White Cliff Minerals' (ASX: WCN) continues to set a rapid pace for exploring the Merolia Nickel and Copper Project after its soil geochemical survey identified a high tenor nickel-chrome-bismuth-copper anomaly over a strike length of 800 metres.
The success from analysis of the first 323 samples has led the company to immediately start a follow-up soil geochemical survey.
A second smaller nickel anomaly covering 200 metres of strike has also been identified. Both anomalies are open to the north.
"The new soil program will test the area to the north of the nickel anomalies to define the extent of the anomalism. Further infill geochemical sampling will also be carried out around the existing anomalies," managing director Todd Hibberd said.
The remaining 1,022 samples from the initial soil geochemical survey are being analysed and results are expected to be released in coming weeks.
"The geochemical surveys will be followed by geophysical surveys that are expected to generate multiple defined EM conductors that will be drilled in the second half of 2014," Hibberd added.
"We are highly encouraged by the initial results generated from the geochemical program at the Merolia project.
"The prospective parts of the Merolia project extend over 80 kilometres and are along strike from the Rosie and Camelwood nickel sulphide discoveries to the north and the Mulga Tank nickel discovery to the south providing confidence that further strong results will be delivered as exploration progresses."
XRF analysis of the first 323 samples from the recently completed soil geochemical survey identified a nickel-chrome-bismuth-copper anomaly over a strike length of 800 metres on the basal contact of a mafic-ultramafic intrusion and the adjacent ultramafic unit.
The anomaly is open along strike to the north.
A second smaller nickel anomaly covering 200 metres of strike has been identified which is also open to the north.
The lack of anomalous nickel responses over the historical electromagnetic targets appears to be related to transported cover and further analysis will be conducted with a specialised geochemical analysis method.
The survey was carried out on the basis of from a technical review of historical high level airborne electromagnetic survey that identified 10 anomalous electromagnetic responses that coincide with either the basal contact of the Diorite Hill layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion or contacts between mafic and ultramafic layers within the intrusion.
Merolia Nickel-Copper Project
The Merolia Project licences cover 771 square kilometres in the Merolia Greenstone belt, a region prospective for magmatic nickel and copper sulphides and orogenic gold deposits.
It contains extensive ultramafic sequences including the Diorite Hill layered ultramafic complex, the Rotorua ultramafic complex, the Coglia ultramafic complex and a 50 kilometre long zone of extrusive ultramafic lava's.
The Intrusive complexes are prospective for nickel-copper sulphide accumulations possibly with platinum group elements, and the extrusive ultramafic rocks are prospective for nickel sulphide and nickel-cobalt accumulations.
The project also contains extensive basalt sequences that are prospective for gold mineralisation including the Ironstone prospect where historical drilling has identified 24m at 8.6 grams per tonne gold.
Merolia is highly prospective for two types of nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation:
- Intrusive layered mafic-ultramafic related basal margin nickel and copper sulphide accumulations; and
- Extrusive lava channel Kambalda style nickel sulphide deposits.
The discovery of a large high tenor nickel-chrome-bismuth-copper anomaly validates the rapid pace that White Cliff Minerals is setting for exploration of the Merolia Project.
This is further demonstrated by the company's move to immediately begin a follow-up geochemical survey to define the extent of the anomalism that will in turn be followed by planned geophysical surveys that are expected to generate multiple defined EM conductors.
All this will pave the way for drilling to be carried out in the second half of 2014, which will give the company a firm understanding of the nickel prospectivity of the project which hosts a number of extensive ultramafic sequences including Diorite Hill.
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