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Nickel-copper trail lights up for Si6 in Botswana

Updated: Apr 18


Nickel and copper sulphides in core from Si6 Metals’ Maibele North prospect in Botswana. Credit: File.

Si6 Metals’ wait for new assays from drilling at its Maibele North prospect in Botswana has stepped up a notch in intensity after core and rock chips revealed strong visual copper and nickel sulphide mineralisation.


The company says it saw significant pentlandite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite sulphide concentrations – which are indicators of nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) mineralisation – within four reverse-circulation (RC) holes and two diamond holes at the prospect that is part of the wider Maibele project near the Zimbabwe border. It is expecting the assays back in six to eight weeks.


The drilling program totalled 2182m and targeted geophysical anomalies in a strike length of 1.5km and to 400m depth, which Si6 says are now proven as sulphide mineralisation. Management says it will use the drilling data to support a mineral resource review for Maibele North, which currently has an inferred resource estimate of 2.38 million tonnes grading 0.21 per cent copper and 0.72 per cent nickel.


The company also says there has been $7.5 million spent on historical drilling at Maibelle North. The results have never been used for resource definition, but the company plans to incorporate them into its mineral resources estimate review.

We are delighted that our drilling at Maibele has intersected strong nickel and copper sulphides as expected at these geophysical anomalies. We’re confident these intersections at Maibele North may lead to an expansion of the known mineralisation, and we look forward to further results as we near completion of the Priority 1 drill program. We also intend to expand our exploration focus towards making further discoveries along the 30km-long prospective trend. Si6 Metals managing director Jim Malone.

Maibele North assays dating back to 2014 show headline results of 29.12m at 0.9 per cent nickel and 0.4 per cent copper from 67m, 26.43m at 1.65 per cent nickel and 0.54 per cent copper from 94m and 6.95m at 2.23 per cent nickel and 0.63 per cent copper from 132m.


Further drilling in 2015 returned assays of 0.98m at 2.63 per cent nickel and 0.48 per cent copper from 110m, while drilling the following year came back with 0.59m at 2.35 per cent nickel and 0.56 per cent copper from 73.46m and 1m at 2.27 per cent nickel and 2.02 per cent copper from 240m.


The company says the mineralised horizon at Maibele North can be mapped on geophysics for at least 30km along strike, giving weight to the claim that Botswana’s Limpopo Belt is truly a world-class nickel district.


Premium Nickel Resources’ Selebi-Phikwe mine is about 50km away and has produced 26.6 million tonnes grading 1.03 per cent copper and 0.58 per cent nickel from one shaft and 13.9 million tonnes grading 0.66 per cent copper and 0.74 per cent nickel from the other, to a depth of about 1km.


Si6 says it will progress an open-pit mining review for its Maibele North deposit and consider options for on-site product concentration. The Maibele project is a joint venture between Si6’s wholly-owned subsidiary Africa Metals with a 60 per cent interest and Cyprus-based BCL Investments, which holds the remaining 40 per cent.


Nickel prices have weakened – likely due to oversupply – during the past 12 months from a high of $47,000 per tonne in December last year to trade at about $25,000 per tonne today. But Crux Investor has described the trend as a “short-term blip within an overall bullish trend driven by electric vehicle demand growth”.


So, with encouraging visual mineralisation confirmed and geophysics suggesting it is quite extensive both laterally and at depth, investors will no doubt be joining Si6 in an eager wait for the upcoming set of assays to see what Maibele North has delivered.


Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: office@bullsnbears.com.au

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