Jun 01, 2024

Javelin sniffs out proven geochemical trail in NSW

Perth-based explorer Javelin Minerals believes new assays from two of its projects in central New South Wales indicate the company is drilling the same ultramafic rock that mining giant Rio Tinto valued at $21 million, just 4km away.

On the back of its latest campaign, management now considers its Husky and Malamute projects to have excellent prospectivity for scandium and rare earths, in addition to precious, base and battery metals.

In the north of Javelin’s ground, at its Malamute project, 16 air-core (AC) holes drilled through 542m were designed to follow-up on leads from 40 holes the company plunged in 2019. But the program at that time did not investigate some of the discrete aeromagnetic features identified in the area.

Assays back from the laboratory now show that six of the Malamute holes contain samples with anomalous geochemistry, while four holes did not. Five holes are currently at the lab awaiting analysis and one hole was not submitted for sampling. The holes ranged from 8m deep to 60m, averaging 34m.

From the anomalous samples, the company says the best came back at 0.18 parts per million platinum, 0.11 per cent cobalt, 0.19 per cent chromium, 0.07 per cent nickel and 373ppm scandium. It says the results are encouraging because they support the geological model for the area showing lateritic material overlying ultramafic intrusive units.

About 40km south of Malamute, at the company’s Husky project, assays are back from all eight exploratory reverse-circulation (RC) drillholes totalling 1143m. The results show elevated geochemical results from six of the eight holes and management says that suggests it has again drilled into ultramafic units or the overlying saprolite.

The best assay results include 4m with 565ppm arsenic from 116m, 12m going 330ppm cobalt, 416ppm copper and 270ppm nickel from 19m, 5m with 346ppm cobalt from 23m and 5m with 1255ppm chromium and 923ppm nickel from 30m.

Significantly, just 4km to the south/south-east of Husky, Platina Resources sold its ultramafic-hosted scandium-platinum project to Rio Tinto for about $21 million.

The significance of the Husky results is that they show the same ultramafic unit that hosts Platina’s scandium-platinum deposit, which sold to Rio Tinto, exists as a concentric zone and extends into our ground at the southern boundary.

The Platina deposit has a total mineral resource, using a 300ppm scandium cut-off, of 35.6 million tonnes at 405ppm scandium, equating to 22,000 tonnes of scandium oxide – the saleable product. Other metals present in the Platina deposit are platinum at 0.28 grams per tonne giving 317,000 ounces, nickel at 0.1 per cent giving 35,700 tonnes and cobalt at 0.06 per cent for 20,500 tonnes.

The north-south trend of ultramafics also extends north about 45km from Javelin’s Malamute project to Helix Resources’ spin-out company Ionick Metals’ Homeville laterite nickel-cobalt deposit that contains 17.9 million tonnes at 0.9 per cent nickel and 0.06 per cent cobalt. Helix describes Homeville as having excellent grades of nickel and cobalt, but it needs more tonnes to be of interest. A target of 60 to 100 million tonnes is considered necessary to underpin a long-term operation.

About 100km further south from Malamute, Sunrise Energy Metals’ Syerston laterite nickel-cobalt deposit contains 76.8 million tonnes at 0.73 per cent nickel and 0.13 per cent cobalt. The ultramafic belt also hosts Helix’s CZ copper deposit with 2 million tonnes at 2 per cent copper.

As Javelin waits for more assays to be returned from its latest batch of drilling, it will plan more RC work in the area in a bid to firm up its geological understanding and will also test new targets on magnetic highs.

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: [email protected]

Sign up for our emails