Southern Cross Gold and Nickel Project, Western Australia
Hannans has signed an option to purchase a 90% interest in exploration license application E77/2691 located between Southern Cross and Bullfinch in Western Australia.
Hannans believes the Tenement is both strategic and prospective due to:
- its location adjacent to historic gold mines that are undergoing renewed gold exploration activity due to high gold prices (refer Adaman Resources and Altan Rio);
- the minimal amount of sustained exploration for nickel sulphides that has been undertaken in the Southern Cross area;
- its location between known nickel sulphide locations (Forrestania nickel deposits to the south, Trough Well to the north); and
- the presence of what appear to be fertile host rocks for nickel sulphides within the Tenement (both komatiite-hosted and layered mafic intrusion related).
Hannans will now commence a detailed historic data review and target generation process.
A presentation on the Southern Cross Gold & Nickel Project will be provided to Shareholders when the review is completed.
The Tenement is expected to be granted in the 1st Quarter of 2021 following which approvals will likely be sought to commence:
- ground geophysical surveys targeting ultramafic rocks that have the potential to host nickel sulphide mineralisation; and
- aircore / RC drilling targeting high grade gold mineralisation.
The greenstones of the Southern Cross area are interpreted to represent the along-strike continuation of the Forrestania Greenstones. Geological mapping and aeromagnetic data both appear to show the greenstones continuing to the north of Forrestania, with some disruption in the “Parker Dome” granite intrusion, before continuing in a north-west orientation through the Marvel Loch area on to the Southern Cross area.
The Forrestania Greenstones host significant nickel sulphide deposits, two of which (Flying Fox and Spotted Quoll) are being mined at present. Exploration for nickel sulphide deposits has been undertaken throughout the Forrestania Greenstones as far north as the Parker Dome. However, potentially due to the almost singular focus on gold exploration in the Southern Cross area, nickel sulphide mineralisation does not appear to have been actively explored for between approximately Marvel Loch and Bullfinch. It is worth noting that the Trough Well nickel occurrence is located along strike to the north-west of the Tenement (ELA 77/2691), demonstrating that the komatiites in this northern part of the greenstone belt are still fertile for nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Local GeologyKomatiites are mapped (and interpreted) throughout much of the greenstone belt, part of which is covered by the Tenement. These komatiites represent the main target for nickel sulphide mineralisation. Two trends of ultramafic rocks are evident; the major trend (which runs from the NW tip of the Parker Dome to right through to Bullfinch and beyond), and a minor trend (which passes to the west of the Parker Dome and appears to join the major trend in the area around the town of Southern Cross. Both these trends have indications of nickel anomalism. In addition to komatiite-hosted nickel sulphides, there is a possibility that intrusion related nickel- copper-PGE mineralisation may be present within the Tenement. One such prospect called Robertsons has been subject to previous exploration for base metal and precious metal mineralisation.
Summary of Historic Exploration
A large amount of exploration has been undertaken over the Southern Cross greenstones, almost exclusively for gold mineralisation. Hannans has completed a brief review of open file drill hole data to identify areas that have anomalous nickel assay results, and indications of nickel sulphide mineralisation. Drill hole collars were plotted over the Tenement and styled based on their maximum down-hole nickel assay. The next phase of review will be to consider the geochemical or geophysical coverage of the Tenement.
In this brief review the previously identified Robertsons and Gibney’s intrusive nickel-copper-PGE prospect was confirmed as being located within the Tenement. The prospect was subject to exploration in the early 2000s by Sons of Gwalia. Exploration identified a layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion with PGE anomalism on some of the boundaries and between layers internal to the intrusion. The basal contact, which is expected to be the most prospective area for nickel sulphides, is not well exposed, but appears to have been the subject of limited RAB drilling. A reasonably comprehensive report on the prospect was prepared by W.K. Witt in 2002, and this report and most of the exploration data over the prospect is contained in Annual Technical Report A66781. The area is seen to have potential for hosting nickel sulphide mineralisation. Surface EM would be a cost effective and non-invasive method of testing for bedrock conductors that may relate to nickel sulphide mineralisation.
For more information please refer to ASX releases by Hannans.