ScandiVanadium to investigate Fraser Range nickel-copper-cobalt anomaly

Stone mine

Having recently picked up the Gnama nickel project in Western Australia’s Fraser Range, ScandiVanadium (SVD) has been busy reviewing historic geophysical survey data ahead of further exploration activities at the project.

The acquisition of Vanatech earlier this year saw SVD acquire a 100 per cent interest in Gnama, along with the Pascalle gold project in the Paterson Province. SVD also secured access to a database of historic geophysical survey data at Gnama, including ground based MLEM and FLEM surveys conducted in 2005.

The company has now provided an update on its progress at Gnama, including details regarding the existing geophysical database and upcoming electromagnetic survey.

Previous drilling at the Gnama project had identified significant elevated nickel and copper, bearing similarities to mineralisation delineated prior to discoveries at Nova and Mawson.

Gnama was first identified by Newmont in the 1960’s from geochemical sampling and shallow drilling.

Sirius then held the tenement from 2004 to 2011 where the group intersected significant elevated nickel, copper and cobalt enrichment in the oxide zone at depths of between 28 metres and 36 metres.

At the time Sirius stated, “Whilst the elevated levels of nickel and cobalt could be explained by lateritic enrichment, the presence of copper suggests that the underlying rocks may contain sulphide mineralisation.”

While Sirius discovered Nova in 2012, a year after drilling the Gnama tenement, it noted there was still potential to test for sulphide mineralisation below significant enrichment zones at Gnama South.

“At Gnama South there is still potential to test for sulphide mineralisation below significant regolith enrichment zones. The decision to drop the tenement was based on a rationalisation of tenure within the project,” the company stated.

The Gnama project is located at the southern end of the Fraser Range, host to several recent nickel discoveries including Sirius Resources’ 14.4 million tonnes Nova-Bollinger, which was taken over by IGO in a $1.8 billion deal, Creasy Group’s Silver Knight and Legend Mining’s Mawson.

These discoveries include shallow oxide nickel-copper-cobalt anomalies within barren intervals below supergene enrichment.

An initial discovery hole in December at Legend’s Mawson prospect saw its share price immediately double to 8.1 cents and it has since reached 21.5 cents. Legend is now capitalised at $417 million.

With a market capitalisation of just $18.5 million, there’s major upside potential for SVD — not only from its Gnama nickel project in the Fraser Range, but also its Paterson Province gold project. That said, it the company is in the very early stages of exploration and there is no guarantee of success.

The odds of another discovery in the Fraser Range are very good. Having only been mined for eight years, the Fraser Range only two discoveries over its 150 kilometres of prospective strike length, including the 14.4 million tonnes Nova mine.

Vanatech (SVD subsidiary) tenements, Nova Bollinger & Silver Knight


Historic EM survey

Historically, high-grade sulphide mineralisation in the region has initially been identified by either electromagnetic or downhole electromagnetic survey.

The company has a database of historic geophysical survey data, including ground based MLEM and FLEM surveys conducted in 2005 that are thought to have targeted shallow EM anomalies identified by the Questem airborne survey in 1997.

Using modern surveying techniques, SVD intend to expand the depth of investigation beyond what was achieved in the 2005 survey to depths of approximately 550 metres.

This can be achieved by increasing the size of the transmitter loop from 200–400 metres and using a Jessy SQUID receiver in the slingram configuration.

SVD executive chairman David Frances said, “The ability to run a higher-powered ground EM over our project compared to previous surveys completed in 2005 allows us to investigate deeper parts of the system that have not previously been tested.

“We are planning a SQUID survey to test up to 550 metres depth, potentially identifying the source of the 20 metre thick nickel-copper-cobalt anomaly in historic drilling.”

Gnama historical EM coverage over GSWA-TMI-1VD magnetic image


According to the CSIRO, SQUIDs (Superconducting Quantum Interference Devices) are highly sensitive sensors capable of detecting magnetic fields which are one hundred millionth smaller than the earth’s magnetic field.

This makes them ideal for detecting and distinguishing deeply buried, highly magnetic sulphide ore bodies, including nickel and silver ores.

The company is planning to undertake a SQUID survey in the second half of 2020 with the aim of identifying nickel copper mineralisation.

This next phase of ground EM will provide valuable data to help determine the sulphide source of the 20 metre thick nickel-copper-cobalt oxide mineralisation identified near surface.

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