Chalice’s Alex Dorsch on just ‘how rare’ the Julimar nickel discovery really is

27th March 2020
Resources Rising Stars

Earlier this week, explorer Chalice Gold Mines (ASX:CHN) unveiled a spectacular high-grade nickel-copper-palladium intercept at the greenfields Julimar project near Perth in WA (reports Stockhead).

Initial comparisons are being made to Sirius Resources’ legendary Nova nickel discovery.

In 2012, cash strapped explorer Sirius unearthed the globally significant Nova nickel deposit in the Fraser Range of WA, sending an otherwise depressed market into a frenzy. Within two months the Sirius share price was up 4000 per cent, from 5c to over $2.50.

When the former penny stock was acquired by major miner Independence Group (ASX:IGO) in 2015 it was valued at $1.8bn, or $4.38 per share. Every explorer’s dream.

Like Nova, Julimar is located in a previously overlooked mineral province, in an area which has never before been drilled for nickel. It also comes at a time when global markets are looking sick.

But with ~$23m in the bank, Chalice is no cash strapped penny stock. Stockhead spoke with managing director Alex Dorsch about its plans for this potential company maker.

There have been comparisons made to the Nova nickel discovery. Are there early stage similarities or is it too soon to tell?

“It’s a very nice comparison to make,” Dorsch told Stockhead.

“There’s already been a couple of analyst reports released making that Nova comparison.

“What’s really significant for us is just how rare these types of drill results are. High-grade intercepts like this into new nickel projects do not come around very often.

“From a technical standpoint it has similar-looking magnetic features and comparable – but not identical – mineralogy. We also have spectacular palladium grades, [which Nova didn’t have].

“We don’t know anything beyond that just yet.”

A second hole at another target called Conductor A looks to be unsuccessful. Does the immediate success you had at Conductor E point to the ‘luck’ involved in greenfields exploration, or was there something about this target you particularly liked?

“We drilled Conductor E first because 1); it was modelled as the strongest conductor and 2); it was a ‘discrete’ shape [distinct] and didn’t look like it ‘fit’ into the magnetic signature,” Dorsch says.

“We liked Conductor A because it had size, but we were always concerned that it was on the ‘margin’ of the magnetic feature and could be a conductive unit in the surrounding rocks.”


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