Taruga, Peak home in on nickel target
After success in a second phase of air-core drilling, junior explorers Taruga Minerals and Peak Minerals are fast-tracking exploration at the duo’s Meekatharra nickel-copper joint venture in WA’s Murchison region.
Broad nickel anomalism was intersected above a conductive anomaly at the pair’s jointly held prospect, Target B. Significant intercepts included a 17m hit at 0.29 per cent nickel from 56m and another 10m strike running 0.32 per cent nickel from 50m.
The results have inspired the explorers to conduct a moving-loop electromagnetic survey over the prospect in May with follow-up RC and diamond drilling as early as June.
Target B forms part of Peak’s larger Green Rocks project where a total of 18 air core holes were recently completed to test interpreted mafic-ultramafic intrusions.
Twelve holes were drilled across Peak’s Tal Val and Target C prospects whilst the remaining six probed Target B, a priority geophysical focus within the Meekatharra joint venture.
The shared prospect hosts a strong, previously unidentified, electromagnetic conductor 250m below the surface and measuring 500m-by-300m.
The target remains untested below 100m.
One hole at Target B intersected a stringer of pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite –minerals bearing nickel and copper – in fresh rock.
We received assays back within six weeks of drilling which confirmed ultramafic intrusives and nickel anomalism above a very large, strong EM conductor. The isolated conductor and presence of sulphides is enough for us to go right to MLEM and book the drill rig in.
Peak says identifying conductors in electromagnetics is a key step in the detection of nickel and copper mineralisation.
A total of 1810m of air core drilling was completed at the Tal Val, Target B and Target C prospects at the end of March.
Heritage surveys have already been completed, allowing the explorers to step to the south and better target the conductors with the upcoming drill program at a depth of 250m.
Peak holds the right to earn an 80 per cent interest in the Meekatharra joint venture with an exploration expenditure of $150,000.
Taruga holds a handful of projects across the world-class mineral districts of South Australia and Western Australia. Its target minerals range from copper and nickel to PGEs and rare earths.
However, it was its high-grade sediment-hosted copper discovery back in May 2021 that put the company on punters’ radars.
Whilst it appears Taruga would agree with Goldman Sachs’s belief that “copper is the new oil” – given the emerging energy market has many facets – it looks as though Taruga’s nickel assets could prove to be equally lucrative.
Traditionally, most of the world’s nickel is consumed in the production of stainless steel. However, research by the International Energy Agency suggests electric vehicles and battery storage will take the top spot by 2040 when it comes to nickel consumption.
According to the International Nickel Study Group, the global demand for nickel stands at about three million tonnes in 2022.
The International Energy Agency predicts nickel demand possibly exceeding six million tonnes by 2040.
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