Chalice Mining Ltd (ASX:CHN, OTCQB:CGMLF) has drawn up its strategy and work program for the financial year 2022, with special focus on the Gonneville Intrusion, which is taking shape as a strategic deposit of critical minerals.
The company is planning to advance the Gonneville studies as quickly as possible, in parallel with initial exploration along the Julimar Complex and across the new West Yilgarn Nickel-Copper-PGE Province in Western Australia.
Additional private property surrounding Gonneville has also been acquired, taking the total Chalice-owned freehold land to around 21 square kilometres.
The Julimar Project – Australia’s first major palladium discovery, is emerging as a world-class, strategic deposit of critical ‘green metals’ in a world-class jurisdiction.
Accelerated resource drilling and preliminary studies are underway, with the company aiming to define a maiden Mineral Resource at the Julimar Project in early fourth quarter 2021.
Gold demerger and IPO
Chalice intends to pursue a demerger and IPO of Pyramid Hill and its other gold projects in the fourth quarter of 2021, subject to finalising the transaction structure and obtaining all necessary shareholder and regulatory approvals.
A demerger will allow Chalice to focus on its Julimar Project and the new West Yilgarn Province.
The demerged entity will hold the largest exploration holding of more than 5,000 square kilometres in the Bendigo Zone of Victoria, which hosts Kirkland Lake Gold’s world-class Fosterville Gold Mine and the historic Bendigo Goldfield.
The entity’s portfolio would be further enhanced by Chalice’s other high-potential gold projects, including the highly prospective Viking Project in WA.
Key advisors have been engaged to commence preparations on the proposed demerger.
Healthy cash balance
As of 30 June 2021, Chalice had a cash balance of about $100 million and $15.6 million in listed investments, which included shares held in O3 Mining Inc (TSX-V:OIII, OTCQX:OIIIF). and Caspin Resources Ltd (ASX:CPN).
During the quarter, Chalice partially disposed of its holding in O3 Mining Inc (TSX-V:OIII, OTCQX:OIIIF) for proceeds of around $2.6 million and subsequent to quarter-end, it disposed the balance for proceeds of about $4.6 million.
Julimar Project plans
Chalice’s Julimar Project strategy is to concurrently advance studies for an initial development at Gonneville and to define the full extent of mineralisation along the around 26 kilometre-long Julimar Complex in Western Australia.
Drilling to date at Gonneville has established that the around 1.8 kilometres by 0.9 kilometres Intrusion on private farmland hosts at least 11 shallow, wide zones of high-grade PGE-nickel-copper-gold sulphide mineralisation in fresh rock, a substantial PGE-rich oxide zone, as well as widespread zones of PGE-dominant mineralisation associated with disseminated sulphides.
Ongoing and planned activities at Julimar include:
- Resource definition drilling (Gonneville) – reverse circulation (RC)/diamond drilling is expected to continue until the first quarter of 2022, subject to results, with its maiden Mineral Resource Estimate targeted for release in the fourth quarter of 2021.
- Geotechnical, metallurgical, hydrogeological and infrastructure drilling (Gonneville) – aircore (AC) /RC/diamond drilling to support studies for Gonneville will commence progressively following the resource definition drill program in the first quarter of 2022.
- Metallurgical testwork (Gonneville) – Phase 2 sequential flotation tests on high-grade sulphide composites are expected to be completed in the next quarter.
- Bulk flotation tests on disseminated sulphide composites and testwork to determine comminution properties of several composites has also commenced. Initial waste rock characterisation testwork continues.
- Studies (Gonneville) – Consultant proposals have been invited to support studies for the project, which will assess development scenarios for the Gonneville deposit.
- Scoping Study for the initial stage of development at Gonneville will be completed in the first half next year.
- Reconnaissance exploration and surveys within the Julimar State Forest – Infill soil sampling and follow-up Moving Loop EM surveys are underway at the Baudin-Jansz-Drummond Targets within the Julimar State Forest and on private farmland.
- Baseline flora and fauna surveys across the Baudin-Jansz-Drummond Targets in Julimar State Forest are planned to commence in the third quarter of 2021.
- « Reconnaissance drilling at the Hartog-Baudin Targets within the Julimar State Forest – First-pass low-impact drilling utilising small track-mounted diamond rigs is planned to commence in late third quarter 2021, subject to access and permitting approvals.
Dieback, cultural heritage and confirmatory spring flora surveys are planned across the Hartog-Baudin Targets in the Julimar State Forest in August-September 2021.
Pyramid Hill Gold Project plans
Planning is underway in preparation for the next round of exploration drilling at Pyramid Hill, which is expected to commence in the fourth quarter of 2021.
Future diamond and AC drilling programs are planned at the Karri, Ironbark, Banksia and Wandoo prospects.
Initial reconnaissance AC drilling is also planned over new targets on recently granted tenure.
Generative exploration projects
At its Barrabarra Nickel-Copper-PGE Project in WA, planning is underway for first-pass AC drill testing of the soil geochemical anomaly and EM conductors, which is expected to commence in the fourth 2021.
At the South West Nickel-Copper-PGE Project also in WA, currently defined EM anomalies are planned to be followed up with infill MLEM and soil geochemistry to define potential drill-ready targets.
Planning is also underway for the next phase of exploration activities following a high temperature SQUID EM orientation survey at the Auralia Nickel-Copper-PGE Project in WA.