Gold and nickel sulphide drilling commences at Mount Zephyr
- Drilling commences at the Mount Zephyr greenstone belt in the northern Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia:
o 153 drill holes planned (21 RC, 132 aircore).
o 7,800m of drilling.
o Gold and nickel-copper-PGE sulphide targets being assessed.
- Preparation underway for gold drilling of the Bardoc Tectonic Zone at Goongarrie, adjacent to the Goongarrie Nickel-Cobalt Project.
- Ardea awarded WA government Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) co-funding to diamond drill stratigraphic holes at the Jones Area A project for nickel-copper-PGE and gold assessment.
- Mount Zephyr key tenement E39/1706 renewed for 5 years.
First Mount Zephyr drill programs underway
Drilling has commenced at Ardea's Mount Zephyr greenstone belt in Western Australia. The drill rig started turning on 31 January.
A series of first-pass programs will enable assessment of both the gold and nickel-copper-PGE potential of several project areas. The programs aim to provide data that will progress each project to a second, more thorough, deeper and/or more extensive phase of drilling.
Executive Chair Katina Law noted:
"The Mt Zephyr gold and nickel sulphide drilling is part of the Company's three-pronged value creation strategy which is:
- development of the Goongarrie Nickel Cobalt Project;
- advanced-stage exploration at WA gold and nickel sulphide targets; and
- the demerger of the NSW gold and base metal assets.
The Mt Zephyr programs were outlined in the November 2016 Ardea prospectus, but were delayed as the GNCP became the priority."
Three styles of mineralisation over five project areas are initially targeted (Table 1, Figure 1):
- Granite-hosted gold mineralisation at Gale and possibly at Paul's Find.
- Banded iron-formation (BIF) hosted gold mineralisation at Dunn's Line (Yintirri) and its northern covered extension, Dunn's North.
- Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide mineralisation at Jones Area A in the northeast of the greenstone belt covering the Mount Windarra nickel sulphide stratigraphy.
These include a mixture of an historic gold mining centre (Dunn's Line), historically-defined but under-assessed prospects (Gale, Jones Area A), and newly-defined prospects (Dunn's North, Paul's Find). These prospects are presently the best understood in the region but represent only a small fraction of the total number of prospects currently being assessed across the Mount Zephyr greenstone belt.
Drilling is expected to take around 4-6 weeks assuming good ground conditions and fine weather for the duration. Assays will take several weeks on top of this. Ardea will inform shareholders of significant results as they come to hand.
Drill planning for the Bardoc Tectonic Zone (BTZ) at Goongarrie
Continued assessment of the BTZ adjacent to the Goongarrie Nickel-Cobalt Project (GNCP) is yielding numerous high-quality targets that will be assessed in forthcoming drill programs. Like Mount Zephyr, the BTZ programs will initially comprise inexpensive but effective aircore and RC drilling to penetrate the thick, blanketing lateritic deposits that host the nickel-cobalt orebodies at Goongarrie but which obscure gold mineralisation in bedrock below.
The BTZ is one of the major gold-bearing structures of the prolific Eastern Goldfields province of Western Australia.
Ardea's laterite drilling programs at Goongarrie have shown that there is anomalous gold within and beneath the laterite cover. Historic gold mining at Goongarrie mining centre to the immediate north and at Big Four within the GNCP show that gold mineralisation progresses to depth into fresh rock throughout the area.
The Company continues to develop new, scientifically robust models for gold mineralisation at Goongarrie, and is using these to define targets for testing. Drilling is expected to follow on after the Mount Zephyr initial programs.
EIS co-funding for Jones Area A diamond drill program
Ardea was recently awarded co-funding by the WA Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) to drill diamond drill holes into the basal sequence of the Mount Zephyr greenstone belt at Jones Area A. The Company will test the hypothesis that the basal sequence at Mount Zephyr is the lateral equivalent of the sequence displayed at the historic Mount Windarra nickel mine whose discovery precipitated the nickel boom of the 1970s.
DMIRS will match Ardea's spending on oriented diamond drilling to a total of $150,000 for total funded expenditure of $300,000. This will enable drilling of several holes to significant depth to test the following:
- Stratigraphy of the basal sequence of the greenstone belt for direct comparison to Mount Windarra
- Stratigraphic and structural controls on historically documented Ni-Cu-PGE gossan and sulphide mineralisation at the Jones Area A prospects
- Structural controls and characterisation of gold mineralisation and alteration (if encountered) in a number of prospective structures targeted during the program.
Diamond drilling is expected to commence around the middle of the year, utilising the results of the current drill program at Jones Area A to refine diamond drill targeting.
Renewal of E39/1706
Exploration tenement E39/1706 was renewed by DMIRS recently for an additional term of 5 years. The Company is satisfied that its recent work and robust exploration strategy and programs were key factors behind this renewal.
E39/1706 contains the Jones Area A and Paul's Find prospects, as well as the historically drilled Zephyr North Syenite prospect that is undergoing desktop evaluation (Figure 1). The forthcoming EIS diamond drill program will also be on this tenement.
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About Ardea Resources Ltd
Ardea Resources Ltd (ASX:ARL) (OTCMKTS:ARRRF) (FRA:A91) is an Australian resources company which owns 100% of the Kalgoorlie Nickel Project (KNP), a globally significant series of nickel-cobalt laterite deposits which host the largest cobalt resource in the developed world. Ardea is focused on the development of the Goongarrie Nickel Cobalt Project (GNCP) within the KNP, 80km north of Kalgoorlie WA. Ardea has completed a Prefeasibility Study for a 1Mpta and 1.5Mtpa case on the GNCP and also a scoping study for a 2.25Mtpa case. Ardea is currently working with KPMG Australia Corporate Finance to secure a Strategic Partner to jointly develop the GNCP. Ardea also owns an extensive portfolio of projects in Western Australia and New South Wales which are highly prospective for gold, nickel sulphide and zinc.
Ardea Resources Ltd