Australian miners join forces to explore Coates Ni-Cu-PGE project
Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT), Australian Vanadium (ASX: AVL) and private company Mercator Metals formed an alliance to undertake exploration activities targeting nickel-copper-platinum group elements mineralization at the Coates Mafic Intrusive Complex in Western Australia.
According to the companies, their tenements – which adjoin each other and are known as ‘the Coates project’ – cover the mafic-ultramafic rock sequences containing the Coates Gabbro and provide the required continuity for efficient exploration.
In a media statement, the miners said that one of the things that inspired them to form this alliance was Chalice Gold Mines’ recent discoveries of Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization at its Julimar project, located 29 kilometres north-northwest of the Coates project and which is hosted in a similar geological environment.
Although each party will be responsible for its own costs, including rents and rates, and has to keep its tenement in good standing, the strategic alliance is intended to streamline exploration processes through the shared use of personnel and capital.
The press brief states that exploration will begin with compilation and data-sharing of historical information that can assist in targeting potential hosts for Ni-Cu-PGE mineralization.
Following this initial phase, a laterite-sampling and geological-mapping field exercise will be completed, in order to develop an up-to-date geochemical and geological map.
Jointly, the companies are evaluating the use of ground electro-magnetic geophysical surveys to delineate any sulphide-rich horizons at the Coates project prior to drilling, which would potentially take place in the September quarter.