The Julimar in Chalice’s Crown

Chalice Mining seems to be on the cusp of confirming another major area of mineralisation and a possible second major discovery at its Julimar prospect northeast of Perth.

Chalice has already proved up the Gonneville prospect and its 560 million tonnes of nickel, copper, gold, palladium, platinum, gold and cobalt 70 kilometres northeast of Perth.

But this week in a surprise update six weeks after its last major announcement upgrading the size of Gonneville, Chalice revealed three new areas of interest.

There’s startling news from the Hooley prospect well north of Gonneville that Chalice has always felt was highly prospective; there’s the untested 3 km stretch between Gonneville and Hooley that has shown better than expected early drilling outcomes and there is a completely new area to the south of the start of the Gonneville deposit that could end up revealing unexpected copper and nickel mineralisation.

The area to the south of Gonneville was thought not be mineralised but there are now indications it could be, so Chalice will run a small drilling program over the area.

Chalice said a 2 dimensional (2D) seismic survey line located around “500m south of Gonneville on Chalice-owned farmland indicates a potential continuation of the host intrusion/prospective stratigraphy south of the Resource in an area previously considered to be stoped-out by shallow post-mineralisation granite.

“Given the prevalence of high-grade nickel-copper mineralisation at the southern end of Gonneville and the potential ~2.5km of strike length on open farmland yet to be tested, this target horizon is prioritised for initial drilling in the coming weeks.”

Then there’s growing interest in the current northern extent of the Gonneville prospect where six diamond drill holes have revealed significant intersections that could confirm a belief that Gonneville is much larger than previous thought, especially at depth.

“Extensional drilling at the northern end of the Gonneville Deposit has intersected several high- grade zones beyond the current Resource boundary, with significant results.”

“These (six diamond drill) holes continue to confirm that mineralisation continues for considerable distance down-dip, with broad zones of disseminated mineralisation encountered with internal higher-grade zones.”

Chalice thinks the results from these holes are enough to justify more drilling in the three kilometre zone this year and believes that it could extend the area of mineralisation to a third or more of the 30 kilometre line of strike.

“Drilling has continued to intersect sulphide mineralisation in holes targeting the continuation of the Julimar Complex to the north of Gonneville.

“Several encouraging zones of mineralisation have been intersected over a strike length of ~10km, which confirms Julimar is a large-scale mineral system with the potential for multiple discrete Ni-Cu-PGE deposits.” (that’s nickel, copper, platinum, palladium and gold)

But more important is the confirmation that the Hooley prospect has become ‘live’ with major intersections of mineralisation found which are very similar to that at Gonneville.

Hooley is five kilometres to the north of Gonneville.

Chalice said this week that “New reconnaissance exploration drill holes at the Hooley Prospect have continued to intersect significant nickel-copper-PGE sulphide zones.”

“The PGE-dominant mineralisation at Hooley shows a similar sulphide style and geological setting to that of the Gonneville Deposit…analysis of the holes drilled at Hooley shows the same broad ultramafic-mafic intrusion domains as evident in the Gonneville Intrusion.

“Elevated platinum relative to palladium grades are also observed at Hooley, similar to what is observed in the upper parts of the Gonneville deposit.”

After 22 holes at five sites, Chalice thinks Hooley could be a shallower version of Gonneville, though the next round of drilling will test mineralisation at depth.

“Drilling indicates that the Hooley Intrusion is relatively narrow close to surface with an estimated thickness of between 80-150 metres. However, drilling from a number of drill sites indicates that it is increasing in thickness down-dip,” according to Chalice’s statement this week.

Drilling has continued to intersect mineralised ultramafic-mafic intrusive rock types from very wide-spaced sites, further demonstrating the considerable size of the Julimar mineral system and the possibility of localised high-grade zones.

Several multi-kilometre sections of the Julimar Complex remain untested, and planning is underway for additional exploration drilling at Hooley as well as initial drilling at the Baudin-Jansz-Torres targets on existing access tracks. This program is expected to commence in the September quarter.

The most intriguing part of the announcement this week was the area to the south of the start of the Gonneville area and for that reason we can expect to see a quick update from this drilling.

If Chalice was to find new and significant areas of nickel-copper mineralisation, it would change the thinking of the project completely, especially the mining plan and type of processing needed in the initial phase.

In its March quarterly report, Chalice said it had around $84 million in cash on hand and its planned work was funded up to the end of 2024.

In this week’s report it repeated what we told you in late April, that the company has started talking to a host of companies and investors about Julimar and its development.

“Chalice’s multi-track value creation strategy at Julimar is to continue initial exploration to determine the full scale of the mineral system, advance development studies and progress regulatory approvals for a potential mine at Gonneville (located on Chalice-owned farmland) and complete a strategic partnering process for the development of Gonneville.”

About Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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