West Australian base metals explorer NickelX (ASX: NKL) has been awarded a $180,000 grant to start drilling at its promising Cosmo South nickel project in the Wiluna greenstone belt of Western Australia.
The grant, made under the WA Government’s exploration incentive scheme, comes as NickelX is progressing the permitting program and also engaging a drilling contractor.
The company says that the compilation of geophysical, geochemical and geological data has defined high priority drill targets.
Area to be drilled undergone limited previous exploration
The ground is also 20km north of the Leinster nickel operation controlled by Nickel West-BHP (ASX: BHP).
NickelX has previously said that, despite being surrounded by major nickel miners, its M36/580 Cosmos South licence area has undergone “very limited” exploration and represents one of the very few independently owned projects on the Wiluna belt now dominated by BHP and Western Areas.
The majority of the ground is covered by alluvium draining into Lake Miranda, a 10,000-hectare sized lake (when full) located near Leinster.
The grant will cover the drilling of four holes.
These holes will test the near surface and down dip extensions of the identified magnetic anomalies.
Drone survey produced highly detailed data
NickelX managing director Matt Gauci says Cosmos South ranks highly on the company’s target list.
In its recently released March quarterly report, NickelX noted that it had received overwhelming shareholder approval to acquire the project.
It then immediately began exploration activities and commissioned a drone magnetic survey, which was flown at a height of 30m and delivered very detailed geophysical data.
This helped better define the magnetic character of the target areas.
Also in the quarterly report, NickelX noted it has been reviewing several nickel sulphide deposits in the southwest and southeast of the Yilgarn Craton.
Negotiations were at the time under way for the acquisition of further nickel sulphide projects.