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Project Overview

Project Number
Total Grant Value
MRIWA Contribution
Project Theme
Mineral Systems
Project Period
2022 - 2024

The Challenge

Western Australia is highly prospective for valuable Nickel resources, but most undiscovered ore lies deep below the surface, hidden from detection. High-grade nickel bodies represent only small targets within potentially mineralised regions, and traditional technology used in exploring for them is both expensive and may miss important clues to mineralisation.

Proposed Solution

Although Nickel sulfide ore bodies may be small, the magmatic processes that produce them also leave subtle chemical clues in their host intrusion and potentially surrounding rocks across a much larger area. By identifying a variety of consistent chemical markers present in different minerals formed around valuable nickel mineralisation – particularly minerals that may survive the weathering of their host rocks in the harsh Western Australian landscape – the research team will provide new insights to guide mineral exploration more effectively towards undiscovered ore bodies hidden beneath the surface.

Proposed Benefits to WA

The insights developed through this research will deliver a new exploration method for the use of indicator minerals when searching for nickel. This workflow will be tailored to WA conditions, and tuned to laboratory service providers operating in the state.

Improving exploration efficiency may drive new nickel discoveries in the state, supporting continued WA’s global leadership in production and export of nickel metal.

Keywords: Geochemistry; nickel; copper; cobalt; footprint; regolith

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Page was last reviewed 9 November 2022

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