Gonneville Nickel-Copper-PGE Project

Location~70km NE of Perth, Western Australia
Project StageResource; Feasibility and Permitting
AcquiredExploration licenses staked in 2018
Ownership100%

The Gonneville Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Element (Ni-Cu-PGE) is a pre-development project located on Chalice-owned farmland, 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 Resource hosts a rare mix of critical green metals required for decarbonisation and urbanisation, such as nickel, copper, cobalt, palladium and platinum. Largescale deposits like Gonneville are very rare and therefore have high strategic value, as current production of PGE metals is dominated by Russia and South Africa.

Gonneville has a tier-1 scale Mineral Resource Estimate (Resource) and is defined as the second largest undeveloped nickel sulphide Resource in Australia and one of the largest globally.

The Company recently completed a Scoping Study for the Gonneville Project, which outlined a new long-life, low-cost, low-carbon green metals mine in Western Australia with the potential to deliver strong financial returns and regional benefits, plus significant upside. 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.

Location

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 (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. The Gonneville Deposit 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 ~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). 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.

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).

Download the Mineral Resources and CP Statements.

Development Studies

In August 2023, Chalice completed a Scoping Study for the Gonneville Project, which outlined a new long-life, low-cost, low-carbon green metals mine in Western Australia with the potential to deliver strong financial returns and regional benefits, plus significant upside.

The Study outlined a tier-1 scale development project in a world-class jurisdiction: 

  • Two open-pit cases modelled reflecting significant development optionality – with early underground options in parallel with open-pit mining to be investigated in future. 
  • ~240Mt and ~440Mt open-pit resources processed (45-80% of the Gonneville Resource) for the 15Mtpa and 30Mtpa cases respectively, generating a tier-1 production profile:
Case3E (Pd+Pt+Au)
(kozpa)
Ni
(ktpa)
Cu
(ktpa)
Co
(ktpa)
Modelled Life
(yrs)
15Mtpa~280~9~10~0.8~19
30Mtpa~470~16~16~1.4~18

Based on the assumptions utilised, the Study highlighted strong returns on investment and a competitive cost profile for the Gonneville Project.

Compelling returns generated over modelled life with a short two-year payback period:

CaseFree cash (post tax)
(A$Bn)
Pre-Prod CapEx
(A$Bn)
NPV6.5
(A$Bn)
IRR
(%)
VIR
(x)
Payback f/
COP (yrs)
15Mtpa~6.6~1.6~2.8~26~1.8~2
30Mtpa~9.9~2.3~4.2~26~1.8~2
  • Indicative NPV ignores residual value beyond modelled life or any exploration upside and hence is not considered to reflect the full potential value of the asset.
  • Long-life, tier-1 scale production profile provides significant leverage to green metals which are in strong demand from global decarbonisation and urbanisation trends.

The production targets and forecast financial information disclosed above is extracted from the Company’s ASX Announcement “Gonneville Nickel-Copper-PGE Project Scoping Study” dated 29 August 2023.

Download the material assumption information and CP Statements.

Chalice has commenced the Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS), targeted for completion in mid-2025, which will assess several development cases with the aim of determining the preferred case to progress to a Feasibility Study. The large scale, shallow polymetallic Gonneville Resource has inherent development optionality which required ongoing detailed optimisation work as part of the PFS.

Metallurgical testwork, process flowsheet design and optimisation is continuing. The Study assumes that Gonneville is currently scoped to produce a copper smelter concentrate (Cu-Pd-Pt-Au) for sale to a copper smelter, a Mixed Hyroxide 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 also expects to commence the regulatory approvals process for the Project in H1 2024, based on the development envelope presented within the Scoping Study, which is located entirely on Chalice-owned farmland.

Baseline surveys of ground water, surface water, flora, fauna and dieback continued to advance this year as part of the long-term baseline and monitoring program, designed to support engineering studies and environmental assessments.

Sustainability

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 our 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.

Learn more about our approach to sustainability here.

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.

Core Gallery

See gallery for assorted Gonneville Project core samples.