Australian explorer Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) has restarted drilling at its Andover nickel-copper project in Western Australia’s west Pilbara, with the accelerated program aiming to define the extent of the nickel-copper mineralisation and firm up a resource.
Work will transition from exploration to 30,000m of intensive drilling utilising three diamond rigs to define the extent of the VC-07 mineralised body and incorporate infill drilling to produce a maiden JORC resource estimate.
Initial drilling will target along-strike, up-dip and down-dip extents of the mineralisation, and will be followed by close-spaced infill drilling to assess internal continuity and variability.
The rigs will also be used to test 12 separate electromagnetic conductor anomalies including the prospective VC-23 conductor first drilled in 2018 by resource-focused investment vehicle Creasy Group.
That exercise intersected nickel-copper mineralisation and returned best assays of 2m at 2.1% nickel and 0.44% copper from 15m downhole; 6m at 0.45% nickel and 0.39% copper from 22m; and 6m at 0.31% nickel and 0.55% copper from 34m.
In July, Azure acquired a 60% interest in Andover from renowned prospector Mark Creasy to build on the historic results which have demonstrated potentially economic grades and widths.
VC-07 has been interpreted to represent a continuous body of bedrock-hosted sulphide mineralisation extending east-west over a 1,050m strike length.
Downhole electromagnetic surveying has shown the mineralised zone dips up to 80 degrees to the north, has a down-dip extent of more than 200m and remains open at depth.
Azure managing director Tony Rovira said the dimensions highlight the zone’s potential to contain a substantial discovery.
“We believe there is excellent potential to define a major nickel-copper sulphide deposit at Andover,” he said.
“While most of our planned drilling will focus on the VC-07 conductor, the Andover property [as a whole] is a target-rich environment for further nickel and copper sulphide discoveries.”
Mr Rovira said the company remains fully-funded with $37 million cash at hand to conduct the exploration and resource definition program.