Liontown secured the Project in 2018 as part of its generative exploration strategy for battery metals, after recognising the potential of this region to host magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE massive sulphides. The coincidence of large mafic/ultramafic intrusions located close to a craton margin is analogous to magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE occurrences elsewhere in the world including the Nova, Savannah and Nebo-Babel deposits in Western Australia.
Liontown’s exploration concept has been validated by Chalice Gold Mines’ discovery of high-grade Ni-Cu-PGE mineralisation in the same geological terrain at Julimar, located ~95km south of the Moora Project (see Figure 1/ ASX:CHN ASX releases dated 23rd March and 15th April 2020).
Figure 1: Location and regional geology plan
Government geological mapping within the Moora Project area indicates a series of mafic-ultramafic intrusions spatially associated with large, dense bedrock features clearly visible in the regional gravity data (Figures 2 and 3). This geological setting is similar to those which host Chalice’s Julimar nickel discovery and the historic Yarawindah Ni-Cu-PGE occurrence (Figures 1 and 3) being actively explored by Cassini Resources Limited (www.cassini.com.au).
Figure 2: Moora Project: Gravity image (1VD) showing mapped mafic-ultramafic units. (Hot colours indicate dense, possible mafic-ultramafic units).
Figure 3: Moora Project: Regional gravity image.
Historical exploration at Moora has been limited to the central part of the Project area and has largely comprised surface sampling and shallow RAB drilling. (Please refer to Liontown’s ASX release dated 16th April 2020 for the relevant statistics for the historical data referred to below).
In 1968, Poseidon NL recorded a number of significant nickel intersections in drilling at Moora including:
• 9m @ 0.62% Ni from 0m;
• 11.5m @ 0.60% Ni from 1.5m; and
• 21m @ 0.57% Ni from 1.5m.
(See Figure 4 for drill-hole locations – note that the locations are approximate due to the conversion from imperial units and Poseidon’s use of local, unsurveyed grids. There is not enough geological data to estimate true widths).
The drill intersections were hosted by strongly weathered, oxidised ultramafic rocks and Poseidon interpreted the elevated nickel values to be related to primary sulphides at depth based on the steep orientation of the mineralised zones and the presence of anomalous (>300ppm) copper nearby. Further work was planned by Poseidon, however its focus shifted to the Eastern Goldfields following its discovery of the Windarra nickel deposit.
Subsequent exploration by Palladium Resources and Washington Resources from 1999-2001 and 2004-2009 respectively confirmed strong, multi-element, Ni+Cu+PGE+Au anomalism in the same area as explored by Poseidon (Figure 4).
Rock chip sampling by Palladium recorded a number of coincident Cu (up to 788ppm) and Ni (up to 2,060ppm) anomalies. Shallow follow-up drilling by Palladium, which was limited to the area covered by Poseidon MC70/1390H (Figure 4), also recorded multiple zones of coincident Cu and Ni anomalism (up to 12m @ 288ppm Cu and 2,763ppm Ni).
Washington Resources’ field work included the collection of 333 iron-rich surface samples (i.e. “laterite”) which returned anomalous values up to 795ppm Cu, 8,482ppm Ni, 452ppb Pd and 517ppb Au (Figure 4). No follow up drilling was undertaken by Washington, possibly due to the onset of the Global Financial Crisis which constrained the capacity of junior explorers to raise working capital at the time.
Despite the strong geochemical anomalism and prospective geological setting, there has been no prior drill testing of the fresh, unoxidised bedrock at Moora.
Due to extensive shallow cover and strong weathering, geophysical surveys will be required to better delineate the prospective mafic-ultramafic units. Results are pending for a recently completed gravity survey and auger sampling program conducted by Liontown which also includes the first ever field assessment of the large gravity anomalies underlying the western part of the Project area (Figure 2 – E70/5286).
Further work will be planned once data is received for the above work. It will most likely comprise shallow air-core drilling to define anomalous nickel-copper zones within the prospective units, moving-loop electro-magnetic surveys to define possible massive sulphides and deeper RC/diamond core drilling to test any targets identified.
Figure 4: Moora Project: Summary of historical exploration results on 1VD gravity image. (Geochemical samples comprise ferruginous lateritic material collected by Washington Resources between 2004 and 2009)
The Moora Project comprises 3 contiguous, granted exploration licences (E70/5217, E70/5286 and E70/5287) which form a 467km2 area located ~150km NNE of Perth, Western Australia.
All ELs are held by ERL (Aust) Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Liontown Resources Limited.
Liontown has agreed to pay Armada Exploration Services:
• $1,000,000 cash; and
• a 0.5% NSR
If it discovers an economic mineral deposit (and makes a decision to mine) within the above tenements or any subsequent tenements acquired within an Area of Influence around the current tenements.
The Moora Project is largely underlain by freehold properties used for broad acre cropping and livestock rearing. Liontown has negotiated access agreements over 5 of the larger properties which cover the main geophysical anomalies and is in discussions with other landowners.
Liontown has signed a Heritage Agreement with the South West Aboriginal Land and Sea Council Aboriginal Council who act on behalf of the Yued Agreement Group.
View our Kathleen Valley Lithium-Tantalum Project.