- Nickel exploration work to continue at Mr Carlon, Winchester and Mt Jewell;
- Gold exploration ongoing at Whiteheads with target generation activity such as airborne aeromagnetics; and
- At Mt Venn and Eastern Mafic prospects work continues focus on potential VMS zinc-lead-silver occurrence at the north end of Mt Venn.
What does Great Boulder do?
The company’s flagship project is the Yamarna Project which comprises the Mt Venn Nickel-Copper-Cobalt discovery and the highly prospective Eastern Mafic Complex, which are interpreted to represent large-scale nickel-cobalt magmatic systems.
To the north and south of Yamarna, the Winchester and Mt Carlon projects boast exciting opportunities for further discoveries of magmatic-host copper-nickel sulphides.
Winchester is an advanced project with previous drilling having highlighted sulphide mineralisation, while Mt Carlon is a new area with exciting anomalies in early geophysical surveys.
Closer to Kalgoorlie, the Whiteheads Gold Project is an advanced project with multiple high-grade intersections in historic drilling, as well as large-scale gold-in-soil anomalies that require drilling.
Great Boulder entered into an option agreement to acquire a 75% interest in the Mt Jewell Nickel Sulphide Project near Kalgoorlie in February, which it believes would be a valuable addition to the growing Whiteheads Gold Project.
Who leads Great Boulder?
Managing director Andrew Paterson was appointed to the role in June 2019.
He has 25 years’ experience in mining and exploration in Australia and Papua New Guinea (PNG) and has managed diverse programs exploring for gold, nickel, iron ore and lithium.
Previously, Paterson was chief geological officer at Kingston Resources Ltd (ASX:KSN) and was part of the team that recapitalised the company, leading to the acquisition of the 2.8 million-ounce Misima Gold Project in Papua New Guinea.
Non-executive chairman Greg Hall is a geologist with more than 45 years’ experience in the mining and exploration industry with previous experience including chief geologist at Placer Dome, where he also managed exploration activity in China from 1993 to 2001.
Strong presence in emerging Yamarna belt
Great Boulder has a strong presence in the emerging and under-explored Yamarna copper-nickel-cobalt belt with three projects (Winchester, Yamarna and Mt Carlon) giving it a first-mover advantage.
On March 9 the company started a reverse circulation program at Mt Carlon to test a 3.5-kilometre-long geophysical anomaly which coincides with elevated nickel values from previous aircore drilling.
Known as the Eastern Zone anomaly, the target is a chargeable IP anomaly which may be caused by disseminated sulphides.
At the time Paterson said: “This target is very promising and RC drilling is now needed to refine its prospectivity further.
“Drilling is designed as a proof of concept, taking samples for multi-element analysis to tell us if we’re in the right ballpark.
“If the results are positive, we’ll come back with a broader program drilling fences of holes along strike.”
Four priority projects
Following an in-depth review of the company’s exploration program on March 11, Great Boulder has consolidated its focus on four WA gold and nickel projects within its portfolio and has chosen to withdraw from the Tarmoola Gold Project.
The review, which included input from key consultants in the fields of geophysics, structural geology, petrography and sulphide nickel, identified the Whiteheads Gold Project and the Mt Carlon, Winchester and Mt Jewell nickel projects as priorities for its 2020 exploration campaign.
Gold exploration will continue at Whiteheads, with target generation activity such as airborne aeromagnetics, combined with bottom-of-hole lithogeochemical mapping, structural interpretation and further multi-element auger sampling.
This will be followed by broad-spaced aircore drilling and then RC drilling.
Nickel exploration will continue with ongoing work at Mt Carlon and Winchester, as well as the new Mt Jewell project next to Whiteheads.
Priorities at Mt Carlon will be determined by the results from the current RC drilling program, while Winchester will be a combination of extensional exploration plus regional reconnaissance on other prospects nearby.
Initial work at Mt Jewell is likely to be a moving-loop electromagnetic (EM) survey using a high-temperature SQUID system.
This will look for deep sulphide conductors which will be subsequently tested by drilling.
Although there is currently no drilling planned on the Mt Venn and Eastern Mafic prospects at Yamarna, this remains a core asset and the company will continue to investigate the potential VMS zinc-lead-silver occurrence at the north end of Mt Venn.