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White Cliff Minerals Drills Nickel-Gold Targets At Merolia

White Cliff Minerals (ASX:WCN) has demonstrated the depth of its portfolio and poised itself for near-term newsflow with the start of drilling at its Merolia nickel-gold project in Western Australia.

The company which has recently focused in exploration activities on the Kyrgyz Republic is highlighting its geographical diversification by testing of a number of strong Laverton-area targets including the historically high-grade Ironstone prospect.

Ironstone contains sparsely defined mineralised shear zones where historical drilling encountered 8 metres at 24 g/t gold consisting of sheared basalts and quartz veining.

Adjacent holes also encountered significant mineralisation including 4 metres at 5 g/t gold and 4 metres at 2 g/t gold.

About 1000 metres of drilling will target the historical high grade gold mineralisation encountered within fractured basalt unit adjacent to a regional shear zone.

This action represents a substantial portion of a 2,100-metre campaign unfolding at the broader Merolia project, where nickel sulphide targets are also being followed up.

At the McKenna prospect, about 800 metres of drilling will be conducted on three compelling massive nickel sulphide targets identified by a moving-loop electromagnetic survey.

The position of the McKenna bedrock conductors and geological setting is strikingly similar to the setting at the Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper deposit.

The margins of a layered mafic intrusion and the feeder conduit are considered highly favourable positions for the concentration of massive nickel sulphides.

The conductors are also associated with the margins of highly magnetic units and are coincident with very strong nickel-copper soil anomalies where the conductor is projected to surface.

Work at Merolia's Coglia nickel sulphide prospect will include about 500 metres of drilling to test a previously identified conductor and a strong nickel-copper-platinum-palladium geochemical anomaly.

Analysis

The start of drilling for nickel and gold at Merolia is an encouraging demonstration of White Cliff's commitment to developing its portfolio on multiple fronts.

With the bulk of the company's activities in recent months focused on the Aucu gold project in Central Asia, this pivot of attention to a highly prospective property in WA signals an ambitious overall strategy of diversification.

The quality of the targets at Merolia is also encouraging, with Ironstone already delivering high gold grades and the nickel sulphide prospects bearing similarities to the massive Nova deposit.

The cost of the McKenna drilling will be partially offset by a $150,000 grant from the WA government as part of the Royalties for Regions Exploration Incentive Scheme.

The Mines Department will fund 50% of the total direct drilling costs up to a maximum of $150,000.

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