Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project
The Jaguar Nickel Sulphide Project is located in the western portion of the world-class Carajás Mineral Province of Brazil, and includes multiple nickel sulphide deposits and exploration targets within a 30km2 land package. The Jaguar Project was officially acquired from global mining giant, Vale S.A., in September 2019.
The Project hosts an historical (non-JORC) Mineral Resource estimate comprising 40.4Mt at 0.78% Ni for a total of 315kt of contained nickel metal (at a 0.5% Ni cut-off). This historical Resource was completed by Vale in 2010 based on more than 55,000m of diamond drilling.
This historical Resource interpretation by Vale was driven by a bulk mining scenario of the disseminated mineralisation. By comparison, Centaurus is pursuing a smaller-scale, higher-grade development opportunity, with current drilling focused on the delivery of a high-grade Resource model.
Since acquiring the Jaguar Project, Centaurus has completed a further 8,500 metres of drilling, and has commenced work to estimate a maiden JORC 2012 Mineral Resource, focused on the high-grade mineralisation at the Project. The delivery of this Resource is on track for mid-2020.
The drilling undertaken by Centaurus to date has two clear objectives – firstly to extend the known high-grade nickel sulphide intersections and, secondly, to identify new high-grade nickel sulphide zones.
The key areas being targeted for high-grade Resources include:
- Jaguar South: +600m strike, with mineralisation open along strike in both directions and at depth. Drilling has confirmed the consistency of the high- grade zones, with one-metre assays of up to 15.5% nickel in recent drilling.
- Onça-Preta: High-grade, shallow mineralisation with results including 14.9m at 2.94% Ni from just 56.8m depth. Drilling targeting a 100m long DHEM conductor plate sitting within a broader 300m long FLEM conductor. Open along strike to the east and at depth.
- Jaguar Central: Outstanding high-grade near surface targets, with historical intersections such as 31.4m at 2.47% Ni from 81m (PKS-JAGU-DH00030) and 26.0m at 2.13% Ni from 66m (PKS-JAGU-DH00033).
- Jaguar North: +2.0km strike with continuous mineralised zones up to 35m wide (within broader discontinuous zones up to 200m), open at depth and along strike to the east.
Assay results from all locations have successfully intersected new zones of semi-massive to massive nickel sulphides.
High-Grade Open Pit Potential – The Short-Term Focus
Historical drilling was focused on bulk tonnage low-medium grade mineralisation. Generally, Vale did not follow-up any high-grade massive and semi-massive sulphide intersections because its exploration approach was based on the assumption that these structures were not going to deliver the size of deposit required by Vale to meet its minimum hurdles for a mine development.
The deposits host multiple thick zones of primary high-grade massive and semi-massive nickel sulphide intersections that occur close to surface with outstanding nickel grade, including:
- 34.0m at 3.31% Ni from 56m in PKS-JAGU-DH00065
- 42.3m at 2.20% Ni from 76m in PKS-JAGU-DH00132
- 31.4m at 2.47% Ni from 15.3m in PKS-JAGU-DH00030
- 26.0m at 2.13% Ni from 66.0m in PKS-JAGU-DH00033
- 37.7m at 2.11% Ni from 109.4m in JAG-DD-20-034
- 21.8m at 2.65% Ni from 22.2m in JAG -DD-20-029
- 40.9m at 1.41% Ni from 131.0m in JAG-DD-19-002
- 14.0m at 2.40% Ni from 129.0m in JAG-DD-20-032
- 14.9m at 2.94% Ni from 55.5m in JAG-DD-20-021
The close association of magnetite with the high-grade massive to semi-massive sulphide mineralisation lends itself very well to ground Magnetic and Electro-magnetic (EM) surveys. DHEM survey work is proving to be a very powerful tool for identifying high grade nickel sulphide mineralisation with many high-grade intersections correlating very well with DHEM conductor plates.
Project Development Advantages
- Process Metallurgy – Centaurus has commenced metallurgical test work on composite samples collected from the Jaguar South and Onça Preta deposits. This testwork program is based on the planned future development of a focused, high-grade project rather than a bulk tonnage, low-grade operation as previously studied by Vale. Positive results have been received, with a 16.0% nickel concentrate grade from both deposits and nickel recoveries in excess of 81%.
- Mining Lease Application – A valid Mining Lease Application, which envisaged a large bulk-tonnage open pit mine and processing plant, has been lodged with the Brazilian Mines Department (ANM) and is currently pending approval. Centaurus expects to update the Mining Lease application once a better understanding of the high-grade open pit opportunity is understood.
- Environmental Licensing – The Project area is predominantly located on pastoral land or previously disturbed vegetated areas and there are no national forests within 40km of the project. Water is readily available all year round. A large amount of environmental data was acquired with the project from Vale which the State Environmental agency (SEMAS) has accepted can be used in the Company’s own Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA/RIMA). The Terms of Reference for the EIA/RIMA have been issued by SEMAS and new environmental data collection has commenced.
The Jaguar Project is ideally located at the intersection of two major fault zones of the Carajás, the Canaan and McCandless faults. The majority of the first-priority geochemical anomalies have been tested, however there are multiple structures and coincident Ni/Cr anomalies (a geochemical indicator of nickel sulphides) and geophysical targets that remain untested.
Key initial targets include:
- Onça Rosa: +1.5km strike of Ni/Cr in soil anomalies coincident with Ground Magnetics and IP anomalies. Three drill holes including 7.9m at 5.27% Ni from 247m in PKS-JAGU-DH00158 were drilled by Vale. Centaurus new drilling included drill hole JAG-DD-20-017 which tested the down-dip extension of PKS-JAGU-DH00158 and returned an intercept of 9.4m at 3.13% Ni, 0.19% Cu and 0.08% Co from 281.8m. The Onça Rosa Prospect is highlighted by a 600m long FLEM conductor plate, which is coincident with a magnetic anomaly and high Ni/Cr soil geochemical ratios which are indicative of nickel sulphides.
- Leão: +3.5km long Ni/Cr and Cu in soil anomalies coincident with Ground Magnetics and IP anomalies. Only one drill hole tested more than 3.5km of anomalies;
- Tigre: Large scale Ni/Cr and Cu in soil anomalies coincident with Ground Mag and IP anomalies, no drilling;
- Filhote: +2.0km PGE’s soil anomaly with coincident geophysical target (IP). Two drill holes with intersections up to 1.1g/t PGEs.