EXTENSIVE nickel mineralisation has been identified by Highlands Pacific and international trading house Sojitz Group as part of an exploration campaign at Sewa Bay, Highlands Pacific announced in August.

Carried out between March and May this year, the exploration campaign took place in Milne Bay province, Papua New Guinea.

Two main areas of mineralisation above 1 per cent nickel were identified and cover an area of 7 square kilometres.

The campaign involved 303 augur holes totalling 545 metres, and three pits were dug to a depth of 2 metres.

Drilling was aimed at testing thicker nickel laterite zones formed over ultramafic units which cover 50 square kilometres.

Highlands Pacific managing director John Gooding said the exploration results were encouraging.

“The campaign has confirmed an extensive area of nickel laterite that, with further work, may have the potential to lead to declaration of a resource and ultimately development of a modest mining project.”

Mr Gooding said Highlands Pacific was in discussions with Sojitz to determine the next steps for Sewa Bay.

The exploration program budget of US$460,000 has been funded by Sojitz.Exploration licence EL 1761, held by Highlands Pacific since March, is located on Normanby Island near Esa’ala and Sewa Bay in the Milne Bay province, located on the south eastern side of the mainland of PNG.