EXPLORATION & DEVELOPMENT

Auroch's Saints resource comes marching in

AUROCH Minerals has delivered an updated resource for its Saints nickel project in Western Australia, as it looks to finalise a scoping study before the end of September.

 Auroch wants to be producing as quickly as possible

Auroch wants to be producing as quickly as possible

Recent infill drilling north of Kalgoorlie has delivered a 15% increase in grade and an upgrade in the confidence level of the resource, two thirds of which is now indicated.
 
Auroch's work since buying Saints from Minotaur Exploration three years ago has helped deliver a new resource estimate of 911,000 tonnes grading 2.3% for 21,000t of contained nickel.
 
The resource also includes 1570t of contained copper grading 0.17% and 631t cobalt at 0.07%.
 
The earlier estimate was for 1.05Mt at 2% nickel and 0.2% copper for 21,400t nickel and 1600t copper.
 
Auroch managing director Aidan Platel said the increase in grade exceeded expectations, highlighting the high-grade nature of the nickel sulphide mineralisation.
 
The junior is now plugging the resource into its financial models, and is finalising mine design and optimisation studies.
 
Metallurgical tests are nearing completion. 
 
Initial results suggest Saints can deliver concentrate grades up to 24% nickel and 5% copper.
 
Platel said the company was looking forward to a "very positive" scoping study for the shallow Kambalda-style St Patricks and St Andrews channels, which remain open down-plunge.
 
Assuming a positive scoping study, the company wants to push immediately into feasibility studies.
 
Saints previously had an offtake agreement with BHP.
 
Auroch also owns the Leinster and Nepean nickel projects in WA, and has more recently examined lithium at Nepean, while also striking a deal to acquire 80% of a lithium project in Nevada.
 
The company had around A$4.5 million in cash in July. 
 
Auroch shares have traded at 4.8-20.5c over the past year, and were off 8.5% in early trade to 7.5c, valuing it at $28 million. 

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