Mineral processing technology company TNG (ASX: TNG) has secured co-funding for exploration at its flagship Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project under the Northern Territory government’s geophysics and drilling collaboration program.
The project will receive $143,000 towards a brownfields drilling program under a competitive grants initiative known as Resourcing the Territory, which is administered by the region’s Geological Survey.
The initiative allocates up to $3 million in co-funding for projects which address geoscientific knowledge gaps, advance exploration activity, and support the discovery and development of resources in the territory.
TNG’s drilling will obtain samples from the feeder zone and lower sections of the composite Mount Peake gabbro intrusive to determine the potential for nickel-copper, chromium and platinum group elements (PGE) mineralisation below the main vanadium-titanium resource.
A series of magma pulses have been identified in existing drill testwork, but holes to date have not gone beyond the vanadium-titanium mineralised magnetite-rich phases.
Mount Peake gabbro
The Mount Peake gabbro is a regionally-extensive, flat-lying sill of variable thickness (up to 200m) with drill intersections over an area of 100 square kilometres and a substantially-larger geophysical response.
Situated in the territory’s Aileron Province, the area was briefly explored for nickel-copper-chromium-PGE mineralisation almost 20 years ago; however, no deep holes were drilled on geophysical targets.
TNG said while the large and medium-grade Mount Peake resource is economic near surface, the potential for smaller, higher grade nickel-copper-PGE sulphide deposits exists for economic mining to a depth of several hundred metres.
The company said there had been little historical effort by previous exploration companies to find these types of deposit in the Province.
TNG’s drilling program will test a target immediately to the west of the Mount Peake mineral resource, where a west-dipping fault terminates the ore zone and is likely to provide magma access.
Aeromagnetic and electromagnetic interpretation suggests the site could be a feeder into the main intrusive body.
TNG said the identification of a mafic-intrusive feeder zone at Mount Peake would open up the area for exploration for sulphide-hosted nickel-copper-PGE deposits.