Chalice Gold’s Julimar discovery acts as magnet as junior explorers rush to peg surrounding ground

Julimar discovery Chalice Gold Mines junior explorers ASX massive sulphide zone nickel copper
Chalice’s Julimar discovery has sparked a rush of explorers to the area hoping to make a similar find.

Late on Friday Enegex (ASX: ENX) announced it had applied for more ground in the South West Terrane of Western Australia, seeking to take its land holding from 1,994 square kilometres to 3,550sq km.

Then, on Monday, it went into a trading halt ahead of a capital raising.

On Tuesday, the company revealed it had placed new shares worth $440,000 — but this was a placement with a twist.

It was not originated by Enegex but resulted from the company being approached by a group of sophisticated and professional investors.

Enegex will now follow up with an entitlement offer to raise a further $760,000 from shareholders.

The event connecting all these events is that Enegex, a penny stock that had previously been focusing on a vanadium-copper-nickel-platinum group elements (PGE) project in the Kimberley region, is now a player riding the Julimar wave — and the number of riders surfing that particular wave is now in double figures.

Julimar discovery

It all began in March when Chalice Gold Mines (ASX: CHN) announced it had struck a massive sulphide zone with its first ever drill hole at the geographically large Julimar project located 70km from Perth.

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 with 13m at 3.15% nickel, 1.19% copper, 8.85g/t palladium and 1.09g/t platinum.

Chalice, after a global search for a high potential nickel sulphide opportunity, acquired Julimar in 2018 and then went on to identify a mineral complex about 26km long and 7km wide — and, moreover, a project area that had never been explored for nickel, copper or PGMs.

The beauty of the project is that it lies a mere one-hour drive from Perth, has direct access to a main highway and is close to a railway line leading to a port.

Chalice also acted quickly to lock up more ground before others pegged it, lodging applications over a further 2,000sq km.

Then this week Chalice announced more results showing three high-grade zones have been extended after “exceptional” new intersections, including 31m at 3.3g/t palladium, 0.7g/t platinum, 0.4% nickel, 0.2% copper, and 0.03% cobalt.

Growing number of players in exploration hot spot

Enegex’s projects lie to the north of Julimar and the company says its exploration licence areas are interpreted from geological and geophysical data to be similar to that which hosts Julimar.

Last month Sultan Resources (ASX: SLZ) reported that its Lake Grace project in WA forms part of an interpreted mobile zone that hosts the Julimar discovery.

As a result of that discovery, Sultan noted its portfolio of tenements was now being surrounded by major mining and exploration companies.

Sultan Resources owns a 690sq km portfolio that it says is highly prospective for gold mineralisation and also contains historically drilled ultramafic rocks showing evidence of nickel and cobalt-bearing sulphides.

Just 40km north of Julimar is the Yarawindah Brook nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE project, drilled back in 2007 when intersections included 7m at 1.3% nickel.

It is owned by Cassini Resources (ASX: CZI). That company is subject to a takeover offer from OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL), but Yarawindah is being spun off into a new company, Caspin Resources which intends to list on the ASX.

Using the strategy that three heads together are better than one are: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT), private entity Mercator and Australian Vanadium (ASX: AVL).

The trio owns adjacent tenements less than 30km south-east of Julimar. In late May, the companies agreed share resources and data across their tenements with the land to be collectively known as the Coates project.

Since the collaboration began, the companies have already compiled much of the available geological and chemical information across their respective tenements.

Exploration will begin once plans and land-owner access agreements have all been completed.

Similarities to Julimar

Impact Minerals (ASX: IPT) holds the 850sq km Arkun nickel-copper-PGE-gold project between York and Corrigin in WA, which lies on belt trending south from Yawawindah and Julimar.

“This belt is generally not recognised in many regional geology maps and yet is self-evident in the magnetic data,” the company said.

Another Julimar-related explorer is DevEx Resources (ASX: DEV) with its Sovereign nickel-copper PGE project. During the June quarter, DevEx began field mapping and surface geochemistry.

Meanwhile, AusQuest (ASX: AQD) has acquired new tenements where it is targeting magnetic signatures similar to those at Julimar.

Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) has its Moora project 95km north of Julimar where it says geochemistry work indicates gold-PGE-nickel-copper anomalies similar to those found on Chalice’s ground. The company has identified two large anomalisms.

Although much further north in WA’s Pilbara, Azure Minerals’ (ASX: AZS) recently acquired Andover nickel-copper project from Mark Creasy is believed to lie in similar geology to Julimar.

Azure claims the Andover Intrusive Complex which hosts Andover is comparable to Julimar, which has layered mafic-ultramafic intrusions with nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation.

Underexplored tenements

Caravel Minerals (ASX: CVV) has acquired three new projects in the region. One is Dalwallinu close to Moora and the company is targeting copper and gold. No previous drilling has taken place on this ground.

Its two other new exploration projects are copper at Brookton (where a 6km strike zone has been identified) and Toolbrunup where sampling has returned high values of nickel, platinum and copper. The latter project has not been drilled.

Last week Caravel both extended the closing date and the number of new shares issued in its share purchasing plan in reaction to the number of applications from shareholders.

Also last week Oakdale Resources (ASX: OAR) completed its acquisition of the Crown nickel-PGE-copper project, located just 8km from Julimar.

The 93sq km project shows similar magnetic structures to those at Julimar.

Todd River Resources (ASX: TRT) on Monday closed a $4 million placement, part of which will be used to finance exploration at ground 100km north of Julimar it is now in the process of acquiring.

Lachlan Star (ASX: LSA) in June took an option over 75% of the Koolan project, located 80km north of Julimar. It is ground which has never previously been explored. Lachlan Star has since begun preliminary exploration.

Mandrake Resources (ASX: MAN) recently reported assays from rock chip samples from its Newleyine project in Western Australia — 30km from Julimar — that showed concentrations of platinum and palladium which the company said had exceeded expectations.

The company said assays of up to 0.36g/t palladium, 0.27g/t platinum, 0.5% nickel and 0.19% copper confirmed that Newleyine was “highly fertile” for mineralisation similar to Julimar.

Mandrake farmed into the ground just a month after the first Chalice report on Julimar.

Mandrake’s ground was explored in the 1970s by Australian Anglo American and the former North Flinders Mines. Australian Anglo’s drilling results included grades of 0.24% nickel and 172ppm copper over drill widths of up to 240m.

Newleyine had not previously been tested for PGEs.

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