Minister for Resources and Water Keith Pitt has welcomed the largest nickel sulphide discovery in Australia in over two decades, achieved with the support of the Federal government’s Exploring for the Future Fund.
Chalice Mining Limited released its maiden mineral resource estimate for the Gonneville deposit, located within the Julimar project near Perth in Western Australia on Tuesday.
Minister Pitt said the tier one discovery – with 10 million ounces of palladium, platinum, and gold – would create hundreds of jobs and billions in economic benefits for the nation.
Pitt added: “It will ensure Australia remains a globally attractive and competitive investment destination for resources projects, and support communities across the nation through royalties generated.
“I commend Chalice for this major milestone, with 530,000 tonnes of nickel, 330,000 tonnes of copper and 53,000 tonnes of cobalt.”
Minister Pitt said Chalice acknowledged the discovery was supported by Geoscience Australia’s award-winning Mineral Potential Mapper.
He continued: “The Mineral Potential Mapper project drew on previously unseen patterns in Australian geology to predict where new deposits of nickel, copper and platinum group sulphides could be uncovered, including in areas where no deposits were previously thought to exist.
“Chalice has stated publicly this work by Geoscience Australia was the catalyst for the company to acquire prospective ground holdings north-east of Perth.
“Investing in precompetitive data acquisition is a long-term game, but this case study shows how it can pay off.
“This announcement by Chalice clearly shows how pre-competitive data from Geoscience Australia can lead to discovery by industry.
“Since the nickel, copper and platinum group sulphides potential map of Australia was released, more than 27,000 square kilometres of tenement has been taken up in the Julimar area, with nearly $38 million spent on exploration this year alone.
“The Australian government is doing the groundwork for even more discoveries through the $225-million Exploring for the Future program.
“This program is delivering a detailed picture of potential mineral, energy and groundwater resources across the continent, to unlock future prosperity for all Australians.”