Spotted Quoll nickel mine shows potential
Recent drilling has confirmed Spotted Quoll is an outstanding high grade nickel discovery which has the potential to rival Flying Fox according to Western Areas NL.Three drill rigs are currently on site and the first mineral resource estimate is expected in early April when latest assays are received. Based on assay results received to date, the first phase of drilling at Spotted Quoll (to 200m depth) has resulted in the following: High grade, high tenor nickel sulphides are continuous along 300m strike length and 200m down dip. The deposit is open above 30m and below 200m depth. The average grade of all drill hole intersections received to date is 6.7% nickel. Seven drill hole intersections average between 8.2% and 11.4% nickel. Significant intersections at shallow depth (around 30m) include 5.5m @ 3.9% nickel and 8.2m @ 4.4% nickel indicating potential for low cost open pit mining. Excellent potential exists for further discoveries of the Spotted Quoll type along the 25km long contact. Previous data is already being reviewed with promising results. Spotted Quoll is clearly a high priority due to the consistently high grades, shallow depth and potential for major extensions below 200m. The initial mineral resource is the first step to bring this deposit into production at the earliest possible date. Western Areas Board has set a target of 12 months from discovery to reach a decision to mine Spotted Quoll by October 2008. In addition, the geological understanding of Spotted Quoll, Flying Fox and New Morning is rapidly improving. This is causing a rethink of the potential for further deposits of this type along the 25km long Western Nickel Belt where nine nickel prospective ultramafic channels have been interpreted. Most previous drilling is shallow and few of these ultramafic channels have been tested below the flat lying granite intrusions which are the key to the exceptional nickel grades. The three ultramafic channels tested by consultants Newexco to date have resulted in 100% success rate with the discovery of three significant new deposits. Once sufficient mineral resources have been defined in the upper part of Spotted Quoll, at least one drill rig will be available to start testing some of the other channels along the belt. The potential for further discoveries below the granite intrusions is considered to be excellent.