Legacy Minerals uses AI to uncover nickel-copper sulphide and PGE at Fontenoy

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By Colin Hay - 
Legacy Minerals ASX LGM AI artificial intelligence nickel copper sulphide PGE Fontenoy New South Wales

Legacy Minerals’ (ASX: LGM) strategy to utilise artificial intelligence (AI) technology in its hunt for new mineral plays in New South Wales is already showing promise.

The company has teamed up with San Francisco headquartered exploration alliance partner Earth AI to unveil the potential of its Fontenoy project – and the early results are already creating excitement.

Earth AI’s team of specialists have so far identified nickel, copper and platinum group elements (PGEs) in detailed mapping, a petrography study and soil and rock chip analysis undertaken in the latest field campaigns in the project area.

Notably, for the first time, pentlandite (nickel-iron sulphide) has been uncovered through petrography and scanning electron microscopy (SEM) of a fresh rock sample.

Reconnaissance rock chip assay results have also returned highs of 0.80% nickel (laterite), 8.30% copper, 585 parts per million cobalt, 0.21 grams per tonne, platinum, 0.34 g/t palladium and 0.28 g/t gold.

Exploration Alliance Agreement

Earth AI has NSW based operations in the town of Young, just 15km from Fontenoy.

In June 2022, Legacy Minerals signed an Exploration Alliance Agreement with Earth AI.

The agreement covers the Fontenoy (EL8995) tenement, where a Strategic Alliance allows for a co-funding model, whereby Earth AI will contribute up to $4.5 million of total exploration costs across the tenement over a two-year period, with an option to extend for a further year.

If a qualifying drilling intersection is identified in the early-stage work, Earth AI will be entitled to a net smelter return royalty up to 3% in connection with a to be agreed upon area surrounding the discovery.

Legacy Minerals will retain 100% ownership over the tenement covered under the Agreement.

Earth AI strategy

In the early stages of its programs specifically designed to uncover new critical minerals plays, Earth AI utilises predictive artificial intelligence to improve the accuracy and lower the costs of mineral exploration.

To date, the Earth AI team has focused on building a greater understanding of the Fontenoy geology, with already impressive results.

The partnership believes the recognition of nickel-sulphides in association with copper and PGEs, has highlighted the prospectivity of the Fontenoy Project for nickel-iron sulphide deposits and presents a unique exploration opportunity for the company.

Historic exploration work

Previous work at Fontenoy has identified a number of prospective sections within the project area which include the Yandilla Volcanics, Warrenoy Diorite and ultramafic rocks of the Wambidgee Serpentinite for copper-nickel and cobalt.

A significant amount of surface geochemical work, including extensive soil sampling, has defined an 8 km long Cu and Au soil anomaly centred over the Yandilla Volcanics with rock chips grading up to 0.73 g/t gold and 0.47% copper.

A dipole-dipole induced polarisation (DDIP) survey was previously completed at 200m and 800m line spacing along the length of the Yandilla Volcanics.

In addition, ground electromagnetic (EM) survey traverses and airborne EM has been flown at 150m line spacing were undertaken by previous explorers.

Induced polarisation surveying highlighted several known zones of copper and gold mineralisation with a number of anomalies yet to be drilled.

A total of 16 diamond core holes for 4,014 metres and an additional 28 reverse circulation percussion drill holes for 1,667m confirmed soil anomalism is associated with broad gold-copper mineralisation intersected along the entire 8km strike and provides encouragement for follow-up work on a number of drill ready target zones.