02/02/2021 - 14:45

Todd River chasing WA nickel-PGE targets

02/02/2021 - 14:45

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Todd River Resources has hit the ground running with exploration over its Berkshire Valley project north of Perth defining anomalous nickel, copper and PGE mineralisation over more than 8 kilometres of strike. Recent geophysics have also added some more colour to the picture, with moving loop electromagnetics detecting an anomaly associated with a key geochemical target.

Drilling for nickel in the SW Mineral Field of WA. Credit: TP Mine Imagery

Todd River Resources has hit the ground running with exploration over its Berkshire Valley project north of Perth in WA defining anomalous nickel and PGE mineralisation over more than 8 kilometres of strike. Recent geophysics have added even more colour to the picture, with moving loop electromagnetics, or “EM” work detecting a subtle anomaly associated with a key geochemical target.

The company’s Berkshire Valley project forms part of a quiver of highly prospective nickel and copper projects which the company has been quietly accumulating. Historically, Todd River was a Northern Territory-based explorer focused on a suite of sediment-hosted zinc projects spread throughout that state, including the Manbarrum and McArthur River discoveries in the north of the Territory.

However, Todd River’s board and management are serious operators in the nickel space and the company has pivoted in the last year based on the expertise of Managing Director Will Dix and two-time “Prospector of the Year” and Todd River Director Mark Bennett, who is credited with making the revered Nova-Bollinger nickel discovery in the Fraser Range.

Todd River got into the nickel business in late 2019, acquiring the Nanutarra nickel project located in Western Australia’s Gascoyne region, around 90km south of Onslow. The project covers a multi-phase mafic intrusion which the company says is highly prospective for nickel sulphide mineralisation, with a limited shallow drilling program from the early 2000s also returning anomalous levels of both platinum and palladium.

The company recently completed a fixed loop EM survey across the 9 square kilometre Nanutarra intrusion and it is currently working up drill targets for the looming field season.

Todd River picked up the Berkshire Valley project last year, which located  in the now-coveted South West Mineral Field of WA. The purchase of the project came in the middle of last year and was made hot on the heels of Chalice Mining’s spectacular Julimar discovery to the south, which put the spotlight on the fertile and under-explored mineral terrane that sits neatly on Perth’s doorstep.

The Berkshire Valley project is located 150km to the north-east of Perth and immediately to the east of the wheat-belt town of Moora. It is well serviced by road, rail, water and power – in fact arguably everything a developing project might need. Todd River’s tenure is situated in the same geological terrane as the Julimar nickel-PGE discovery and covers a string of mafic-ultramafic intrusions that extend along an impressive 40km of strike, which the company says are highly prospective for intrusive-style nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation.

Whilst much of the Berkshire Valley project remains untested by previous explorers and presents as a blank canvas for the company, the southern tenement area did attract the likes of IGO Limited between 2006 and 2009. The mid-tier miner undertook gold exploration across the terrane whilst it looked to establish a mining centre at its Pithara gold operations, located 60km to the east of the project.

IGO completed several programs of wide-spaced auger and roadside aircore drilling across its land-holdings in the Berkshire Valley, with more detailed soil sampling and auger drilling along 15km of strike near Moora uncovering several large gold anomalies. The anomalies received limited drill testing and remain a significant opportunity for Todd River, as they are also coincident with recently identified nickel-copper mineralisation.

Fortuitously, IGO also assayed for nickel and copper and Todd River has also obtained the sample pulps and re-assayed them for a suite of platinum group elements, or “PGE’s”. The company quickly outlined a broad envelope of  nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation associated with the underlying mafic-ultramafic intrusions.

Todd River Resources Managing Director Will Dix said:“The results from the re-assaying program has reaffirmed our belief that we are exploring the right address for mafic-ultramafic intrusion style Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation.”

“Our plan is to initially cover the areas we have identified as the most prospective with ground-based EM geophysics and from there we plan to develop drilling programs to be completed as soon as possible during the field season.”

Nickel-copper-PGE anomalism in the southern project area stretches over more than 8km of strike, with a large PGE anomaly defined over 1.8km in the central survey area. Subsequent moving loop EM surveys over the geochemical survey area have returned a subtle anomaly over the main nickel-PGE geochemical target which perhaps indicates a deeper massive sulphide source or hints at the presence of other elusive styles of sulphide mineralisation – both of which now await the bite of the drill bit.

With the nickel price heading for a ten-year high and currently trading at over US$17,750 per tonne, Todd River looks well placed to exploit its grab bag of interesting looking nickel targets in WA – watch this space.

 

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

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