Premier Nickel Mines Pvt Ltd

Premier Nickel Mines Private Limited (PNMPL) is a private company specializing in nickel, copper and platinum group metal exploration and development. Established in the year 2004, PNMPL is set to explore and develop Ni-Cu-PGE deposits in India. The company has a strong technical team with years of experience in Ni-Cu-PGE exploration.

 

India requires significant amount of nickel and platinum for its steel and auto industry. Since there are no nickel and platinum mines in India, most of the requirement is met through imports. Limited exploration efforts by state agencies did not help in improving the scenario over last few decades. However, India has required geological settings to host Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. PNMPL is planning to explore this untapped potential. PNMPL has compiled a large data base on Indian geological settings which can host Ni-Cu-PGE deposits. Based on the compilation the company strongly believes that 1) Archaean – Proterozoic rift – related volcanics, 2) Archaean and Proterozoic mafic-ultramafic intrusive complexes and 3) Feeder dykes to Cretaceous Deccan Traps can host Ni-Cu-PGE deposits in India. These three types of geological settings were covered by Reconnaissance and Prospecting License (R.P. and P.L.) applications by PNMPL and its associated companies, viz., GMSI.

 

PNMPL and its associate companies have already explored about 8000 sq.km of the area under Reconnaissance Permits. Based on the exploration results PNMPL and its associated companies have applied for 10 P.L.’s covering 173 sq.km, out of which two P.L. of 56 sq.km are already granted.

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Thapna Project

Thapna Ni-Cu project is located in Singrauli district of eastern Madhya Pradesh in Survey of India topographic sheet no 63L/7. Thapna Ultramafic body is located about 1.5 km SE of Thapna village, which is well connected by all weather roads. 24 sq.km of PL has been granted to GMSI.

The ultramafic-mafic rocks of Thapna area are part of the ENE-WSW trending Mahakoshal supracrustal belt, which is one of the prominent Palaeoproterozoic supracrustal belts of Central India. It contains several cycles of various volcano-sedimentary units, intruded by syn-kinematic granitic rocks. The rocks exposed in the Thapna area belong to the lower Agori Formation of Mahakoshal Group, which represent the initial rift phase of sedimentation and associated mafic-ultramafic volcanism.

 

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Geological map of Thapna area

The main rock types in the area include mafic-ultramafic volcanic rocks, mafic tuffs, phyllites, banded chert / BIF, quartzites, quartz arenite and impure carbonate. All the rock units have been folded into plane into isoclinal or overturned folds with horizontal to subhorizontal axes, with axial planes steeply dipping to south. The mafic volcanic rocks are interlayered with coarse (cumulus?) ultramafic units, which host the disseminated Ni-Cu sulphide mineralization. Several such cumulus layers are found in this area, which extend for about 7 km along strike.

 

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Mineralized olivine pyroxenite

The coarse ultramafic-mafic rocks are represented by olivine pyroxenite (serpentine + talc + tremolite after olivine + pyroxene), pyroxenite (tremolite + chlorite + serpentine after pyroxene + olivine) and gabbro (amphibole + plagioclase). Rusty and malchite encrusted out crops signify the mineralized zone. Surface samples yielded 0.2 – 0.5% Ni and 0.1 – 0.3% Cu.

Channel sampling has yielded 19m @ 0.28% Ni, 0.11% Cu and 58 ppb of Pt+Pd. This zone extends for about 600 m along the strike. Channel sampling on a parallel zone has given 7.3m @ 0.38% Ni and 0.29% Cu, which includes 4.3m @ 0.49% Ni and 0.4% Cu. Electron Microprobe studies revealed the presence of 5% of sulphides which are made up of nickeliferous pyrrhotite, bornite and chalcopyrite.

 

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TMI map of Thapna area

Ground magnetic survey has brought out a distinct mag anomaly along the mineralized zone. IP survey revealed the presence of significant chargeability zones 60m below the present exposure. These chargeability zones coincide with the surface geochemical anomalies.

 

 

j3Exploration carried out so far indicates the presence of disseminated Ni-Cu sulphide mineralization, which is similar to Mt Keith in Australia. Detailed drilling is planned on this project to test geochemical and geophysical anomalies

 

Makrohar Project

The Makrohar Project is located 90 km south of Sidhi, Madhya Pradesh. The area falls in Survey of India Toposheet No. 64 I/9. Singrauli railway station, which is 45 km from the project area is the nearest railhead. PNMPL explored the area under a Reconnaissance Permit between 2007 and 2010. Systematic exploration led to the discovery of significant Ni-Cu anomalies in the basal part of Makrohar M-UM complex. PNMPL has applied for 25 sq.km of Prospecting License, which is currently under process.

 

j4The NW-SE trending Proterozoic Mafic-Ultramafic (M-Um) complex intrudes into amphibolite to granulite faceis Proterozoic supracrustal and gneissic/granitic rocks. These supracrutal rocks include quartz-mica schist, marble/calc-gneisses and mafic granulites. Structural trends in these supracrustal rocks vary from E-W to NW-SE. The M-Um Complex is late to post-tectonic with respect the basement rocks. Further, the M-Um Complex is intruded by late phase granites and pegmatites.

 

The M-Um complex is composed of two major bodies situated close to Mahadeva (7×4 km size) and to Makrohar (8 x 4 km size). These two bodies occur in strike continuity with a small basement inlier in between. Rocks of the M-Um complex are represented by pyroxenite, gabbro, gabbroanorthsite and norite. Among them gabbro is dominant where as pyroxenite occurs as only few layers in the northeastern part of the Complex. These rocks exhibit primary magmatic layering both interms of mineralogical as well as grain size variation. Well developed cumulus textures and cryptic layering is noted at several places in the complex. Pyroxene is the dominant cumulus phase. In general, the layering trends NW-SE and dips at shallow to steep angles to SW. Along the NE contact, at places, large supracrustal xenoliths are seen within gabbro and gabbroanorthsites. Whole rock geochemical data indicates that the MgO in the gabbros and gabbroanorthsites varies from 5.9 to 9.82%. Ni, Cu and Cr varies between 34 to 100 ppm, 10 to 75 ppm and 90 to 750 ppm, respectively.

 

Sulphide mineralization: Sulphide mineralization is noted at two places along the northeastern contact, which is interpreted to be the basal contact of the Complex. South of Sidhi Khurd, a road cutting exposed a shallow southwesterly dipping contact between mylonitic granties and gabbro-gabbroanorthsite. Near the contact, sulphide-bearing rusty layers are seen with in gabbroic rocks. Thickest layer is about 2m in width. In addition, few thin layers and patches of sulphide alterations are seen at this places. Similarly in the northwestern part of the complex, along the same contact, sulphides are noticed within gabbro. At this place gabbro contains big xenoliths of carbonates. Sulphide content seem to increase near the xenoliths. Field and petrographic studies indicate that the dominant sulphide phase is pyrrhotite. Spot sampling from Sidhi Khurd area has yielded significant Ni-Cu anomaly – 0.22% Ni, 0.21 % Cu, 26 ppb of Pd and 15 ppb of Pd.

 

Potential: This Complex hold potential for Ni-PGE exploration for the following reasons. 1) Reasonably bigger dimensions of the complex, 2) Presence of supracrustal xenoliths within the magmatic rocks, which could have supplied sulfur to the system, 3) Presence of sulphides in the suspected basal contact of the Complex and 4) significant Ni-Cu anomalies in the sulphide bearing rocks.

Jobat Project

Jobat project area is located about 40 km south of Jhabua, which is a district headquarter in Madhya Pradesg and about 230 km east of Vadodara, Gujarath. PNMPL obtained a Reconnaissance permit over 592 sq.km area and carried out systematic exploration work between 2007 and 2010. This work led the discovery of several coinciding Nickel – Copper anomalies along the western margin of the Jobat – Betwasa Um-M Complex. Based on the first phase exploration results, PNMPL has applied for a PL over 20 sq.km, which is currently under processing.

 

The Jobat – Betwasa area forms part of Aravalli craton of western India. The rocks exposed in and around Jobat RP block belong to early Proterozoic Aravalli Supergroup and Cretaceous Deccan Traps and associated sediments. Aravalli Supergroup, in general, is made up of thick pile of Paleoproterozoic sediments and basic volcanics overlying the Banded Gneissic Complex. These sediments have undergone low grade metamorphism and several phases of deformation. The average trend of Aravalli Supergroup of the rocks vary from NW-SE to NE-SW. Rocks of Aravalli Supergroup contains a lower quartzite-pellite-carbonates-basic volcanic sequence and a upper graywacke-argillite (turbidites) sequence. These two lithounits are separated from each other by the NNW-SSE to NW-SE trending Rikhavdev lineament which extends for an about 300 kms from Nathdwara in Rajasthan to Barwani in Madhya Pradesh. Several ultramafics and mafic bodies are emplaced along this lineament, among them Jobat complex is one. A curvilinear gravity high of –10m gal overlies this zone of ultramafics from Rajasthan to M.P. The age of the ultramafic-mafic complex is constrained by an age of 1.8Ga from a granite which intrudes into the Um-M Complex as well as Aravalli Supergroup.

PNMPL has carried out the following work during the RP stage of exploration

  • Compilation of existing geological maps and literature
  • Interpretation of Landsat and other remote sensing data to identify lithounits and major lineaments
  • Geological mapping on 1:50,000 and on 1:25,000 in some selected parts
  • Stream, soil, lithogeochemical and channel sampling
  • 570 L.Km of ground magnetic survey
  • Channel sampling
  • Interpretation and defining potential area for the next stage of exploration

 

The Jobat ultramafic – mafic complex is a NNW-SSE trending layered complex, which contain discrete layers of serpentinite, pyroxenite and gabbro. Along the western margin, the magmatic rocks intrude through the underlying Proterozoic sedimentary rocks and contain xenoliths of the carbonates and carbonaceous phyllites. Malachite stains were noted over a distance of 1 ½ kmkm along the western margin of the complex. Lithogeochemical sampling has yielded highly anomalous Ni-Cu-PGE values, which are listed below.

table1 Ground magnetic survey has brought out a distinct high mag anomaly which is in the vicinity to the Ni-Cu anomaly axis. PNMPL is planning to carry out detailed geophysics and test drilling along the western margin of the Jobat Um-M complex.

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TMI map of the western margin of the complex