- Nickel and precious metals explorer Santana (SMI) has begun maiden drilling at its Phu Lon Nickel prospect in Laos
- The prospect at the Sayabouly project previously showed promising results from trenches
- The results included significant surface nickel interpreted as sulphide style
- There is also potential for other precious metals such as chromium and cobalt
- The project, which is Santana's main focus, expects first assay results in late February
- Santana has gained 12.5 per cent and shares are trading at 0.5 cents each
Nickel explorer Santana (SMI) yesterday commenced the maiden drilling program at its Phu Lon Nickel prospect in Laos.
Located within Santana's Sayabouly Project, the program will initially consist of 13 holes for approximately 2000 metres and first assay results are expected in late February.
Former results taken from trenches at the prospect, show significant surface nickel results, as well as potential for platinum, chromium and cobalt.
Those samples were taken over an area of 14 kilometres by 1 kilometre.
These include 975 metres at 0.51 percent Nickel (including 42m at 1.02 percent Ni); 90 metres at 0.67 percent Ni (including 36m 1.01 percent Ni); and 80m at 0.74 percent Ni (including 17m @0.91 percent Ni).
The company says the nickel has been interpreted as having a magmatic sulphide style, as opposed to lateritic.
Nickel sulphide is typically found deeper in the ground and can often be more expensive to mine than lateritic, which is typically found closer to the surface.
However, the pay off is that sulphide is generally of a higher quality.
Santana Minerals’ CEO Shane Pike, said the company was very happy that drilling has commenced.
"Some excellent trenching results and petrology analysis have provided us a great interpretive model from which to plan and execute this drilling program," Shane said.
"Over the course of the next several weeks we will systematically target interpreted zones of nickel sulphide mineralisation, the confirmation of which has the potential to deliver significant value for all Santana shareholders," he told the market.
Phu Lon Prospect earns Santana small cap spike
Just before Christmas last year, Santana acquired the Phu Lon prospect from Mekong Minerals at 75 percent, funded through a $3 million share placement.
The acquisition saw Santana spike 67 percent, and reach a 3 month peak of 0.5 cents per share.
Shares did drop again slightly and have mostly remained around the 0.4 cent mark.
Santana is an Australian-based nickel and precious metals explorer, founded in 2013.
The company has projects in Mexicao, Laos and Chile, but their current primary focus is on the Sayabouly Project in Laos.
Santana has gained 12.5 per cent and shares are trading at 0.5 cents each at 2:21 pm AEDT.