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Stratum Metals Identifies Potential For Supergene Massive Sulphides At East Menzies

Stratum Metals (ASX: SXT) has discovered nickel and copper sulphide minerals that indicate the potential for supergene sulphide enrichment at the historic East Menzies Goldfield projects.

An ongoing review and compilation of past exploration has revealed petrographic studies identifying violarite and covellite, which are often associated with supergene enrichment of sulphide ores.

The violarite and covellite bearing samples in the studies are from the Goodenough Gold Deposit, within close proximity to already identified large electromagnetic conductors, including the 490 metre long Conductor 3.

Conductor 3 lies within the same geological environment as the source of the petrographic samples.

Supergene sulphide violarite, nickel-cobalt sulphide, gossan sampling returned grades of 1.47% nickel and 0.12% cobalt and up to 2,511 parts per million nickel samples, along with elevated silver, arsenic, copper, lead and zinc.

Significance of supergene enrichment

Supergene sulphide enrichment is the natural upgrading of buried sulphide deposits by the secondary deposition of metals dissolved in waters percolating through the rock - generally from surface down.

The enriched ore forms the supergene zone above the primary, or hypogene, zone and in some cases can hold as much as 10 times the original metal content.

The supergene phenomenon makes rich ores even richer, lean ores are made more valuable and some ores otherwise too lean to be economic are upgraded enough to be workable.

Potential for supergene enrichment at Goodenough

If the presence of violarite and covellite within the samples from Goodenough is indicative of supergene oxidation there may be an enrichment zone (sulphide ore target).

The mineralogy and recent sampling completed by Stratum shows the required metals to be present, the geology of the Goodenough area is amphibolite schist (after mafic volcanics), a quartz/chert band and felsite rocks which should be suitable hosts.

Locally, the water table is understood to be deep suggesting any supergene enrichment zone would be expected to occur at depth.

Finally, the mineralisation at Goodenough is open at depth and along strike, and the potential exists for base metal sulphide deposit down dip of the deposit's Resource.

Exploration plan

Stratum plans to undertake a drilling program to target three moving loop transient electromagnetic MLTEM conductors.

A program of work to allow drill testing of Conductor 3 is under assessment by the Department of Mines and Petroleum.

The conductors have never been drill tested.

Stratum plans to begin drilling followed by a down hole electromagnetic survey as soon as possible.

Additionally, the company's consulting geophysicist is currently assessing the options for a project wide electromagnetic survey.


Although early days, this is an encouraging start to 2013 fieldwork at East Menzies. That the conductors have never been drill tested ensures interest and drilling will be keenly watched.

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