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White Cliff to begin exploration program at Coglia Well project in Australia

Published 01 March 2018

White Cliff Minerals has secured statutory approvals for an initial 3000m drilling program at its 100%-owned Coglia Well cobalt and nickel project 70km south-east of Laverton in Western Australia’s north-eastern goldfields.

The Company has finalised a drilling contract and the RC rig will mobilise to Coglia Well in March.

The RC drilling program will target areas of higher grade cobalt and nickel mineralisation identified in previous drilling and will seek to exten d mineralisation along strike to the s outh. As announced previously, drilling undertaken at Coglia Well in 2016 identified widespread cobalt and nickel mineralisation over an area 2,500 metres long and 500 metres wide with better intersections of:

  • 28 metres at 0.12% cobalt and 0.55% nickel from 60 metres including

          - 16 metres at 0.16% cobalt and 0.65% nickel

  • 12 metres at 2.18% nickel and 0.06% cobalt including

          - 4 metres at 2.95% nickel , 0.06% cobal

The mineralised unit at Coglia Well extends a further 9,500 metres to the s outh within White Cliff tenements then across the tenement boundary to the Irwin Hill cobalt - nickel deposit s owned by Glencore. The initial drilling program will be accelerated with additional funds from the current $1.6 million renounceable rights issue announced on 22 February 2018. In addition, the Company is seeking drilling approvals for the Coronation Dam and Ghan Well cobalt nickel projects which are also in the northern goldfields of Western Australia.

White Cliff Managin g Director Todd Hibberd said : “ The Company is very pleased to be able to commence drilling at the Coglia Well cobalt and nickel project in March. The higher cobalt and nickel grades encountered in the 2016 drilling suggest that there is substantial shallow oxide mineralisation that may be economic. The planned drill program will test the grade, scale and extents of the known mineralisation prior to a major drilling campaign to define JORC compliant cobalt and nickel resources.”

The Coglia Well Nickel - Cobalt Deposit

The Coglia ultramafic complex covers a 11 .5 kilometre by 1.5 kilometre area and is part of a 100 kilometre - long trend of ultramafic rock running from Diorite Hill in the north to Mulga Tank in the south. At Coglia Well, approximately 2.5 kilometres of the 11.5 kilometres of strike have been partially drill tested, resulting in the identification of extensive cobalt and nickel mineralisation. Drilling has occurred on wide spaced lines generally 650 metres apart with holes spaced at 320 metre intervals. Cobalt and nickel mineralisation occurs on all lines and occurs between 40 and 80 metres depth. Mineralisation has developed in the regolith profile above a weathered ultramafic unit which was originally a dunite (an olivine rich ultramafic rock).

A series of existing drill programs (2001 - 2003) outlined cobalt and nickel mineralisation over a zone approximately 2.5km long by 500 metres wide and 10 - 15 metres thick. Mineralisation is open along strike in both directions. A total of 22 holes have been drilled for 2062 metres but holes drilled in 2001 (MPRC001 - 008) were not assayed for cobalt. The cobalt grade appears to increase substantially to the south of the main mineralisation, which is consistent with the grade of Glencore PLC’s adjacent Irwin Hills cobalt and nickel deposit s which contain 29Mt at 0.11% cobalt and 1% nickel. A single RC hole, MERC005, drilled 2 .5 kilometres south of the main mineralisation, encountered 28 metres at White Cliff Minerals Limited 3 0.12% cobalt and 0.55% nickel.

There is a further 7 kilometres of untested prospective ultramafic rock to the tenement boundary adjacent to Glencore’s deposit. Cobalt mineralisation occurs as a shallow layer of manganiferous oxides that form between the smectite clays and the overlying ferruginous clays. High grade cobalt mineralisation typically occurs between 30 - 50 metres depth and is associated with nickel mineralisation. The cobalt mineralisation generally occurs slightly higher than nickel mineralisation in the regolith profile.

At Coglia Well there is substantial nickel mineralisation and the cobalt mineralisation discussed above has formed from the same processes. The Company b elieves that the cobalt mineralisation has the potential to economically extractable in its own right. The proximity o f the project to Glencore’s Murrin - Murrin nickel - cobalt processing plant is likely to strongly impact the possibility of economic developm ent of both the cobalt and nickel mineralisation. While White Cliff has not yet calculated any mineral resources it is clear that potential exists for a substantial resource. Current drilling has only tested a small fraction of the mapped ultramafic unit indicating there is potential to locate significant additional mineralisation.

Regional Infrastructure

The Coglia Well nickel and cobalt deposit occurs in a region hosting multiple mining operations that have substantial existing infrastructure such as roads, telecommunications, power and gas and with access to a skilled mining workforce. The project is located 130km via road from Glencore’s Murrin Murrin nickel - cobalt processing plant and is adjacent to their Irwin Hills nickel - cobalt deposit. The region is well serviced by transport services and airports