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Panton PGM hunt hotting up for Octava in Kimberley

Updated: Apr 19

Future Metals’ p-XRF testing at the Panton project in the Kimberley. Credit: File

Octava Minerals’ joint venture (JV) partner Future Metals, which operates their Panton North project in WA’s Kimberley region, is set to start exploration drilling on an interpreted extension of the neighbouring 5-million-ounce Panton platinum group metals deposit.

The hulking deposit sits in the Future ground that adjoins Panton North.

Exploration at the Panton West prospect, that sits within Panton North, will target platinum group metals, nickel, copper and cobalt at an embayment feature that extends from the Panton deposit into the JV’s ground. Future has previously traced mineralisation up to the tenement boundary and drilling will also target soil and rock anomalies at Panton West.

Panton North forms part of the farm-in JV tenure where Future can earn up to a 70 per cent holding. Panton West is a 1km-by-300m ultramafic intrusion that has previously recorded significant soil and rock geochemistry for nickel, copper and palladium. But it has never been drill-tested.

Airborne electromagnetics flown in 2006 identified several conductors along Panton West, which are broadly coincident with remnant magnetism anomalies. Recently-completed field-mapping and sampling identified an ultramafic pyroxenite outcrop with an average portable X-ray fluorescence reading of 0.43 per cent nickel, 0.06 per cent copper and 0.05 per cent cobalt.

However, it should be noted that precious metals can not be identified by this method.

Octava says its working exploration concept is that a significant nickel sulphide body may have been emplaced at the base of the Panton Complex in the embayment target area. Future reported that the best platinum group metal mineralisation, in terms of grade and thickness, occurs immediately overlying the embayment position.

The northern portion of the prospect shows highly-anomalous copper geochemistry in soil-sampling coincident with strong remnant magnetism, an indicator of pyrrhotite and therefore sulphide mineralisation. The area is untested by drilling.

Heritage clearance and Mines Department approval has been received for both locations. The drilling contactor has been appointed and is expected to arrive on site this month. WA Government co-funding grants have also provided $147,000 towards drilling at Panton West.

We are certainly looking forward to seeing the drill rig in action at Panton West and the embayment area. We believe the area has significant potential for discovery. Octava Minerals managing director Bevan Wakelam

Under the terms of the JV announced in January, Future will be required to fund $2 million of exploration to earn its 70 per cent share. Octava will then be required to contribute financially to maintain its 30 per cent interest from the point of a “decision to mine”, or dilute to a 1.5 per cent net smelter royalty.

Future has the right to apply for a mining lease over a portion of exploration lease for use as part of the development of its adjoining 100 per cent-owned Panton project.

The Panton deposits contains resources of 5.0 million ounces of palladium, platinum and gold combined and 238,000 tonnes of nickel, 43,000 tonnes of copper and 18,000 tonnes of cobalt, at a grade of 1.66 grams per tonne palladium equivalent. With the best mineralisation appearing to extend directly into Octava’s JV ground and drilling happening in June, things could get interesting fairly quickly.

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