Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) has confirmed the third diamond drill hole at its 60%-owned Andover nickel project in Western Australia’s West Pilbara region has intersected new nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation, following on from similar strong results in the first two holes of the campaign.
The company identified three shallow intervals in the form of massive, semi-massive, matrix, blebby and disseminated sulphides hosted in gabbro and similar mafic rocks.
They included 2.5m from 41.2m with 0.75m of massive and semi-massive sulphides; 9.25m from 62.8m with mostly blebby and disseminated sulphides; and 7.65m from 78.3m with 1.9m of massive and semi-massive sulphides.
Readings by portable X-ray fluorescence indicated the presence of abundant nickel and copper grades in the sulphide-rich intervals.
Geological logging and visual estimations were confirmed by Perth-based Portable Spectral Services, which used a Bruker M4 Tornado device to conduct small-spot micro x-ray fluorescence on additional drill core samples.
The process identified the presence of substantial amounts of pentlandite and chalcopyrite sulphides.
Azure also conducted surface fixed loop (FLTEM) and down-hole (DHTEM) electromagnetic surveys, identifying new electromagnetic conductor plates to provide additional targets for follow-up drilling.
A fourth diamond hole is in progress, targeting a strong and extensive conductor plate which has been interpreted to represent the west-northwest down-dip extensions of the nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation from the first three holes.
Azure managing director Tony Rovira said drilling at Andover continues to deliver strong results for Azure and Creasy Group, which retains a 40% stake after selling its majority equity to Azure in July.
“[We have received] very exciting visual mineralisation with our third hole intersecting strong, near-surface nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation,” he said.
“This is early-stage drilling but with each of our first three drill holes successfully intersecting substantial widths of nickel and copper sulphides and the presence of strong electromagnetic conductors associated with this mineralisation, we are confident this mineralised system has the potential to be extensive.”
Azure purchased the highly prospective Andover project after the COVID-19 pandemic brought uncertainty to the future of its exploration prospects in Mexico and forced the company to consider an alternative exploration strategy.
In 2018, Creasy Group drilled significant grades and widths of nickel-copper at the site, including 7m at 2.62% nickel and 0.65% copper within 26m at 1.03% nickel and 0.46% copper from 43m.
Other results were 2m at 2.1% nickel and 0.44% copper from 15m; 4m at 1.1% nickel and 0.8% copper from 6m; and 2m at 1.77% nickel and 0.53% copper from 62m.
Azure’s drilling is the first follow-up activity since Creasy’s discoveries.