Mandrake Resources (ASX: MAN) has reported assays of rock chip samples from its Newleyine prospect in Western Australia showing concentrations of platinum and palladium that have exceeded expectations.
The company said assays of up to 0.36 grams per tonne of palladium, 0.27g/t platinum, 0.5% nickel and 0.19% copper confirm Newleyine is “highly fertile” for mineralisation similar to the recent Julimar discovery made by Chalice Gold Mines (ASX: CHN).
The Julimar nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) discovery lies 30km from Newleyine.
The Julimar discovery was announced in March this year with Mandrake announcing on 14 April 14 that it had farmed into neighbouring ground within the Jimperding Metamorphic Belt in a deal with unlisted Andean Energy Resources.
Mandrake’s ground, containing the Newleyine prospect, 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 172 parts per million copper over drill widths of up to 240m.
But Newleyine has not previously been tested for PGEs.
Potential for Julimar-style mineralisation
Mandrake managing director James Allchurch said Chalice’s Julimar discovery had uncovered a previously unrecognised nickel-copper-PGE province on the doorstep of Perth and now Mandrake’s surface results demonstrate the potential for a similar mineralisation on its own ground.
“Our confidence in Newleyine has grown and given us added impetus to proceed to the next step in our exploration approach,” he said.
Mandrake will now begin planning of electromagnetic geophysical surveys in order to identify drill targets.
The company collected 96 rock samples, of which assays from 44 have been received with the results confirming surface PGEs at Newleyine.
It said concentrations of palladium and platinum have exceeded expectations, with concentrations exceeding 0.01g/t found in seven of the samples.
“This is an exciting development for the company and has elevated Newleyine’s prospectivity for PGEs, given it is hosted in the same geological setting as Chalice’s Julimar,” Mandrake said.
Results of the remaining 52 rock chip samples will be released in the coming weeks.
Mandrake can earn up to 80% of the 140sq km Newleyine project. There was an upfront payment of $40,000 and Mandrake will earn a 51% interest by spending $100,000, then moving to an 80% stake with an additional $200,000 in exploration spending.
Northern Territory gold drilling
Meanwhile, the company will this month begin a new drilling program at gold targets in the Northern Territory. Its Berinka project, 180km south of Darwin, covers 289sq km.
Previous limited drilling has returned 4m at 6.6g/t gold starting 32m from surface, along with 6m at 3.8g/t gold and 5m at 2.6g/t gold.