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Si6 winds up Botswana drilling, nets more nickel-copper

Updated: Apr 18

Si6 Metals has struck more impressive results at Maibele North in Botswana. Credit: File

Si6 Metals has added further impetus to its highly-prospective Botswana precious and base metals play, with its latest drill program striking high-grade silver and copper and exciting visual nickel sulphides.

The company’s three projects in the southern African country provide a compelling mix of in-demand metals that are all expected to play a big role in the future clean-energy transition.

Management says its first-phase drilling program for 27 holes through 5690m has been completed and has delivered optimism for further development of its flagship projects. The work included 3663m of reverse-circulation (RC) drilling and 2027m of diamond drilling across the company’s two high-grade copper-silver projects at Dibete and Airstrip, in addition to its promising Maibele North nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) play.

The drill programs targeted beneath and along strike of known mineralisation.

Results from drilling at Dibete include 6.15m at 7.2 per cent copper and 182 grams per tonne silver from 24.85m including 0.5m at 10.8 per cent copper and 281g/t silver and 1m at 13 per cent copper and 168g/t silver. A further hit of 9m at 1.54 per cent copper and 82g/t silver from 45m including 2m at 4.20 per cent copper and 269g/t silver, was also recorded.

Si6 says strong visual nickel and copper sulphides at Maibele North were identified during logging of RC chip samples and drill core, confirming the presence of strong pentlandite, chalcopyrite and pyrrhotite sulphide concentrations, which are indicators of nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation.

Visual estimates of between 5 and 10 per cent sulphides were noted from 152m to 165m downhole. Due to delays in receiving assays from the laboratory in Johannesburg, and given the significance of the new drill intercepts, the company decided to release the visual estimates as a prelude to receiving the assay results that are expected to land in three to four weeks.

We are pleased to have successfully concluded our extensive first phase exploration drilling program with high-grade Cu-Ag results and strong visual nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation intersected at Dibete and Maibele North, as we advised recently. Field activity in Botswana will now wind down for the holiday period while we await further assay results. Si6 Metals managing director Jim Malone

The company intends to review its Maibele North mineral resource estimate to include its infill drill program and the US$5million (AU$7.44 million) spent on historical drilling by previous operators that has not yet been incorporated. It will also undertake a review of potential open-pit mining options at Maibele North and nickel-copper-PGE sulphide production, while also developing a field campaign for next year to advance multiple targets within the broader project tenure.

Si6’s Botswana project sits within a prolific nickel district and covers more than 2000 square kilometres within the highly-prospective Limpopo Belt in eastern Botswana.

The Maibele North deposit is centrally located 50km from Premium Nickel Resources’ world-class Selebi-Phikwe nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE mine and 80km from Norilsk Nickel’s Tati nickel-copper mine. The project contains nickel sulphide mineralisation related to ultramafic intrusions within a continental margin geological setting and is broadly similar in style to other ultramafic intrusion-related nickel discoveries such as IGO’s renowned Nova-Bollinger operation, Chalice Mining’s Julimar play and the Thompson nickel belt in Canada.

According to the International Nickel Study Group, nickel use in electric vehicle batteries is forecast to grow next year, while stainless steel production – where most of the nickel is used – is expected to soon recover after falling 0.9 per cent in the first half of this year.

It is positive news for all companies in the nickel space and Si6 will be eagerly awaiting its pending assays so it can assess the extent to which they can contribute to growing the company’s expanding nickel resource.

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