Junior explorer Hylea Metals (ASX: HCO) has reported “outstanding grades” of cobalt, platinum, scandium and nickel from a maiden drilling program at its recently-acquired Tiger’s Creek prospect, in the heart of the world-class Fifield “Battery Metals” district of New South Wales.
Assays from the first 12 holes of the 54-hole, 3,621m program confirmed high-grade mineralisation of up to 0.61% cobalt, 10.55 grams per tonne platinum, 720 parts per million scandium and 1.38% nickel at the advanced target, which is part of the company’s flagship Hylea asset and is located on the eastern edge of the zoned 8km by 3.5km Hylea ultramafic intrusive complex.
The complex has similar source geology and laterite development to neighbouring projects including Sunrise (owned by Clean Teq Holdings, ASX: CLQ), Flemington (Australian Mines, ASX: AUZ) and Owendale (Platina Resources, ASX: PGM).
By comparison to these projects, Hylea has received little historical exploration, with limited activities principally targeting platinum, nickel and vermiculite, but not cobalt.
The outstanding intersections reported this week at Tiger’s Creek start from 2m below surface with the deepest mineralisation intersected at a vertical depth of 60m.
Cobalt-nickel-platinum assays from near surface returned best results for 19m at 0.10% cobalt, 0.68% nickel and 0.44g/t platinum from 6m, including 9m at 0.14% cobalt, 0.55% nickel, 0.57g/t platinum.
The high-grade scandium assays included 7m at 540ppm scandium from 7m, with 3m at 630ppm scandium and 9m at 446ppm scandium from 15m.
Broad platinum mineralisation best results were at 14m at 1.61g/t platinum from 4m including 2m at 5.90g/t platinum and 1m at 2.31g/t platinum.
New assays imminent from remaining holes
Hylea managing director David Berrie said the assays were exceptional given their widths, grades and proximity to surface.
“These results show the potential of Hylea to quickly upgrade from an exploration project,” he said.
“We have one of the best addresses imaginable for cobalt exploration in Australia, as shown by the huge success of our near-neighbours and we know we have outstanding grades and widths and that the mineralisation is basically at the surface – it is now a question of how big it is.
“This will become clearer as new assays from our remaining 42 holes become available over the next few weeks.”
The Tiger’s Creek drilling program aims to confirm the thickness, tenor and location of results reported by previous explorers; expand out from currently identified cobalt mineralisation into areas where laterite has been drilled but not assayed for cobalt; and apply modern exploration techniques, particularly with respect to sample analysis which has advanced significantly since historical drilling was completed.
At mid-morning, Hylea shares had increased 12.50% to A$0.009.