The Youanmi Cobalt-Nickel-Copper-PGE project area overlies a structurally complex wedge on the southern margin the Youanmi greenstone belt and lithologies of the Youanmi intrusion. The area hosts a number of historical Nickel-Copper-Cobalt and Platinum-Group-Element (PGE) prospects.
The Youanmi Cobalt-Nickel-Copper-PGE Project (E57/986, E57/1011 and E57/1019) is located 600km NNE of Perth and forms part of Venus’ Youanmi Project tenement package covers c. 650 km2 at Youanmi. It surrounds the Youanmi Gold Mine area, and includes c. 40 km strike of prospective greenstone along the Youanmi Shear, and a significant part of the Youanmi intrusion.
Figure 1. Location of The Youanmi Cobalt-Nickel-Copper-PGE Project (E57/986, E57/1011 and E57/1019)
The area hosts a number of historical nickel-copper-cobalt and platinum-group-element (PGE) prospects including Currans, Vidure, Merlot and Malbec and extends north to the Estonia and Stone Tank Bore Prospects. The landscape is dominated by ferruginous lateritic duricrust, mottled zone and upper saprolite, and these units of the weathering profile potentially mask the bedrock base metal / PGE mineralisation. However, a largely preserved weathering profile also offers a great opportunity for geochemical exploration. Base metals and precious metals mineralisation in the bedrock may show a distinct geochemical signatures in the residual weathering profile. Supergene enrichment of metals can in itself also have economic potential in the form of, for example, supergene Co-Ni mineralisation.
Base metal mineralisation was first discovered at Curran’s Well in drill hole MYDD044 (WMC 1973), with a 1.22m intersection of massive sulphides, which returned assays of 2.2% Ni and 0.14% Cu from 136.64 metres depth. BHP followed-up this drilling in 1985, with another hole collared at a nearby location: PW0076 7.06 metres @ 1.46% Copper, 0.36% Nickel & 5 gpt Silver from 120.5 metres Including 0.71 metres @ 7.01% Copper. 0.80% Nickel & 21 gpt Silver from 122.35 metres (refer ASX release 2 November 2015).
Other notable intersections recorded in historical drill holes at the Vidure and Malbec prospects, include:
94CUR42 40m @0.44 ppm Pd, 0.10 ppm Pt and 0.13% Cu from the surface
94CUR41 40m @ 0.38 ppm Pd, 0.09 ppm Pt and 0.16% Cu from the surface
CNRC015 7 m@ 0.97% Ni, 1.44 ppm PGE (Pt+ Pd+ Au) and 0.49% Cu from 129m
Cobalt mineralisation in the weathering profile is widespread across the Currans Well area. The best intersections in drill holes include:
CWRC025 16m @ 869 ppm (0.09%) Cobalt from 16 metres Including 4m @ 1483 ppm (0.15%) Cobalt *Assays of Cu 0.25% & Ni 0.28% downhole.
MYOV151 2.13 m@ 980 ppm (0.10%) Cobalt from 0.3 metres *Assays of Cu up to 0.77% & Ni 1.12% downhole.
94CUR0041 5m @ 586 ppm (0.06%) Cobalt from 17metres And 6m @ 552 ppm (0.06%) Cobalt from 26 metres Assays of Cu up to 0.23% & Ni 0.22% downhole.
Figure 2 shows the widespread occurrence of untested ferruginous laterite developed on ultramafic rocks. Laterite cover prospective for Co-Ni mineralisation covers more than150 km2 and includes Currans Well, Manindi East and Pincher Well, a prospect where the Company is exploring for Zn.
Figure 2. Extensive Lateritic Duricrust Co-Ni Target areas shown on GSWA 100k Geology
The potentially cobalt-enriched lateritic duricrusts represent a compelling target and Venus is systematically testing the lateritic duricrust by utilising geochemically sampling and shallow RAB/AC drilling.
Reconnaissance AC drilling was carried out in January - February 2018. The drilling comprised 77 holes for a total of 3022 m. Thick intersections of high-grade Cobalt – Nickel and anomalous Scandium were encountered at shallow depth. The highlights of the drilling campaign are as follows:
Estonia Prospect - Drilling outlined two north-trending zones of significant Co-Ni mineralization that may extend over strike lengths of c. 1.8 km and 1 km respectively, with widths of up to c. 250m (refer to VMC ASX release dated 2 Mar 2018). Best results include:
ES25 16m @ 843ppm Co & 0.71% Ni from 8m
Including 8m @1002ppm Co & 0.76% Ni from 12m
ES27 20m @ 504ppm Co & 0.56% Ni from 16m
Including 4m @1490ppm Co & 0.84% Ni from 20m
ES39 20m @ 0.76% Ni from 8m
Including 8m @ 1.07% Ni from 12m
Stone Tank Bore Prospect - Significant Co and Ni intercepts form an east-trending zone, c. 500m long (refer VMC ASX release dated 2 Mar 2018). Best results include:
ST17 12m @ 917ppm Co from 24m
Including 4m @ 1490ppm Co from 24m
ST18 12m @ 687ppm Co & 0.75% Ni from 16m
Including 4m @ 950ppm Co & 1.05% Ni from 20m
Anomalous scandium (Sc) was also associated with the Co-Ni mineralization. The best Sc values are from Stone Tank Prospect:
ST01 12m @ 96ppm Sc from 12m
ST02 12m @ 83ppm Sc from 8m
Significant Cobalt Mineralisation Associated With Extensive Lateritisation at Currans Well, Estonia and Stone Tank Bore (refer ASX release 3 April 2017
The geological settings at these prospects may be comparable with the Clean TeQ Holdings Limited (ASX:CLQ) “Syerston Cobalt Project” where the surficial deposit hosted is within lateritic stratigraphy, overlying metal-rich ultramafic rocks5
Cobalt mineralisation in the near surface environment is also associated with anomalous copper and nickel
Numerous historical drill holes have not been tested for cobalt.
Extensive, untested, ferruginous lateritic duricrust (Figure 2) at Currans Well, Manindi East and Estonia South yet to be tested
Infill drilling at Estonia and Stone Tank Bore prospects planned.