Gippsland commences copper-nickel exploration

29 April 2007 | 06:56 Code : 13540 Geoscience events
Gippsland Ltd is mobilising electromagnetic (EM) and induced polarisation (IP) equipment...

  Gippsland Ltd is mobilising electromagnetic (EM) and induced polarisation (IP) equipment to commence exploration at the Abu Swayel copper-nickel prospect in Egypt.The Abu Swayel copper-nickel prospect was one of two known major sources of copper in ancient Egypt. This ancient mine is situated 160km southeast of Aswan 35km to the northeast of the company's western group of Wadi Allaqi gold deposits.Copper at Abu Swayel was mined by the ancient Egyptians during the Twelfth Dynasty of the Middle Kingdom (1991-1786 BC) from shallow open cut workings which can be traced over a length of 180m. In the early part of the 1900s the Nile Valley Company Limited sank a shallow shaft with a cross-cut at the 22m level to test the vertical continuity of the mineralisation. This shaft was deepened to 69m in the 1960s in conjunction with a diamond drilling program of ten holes to test the down dip continuity of the mineralisation over a strike length of 200m. Of the 1,205m of drilling completed, only 21 samples ranging from 1-2m in length were assayed. Three of the holes (DH01, DH02 & DH14) returned significant copper and nickel values.Sampling of the cross-cut in the 1960s gave an average 4.11% Cu, 1.77% Ni, 17.81% Fe and 9.94% S over 8m.The mineralised host unit is an elongated, lenticular amphibolite body which can be traced for some 500m along a northwest-southeast strike and enclosed by a garnet-mica schist. Copper-nickel mineralisation occurs both in the amphibolite body and in enclosing host. The mineralisation contains chalcopyrite, pyrite, nickel-bearing violarite, and ilmenite. The relict textures of the pyrite and the violarite show the primary ores to be pyrrhotite, pentlandite and chalcopyrite. The drilling intersected a persistent, apparently stratiform, sulphide-bearing zone of variable thickness, that hosts the mineralised amphibolite body.Except for geological mapping undertaken by Gippsland there has been no exploration outside of the immediate vicinity of the ancient workings since the early 1960s. The results of the previous exploration clearly show that mineralisation is present at grades and over widths that would be readily detected by geophysical methods such EM and IP techniques.The Abu Swayel licence covers 16sqkm of favourable stratigraphy along strike from the old workings which have not been tested for Cu-Ni mineralisation. Much of the area is covered by thin wadi sediments which can be readily explored by means of ground geophysical methods.The previous exploration results clearly show that copper and nickel mineralisation is present at substantial grades and a program of exploration is required to quantify the contained tonnage of mineralisation. The exploration program will include geological mapping, geochemical sampling, EM / IP together with follow-up drilling of the geophysical anomalies.Gippsland Executive Chairman, Jack Telford, stated " Assuming the historical Cu & Ni grades the mineralized material has an in-situ value of approximately US$1,060 per tonne. This value, together with a potential platinum credit, presents a very exciting opportunity for the company".

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