Julimar could be the next Kambalda: Dorsch

Chalice Mining managing director Alex Dorsch says the Julimar Complex could be the world’s next great nickel province (reports MiningNews).
9th June 2022

Speaking at Resources Rising Stars on the Gold Coast yesterday, Dorsch noted that the Kambalda nickel district started with just one discovery, but 25 million tonnes of nickel had been discovered in Kalgoorlie-Kurnalpi nickel province since 1965.

"We're aiming to replicate exactly that journey on the western side of the Yilgarn," he said.

"We see hundreds of potential Gonneville-like discoveries that could be made on this belt."

The 1200km-long western margin of the Yilgarn craton is almost entirely unexplored.

Chalice holds 8000sq.km of ground in the region.

The globally significant Gonneville deposit has put the region on the map.

Gonneville has a resource of 330 million tonnes at 0.94 grams per tonne palladium, platinum and gold (3E), 0.16% nickel, 0.1% copper and 0.016% cobalt, or 0.58% nickel equivalent containing 10 million ounces of 3E, 530,000 tonnes of nickel, 330,000t of copper and 53,000t of cobalt.

A resource update is due in early July.

"There's a lot more to go at Gonneville and a lot more to go in this intrusive complex," Dorsch said.

"We're furiously drilling this thing."

Chalice has completed about 900 holes since the initial discovery was made in March 2020.

"There's probably another 900 to go, to be honest, before we close off the mineralisation," Dorsch said.

"How big could this system get?"

Dorsch noted there was evidence of the same geology along the 30km-long Julimar Complex and other companies had hit mineralisation 50km away.

Chalice recently received approval to drill to the north of Gonneville in the Julimar State Forest.

The company had already drilled eight of 70 planned sites from existing tracks in the forest.

The holes intersected several narrow intervals of ortho-magmatic nickel-copper sulphides in mafic-ultramafic rocks, but not at economic grades.

"What it has shown is there's a live mineral system," Dorsch said.

The highest priority target is Hartog, immediately north of the Gonneville deposit, which is a circa 6.5km-long gravity-airborne electromagnetic anomaly with multiple late-time ground EM conductors, some with coincident nickel-copper-palladium anomalism in soils.

"It's a very, very tantalising proposition," Dorsch said.

Chalice is planning a six-month drilling program in the forest. It has four rigs working on the program.

"Should we get the right results here - and we're hoping we will - we'll scale up again," Dorsch said.

Chalice raised A$100 million last month for ongoing exploration and Gonneville studies.

Metallurgical test work continues as part of the upcoming scoping study.

Dorsch said there was a long way to go on the flowsheet, but the current plan was to float two concentrates.

The company has also received a $2.9 million grant from the federal government to evaluate downstream processing.

"Can we go to a mixed nickel-cobalt pre-cursor product?" Dorsch said.

"It's a big area of interest for us at the moment."

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