Other Projects in Western Australia
The Ardea WA tenure represents a large strategic land holding in one of Australia’s premier nickel sulphide and gold provinces. Ardea has several additional project mineralisation styles outside of the GNCP goethite. In addition to the other laterite hosted nickel-cobalt opportunities, Ardea’s tenure also hosts significant “greenfields” nickel sulphide and/or gold mineralisation.
Mt Zephyr Gold-Nickel Project (ARL 100%)
The Mt Zephyr Gold-Nickel Project is located in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia, another one of Australia’s great mineral provinces.
The Mt Zephyr-Darlot East metallogenic model for Ardea’s 910km² tenement holding is:
- The gold structural target is the shallow east-dipping Celia Lineament and 10km to the east (regionally from north to south localises the Jupiter, Wallaby, Sunrise Dam gold mining centres).
- Syenite-host, Ardea assaying confirms an alkaline igneous association with distinctive Ba-Sr-Ce-La-Nd association, alteration is dominantly pyrite with subordinate sericite, and alteration chemistry dominantly anomalous As-Mo-W.
The Mt Zephyr project continues to be reviewed, with multiple early stage targets defined at the Gale gold, Jones A nickel sulphide and Dunn’s Line gold prospects. Ardea needs to consider the best strategy for this quality tenement portfolio with current options including introducing a joint venture partner with a strong balance sheet and track record of exploration success to accelerate this opportunity without impacting Ardea’s tight capital structure and cash balance.
Mt Zephyr contains both primary gold and nickel mineralisation and encapsulates more than two thirds of an underexplored greenstone belt called Celia Lineament. The area east of the Celia Lineament is considered highly prospective for the following reasons:
- All historic gold workings east of lineament
- Mt Windarra nickel sulphide stratigraphy
- Jupiter, Wallaby granitoid-hosted gold to the east of the lineament further south
- Along structure from Mt Morgans, Lake Roe gold deposits
- Ardea are the first to test the new geological setting concepts
- First pass drill programs completed
- Gold at Gale, Dunn’s North, Dunn’s Line and Paul’s Find
- Ni-Cu sulphides (+ gold) at Jones Area A
- First-pass, wide-spaced (160mx160m) drilling confirms granite hosted gold mineralisation, at Gale
- Granitoid-hosted gold mineralisation from surface, limited drilling
- On Celia Shear Zone along strike from geologically similar Jupiter, Wallaby gold mines
- Outcropping gold-mineralised granite:
- Exceptional 900 x 300 m outcrop-limited anomaly at gold over 0.1 g/t (up to 1.49 g/t at surface)
- Sericite, pyrite, hematite alteration
- Gold, arsenic, copper and barium anomalism
- First-pass, wide-spaced (160x160m) drilling very promising:
- Intercepts include:
- AMZR0006: 96.00 m @ 0.28 g/t Au from 2 m
including 22.00 m @ 0.48 g/t Au from 10 m
- AMZR0002: 22.00 m @ 0.25 g/t Au from 6 m
including 4.00 m @ 0.79 g/t Au from 6 m
- AMZR0006: 96.00 m @ 0.28 g/t Au from 2 m
- Open in all directions
- Targets defined
- Near 100m intercepts are a rarity from a first pass exploration program and are interpreted as the distal, outlying halo of a significant gold mineralising system
- Parallels with Dacian’s Jupiter mine & Gold Fields’ Wallaby mine
Emu Lake nickel sulphide prospect
Emu Lake is part of the Kalpini group of tenements and has known nickel sulphide mineralisation exceeding 1% nickel. Previous explorers include Jubilee Mines, Emu Nickel, Xstrata and Pioneer Nickel. The komatiite belt is known to be fertile for nickel sulphide, including extremely high grade (+18% Ni) historic nickel sulphide intercepts (ELD015), albeit thin and discontinuous in previously limited drilling.
Ardea is in the process of assessing historic data from the region and defining and ranking a pipeline of nickel sulphide exploration targets. Detailed exploration programs will be planned and executed over compelling targets during 2020.
Perrinvale nickel sulphide prospect
E29/1006 covers 175km² along the eastern strike continuation of the “Cathedrals” Proterozoic Dyke complex. The application was predicated on Ardea’s recognition of lopolith mineralisation controls at its Bedonia Project, and aims to secure similarly endowed lopolith geological settings, as well as the northern strike continuation of the domain boundary Ida Fault hosting the Mt Ida gold mining centre to the immediate south.
The Ardea exploration model is based on recent nickel sulphide discoveries immediately west of Perrinvale made by St George Mining. Regional magnetic data highlights that the feature which hosts the St George Mining nickel sulphide discoveries within the Cathedrals Belt, has an east-northeast strike and extends into Perrinvale. At Perrinvale, this prospective trend is overlain by transported cover, requiring geophysical methods such as moving loop Electro Magnetic (EM) surveys to be employed to facilitate drill hole targeting.
The first MLEM survey was completed over three separate zones at Perrinvale during the September quarter. A final field report was received during the December quarter which recommends follow-up exploration including shallow aircore drilling beneath transported cover to determine basement geology and whether there is a geochemical signature associated with the EM anomalies defined.
Surface EM surveys are also recommended over the areas not covered by the initial trial survey.
Ardea is yet to follow up on the gold potential on the eastern side of the tenement package that could be associated with the north-south trending Zuleika-Ballard Shear system.
Mulga Plum gold and VMS base metal-sulphur prospect
The Mulga Plum gold prospect is a gold and base metal VMS target located 40km NE of Menzies and immediately SW of the historic gold mining town of Kookynie. The exploration model being tested by Ardea is a bulk tonnage granitoid gold system.
A review of historic data along with detailed mapping and rock chip sampling to confirm and extend historic gold anomalism was used to refine targets for RC drill testing. Drilling commenced on 12 December and before a hiatus for the Christmas break, a total of 20 RC holes for 1,148 metres was completed and 640 samples submitted for multi-element analysis.
Logging of RC drill chips has confirmed widespread disseminated sulphides across several alteration zones (propylitic epidote and potassic biotite dominant) and favourable rock types, including granitoid, mafic and felsic porphyry intrusives. Increased sulphides were also noted within the granite and along the base of mafic units. Assay results are required to help determine the significance of these observations as they relate to gold mineralisation.
A total of five holes for 350 meters remain to be drilled for completion of the program, which is scheduled to recommence in mid-January 2020.
Bulong gold prospect
Ardea’s Bulong tenements are located approximately 30km east of the City of Kalgoorlie Boulder. The regionally significant crustal scale gold-controlling structure, the Goddard Fault, trends north-south and passes through Ardea’s Bulong tenure. This structure represents a northern splay of the regionally significant Mount Monger Fault, which hosts gold mineralisation to the south, with the best-known operating mine in the area at Daisy Milano.
Historically, the focus on the Bulong tenements has been on laterite hosted nickel-cobalt mineralisation (54.1Mt @ 0.88% Ni and 0.05% Co, for 476.1kt Ni and 28.8kt Co – Ardea 2019 Annual Report), with limited historical gold exploration completed by Ardea. A detailed mapping and sampling program around the historic Taurus underlay shaft and multiple workings in the area has helped further the refine the controls on gold mineralisation in this region.
Ardea continues to work with Kalgoorlie-Boulder prospectors who have been recovering alluvial, eluvial and primary gold in the area which is assisting with target generation and furthering the understanding of the controls on gold mineralisation.
In addition to the significant nickel-cobalt resources hosted at Bulong, 36 exploration targets have been defined. These range from gold, PGMs and base metals (nickel, copper, lead and zinc).
Some historic nickel-cobalt laterite drill holes have been located over some of the gold targets and a search for the historic pulps within Ardea’s Kalgoorlie sample storage facilities has commenced. If the pulps can be located, they will be submitted for multi-element assay, including gold for the first time. This is a low impact and much cheaper form of exploration, as it removes the need to redrill holes.
Bedonia gold and nickel sulphide
The metallogenic model at Bedonia is nickel sulphide and Platinum Group Metals (PGM) associated with the Proterozoic-aged Jimberlana Dyke, with mineralisation at a historic prospect, Mordicus, as the proof of concept. Field programs by Ardea have identified targets at the Cleanthes and Lila gold prospects (historic drilling up to 2.7g/t Au), located on the Cundeelee Fault at the Albany Fraser Province western boundary.
Soil auger drilling programs have been designed and heritage clearance programs have been sought.