ASX- and TSX-listed Chalice Gold Mines has secured a significant new nickel sulphide exploration opportunity in the west Kimberley region of Western Australia after reaching an agreement to acquire the outstanding shares in private nickel explorer North West Nickel (NWN).
NWN holds a portfolio of nickel exploration projects, including the Ruins project, which is located adjacent to the recent nickel sulphide discoveries reported by Buxton Resources at its Merlin project.
Buxton recently entered into two option and earn-in joint venture agreements with ASX-listed Independence Group, in the region.
The acquisition will form a central part of Chalice’s new 1 800 km2 district-scale King Leopold nickel project in the Kimberley region, opening up a new nickel exploration opportunity alongside the company’s gold projects in Victoria and Quebec.
Under the acquisition agreement, Chalice will acquire all the outstanding shares in NWN by issuing 7.5-million fully paid ordinary shares to NWN, effectively reimbursing NWN for costs incurred to date.
According to Chalice MD Alex Dorsch, the outlook for nickel is “exceptionally strong”, adding that there are “very few advanced nickel sulphide projects to satisfy the rapidly growing class-1 nickel demand”.
“The Ruins project is an ideal, drill-ready entry point into the King Leopold Orogen, which hosts new high-grade nickel sulphide discoveries. The presence of outcropping Ruins dolerite and co-incident EM targets along strike from Merlin immediately drew our attention, and we intend to commence drill testing these targets as soon as possible.”
He added that the recent entry by Independence Group into this largely unexplored province and the substantial ramp-up of exploration activity is a sign that this area is “primed for new high-grade nickel sulphide discoveries”.
The May-to-December field season in this region is also expected to work very favourably with ongoing exploration activities at the company’s flagship Pyramid Hill gold project, in the Bendigo region of Victoria.