Apollo Minerals has completed a detailed review of its Fraser Range data-set and a work programme including high powered EM surveys and drilling has started.
A highly experienced technical advisory board was established to review the data covering several identified targets across active tenements at the Fraser Range Project in Western Australia.
The advisory board identified over ten priority targets across the tenements, and ranked the Plato and Oceanus prospects as highly prospective and warranting immediate exploration including ground based high powered EM, RAB and RC/diamond core drilling. Other target areas are to be systematically explored in subsequent exploration programmes.
At Plato previous drilling intersected primary magmatic nickel sulphide mineralisation which was confirmed through petrology and independent review. Similar mineralisation is present at Sirius’s Nova and Crux prospects. The Ni:Cu and Ni:S ratios confirm the fertility and prospectivity of the Plato prospect where Apollo plans to conduct further drilling.
The Oceanus Prospect is situated over a prominent magnetic low target considered to be an intrusive mafic-ultramafic unit similar to that observed at Plato. Previous drilling in 2014 over the magnetic low at Plato intersected magmatic nickel sulphides of up to 3m @ 0.4% Ni and 0.1% Cu. Apollo was granted up to $150,000 for drilling under the WA Governments Exploration Incentive Scheme and plans to conduct staged high powered EM surveys and follow up drilling across the Oceanus prospect to confirm and test anomalies.
The Company’s technical advisory board has reviewed the data-set accumulated from over two years of exploration by JV partner Enterprise Metals Limited. The review included input from Mr Tim Craske, former Sirius Resources Exploration Manager, consultants from Newexco who have worked on a number of nickel sulphide discoveries including the Nova-Bollinger nickel deposit, Mr Chris Anderson technical advisor to Apollo and part of the Carrapateena discovery team, Dr Nigel Brand independent geochemist, and Mr Eric Finlayson a Director of Apollo.
The collaborative review identified licence EL63/1281 covering ~200km and situated within the main high density part of the Fraser Zone as the primary area of exploration focus. The licence area is geographically positioned along the spine of the high density zone and located between Sirius Resources Nova deposit and Crux prospect.
Several priority targets have been confirmed with the initial focus of exploration planned for the Plato and Oceanus prospects. Other key target areas in the licence will be explored subsequently.
Fraser Range Project Data Review
Significant previous exploration work included airborne EM, Surface geochemistry, fixed loop EM, trial moving loop EM and IP, and drilling information from 12 holes totalling 3,821 metres.
This data was reviewed independently by experts from various fields and their recommendations compiled to rank the most prospective targets. In all instances multiple targets were identified and included some new target areas of interest.
It was concluded that the depth of penetration of previous EM surveys were limited to depths ~200m, and higher powered systems are required to test beyond these depths to 400-600 meters. The Company is planning to commence a high powered EM survey in August/September.
The use of surface geochemistry remains a robust exploration tool in areas of non-transported overburden and is useful in delineating subsurface geology of mafic/ultramafic units as well as mineralisation. In conjunction with geophysical survey data it was considered that fine fraction soil sampling should be conducted over anomalies where surface sample density is low.
Exploration R&D Work Programme
Apollo will conduct a staged exploration programme best suited to evaluate the Plato and Oceanus prospects. High powered, deep penetrating EM surveys are planned to search for sulphides plus RAB/RC drilling to test bedrock geochemistry, lithology, weathering and depth to basement. The EM surveys and drilling will be carried out as part of a research and development project to develop and improve EM techniques to identify major nickel sulphide bedrock conductors to a depth of more than 500m below surface.
In the main Fraser Zone and across Apollo’s tenement bedrock is generally resistive and dominated by meta-igneous rock types. The likelihood of spurious, highly conductive EM responses from graphitic shales and sulphide-bearing sediments is considered to be low. Reconnaissance work and previous drilling at Plato shows the depth of cover to be <5m, and responses due to saline water or conductive cover are not expected.
On the basis of positive exploration results, Apollo plans to conduct a programme of deeper RC/core drilling to test anomalies at the Plato and Oceanus prospects. Ongoing work including surface geochemistry, mapping and data modelling on other targets will continue to develop these towards drill ready status.
Exploration work is scheduled to commence immediately and includes access, site preparation and management of key contractors.
The Company will update the market as further plans of the proposed work programme are confirmed. Timing and sequence of the programme may vary depending on results and ground conditions.