Auroch Minerals has signed a formal share sale agreement with Minotaur Exploration to acquire 100% of the Saints Nickel Project and the Leinster Nickel Project in Western Australia.

Auroch also announced an exploration strategy for its recently acquired Saints Nickel project.

Auroch CEO Aidan Platel commented: “The Saints Nickel Project is located in one of Western Australia’s most nickel-endowed greenstone belts, presenting great potential for significant nickel sulphide resources in a region supported by excellent existing infrastructure.

“The Company’s maiden drill programme at Saints comes at an exciting time as the LME nickel price surpassed $14,000/t, and Auroch will utilise its excellent in-house nickel exploration technical expertise to continue its strategy of aggressively exploring for base-metals in Australia.”

Located approximately 65km north-west of Kalgoorlie and 7km east of the Goldfields Highway, the Saints Nickel Project includes two mining leases covering 20km² of Archaean greenstone belt geology within the Eastern Goldfields province of the Yilgarn Craton.

Over the past decade, the Saints Nickel Project has seen limited exploration grading rated at 1.05Mt at 2% Ni, 0.2% Cu, 0.06% Co. Significant high-grade intercepts of the project include 3.17%Ni over 2m from a depth of 171m.

According to Auroch, at least 97.5% of the existing JORC 2012-compliant high-grade nickel resources at Saints is fresh primary sulphide mineralisation extending to 480m below surface.

Furthermore, the company intends to start its 2019 exploration programme at its high-grade Saints Nickel Project. The exploration programme primarily targets zinc, cobalt and lithium.

The exploration will be conducted through a three-phase drilling programme that includes extensional, confirmatory and regional drilling.

The key results of the exploration programme showed significant potential to add to the Saints nickel resources through near-resource exploration and drill testing of postulated extensions.

The company stated that the Program of Work (PoW) applications have been submitted to the Department of Mines, Industry, Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) with drilling to start next month.