Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) has struck a massive sulphide zone with its first ever drill hole at the geographically large Julimar project located 70km from Perth, Western Australia.
The intersection was hit at 48m below ground and returned 19m at 2.59% nickel, 1.04% copper, 8.37 grams per tonne palladium and 1.11g/t platinum.
This included a massive sulphide zone of 13m at 3.15% nickel, 1.19% copper, 8.85g/t palladium and 1.09g/t platinum. Other platinum group elements (PGEs) assays and those for cobalt are pending.
Chalice, after a global search for a high potential nickel sulphide opportunity, acquired Julimar in 2018. It has interpreted a mineral complex about 26km long and 7km wide — and the project area has never been explored for nickel, copper or PGEs.
The body is under cover — and Julimar is one of a growing number of projects under cover that are now being explored by Australian mining companies as the number of near-surface target possibilities dwindles.
The project is close to a major highway, rail line and power supplies and is just an hour’s drive from the West Australian state capital.
Chalice managing director Alex Dorsch termed the result from the company’s first drill hole at Julimar as “outstanding”.
“Given the rarity and value of nickel sulphide discoveries, particularly in WA, and the recent all-time high palladium price of more than US$2,800/oz (A$4,863), the result is especially significant,” he said.
Mineralisation open in all directions
Chalice said due to the significance of the discovery in a relatively new mineral province, the company has expanded its land holdings with 2,300sq km of new licence applications. It is also evaluating potential regional targets on existing granted tenure.
The discovery announced today is open in all directions.
A second hole is now being drilled 900m north-east of the first and has intersected a sequence of intrusive mafic to ultramafic rock types. The hole is at present 40m above the target depth.
Two other holes will complete the maiden four-hole reverse circulation drilling program.
Company fully funded
Chalice said that in spite of challenging market conditions, it is fully funded to continue with both its Western Australian and Victorian exploration.
The company has its Pyramid Hill gold target in Victoria’s Bendigo region and the King Leopard nickel project in WA’s Kimberley.
As of last Friday, Chalice has a current working capital and investments balance of about $23 million.
In a presentation earlier this month, the company noted it has not raised capital since 2011 and has returned $36 million to shareholders.