Symons Hill Ni-Cu Project WA
(E28/1932 – 100% Boadicea)
The Symons Hill Project is located within the Fraser Range Province of Western Australia, east of Norseman and approximately 200 kilometres south-east of Kalgoorlie and covers an area of 73 square kilometres.
The company’s Symons Hill exploration licence adjoins the world-class on the north-east side of the IGO Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper discovery and now operating Nova mine.
Nova-Bollinger was discovered in 2012 by Sirius Resources and taken over by then Independence Group NL (now IGO Ltd) for $1.8 billion in 2015. Since this major discovery and takeover, corporate activity has heightened in the Fraser Range including the $20 million takeover of Winward Resources by Independence in October 2016. In July 2018, IGO acquired the Creasy Group Southern Hills Project, which adjoins the Nova Bollinger mine to the south, for $21 million. In July 2021, IGO announced the acquisition of the Silver Knight deposit from the Creasy Group for $45 million. The Silver Knight deposit is approximately 34km from the Nova operation.
On 4 September 2020, IGO announced a total $57 million plus royalty deal with Boadicea Resources, which included a $7 million payment to exclusively undertake exploration at the Symons Hill tenement, and eight (8) other Boadicea tenements in the Fraser Range.
IGO has developed an exploration program focussed on testing for potential extensions to the Orion, Hercules, and Elara prospects that are interpreted to extend into Boadicea’s Symons Hill licence. These prospects are located near the boundary of the Nova and Symons Hill Licence and provide high priority targets (see Figure 1).
Figure 1: Symons Hill licence and nearby IGO Prospects
Figure 2: Plan view of completed Orion drill holes, Orion intrusion projected to surface, Nova-Bollinger ore body projected to surface, on regional TMI 1VD magnetic image (Source: IGO Limited).
IGO Fraser Range Targeting
As at the end of the September 2020 Quarter, IGO had identified more than 600 mafic and ultramafic intrusions within the Fraser Range but has found that only a select number contain nickel-copper sulphides and only a few (to-date) host economic grades of mineralisation. IGO has developed an in-house geochemical screening tool, which is based on key chemical element ratios in end-of-hole AC drilling assays (called the Mafic Prospectivity Index, or MPI). It can identify the most prospective intrusions in the Fraser Range by defining levels of crustal contamination, nickel and copper fertility, and intrusions that have chemical compositions like those at Nova-Bollinger. This MPI tool had identified more than 466 intrusions with a better than moderate MPI score, 104 intrusions with a better than strong MPI score and 49 intrusions that have a very strong MPI match to the Nova-Bollinger discovery.
This list had, at that time, highlighted three prospects that were categorised at the highest category of “Prospect Evaluation”. Of key interest to Boadicea is the Orion prospect, one of the highest priority targets identified to have the potential to lead to a discovery in the near-term.
The Orion Prospect is just 3km north-east of the Nova Mine and is a highly prospective polyphase sulphide-bearing mafic-ultramafic (MUM) intrusion that exhibits textural and lithological features indicative of a productive nickel and copper-sulphide bearing chonolith (‘worm’-like intrusion). The known extents are within the IGO mining licence and is known to extend to the north-east and into the Boadicea Symons Hill licence.
The chonolith intrusion has been intercepted in multiple diamond drill holes that constrain the morphology of the intrusion to >1,000m in strike length and from ~80m to ~250m in diameter.
Completion of an 809.4m diamond drill hole from within the Symons Hill Licence has visually identified good tenor pyrrhotite-chalcopyrite-pentlandite sulphides in the Orion chonolith, consistent with IGO’s interpretation that the system is more prospective towards the northeast. Assays are currently pending.
Figure 3: Coarse three-phase Po-Cp-Pn blebs and carbonate veinlets in gabbronorite at 464m in 21AFDD104
Blebby, multiphase magmatic sulphides (pyrrhotite-pentlandite-chalcopyrite) are present in the intrusion, with sulphide content increasing towards the north-east into the Symons Hill licence. The sulphides are concentrated on internal contacts and at the base of the intrusion where stringers are present. Importantly, calcite-filled cavities occur with some sulphide blebs providing strong evidence that a mechanism to enhance sulphide droplet accumulation within the melt has occurred. The observed lateral zonation in the chonolith is accompanied by increases in nickel and copper sulphide tenors (grade of the sulphides) that suggest that the intrusion is becoming more dynamic and therefore more prospective for nickel-copper mineralised systems towards the north-east (See Figure 4).
Figure 4: Long section through the zoned Orion chonolith (Source: IGO Limited)
A MLEM survey using a low temperature SQUID sensor and aircore drilling program is currently underway on the Symons Hill licence (Figure 2). This survey will follow interpreted extensions to the Orion, Elara, and Hercules mafic-ultramafic intrusions onto the Symons Hill tenement from the Nova Mining Lease.
Figure 5: Exploration Activities – Symons Hill
Hercules and Elara Prospects
The Elara and Hercules prospects contain large, tabular, layered MUM intrusions comprising modally layered MUM cumulates (>600m thick, >1,000m wide and >3,000m long). Interpretation of seismic data indicates that these large intrusive complexes may extend onto the Symons Hill license.
Diamond drilling has intersected blebby magmatic sulphides (pyrrhotite-pentlandite-chalcopyrite) and veins up to 20cm thick within ultramafic layers. These sulphides typically contain moderate tenors (The geometry and internal layering of the intrusions suggest that Elara and Hercules are not the principal targets on the Nova Mining Lease, however, the presence of blebby and vein sulphides indicates the potential to accumulate sulphides within and proximal to these intrusions. Therefore, additional work will be undertaken to determine if there are chonolith-like bodies, similar to Orion, connected to and/or between these larger intrusions that may constitute valid targets.
Figure 6: Intrusions Identified by IGO, adjacent to the Symons Hill Licence (Source IGO website).