The company was granted government approval for low-impact drilling within the forest in late December, but off-track drilling was delayed by five appeals.
Chalice has already completed several holes from existing tracks, which intersected several narrow intervals of ortho-magmatic nickel-copper sulphides in mafic-ultramafic rocks.
The off-track drilling will not involve any mechanised clearing of vegetation and strict environmental management measures will be used to minimise impact to the environment, including the use of low-impact, small footprint diamond rigs and comprehensive flora, fauna and cultural heritage monitoring.
The highest priority target is Hartog, immediately north of the Gonneville deposit, which is a circa 6.5km-long gravity-airborne electromagnetic anomaly with multiple late-time ground EM conductors, some with coincident nickel-copper-palladium anomalism in soils.
Drilling is expected to get underway shortly at the Hartog and Dampier targets, with 70 drill sites planned over roughly 10km of the strike length of the Julimar Complex.
In November, Chalice reported a globally significant maiden indicated and inferred pit-constrained resource for the Gonneville deposit, on adjacent private farm land, of 330 million tonnes at 0.94 grams per tonne palladium, platinum and gold (3E), 0.16% nickel, 0.1% copper and 0.016% cobalt, or 0.58% nickel equivalent or 1.6gpt palladium equivalent.
The deposit contains 10 million ounces of 3E, 530,000 tonnes of nickel, 330,000t of copper and 53,000t of cobalt, or 1.9Mt of nickel equivalent or 17Moz of palladium equivalent.
Chalice shares closed at A$5.72 yesterday, valuing the company at $2 billion, and jumped as high as $6.58 this morning.