The glitter of Australia’s famed Kambalda nickel deposits may one day be seen in the Timmins mining district if Golden Chalice Resources Inc.’s hopes and dreams come to pass.
Many of the geological characteristics identified in various tests on the company’s Langmuir property 35 kilometres southeast of Timmins are similar to those in the Kambalda district, which at one point was responsible for seven per cent of the world’s nickel production.
This style of deposit, first made famous in the 1960s, is characterized as low tonnage but high grade and occurring in clusters. As Golden Chalice recently re-analyzed airborne electromagnetic survey data and detected the presence of 20 clusters of geophysical anomalies, officials have high hopes that they may potentially reproduce some of the same style of deposits.
This is particularly true given the presence of a nickel discovery the company turned up in early 2007 which sparked the imaginations of junior exploration firms and investors alike. An initial hole intersecting 1.14 per cent nickel over 72.4 metres; follow-up drilling has provided results such as 1.62 per cent nickel over 4.9 metres, and 1.19 per cent nickel over 10.25 metres.
The company has since increased the land holdings to 30 kilometres in length, and is currently drilling to define the size of the mineralized zone in anticipation of an industry-compliant resource estimate by mid-summer.
“Finding deposits like these things, they’re not singularly unique phenomena,” says Peter Caldbick, project geologist with Golden Chalice Resources.
“If you’ve found one, the chances of finding more are very, very good.”
To date, this zone features 200 metres of strike length, reaching to a vertical depth of 250 metres below surface. However, with testing of the down plunge extension still underway, Caldbick says there may be even more ore at depth.
While little information is available for the other conductive bodies found on the Langmuir property, 13 targets on these 20 clusters have been examined and are identified as being highly similar to the initial discovery zone. However, they’re said to be much deeper, occurring at depths of over 300 metres beneath it, and can be traced for two kilometres on strike. That they’ve been found far deeper than any prior drilling and have never been tested add even more to their potential, Caldbick says.
Golden Chalice is just one of a group of companies operating under the Hughes Exploration Group umbrella, overseen by legendary prospector Richard Hughes, one of the co-founders of the Hemlo deposit.
The Langmuir project isn’t the only local feather in the company’s proverbial cap, however, as Caldbick is insistent on the potential of another nearby exploration project, known as the Abitibi East. With characteristics of a Kidd Creek-style deposit, drilling the mineralization has turned up respectable intersections, including 10 to 12 metres of 2 per cent zinc, 0.3 per cent copper and 0.25 per cent lead.
Although drill results have been encouraging, re-interpretation of the geophysics is leading company officials to believe work needs to continue further east of the current efforts.
Another point of interest for Golden Chalice is the Timmins West project, located 75 kilometres southwest of Timmins. With a major fault running through the area, splayed off the Destor Porcupine Fault, the property is “startlingly similar” to what’s seen throughout the Timmins camp. It has the right structure, stratigraphy and rock types for finding possible gold and nickel mineralization, and airborne electromagnetic surveys have identified 35 conductors or targets. One drill is following up on that program.
Still, despite the promise being shown on these other properties, Caldbick says the company will continue to place its central focus on the Langmuir site.
“We believe we have some very good chance of finding some great things on these other properties, so we are placing a lot of attention on them, but obviously Langmuir is central for us.”