Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has intersected 17m of massive magnetite vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) through an initial reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia.
The company reports this result was encountered in hole VCRC0006, which is 1 of 6 holes completed for 543m in the RC program. Multiple magnetite-bearing horizons were encountered in hole VCRC0003, and notes samples have been dispatched to the laboratory with assays expected in April 2023.
This initial RC drilling program was completed between 8 and 12 March 2023 at the Kinks South target area and was undertaken to ensure annual tenement commitment activities were satisfied ahead of tenement anniversaries.
Viking reports holes VCRC0006 (124m) and VCRC0005 (162m) were designed 675m apart to test the potential down-dip continuity of the projected ‘high-grade’ VTM horizon ahead of further drilling planned at Kinks South.
The company also notes it is targeting zones of more than 0.8% V2O5, as this target grade has been determined as economic by other companies operating in the region.
Commenting on the results, Viking Mines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Julian Woodcock says: “It’s great to have had the drill rig spinning at the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project, as we look to focus in on specific targets that we will follow-up with a major drilling program intended to commence in the June quarter.
Of greatest significance is the intersection of a massive magnetite zone encountered 110m down-dip from the historical hole CGD01, which returned a result of 28m @ 0.9% V2O5 (vanadium oxide) from 36m.
“It’s great to have had the drill rig spinning at the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project, as we look to focus in on specific targets that we will follow-up with a major drilling program intended to commence in the June quarter”
Whilst we are yet to receive assays, the presence of massive magnetite and VTM mineralisation only 87m below surface is a positive indicator for the first hole drilling into this target for more than 40 years.
The scale of the Kinks South target offers a major opportunity to add value for Viking’s shareholders by growing the Canegrass resource base through drill testing down-dip of the outcropping high-grade vanadium mineralisation.
With many other aspects of our exploration program progressing in parallel, I look forward to updating the market soon with results from this initial exploration drill program.”
Viking reports hole VCRC0006 intersected the expected lithologies observed in outcrop to the south, with a thick zone of VTM mineralisation occurring from 90 to 106m downhole. Visual identification of the VTM is supported by the ‘strongly’ magnetic nature of the rock chips collected in January 2023 which returned vanadium oxide (V2O5) grades ranging from 1.17% V2O5 to 1.44% V2O5.
Additional thin zones of massive magnetite were also observed at different depths in the drillhole. Viking reports assays will be required to confirm the vanadium grade, but notes it is confident based on the supporting data that a ‘significant’ vanadium intercept may have been intersected.
Additionally, the company notes minor sulphides were observed associated with magnetite. Pyrite is the dominant sulphide, however chalcopyrite has also been seen in RC chips.
This observation is ‘significant’ as the presence of copper in the form of chalcopyrite is important, as it allows the potential for a future processing option using floatation techniques if it can be liberated from the host rock. Viking notes this process option is forming a part of the ‘comprehensive’ metallurgical testwork program planned for later this year.
Drillhole VCRC0005 intersected the expected lithologies as observed in outcrop to the south. Magnetite has been identified in several horizons within the gabbro and multiple intersections demonstrated a magnetic response.
The company says the presence of magnetite throughout several horizons is a ‘positive’ indicator that vanadium is likely to be present. Viking will assess the hole in detail when assays are received and will build the results into the geological model.
Viking reports it is continuing to make ‘rapid’ advancements at the project, with the focus on finalising the geology model, and planning a major drill program for about 5,500m scheduled to begin in the June quarter.
Viking Mines is an ASX-listed exploration and development company currently focused on its portfolio of projects in Western Australia and Ghana. These projects include the Canegrass Battery Minerals, and First Hit Gold Project in Western Australia, as well as the Akoase, Tumentu, and Butre Gold projects in Ghana.
Images: Viking Mines Ltd