Legend Mining (ASX: LEG) has emerged from a trading suspension with the much-anticipated exploration results from drilling at its Rockford nickel and copper project in Western Australia’s Fraser Range, with Legend managing director Mark Wilson calling the results a “watershed moment”.
The company entered a trading halt in late November with speculation mounting the explorer had discovered a Nova-style nickel deposit on its tenements.
Today the company revealed it had intersected 14.9m at 1.07% nickel, 0.75% copper and 0.06% cobalt from 114m within the third diamond drill hole of its program.
The 14.9m intersection included a higher grade 2.1m interval with 2.03% nickel, 1.34% copper and 0.11% cobalt from 115.5m.
Additionally, Legend noted the 14.9m intersection occurs within a larger 70.15m disseminated sulphide halo – indicating the presence of a large mineralised system.
The sulphide halo starts 76m below surface and is open all directions.
Assays are still pending for 40.15m of the disseminated sulphide halo.
As a result of the discovery, Legend has renamed the target from Area D to Mawson.
Mr Wilson described the results as a “watershed moment” for all Legend stakeholders and the broader Fraser Range.
“Mawson lies within a 16km by 6km mag feature within a distinctly different stratigraphic package of rocks from the other known Fraser Range occurrences of massive sulphides at Nova, Silver Knight and Octagonal,” Mr Wilson explained.
“Legend holds a dominant land position over this eastern stratigraphic packaged,” he added.
Rockford and the Fraser Range
Renowned explorer and investor Mark Creasy is a substantial shareholder of Legend’s as is nickel miner Independence Group (ASX: IGO).
Both Mr Creasy and Independence Group hold prime ground in the Fraser Range which is actively being explored for deposits similar to Independence Group’s Nova, which is currently being mined for nickel, copper and cobalt.
Mr Wilson noted that Mr Creasy’s exploration team provided advice and assistance to Legend’s exploration program, which has resulted in the discovery at Mawson.
Nickel is currently a hot commodity due to its use in the lithium-ion battery and diminishing supplies.
News of the discovery spurred Legend’s share price up more than 116% to $0.091 in early morning trade.
Exploration companies in the Fraser Range region
Nearby explorers to Legend’s find include:
Galileo Mining (ASX: GAL)
Via his wholly-owned entities, Mr Creasy also has a large stake in Galileo Mining as does Independence Group.
Galileo has previously told the market its own tenements lie along strike of Legend’s.
At the beginning of November, Galileo reported aircore drilling at its Lantern prospect had “confirmed a highly prospective intrusive gabbronorite rock unit” above a previously identified conductor — similar to what Legend has been pulling up at Area D.
Galileo also pointed out it was actively exploring its own tenements with planning for a reverse circulation drilling program underway.
Galileo announced recently it had uncovered the Delta Blues prospect in the northern Fraser Range, which is 4km along strike from Legend’s Crean prospect.
Fraser Range Metals Group (ASX: FRN)
Perhaps the only explorer that Creasy or Independence Group don’t have their hands on in the region is Fraser Range Metals Group, which owns a small tenement package adjacent to Rockford.
The drilling program at Fraser Range Metals’ wholly-owned namesake project will comprise up to five reverse circulation holes and will be testing five distinct electromagnetic plates identified from a surface EM survey earlier this year.
Independence Group (ASX: IGO)
After acquiring Sirius Resources back in 2015, Independence Group got its hands on the Nova nickel discovery other explorers in the region are aspiring to emulate.
The deposit has now been commercially mined for more than two years. During FY 2019, Nova generated 30,708t of nickel in concentrate, 13,693t of copper concentrate and 1,090t of cobalt concentrate.
In its latest September quarterly, Independence Group revealed Nova was exceeding its FY 2020 quarterly guidance range for all metals.
For the period, nickel concentrate production from the mine was up 2% to 7,724t of metal, while copper concentrate output lifted 1% to 3,490t and cobalt rose 1% to 282t.
As well as actively mining at the deposit, Independence Group is actively drilling for similar mineralisation and is focusing on its ground within 15km of the mining lease.
Ausquest (ASX: AQD)
Ausquest recently kicked off drilling at the Telegraph prospect within its Balladonia project in the Fraser Range.
Reverse circulation drilling will test beneath the anomalous results found at Telegraph to provide a clearer indication of its potential.
Ausquest managing director Graeme Drew described the project as a “potential company-maker”.
Classic Minerals (ASX: CLZ)
Independence Group is earning a stake in Classic Minerals’ Fraser Range project after executing an agreement in July this year.
The nickel miner can lock-in a 51% interest by spending $1.5 million on exploration over two years. It can then up its stake to 70% by investing a further $1 million on advancing the asset over another two years.
Constellation Resources (ASX: CR1)
Investors have already uncovered Constellation Resources with the company getting a speeding ticket from the ASX on Monday.
Constellation owns the Orpheus project which encompasses 552sq km in the Fraser Range where it is reviewing newly acquired data along with historic geophysical surveys.
The company owns 70% of three exploration licences and once application with Enterprise Metals (ASX: ENT) retaining the remaining 30%.
Constellation also wholly owns another exploration licence in the region.
Buxton Resources (ASX: BUX)
Buxton Resources has a 10% free carried interest to a decision to mine at its Fraser Range project, which is owned in joint venture with Independence Group.
The duo has firmed up multiple high priority targets including the large Solar anomaly along strike of Creasy’s Silver Knight discovery.
Carawine Resources (ASX: CWX)
Another project Independence Group has shouldered into in the region is Carawine Resources’ Fraser Range project which hosts the Big Bullocks and Aries prospects.
Independence Group has the right to secure 70% of the tenements.
Carawine also wholly-owns the Big Bang tenement which was recently granted and lies in the central Fraser Range.
The company noted it is close to recent nickel and gold discoveries including those made by Independence Group and Galileo.
Boadicea Resources (ASX: BOA)
Boadicea Resources’ flagship project is its own Fraser Range, which it believes has potential for Nova-style mineralisation.
The company has two granted licences and five priority ballot licences for 406sq km across the Fraser Range, including a licence adjoining Creasy’s Silver Knight discovery.
Boadicea also has submitted 12 exploration licence applications that lie north and south of Nova.
The company’s focus is Symons Hill which is a granted licence adjoining Nova and covers 73sq km.
Arrow Minerals (ASX: AMD)
Africa focused Arrow Minerals has a 10% interest in the Plumridge nickel project within the Fraser Range.
Independence Group is actively exploring the asset and now owns 90%.
Mount Ridley Mines (ASX: MRD)
With the recent exploration activity in the Fraser Range, Mount Ridley Mineshas dusted off its own namesake project in the region and commissioned an independent review of available data.
The company noted its Mt Ridley project was “hugely underexplored” with only a limited part of the asset tested.
Mount Ridley claims its own tenements could potentially host Nova-style mineralisation.
Orion Minerals (ASX: ORN)
Independence Group is drilling Orion Minerals’ Fraser Range tenements under a joint venture agreement.
Drilling follow-up on anomalies identified from geophysical surveys.
Rumble Resources (ASX: RTR)
Independence Group plans to drill Rumble Resources’ Thunderstorm project in the Fraser Range.
However, the focus at this asset is a high-grade gold discovery.
Under the joint venture agreement with Independence Group, Rumble is free-carried 30% up to completion of a pre-feasibility study.
Creasy Group private entities
Via Great Southern Nickel and Ponton Minerals, Mr Creasy has prime holdings adjacent to Nova and Independence Group’s other nearby tenements.
Because the companies are private, no information on any exploration is available.