Exploration company Metal Hawk (ASX: MHK) has discovered massive nickel sulphides during first pass reverse circulation drilling at the Commodore prospect within its Berehaven nickel project, 20km east of Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.
Portable XRF (x-ray fluorescence) analysis of reverse circulation drill chips is believed to have confirmed a greenfields discovery consistent with high-grade tenor typical of Kambalda-style komatiite-hosted nickel deposits.
Three holes drilled for a total of 485m targeted anomalous end-of-hole nickel-copper-platinum group elements geochemistry similar to that intersected during aircore drilling in May at PNX’s Blair North and Clinker Hill projects.
Results from that program confirmed a highly anomalous nickel-copper zone in deeply weathered rocks contained highly elevated levels of platinum and palladium, suggesting a likely association with magmatic nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Best aircore intercepts were 54m at 0.32% nickel, 279 parts per million copper, 8 parts per billion platinum and 19ppb palladium from 35m, including 5m at 0.57% nickel, 450ppm copper, 29ppb platinum and 32ppb palladium from 84m to end of hole.
Massive and semi-massive sulphides
Metal Hawk reported that one of the reverse circulation holes intersected 2m of massive and semi-massive nickel sulphide mineralisation from 144m to 146m, directly beneath 12m of intensely weathered gossanous ultramafic rocks, at the interpreted basal contact with footwall felsic rocks.
The ultramafic horizon at which the other two holes intersected the target zone was intensely weathered and no sulphides were observed.
Managing director Will Belbin said both holes would provide an “excellent platform” for a planned downhole electromagnetics (DHEM) survey to identify the strongest conductive zones and refine follow-up diamond drilling.
“This is a fantastic result from [our] first reverse circulation program which confirms our belief in the potential for massive nickel sulphide discoveries to be made on this exciting and underexplored project,” he said.
“We look forward to ramping up our nickel sulphide exploration at Berehaven and plans for diamond drilling and DHEM are well underway.”
The Commodore prospect is located 5km north of the historic Blair mine which produced 1.26Mt grading 2.62% nickel for 32,900t of contained nickel.