Dundas locks in early September diamond drill run for WA Esperance nickel-copper play

Tue 30 Aug 22, 4:22pm (AEST)
In-situ nickel mineralisation
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Diamond drill rig to fire up in early September hunting nickel-copper mineralisation at Matilda South project in southwest WA
  • Two targets; Matilda South and Central respectively, to be subject to drill testing
  • Company notes tests from initial drill holes will inform second stage of campaign

After first hitting strong magnetic anomalies on-site the company’s nickel copper project north of Esperance WA, Dundas Minerals (ASX:DUN) will fire up the diamond drill rigs at the company’s project acreage in the next week. 

Five diamond drill holes are planned for Central, and four holes for Matilda South, in association with already identified magnetic targets believed to be prospective for nickel and copper respectively. 

The first prospective target, Central, will be drilled first, with drilling at the nearby Matilda South prospect to follow. Topdrive Drillers Australia have been contracted to execute the campaign. 

Dundas notes initial drilling results will inform the later stages of drilling at both prospects.

First ever deep drills for both targets

Worth noting is that diamond drilling at Central will be the first ever conducted in the area. 

Previous drilling at Matilda South, meanwhile, topped out at a depth of 65m in shallow aircore drilling; meaning Matilda South will also see deep drillholes sunk for the first time. 

“Both Central and Matilda South are compelling targets identified by Dundas Minerals from our geophysical survey,” Dundas MD Shane Volk said. 

“The Board and the Company as a whole are delighted to see the drilling programs commence…we are also pleased to be partnering with Marchus Harris at Topdrive for these programs.” 

“Topdrive’s Rig 3 is a track-mounted diamond rig that has a relatively small footprint and is perfect for the task…depth capacity is 1,000m, so it is more than capable of reaching our targets.” 

Matilda South a well known prospect 

Much of Dundas Minerals’ southwest WA acreage under WA exploration licence E63/2056 was previously held by Canadian junior explorer IGC Resources Inc., from 2005 until 2009 (via its Australian subsidiary Goldport Pty Ltd).

The company believes that IGC Resources never extended its exploration opportunities to the possibility untapped mineralisation remained onsite at economically feasible depths. IGC was made aware of this in 2006 but never moved forward; something Dundas highlighted back in March

By April, the company had flagged its decision to move ahead to drilling. Some four months later, patient shareholders are now closer than ever to getting a look at first assay results. 

Worth noting are ongoing delays at assay laboratories across WA. 

Battery Metal potential

Dundas shares are trading flat today, which is perhaps counterintuitive when one considers nickel’s role as an emerging battery metal, with BloombergNEF forecasting solid demand for at least the next decade.

Nickel is a major constituent of lithium-ion batteries, both those used in Electric Vehicles (EVs), and also grid-scale battery assets used in BESS operations—like Tesla’s ‘Megapack’ products

While lithium is the most obvious constituent of a lithium-ion battery, there is still a huge need for both copper and nickel.

Sentiment for copper’s future in the battery supply chain is equally bullish

The Australian Chief Economist, alongside BloombergNEF, predicts copper prices to continue experiencing a rally well into the 2030s.

Dundas Minerals' three month charts
Dundas Minerals' three month charts
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Dundas Minerals was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.


Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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