Si6 has confirmed that the deep nickel sulphide hosting horizon at the Maibele project in Botswana continues for at least 50m to the northeast.
This takes the entire strike of the Maibele North nickel sulphide body up to circa 1.4km, as a positive development for the future given that the resource of 2.38Mt at 0.72 per cent nickel, 0.21 per cent copper and 0.63 grams per tonne 4PGE+gold is based on just 800m of strike.
Si6 Metals (ASX:SI6) recently announced that the latest drill hole successfully intersected massive sulphide stringers and heavily disseminated sulphides extending the nickel sulphide hosting horizon further northeast at the Maibele Project, Botswana.
The nickel sulphide intersections from the last hole drilled some five years ago (MARD0094) as well as this current hole (MADD0153) are located some 200m below the bottom of the Maibele North resource and demonstrate the significant potential for further discovery at depth beneath the entire 1.4km strike of the Maibele North nickel sulphide body.
Executive chairman Patrick Holywell commented that the nearby Selebi Phikwe mining operation was placed on care and maintenance some five years ago due to low base metal prices and high operational costs but appeared to be close to a restart based on recent events.
“We know studies were undertaken on an open pit mine plan using the Maibele North resource to feed the plant at Selebi Phikwe,” he told Stockhead.
“What is exciting though is the fact that these studies were only based on selective drilling results from 2014 and prior.
“Major drilling programs have since been undertaken. MARD0094 (6.8m at 0.75 per cent nickel and 0.25 per cent copper) is 250 metres east of the resource and our recent hole is another 50m northeast of that.
“Also, no cobalt has been used in the resource calculation which is a valuable credit.”
Nickel sulphide intersections
Sulphides throughout this current zone (MADD0153) occur as disseminations or stringers and blebs with the strongest zone occurring between 440m and 450m including 0.42m at 0.12 per cent nickel, 0.08 per cent copper and 96 parts per million cobalt and 0.10m at 0.32 per cent nickel, 0.24 per cent copper, 908ppm cobalt.
MARD0094 had strong zones between 460m and 470m including 1.25m at 2.05 per cent nickel, 0.53 per cent copper, 1,272ppm cobalt and 1.05g/t palladium and 0.21m at 2.27 per cent nickel, 0.58 per cent copper, 1,356ppm cobalt and 1.31g/t palladium.
The latest results confirm that the MARD0094 nickel sulphide horizon continues towards the northeast and is open along strike and potentially above or below MADD0153.
Based on the sulphur content in the assays, the tenor of the sulphides with regards to nickel, copper and cobalt is strong and indicates that MADD0153has passed close to, but not through, the main mineralised ultramafic contact horizon.
Maibele North nickel sulphide mineralisation is related to ultramafic intrusions within mobile belt rocks and is broadly similar in style to other ultramafic intrusion-related mobile belt nickel discoveries such as IGO’s (ASX:IGO) Nova-Bollinger (ASX:IGO), Chalice Mining’s Julimar (ASX:CHN) and the globally significant Thompson Belt in Canada.
These styles of nickel deposit are typified by a suite of associated metals that often include nickel, copper, cobalt and platinum group elements, all of which are present at Maibele North.
While the MADD0153 hole did not intersect the ultramafic contact zone where the massive sulphide mineralisation at Maibele North typically occurs, the company is nonetheless encouraged by the presence of the right type of sulphides.
A program of detailed 3D magnetic modelling for Maibele North is underway and Si6 is preparing to carry out audio-magnetotellurics surveying of the entire trend to identify further deep targets.
Both programs will provide greater clarity on the location of ultramafic bodies at depth and any conductors related to them.
Coupled with the planned downhole electromagnetics survey, these geophysics programs will be used to guide further drill planning in the search for additional bodies of massive sulphides at depth beneath the Maibele North resource and along strike in areas such as the MARD0094 – MADD0153 sulphide discovery.
This article was developed in collaboration with Si6 Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.
This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.
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Barry Stroman was a reporter for Zerg Watch, before becoming the lead editor. Barry has previously worked for Wired, MacWorld, PCWorld, and VentureBeat covering countless stories concerning all things related to tech and science. Barry studied at NYU.