16/11/2020 - 20:21

Estrella ramps up Carr Boyd nickel exploration

16/11/2020 - 20:21


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Estrella Resources is ramping up exploration at its high-grade T5 nickel sulphide discovery in Western Australia, adding a second diamond rig to the metal hunt and upgrading infrastructure at the project. It is also expanding the scope of its work program having identified a bevy of new targets across this resurgent nickel-rich terrane.

Massive sulphide core from the T5 nickel discovery, Carr Boyd, WA. Credit: Bulls N’ Bears

Estrella Resources is ramping up exploration at its high-grade T5 nickel sulphide discovery in Western Australia, adding a second diamond rig to the metal hunt and upgrading infrastructure at the project. It is also expanding the scope of its work program, having identified a bevy of new targets across the resurgent nickel-rich terrane.

The company has contracted a second drill rig to work at Carr Boyd, with both rigs now running on a 24-hour a day schedule, as it outlines the T5 nickel sulphide discovery just over a kilometre north-east of the historic nickel mine. Drilling is targeting the nickel lodes above and below Estrella’s discovery hole, in addition to testing the strike extensions of the known mineralisation, up to 300m to the north of the main zone.

Estrella has begun to expand its exploration beyond the immediate Carr Boyd mine environs, with geophysical surveys outlining a new nest of conductors at the “Target A” prospect, around 1.8km south-west of the T5 discovery.

Estrella Resources Chief Executive Officer, Chris Daws said:

“We are not just focusing all our efforts towards the T5 Zone, we have also been busy undertaking regional exploration activities away from T5 by completing DHTEM in an historic hole at Target A, completing rock chip sampling over the previously defined auger soil anomaly areas, as well as extending the HPMLTEM survey over the northern portion of the project covering new targets POH and Tektite Hills. It is an exciting time for Estrella and our shareholders as we rapidly advance our efforts at Carr Boyd.”

Estrella’s Carr Boyd nickel sulphide project is located around 80km north-northeast of Kalgoorlie in WA’s mineral-rich Eastern Goldfields. The company is breathing new life into the project, which is centred around the renown Carr Boyd nickel mine. Carr Boyd was discovered in the 1960s and operated by Western Mining, with mining undertaken between 1973 and 1977 producing around 200,000 tonnes of ore grading at 1.43 per cent nickel and 0.46 per cent copper.

Whilst a parade of junior explorers have tinkered in the region over intervening time, looking for both nickel and gold, it has been Estrella’s seemingly well-focused and systematic program that may be poised to deliver, unearthing the deep-seated nickel sulphide system at T5.

The company’s innovative blend of high-powered ground electromagnetics, or “EM” and stratigraphic drilling lit up the sulphide target on the margins of the Carr Boyd layered intrusive system. Drilling of the rich-lodes has begun to turn out some solid results including CBDD030, which returned 13.9m at 1.07 per cent nickel, including a high-grade core of 2.5m at 3.66 per cent nickel, from 431.6m down-hole.

In response to the early success, Estrella has increased its drilling capacity to two diamond rigs, which are now double shifting to operate around the clock. The company has also moved to upgrade its infrastructure in the region to cater for the increase in exploration activity. Ongoing improvements include upgrading the project access roads, the purchase and installation of accommodation and office facilities and setting up bulk fuel and water storage.

This new infrastructure will negate the need for daily commuting from Kalgoorlie, saving several hours of driving each day. It is also aimed at improving safety and increasing operational efficiency as exploration ramps up over the coming months.

Aside from ongoing drilling over the T5 target, the company has kicked off exploration over several regional targets. Exploration at Target A, south-west of the T5 discovery, has included down-hole surveying of a drill hole emplaced back in 1997. It appears to be a remarkable feat and a testament to the tenacity of the surveying crew.

The down-hole EM has lit up an array of three off-hole conductors, indicating the potential presence of yet another prospect in the region. The targets are varying in size and conductance, with the deepest conductor yet to be properly tested.  Potentially, it is more than 200m long and extends vertically over more than 200m representing a substantial target for ongoing exploration.

The company’s consulting geophysicist, Russel Mortimer from Southern Geoscience Consultants, said:

“Target A represents a compelling untested bedrock conductor of moderate to high conductance situated on/adjacent to the western contact of the Carr Boyd intrusive complex. Multiple conductive bodies and 3D geometrical complexities are commonly observed within such mineralised systems.”

Elsewhere, rock chipping and auger to the north-east of the Carr Boyd mine has continued to uncover anomalous, near-surface nickel and copper mineralisation. Sampling at the POH prospect has returned assays of up to 18.6 per cent copper whilst the nearby Watertank target has returned a number of rock chips in excess of 0.5 per cent nickel. This broader target area will be tested by ongoing surface EM surveying in the coming weeks.

Estrella is expanding its program north of Kalgoorlie with drilling, sampling and geophysics continuing to outline targets across the fertile terrane. The company is pursuing the old adage, if you want to find a new mine perhaps start by exploring in the shadow of an old headframe.  

Additional results are expected from Carr Boyd as exploration continues in the coming weeks.


Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au


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