Western   Australia

notable resource discoveries

Western Australia is largely dominated by the Yilgarn Craton. It’s one of the countries most significant mineral provinces. Kambalda type komatiitic nickel ore deposits are the primary source of nickel metal within the Yilgarn Craton.

The Albany Fraser Orogen is located along the southern and SE margins of the Yilgarn Craton. The Fraser Zone is a distinct geophysical belt near the NW edge of the orogen. The area has been the focus of substantial exploration for Ni–Cu sulphides following the discovery of the Nova deposit in 2012 by Sirius Resources. In February 2013, Sirius also discovered the Bollinger deposit, a dominantly flat lying body located to the east of the Nova deposit and interconnected to the Nova deposit by a feeder zone. Independence Group (ASX: IGO) took over the resource in 2015 and commenced mining the deposit in 2017. The Nova Operation is located approximately 160km east-northeast of Norseman and 360km southeast of Kalgoorlie in the Fraser Range.

The significant Gonneville deposit discovered by Chalice Mining (ASX: CHN) defines the West Yilgarn Ni-Cu-PGE Province and extends along the western margin of the Yilgarn Craton. Located 70km NE of Perth. Chalice intersected shallow high-grade PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt-gold sulphide in 2020 in their very first drill hole. 

Estrella resources’ (ASX: ESR) nickel sulphide project is located 80km north-northeast of Kalgoorlie in the highly mineralised Eastern Goldfields and covers the famed Carr Boyd nickel mine. Carr Boyd was discovered in the 1960s and operated by Western Mining where the ore body was mined between 1973 and 1977. Estrella found the deposit after drilling targets below the mine in 2020 where they hit 2.9m of massive nickel-copper sulphide.

The Widgiemooltha Dome area is where the Cassini near-surface nickel sulphide deposit was discovered by Mincor Resources (ASX: MCR) in 2015.  Mincor Resources developed the Cassini nickel mine located in Kambalda within the Southern goldfields region of WA. Nickel production commenced in 2022 and is being processed at BHP’s Kambalda Nickel Concentrator. The nickel concentrate comes together at the Nickel West Kalgoorlie smelter.

Warakurna Ni- Cu-PGE Musgrave Province is where Oz Minerals (ASX: OZL) Nebo and Babel nickel-copper deposits and the Succoth copper deposit are located. Around 1,300 km northeast of Perth near the border with the Northern Territory and South Australia. The Nebo–Babel deposit solely owned by Oz from 2020, was previously explored in partership with Cassini resources in 2016. The traditional owners are currently being consulted, in order to develop access for mining.

Paterson province in the Pilbara region covers around 30 000 km2 to the east of the Hamersley Basin and southwest of the Canning Basin, covering mostly Proterozoic basin, forming a NW trending zone of the Pilbara craton. U-Cu Paterson Orogen was home to the discovery of the Telfer gold deposit in 1972. Exploration further led to the discovery of the Nifty Cu in 1980 then the Kintyre U deposit  in 1985. The Paterson Province is highly prospective for gold-copper and base metal mineral systems. Recent discoveries include Havieron by Newcrest mining/ Greatland Gold, Calibre by Antipa Minerals and Winu by Rio Tinto. The area is said to be poorly understood and is being explored widely for further prospects, by explorer’s such as IGO, St George Mining and Buxton Resources.

– Geological Survey WA; Geoscience Australia

“Exploration is the lifeblood of Western Australia’s resources sector and if it leads to a new mine, then new jobs are created”

– Opening of Mincor Resources’ nickel sulphide mine (Media statement)

30 March 2021

Bill Johnston

Minister for Mines and Petroleum, Energy WA

Geophysical exploration surveys

GEM have a deep understanding of geophysical concepts together with quality data acquisition methods. We have the know-how to apply this knowledge to various geological landscapes. Enabling us, to not only meet, but often go beyond our client’s exploration expectations. Presently, demand for SQUID technology and GEM’s dedicated operational experience, remains exceptionally high.