Junior explorer NickelX (ASX: NKL) has encountered massive and disseminated sulphides from maiden first pass diamond drilling over six holes at two prospects within the Biranup nickel project, located in Western Australia’s world-class Albany Fraser Orogen.
At the Fire Dragon prospect, drilling was designed to locate thicker and potentially economic extensions of a nickel-copper bearing sulphide zone intersected by historic drilling and to better understand the style of mineralisation.
One of the holes intersected 0.55 metres of massive breccia sulphides from 263.65m to 264.2m downhole depth.
The sulphides are believed to be contained within a wider interval in another hole of highly altered and deformed mafic (amphibolite) gneiss interpreted to be deformed gabbro from 262.2m to 273.7m and containing disseminated sulphides and minor remobilised sulphide veinlets.
The sulphides are dominated by pyrrhotite with pyrite and lesser chalcopyrite.
Silver Dragon mineralisation
At the Silver Dragon target, two types of sulphide mineralisation were encountered from surface to the end-of-hole depth of 408.4m.
The first sulphide population consisted of trace disseminated sulphide (pyrrhotite-pyrite) within narrow intervals of deformed and metamorphosed gabbro and leucogabbro encountered consistently downhole.
The second assemblage comprised pyrite-pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite disseminations and minor stringer veinlets associated with a variably-developed alteration assemblage of magnetite-alkali feldspar-quartz-epidote-sausserite.
The mineralisation affected all lithologies and was in close spatial association with numerous and narrow fine-grained felsic (granitic) dykes crosscutting all other lithologies in the hole.
Highly encouraging discovery
NickelX managing director Matt Gauci said the discovery of sulphides at both locations is “highly encouraging”.
“While we would have anticipated thicker intervals in the gabbro based upon the geophysical interpretations, the program was only a first pass and once assays are received, we will incorporate those results into our geological model for planning of the potential next stage of drilling,” he said.
“In the meantime, our downhole electromagnetic surveys will commence shortly to detect any off-hole conductors.”
All sulphide-bearing intervals observed in the six holes at Fire Dragon and Silver Dragon have been sampled with cut core and submitted to ALS Laboratories in Kalgoorlie for multi-element analysis.
Mr Gauci said the company is developing new targets for follow-up drilling and will disclose further exploration plans once data results have been analysed and interpreted.