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Legend Mining gets ducks in a row for Fraser Range tilt

Updated: Apr 17

Legend Mining executive chairman Mark Wilson is keen to kick off a diamond drill campaign at the company’s Octagonal prospect, 250km east of Kalgoorlie. Credit: File

Legend Mining has systematically lined up its ducks in a high-tech plan that will hit a pivotal point in its hunt for a nickel monster when its drills dive into Western Australia’s renowned Fraser Range today.

Following news of a board refresh on March 16, the company revealed a fortnight later that a detailed 3D seismic cube had helped it identify what it says are the most compelling targets yet within its Rockford nickel-copper project. Now it has revealed that its diamond drills are ready to get to work and test two nickel-copper sulphide targets at its Octagonal prospect, 250km east of Kalgoorlie.

Newly appointed Legend Mining executive chairman Mark Wilson said: “They are the best two targets that I have seen in the eight years we have been working in the Fraser Range. We have a number of geophysical data sets and what that means is the IP, the AMT and the seismic data all tend to point towards this as a must-drill target if you are looking for nickel-copper sulphide – and that’s what we are after.”

Mr Wilson, previously Legend’s managing director, stepped up to his new post in March when previous chair Michael Atkins retired after 20 years of service on the company’s board. Former executive director Oliver Kiddie was also installed as the new managing director.

Legend’s two new key targets emerged on the back of a combination of seismic data, an induced polarisation survey and 3D audio magnetotellurics (AMT) survey. Mr Wilson says the quality of the targets had the company bubbling and it was keen to get boots on the ground and its rigs fired up.

He pointed out to Bulls N’ Bears that the AMT survey perfectly complemented the additional induced polarisation and seismic data sets to help define the locations of the company’s new targets.

“AMT sees much deeper than a conventional surface electromagnetic survey and considering we have already said that Octagonal is basically sterilised in the top 600m, we were looking for tools that could open the exploration window below 600m,” he said.

“AMT is another deep-seeing electrical method of measuring resistivity and if you have got a really low-resistance body then that means it is highly conductive and that’s the characteristic of massive nickel-copper sulphide.”

Both of Legend’s proposed diamond drillholes have a nominal planned depth of 1000m, with seismic data a key tool in refining drill targets at depth.

“AMT is notoriously crude, or coarse, in terms of being able to model the precise location of where these signals are coming from,” Mr Wilson said.

“When you are dealing with drilling at these depths, it is very expensive to go poking around trying to work out exactly where it is. So what the seismic has done is give us confidence that where we are getting this response in the AMT, we have been able to model the seismic data that says this particular place within the target area is where you should be focusing your drilling.

“It sounds very technical, but it is actually the complementary nature of three different data sets, coupled with the fact that the drilling is telling us that we’ve got nickel-copper sulphides in intrusion – and that’s what gets us excited about these things.”

The Fraser Range is known as the gateway to the State. But can it now become Legend’s gateway to major mining success? The presence of a not-so-small neighbour has Legend thinking “yes”. That would be IGO’s legendary Nova-Bollinger deposit, which is forecast to push out about 23,000 tonnes of nickel, about 10,000 tonnes of copper and 900 tonnes of cobalt in a year.

“We know from what we have drilled here that these are the same rocks and the same mineralisation that they have got at Nova,” Mr Wilson said.

“Nova is producing nickel at the moment at about $2 a pound and the current price of nickel is $11 a pound. So if you talk about the potential size of the deposit that these AMT responses are indicating, I can assure you that will be very economic to mine, treat and sell.”

In another key strategic move leading to today’s start to the drill campaign and additional groundwork at Rockford, Legend also recently secured binding commitments from investors and major shareholders – including Creasy Group and IGO – to secure $6 million from a share placement raise.

Mr Wilson says the combined quality of Legend’s personnel, the amount of work put into defining the company’s targets at Octagonal and its understanding of the rugged Fraser Range has it poised for an exciting future.

“In our team, we have got the discoverers of Silver Knight, Mawson and Octagonal and Nova-Bollinger is the only other known discovery of nickel-copper sulphide in the Fraser Range,” he said.

“I have got an engineering project management background, Oliver is a very competent geologist across exploration and mine development and with the help of our contacts within the industry, we are not daunted about the thought of taking this project through to development and cutting ribbons with the Premier at the mine opening.”

So can Legend unearth the Fraser Range’s equivalent to Scotland’s Loch Ness Monster and become something of a sibling to Nova-Bollinger? ASX punters have their eyes peeled and those already invested may just be tempted to put a bottle of Bollinger on ice.

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