Perth-based explorer Venus Metals Corporation (ASX: VMC) has identified a platinum group elements and base metals anomaly during initial reconnaissance field studies at its Barrabarra North nickel-copper-PGE project in Western Australia’s West Yilgarn province.
Geochemical sampling at two high-priority targets within the project area found highly-anomalous concentrations in soil with values of 63 parts per million nickel, 46ppm copper, 13 parts per billion platinum and palladium, and 3,169ppm chromium.
The targets sit near to Chalice Mining’s (ASX: CHN) Barrabarra project and are based on the laterite geochemical database for the western Yilgarn Craton.
Venus said the concentrations are anomalous in laterite and may indicate the presence of mafic-ultramafic bedrock within the dominant granitic terrain.
Mafic-ultramafic intrusive rocks may potentially be sulphide-bearing and host nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation of the Julimar type discovered by Chalice.
Soil and laterite sampling
Initial reconnaissance comprised soil and laterite sampling along traverses and at several random locations in two of Barrabarra North’s northern licences, employing the same parameters used by Chalice for its regional geochemical surveys.
At the first licence, the soils showed very high chromium concentrations over a maximum 500m interval and highly anomalous copper concentrations in most samples along the traverse.
Nickel, platinum and palladium were also anomalous with values of 63ppm, 9ppb and 4ppb respectively.
At the second, soil sampling was completed along an 800m long traverse to test anomalous platinum-palladium-copper concentrations.
Two samples at the eastern end of the traverse showed highly anomalous palladium and copper, at maximum values of 6ppb and 42ppm respectively.
The anomaly remains open to the north, south and east.
Venus said it was “very encouraged” by the results and is planning to carry out an extensive regional exploration program once the 1,000 square kilometres of tenure at Barrabarra North has been granted.
This will include systematic soil and laterite sampling across the company’s tenure as well as ground geophysical surveys targeting potential mafic-ultramafic bodies which may host sulphide mineralisation of the Julimar type for drill testing.