Merlin Ni-Cu Project
The Merlin Project is located 100km east of Derby in the Kimberley Region of Western Australia and covers an area of 28km2. In 2015 Buxton discovered significant Ni-Cu sulphide mineralisation at Merlin https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20151126/pdf/4339ms50q48sf1.pdf.
Over the course of the next few field seasons, Buxton's pioneering exploration has defined an entirely new nickel-copper exploration province within the Palaeoproterozoic Ruins Dolerite unit in the King Leopold Orogen.
At Merlin, multiple intersections of primary orthomagmatic Ni-Cu sulphide have been intersected in diamond drilling. Highlights include hole DMDD0015 into Conductor J which assayed 40m at 1% Nieq, including an interval of 6m at 3.01% Ni (https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20190311/pdf/443cgxx1272t39.pdf).
Another highlight was drill hole DMDD0018 into conductor H which assayed at 6m at 2.02%Ni.
Figure 1: Merlin Project drilling plan
A number of untested downhole EM conductors indicate that the system remains open at depth and along strike. These conductors, along with our detailed structural framework provide targets for future drilling, including within the Conductor C interpreted hinge zone, proximal to the local gravity high feature.
Merlin is a very high metal tenor system (average 8% Ni tenor) with individual assays up to 8.14% Nickel, 5.26% Copper and 0.69% Cobalt indicating the presence of an extensive high-grade orthomagmatic Ni-Cu system.
Figure 2: photographs of magmatic nickel-copper sulphides intersected in Buxton's 2018 drilling programme
Buxton has entered into several binding agreements with nickel producer IGO Limited (ASX:IGO) to dramatically advance and accelerate the exploration of the Merlin Project and the greater West Kimberley tenement position. At Merlin, IGO can earn in and ultimately achieve a 80% JV interest by spending AUD $5,000,000 over a four year period. Buxton will then be free carried to completion of Feasibility. For more information, see https://www.asx.com.au/asxpdf/20200124/pdf/44dhfyt543y51z.pdf
IGO has advised BUX the exploration program at Merlin during the 2020 field season will include two deep diamond drillholes with followup downhole EM to test depth extensions to the intrusive complex and structural and geophsyical targets.
Figure 3: Long section looking North through the Merlin Project mineral system illustrating IGO's plan to drill two deep diamond holes in 2020. The inventory of modelled EM conductors and the results of gravity inversion are also shown (+0.1 cc and +0.2 cc contours in red)