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Alien Metals commences drilling at Hamersley Iron Ore Project

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Global Mining Review,

Alien Metals Ltd, a minerals exploration and development company, has advised that, further to the announcement on 14 December 2020, the maiden drilling programme at the company's Hancock Iron Ore project, part of its Hamersley Iron Ore Project in Western Australia (WA), is underway.


  • Maiden drilling programme to validate recently announced exploration targets in Hancock Iron Ore Project will consist of:
    • Minimum of 3000 m grid-based shallow Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling across priority targets.
    • Planned new drill line on Sirius Extension prospect.
    • At least four target areas to test.
  • Assay results from sampling expected late February 2021.
  • Follow up drilling to plan on provisional results.

Bill Brodie Good, CEO and Technical Director of Alien Metals, commented: "We are extremely pleased to get underway with this maiden drilling programme which the team has managed to deliver in a very short timeframe. The recent sampling and mapping work completed at each phase has added confidence to the potential of both tenements.

"Alien also has the necessary permissions in place for the Hancock Project and the funding to start proving up the true potential of the historically known prospects (Kalgan and Sirius Extension), as well as some newly identified significant targets which we are about to start drilling.

"Three Rivers Drilling of WA are a tried and tested drilling company with an excellent track mounted RC rig ideal for this initial programme. Our skilled technical team are keen to develop these exciting targets and to continue to develop this project up the knowledge and value curve.

"We are waiting on the necessary permissions for similar maiden drilling on the Brockman Project which also holds excellent potential. We are excited about the opportunity to add significant value to the project and developing next stage exploration from the outcome. We look forward to updating the market of progress in due course."


The two projects are within the Hamersley Province of WA, known as one of the premier iron ore producing regions of the world. The Brockman Project (E47/3953) is located in the west Hamersley Province, 100 km northwest of the Rio Tinto iron ore mining town of Tom Price, and 90 km west of the Tom Price to Dampier mine railway. The Hancock Ranges Project (E47/3954) is located in the east Hamersley Province, 15 km north of the BHP iron ore mining town of Newman, and 20 km west of the Newman to Port Hedland mine railway.

As announced 25 August 2020, five priority prospects were identified with next stage exploration plans proposed. For the Brockman Project, three targets focus on the historic high-grade BHP prospects numbers 15, 19 and 20. Two key targets in the Hancock Ranges Project are the Sirius Extension prospect, that has previously been drilled by Volta Mining (refer announcement dated 20 September 2019 for further information), and the Kalgan Prospect in the north-west of the tenement, that the company believes has excellent potential.

More recent field work also identified a series of roughly east west striking high grade Iron ore ridges newly defined by Alien and highly prospective for additional iron ore mineralisation.

Drill programme

This maiden drilling programme on the Hancock Ranges project is to test four main targets now defined from historic and recent work, namely two high grade east west ridges of outcropping high grade iron ore in the central and north central parts of the tenement recently identified by Alien in field mapping and sampling and the historically defined Kalgan and Sirius Extension prospects.

Three Rivers Drilling Ltd of WA will provide a Schramm track mounted T450 RC drill machine, rated to 350 m depth, with 6 m pullback and an on-board 900 cfm/350 psi compressor. They will support the drill rig with an 8 x 8 support truck with water and diesel storage, a 4 x 4 mine specification support vehicle, RC equipment to carry out drilling to a depth of 80 m, a drilling team for the rig comprising 1 senior Ddiller, drilling offsiders along with 1 drill fitter assigned to the project as required for seven days per week operations.

The drill rig has an industry standard cyclone and sample splitter which means each sample can be correctly and within international standards and procedures. It also complied with the rigorous HSE standards of Australia to maintain the necessary international standards followed by Alien. At this stage Alien plan to sample every metre drilled and once tested on-site with a handheld XRF unit to get an initial indication of iron content along with visual inspection and logging of each sample to then dictate how many samples are submitted to the laboratory for analysis.

For QA/QC purposes Alien will use the industry standard of inserting 5% certified reference material (CRM) samples, 5% certified blank samples (blanks) and 5% duplicate samples at source. The CRMs will be sourced from Geostats Pty Ltd, Perth, WA, a global leader in the manufacture and sale of CRMs and blanks.

The planned holes are spread across four initial areas to enable the company to continue to develop our knowledge of the project as a whole and to further prioritise for next stage drilling.

The BIF units within the tenement are found associated with the sedimentary sequences within the Welli Wooli Formation. The BIF units mostly present as prominent ridges which largely follow the WNW grain of the country except where there has been local disruption. A notable example being the central portion of the tenement. Because of the folding these is a repetition of the beds and there appears to be good continuity at least in terms of grade along the strike of some of the individual BIF beds.

The BIF's were traced along strike between the mapped traverses using imagery and for convenience they have been given labels A-F. Two of these ridges represent two of the targets for this maiden drilling. The Kalgan Prospect is located atop the crest of an anticline and has no ridge development due to the flat lying presentation of the beds and is the third drill target. The Sirius Extension Prospect is the fourth drill target for this programme.

All samples generated will be despatched to Intertek Genalysis at Maddington, WA, and analysed for their basic iron ore package analysis with XRF finish, which includes elements iron, aluminium, calciam, potassium, magnesium, manganese, sodium, phosphorous, sulfur and silicon. This is the same as the analysis and laboratory used in all Alien's analysis work on these projects to maintain consistency and comparability between all analyses.

Maiden drilling on the Brockman tenement is still in development stage with a follow up field mapping and sampling program planned prior to finalising a drilling programme, along with getting the necessary permission to drill within the tenement all which is ongoing.

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Australian mining news Iron ore mining news