St George heralds post-Strickland plans

ST GEORGE Mining executive chairman John Prineas has praised the company’s dogged persistence with its nickel chase during the recent price trough for potentially uncovering a shallow, high-grade orebody at time when nickel demand is beginning to climb.
St George heralds post-Strickland plans St George heralds post-Strickland plans St George heralds post-Strickland plans St George heralds post-Strickland plans St George heralds post-Strickland plans

Drilling at Mt Alexander.

Haydn Black

“It has been a very good week for us,” Prineas said, just days after the company delivered its best intersection ever: 10m of massive sulphides in a wider 17m mineralised intersection at 5.5% nickel and 2.1% copper from just 37.5m.

While the preliminary result was based on portable XRF, and full assays are still some weeks away, Prineas was optimistic the company would be able to repeat the results given the ore is “encased in granite”, which explains why it was so fresh.

He said he was “pretty confident” formal assays would reflect the initial reading of high grade ore. 

He acknowledged there was more to do as “one drillhole doesn’t make a mine” but he was confident the company was now looking in the right place for thick, shallow mineralisation that could support a shallow, low capex, easy-to-develop mining story as it developed.

To date the company had seen nickel-copper sulphides in every EM conductor drilled within the Mount Alexander project, but it is now seeing robust thickness that can more easily support a commercial operation.

It is conducting downhole electromagnetics to assess the potential for more mineralisation, while the rig has moved to the Investigators area to the west to drill a number of off-hole EM anomalies.

The company will continue to drill up to Christmas with the first holes into the Investigator West and Cathedral South prospects, with follow-up holes at Strickland also high on the agenda to test the mineralisation to the north-west.

The escalation of the Stricklands drilling program, which is still being designed, will follow strong EM anomalies to the north and west where a co-incident magnetic anomaly is considered likely to represent prospective ultramafic stratigraphy.

“We are gaining confidence we can develop a high margin operation out there, because when you get thick intersections like this you are entitled to feel a little bit better, but there is a lot more work to do,” he said. 

He said the company was confident in its pipeline of prospects at both Mt Alexander and the wider Cathedrals Belt over 200sq.km. Western Areas has a 25% interest over some areas in the Mt Alexander project, including Strickland, Investigators and Cathedral.

Moving loop electromagnetic surveys will also be completed over two regional targets that have been prioritised one 2.7km north of Investigators and one nearby across the Ida Fault, south of Investigators West.

The company is also planning to drill at the Windsor target where it has three late-time bedrock conductors, and the rig should start drilling at the East Laverton project today.

“We have three strong conductors that out SAMSON survey picked up out there, and our favourite is X3, the first target to be drilled,” he said.

Prineas now styles St Georges as a “growth nickel stock” that is set to rise with nickel demand, and will hopefully become the next Western Areas, Mincor or Independence Group.

The company has $2.95 million in cash, including a recent $1.8 million R&D refund, and is well placed to continue drilling for some time.

St George shares last traded at 22.5c.