|Location||~70km NE of Perth, Western Australia|
|Project Stage||Resource; Feasibility and Permitting|
|Acquired||Exploration licenses staked in 2018|
The Gonneville Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Element (Ni-Cu-PGE) Project is a pre-development project located on Chalice-owned farmland, ~70km north-east of Perth in Western Australia. The Project is centred on the Gonneville Deposit – a significant greenfield mineral discovery by Chalice’s geologists in early 2020.
The Gonneville Deposit hosts a rare mix of critical green metals required for decarbonisation, such as nickel, copper, cobalt, palladium and platinum. Large-scale deposits like Gonneville are very rare and therefore have high strategic value, as current production of these metals is dominated by Russia and South Africa.
Gonneville has a tier-1 scale Mineral Resource Estimate (Resource) containing approximately 16 million ounces of platinum group elements (PGEs), 860 thousand tonnes of nickel, 520 thousand tonnes of copper and 83 thousand tonnes of cobalt, making it one of the largest recent nickel sulphide discoveries worldwide, and the largest PGE discovery in Australian history.
Given the scale of the Resource and in response to continued strong strategic interest in the Gonneville Project, Chalice commenced a formal strategic partnering process in 2023. Chalice anticipates that a strategic partner (or partners) with complementary technical, marketing and financial capability may assist with the development of Gonneville and influence the optimal development strategy to maximise shareholder value.
Chalice recognises the need to develop the Gonneville Project sustainably and responsibly, with a best practice approach to environmental, social and cultural heritage management. Chalice is currently continuing exploration and resource definition drilling as well as studies to determine the feasibility of the Project.
The 100%-owned Gonneville Ni-Cu-PGE Project is located on Chalice-owned farmland ~70km north-east of Perth, Western Australia.
Being proximal to Perth, the region has excellent nearby infrastructure including high-voltage power, rail, sealed highways and deep-water ports, plus access to a significant highly skilled workforce.
The Gonneville discovery has opened up a new unexplored mineral province, the West Yilgarn Ni-Cu-PGE Province in Western Australia. Chalice has a first-mover advantage in the new province and is progressing exploration activities across the West Yilgarn concurrently with pre-development activities at Gonneville.
Geology & Resource
The Gonneville Deposit is located at the southern end of a newly recognised >30km long geological belt, the Julimar Complex The mafic-ultramafic intrusive belt is prospective for magmatic sulphide mineralisation and has a rare chonolith-like geometry, which is similar to other major mafic-ultramafic orthomagmatic systems worldwide that host some of the world’s largest nickel copper+/-PGE deposits, including Norilsk-Talnakh and Jinchuan (Barnes et al, 20161).
The Deposit has been drilled to approximately 1,200m below surface. Primary Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide mineralisation occurs principally within the ultramafic domains of the Gonneville Intrusion and to a lesser extent in gabbro subunits. Mineralisation occurs as a series of sub-parallel sulphide-rich zones (>20% sulphides), typically 5m to 40m wide, that occur within broader intervals (100m to 150m wide) of weakly disseminated sulphides.
A combination of RC and diamond drilling has been completed at the Deposit to define a tier-1 scale Mineral Resource Estimate (Resource). The Resource is reported in both nickel equivalent (NiEq) and palladium equivalent (PdEq) terms to take into account the contribution of multiple payable metals. The cut-off grade for the sulphide domain was reported using NiEq in preference over PdEq, due to the assumed requirement for sulphide flotation to recover the metals.
|Gonneville Project Mineral Resource Estimate|
|560Mt @ 0.88g/t Pd+Pt+Au (3E), 0.16% Ni, 0.09% Cu, 0.015% Co (~0.54% NiEq or ~1.7g/t PdEq);|
|Containing 16Moz 3E, 860kt Ni, 520kt Cu and 83kt Co (~3.0Mt NiEq or ~30Moz PdEq).|
|Including a higher-grade sulphide component of the Resource (>0.6%NiEq cut-off) of:|
|120Mt @ 1.6g/t 3E, 0.20% Ni, 0.18% Cu, 0.017% Co (~0.9% NiEq or ~2.7g/t PdEq);|
|Containing 5.8Moz 3E, 230kt Ni, 210kt Cu, 20kt Co (~1Mt NiEq or ~10Moz PdEq).|
Sulphide-rich zones typically have grades of 3-15g/t 3E (Pd+Pt+Au), 0.5-3.3% Ni, 0.4-4.5% Cu and 0.05-0.3% Co. Disseminated sulphide zones typically have grades of 0.5-2.0g/t 3E, 0.1-0.2% Ni, 0.05-0.15% Cu and 0.01-0.02% Co.
Ongoing wide-spaced step-out drilling continues at Gonneville to determine the overall scale of the Deposit and define extensions to the underground Resource, which remains open at depth.
Download the Mineral Resources and CP Statements.
Studies are underway for an initial open-pit mine, processing facilities and supporting infrastructure such as power, water and roads. Studies are typically at scoping level of maturity however pre-feasibility-level work has also commenced on certain scopes, including comprehensive metallurgical testwork.
Metallurgical testwork, process flowsheet design and optimisation is continuing. The proposed process flowsheet includes conventional comminution, sequential copper and nickel sulphide flotation, nickel concentrate enrichment and conventional leaching for oxide and potentially for flotation tails.
Permitting and regulatory approvals for a potential mine are also being progressed, which will consider environmental, social and cultural heritage impacts. Chalice is considering mine development options which will have negligible impact on the Julimar State Forest, which is immediately north of the Project.
Baseline surveys of ground water, surface water, flora, fauna and dieback are well advanced as part of the long-term baseline and monitoring program, designed to support engineering studies and environemntal assessments.
Gonneville will produce a copper smelter concentrate (Cu-Pd-Pt-Au) for sale to a copper smelter, a Mixed Hydoxide Precipitate (Ni-Co) for sale to a precursor cathode active material (PCAM) refinery and potentially a PGE-Au doré for sale to a PGM refinery.
Chalice recognises the need to develop the Gonneville Project sustainably and responsibly, with a best practice approach to environmental, social and cultural heritage management, and to contribute to local economic development.
As part of this commitment, Chalice has developed the Gonneville Biodiversity Strategy which sets a goal to ensure a science-based no net loss of species or habitat diversity as a result of any future development and operations. An innovative program of work is planned to rehabilitate areas of remnant vegetation, form ecological corridors and reduce habitat fragmentation.
Chalice is proud to be part of the communities surrounding the Gonneville Project, and is committed to prioritising local employment, supporting local businesses and investing locally to create long lasting benefits.
Chalice has built a strong relationship with Traditional Owners and continues work to understand the cultural values of the Gonneville Project area. The Company has also collaborated with Whadjuk representatives on our ongoing baseline fauna surveys.
1 Barnes SJ, Cruden A.R, Arndt, A & Saumur, B., 2016. The mineral system approach to magmatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulphide deposits. Ore Geology Reviews 76, 296-316.
See gallery for assorted Gonneville Project core samples.