Orogen secrets to be revealed
Dundas Minerals drill core

Dundas Minerals (ASX: DUN) is exploring in the southern Albany–Fraser Orogen – a well-known, yet surprisingly under-explored region of Western Australia.

The under-explored nature of the Albany–Fraser Orogen remains a mystery, given it has revealed two world-class mineral deposits, the Tropicana Gold Mine and the Nova nickel-copper-cobalt mine.

Dundas Minerals owns 100 per cent of 12 contiguous exploration licences covering an area of 1201 square kilometres, located around 120 kilometres south-west of the rich Nova mine.

Remarkably, Dundas’s tenements have not been subject to modern exploration, yet they are considered to be highly prospective for battery materials (nickel, copper and cobalt) and gold.

‘The Albany–Fraser Orogen, south-west of Nova, is an area that hasn’t had any recent exploration; in fact, we are the first to enter the region since Nova was discovered,’ says Dundas Minerals Managing Director Shane Volk.

‘At Dundas, we’ve applied systematic geophysical survey techniques that have been successfully used to find undercover mafic-ultramafic hosted nickel-copper-cobalt deposits in other parts of the world, such as Canada.

‘At our Central target, these surveys identified a sub-surface geophysical anomalism spanning more than 10 kilometres – an anomalism indicative of mafic-ultramafic intrusives that can host nickel-copper-cobalt deposits,’ says Volk. ‘It is extremely exciting.’

This work has already paid off, with Dundas drilling an eye-watering 358-metre intercept of massive, semi-massive and disseminated sulphides in its very first drillhole at Central (22CEDD001 or Hole 1), which was completed in the first week of October 2022. Not only did the hole return visual sulphides, but also sulphides in quartz veins from 43.5 metres to 412.1 metres.

Dundas Minerals acknowledges that one single diamond drillhole does not provide a full understanding of the geology; however, the sheer volume of sulphides in Hole 1 is extremely encouraging.

Laboratory assay results are required to confirm mineralisation, and a minimum of four more diamond drillholes are planned at Central; however, given the results of Hole 1, the program is likely to be expanded.

‘Hole 1 indicates that we have hit something that looks quite different to Nova,’ Volk says.

‘Towards the surface, our geologists believe that we are seeing a hydrothermal-type system, and, below that, a deeper mafic-ultramafic intrusion that we don’t think we fully tested with Hole 1,’ says Volk. ‘It is still very early days, however.’

At the time of writing, assays have not arrived, but drilling of the second of the five holes planned for the Central target is underway.

Dundas Minerals is in good stead to expand its drilling program, having been successful in applying for a Western Australia state government Exploration Incentive Scheme grant of up to $220,000 for drilling at Central. And with only 60 million shares on issue, the stock is extremely tightly held. 

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