Santana’s Sayabouly Project is located in Laos, approximately 250km north-west of the capital Vientiane. Laos is a mining friendly jurisdiction and host to the renowned Phu Kham (Pan Australia) and Sepon (Chifeng) mining operations, which have operated from 2005 and 2002 respectively.
Phu Lon Nickel Prospect
Santana’s Sayabouly Project’s exploration focus is the Phu Lon Nickel Prospect. This prospect has previously recorded significant surface nickel-platinum-chromium-cobalt trench and soil results, over a 14 x 1km area within an ultramafic intrusive. Mineralisation is interpreted to be of magmatic sulphide style (not lateritic), with results taken from trenches of the weathered ultramafic and below the lateritic profile recording 975m @ 0.51% Ni (including 42m @ 1.02% Ni) and 67m @ 0.83 % Ni (Santana ASX Announcement 17 July 2019).
A maiden drilling program at the target was undertaken early-2020, which was suspended due to the COVID-19 pandemic and associated containment measures. Drilling intersected layered massive sulphide in holes PLDD006 and PLDD008 in the central and south locations of the prospect (Santana ASX Announcement 24th April 2020). While the dominant sulphide specifies in this layered unit was pyhrrotite (iron-sulphide), the presence of sulphur minerals is indicative of sulphur being introduced to the intrusive fluids, increasing protential for nickel sulphide accummalations to be discovered close to these holes.
Nakhan Gold Prospect
The Nakhan Gold Prospect is a gold mineralised target situated approximately 6km east of the Phu Lon Nickel Prospect. Previously reported trench results from this prospect included 4m @ 16.95g/t Au (Trench 6-2) and Rotary Air Blast (RAB) drilling results of 9m @ 5.29g/t from 8m (Hole 8) and 10m @ 3.63 g/t Au from 26m (Hole 230) (Santana ASX Announcement 17th July 2019). The RAB drilling is shallow, and these results are open at depth and along strike below thin sedimentary cover that obscures the prospect.
The strength of the previously reported results was considered by the company to warrant diamond drill testing, which was planned to be undertaken concurrently with the maiden program at the Phu Lon Nickel Prospect. This program was suspended due to COVID-19 containment measures before further testing of Nakhan could be completed.