Venus Metals has discovered highly anomalous nickel, copper, chromium, platinum and palladium in soils in its Barrabarra North project in Western Australia which is next door to Chalices’ acclaimed and similarly named Barrabarra project.
Assays from the soil sampling program returned anomalous grades of up to 63 parts per million nickel, 46 parts per million copper, 13 parts per billion platinum and palladium and a whopping 3,169 parts per million chromium in the project area.
In a hugely encouragingly sign for Venus, the geological mix of goodies looks like a facsimile of Chalice’s early exploration results.
Venus is working on the hypothesis that these platinum group elements, “PGEs” and base metal anomalies may indicate mafic-ultramafic bedrock and the system is equivalent to the adjacent Chalice Barrabarra project.
Venus has hurriedly applied for two new exploration licences to increase its tenure in the area to cover a massive 1000 square kilometres and has systematic soil sampling and geophysical surveys planned on these tenements once granted.
The Barrabarra North copper-nickel-PGE project lies in the northwest of the Yilgarn Craton in the so-called West Yilgarn Ni-Cu-PGE Province and comprises five exploration licence applications currently encompassing an area of 986 square kilometres. Interestingly the project abuts Chalices’ Barrabarra Project where Chalice is planning an aircore drilling program to test soil anomalies and electromagnetic conductors.
Venus innovatively targeted the anomalous areas within its Barrabarra North project using the laterite geochemical database for the western Yilgarn Craton published by the Geological Survey of Western Australia. The company followed this data mining up with boots-on-the-ground field work comprising soil and laterite sampling along traverses and at several random locations in two of the northern tenements.
In one of these tenements a west-northwest trending soil traverse stretching a massive 1.9 km long revealed very high chromium concentrations maxing at 3,169 parts per million over a 400-500 metre interval. It also contained highly anomalous copper concentrations in most samples along the traverse. Nickel and PGE’s were also anomalous within this zone.
The company believes the anomalous elements indicate underlying mafic-ultramafic intrusive rocks have the potential to be sulphide-bearing and host copper-nickel-platinum mineralisation of the” Julimar” type discovered in 2020 by Chalice.
Julimar is wholly owned by Chalice and was Australia’s first major palladium discovery and is fast emerging as a strategic deposit of critical, ‘green metals’. Chalice interpreted the possible presence of a mafic-ultramafic layered intrusive complex at Julimar based on high-resolution regional magnetics. The company struck a massive sulphide zone with its first ever drill hole at Julimar, which is located 70 kilometres from Perth. The intersection was hit at 48m below ground and returned 19m at 2.59 per cent nickel, 1.04 per cent copper, 8.37 grams per tonne palladium and 1.11 g/t platinum.
Famously, following the discovery at Julimar Chalice shares went on a journey from below $0.20 to peaking above $9 in June this year propelling the explorer to a multi-billion-dollar market cap company.
Luckily for Venus, the regional gravity data over Barrabarra North show areas of higher density and regional magnetic imagery identifies magnetic features may be related to mafic-ultramafic intrusives within the granite terrain.
Venus is now planning an extensive regional exploration program which will include systematic soil and laterite sampling across Venus’ tenure and ground geophysical surveys targeting potential mafic-ultramafic bodies which may host sulphide mineralisation of the “Julimar” type for drill testing.
Last week Venus reported “compelling” strong soil anomalies at its Bridgetown East nickel-copper-platinum group elements project also in WA. Initial rock chip and laterite data, combined with historical data, identified several target areas for potential mafic-ultramafic hosted mineralisation. Venus acquired the two exploration licences at Bridgetown East from Lithium Australia for a paltry $15,700 plus a royalty on future production.
At the time, Venus said historical electromagnetic surveys identified a conductor closely associated with a strong anomaly.
Venus Metals is also a minority partner in four gold projects at the historic Youanmi gold centre where Rox Resources is the operator.
If things go right for Venus, then the foray into nickel and PGE’s may be a potential game-changer for the junior gold and base metal explorer and they may get their headline making discovery in good time.
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