Minerals, said it has secured rights to a 20 per cent interest in Auroch’s Nepean nickel project after acquiring 100 per cent of the issued capital of private entity, GoldFellas.
Whilst Auroch continues to hold its 80 per cent stake in Nepean, Lodestar has added the balance of 20 per cent interest to its own portfolio after executing a binding term sheet with certain shareholders of GoldFellas, the former 20 per cent project owner.
GoldFellas is led by a bunch of West Perth-based privateers who have been staunch supporters of West Australian ASX-listed resources players for years.
The Nepean nickel deposit sits west of Kalgoorlie.
The historical underground mining operation originally kicked off back in 1970 when more than 1.1 million tonnes of ore grading an impressive 2.99 per cent nickel was shipped to the smelter at Kambalda to generate 32,300 tonnes of nickel metal.
The mine was reportedly shut down in 1987, apparently following a sharp fall in the nickel price and the cataclysmic fall in the Australian stock market in October 1987 which undid many mining hopefuls.
Nickel mineralisation at Nepean takes the form of semi to massive sulphide lodes that sit along the various mafic-ultramafic geological contacts within the mine stratigraphy.
Historic mining at Nepean exploited two of these recognised sulphide lodes, however Auroch speculates there remains the potential for repetitions of the main ore lodes adjacent to the existing mine workings and within the strike extensions of the mine to both the north and the south of the operation.
Auroch Minerals will be hoping its maiden exploration program over the Nepean nickel mine continues to deliver in spades after lab results so far turned up nickel-rich intercepts including 2 metres at a serious 5.09 per cent nickel from 91m, 1m at 5.57 per cent nickel from 60m and 2m at 3.02 per cent nickel from 55m down-hole.
The company said it will continue to drill up an extension to the mineralisation beyond what it has already recognised along more than 500m of strike to the south of the existing Nepean deposit.
It also said it was now looking to stretch that success over 10km of prospective strike length, with results to date already suggesting it has a strong case for opening up the existing shallow historical pit in search of some early cashflows.
The intersections have extended both Sill 2 and Sill 3 in places, the two main lenses of massive nickel sulphides in the historic Nepean mine, and as such we now have this very shallow, very high-grade nickel sulphide mineralisation continuous for at least 500 metres of strike.
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