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We turned the The Roadhouse calendar page over and realised that May has descended, which means so have we, into Sydney for this year’s incarnation of the RIU Sydney Resources Roundup.
Along with the conference organisers, and a healthy percentage of the companies presenting here this week, we come on a high, fresh from the recent highly successful, inaugural Future Facing Commodities Conference that was held in Singapore.
The word success gets bandied about with reckless abandon these days, however, I would doubt anybody who attended the FFC would deny our use of the term here.
If there was one takeaway from the FFC and believe me there was, and a lot more than that, it is that the metals and commodities required to develop the batteries and, clean energy solutions to ring in the new world order are hotter than any potato one might imagine.
This of course, should not be news to anybody that has followed the industry over the past ten years or so, during which time we have seen gnarled, rusted on exploration company stalwarts change their foci to chase the latest trends.
If you don’t believe me, then perhaps the observations of Western Australia Mines and Petroleum Minister Bill Johnston when announcing the latest recipients of his department’s Exploration Incentive Scheme will turn your head.
“The latest round of the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) shows mineral exploration companies remain firmly focused on Western Australia,” Johnston said.
“WA is emerging as a global battery and critical mineral hub, and this success would not be possible without the determined efforts of the exploration companies operating in this State.”
Statistics don’t lie unless you are a Dockers supporter, and the figures regarding the successful applicants for Round 27 of the EIS co-funded drilling program should not be ignored.
A total of $7 million is being offered to 41 exploration projects, twenty of which are drilling for battery minerals, with lithium, nickel, cobalt and manganese leading the race.
The department highlighted there was also, “a noticeable surge in the search for rare earth elements that are used as components in high-technology devices”.
Copper is what we may call a ‘traditional’ commodity, but it is also one that could be dubbed ‘the grandfather’ of the FFC scene given its importance in all things battery, clean energy, electric vehicle – the list goes on.
© Copyright Resources Roadhouse Pty Ltd May 2023
With that in mind there should be no surprise that it too featured heavily among the successful grants.
In the Department of Industry, Science and Resources (DISR), Commonwealth of Australia Resources and Energy Quarterly March 2023, copper prices were forecast to average US$9,000 a tonne in 2022, as new supply meets rising demand.
These prices, according to the Chief Economist, are projected to grow to US$9,200 a tonne (in real terms) in 2028 as demand from the energy transition outweighs future production growth.
“Australia’s copper exports are projected to grow from 868,000 tonnes in 2022–23 to around 970,000 tonnes in 2027–28, supported by additional production from new mines and mine expansions,” the report said.
Nickel is another of the old guard that manages to sneak into the disco with the young guns, as it too maintains its clean technology relevance.
DISR expects nickel prices to average US$24,200 a tonne in 2023, with increased production from Indonesia holding prices back.
However, the department sees prices easing to around US$19,900 a tonne in real terms in 2028.
The recent high prices have been responsible for a lift in Australia’s nickel export earnings, which are forecast to reach $5.0 billion in 2022–23.
These earnings could be headed for a fall with export earnings projected to fall to $4.2 billion in 2027–28 (in real terms) because of lower realised export prices.
Australia’s export volumes are estimated to rise from 164,000 tonnes in 2022–23 to 215,000 tonnes in 2027–28 as new supply comes online.
Read to the end of the DISR report and you finally get to lithium. The bean counters are yet to include rare earths in their quarterly musings; however The Roadhouse predicts they will soon be whistling that tune as more and more exploration plays discover these deposits caked in the ‘desired clays’.
Nevertheless, DISR predicts global lithium demand to continue its rapid growth, due mainly to the ongoing demand for electric vehicle (EV) batteries.
EVs are really where lithium batteries have hit their straps with demand responsible for almost 80 per cent of all lithium use in 2022.
Keep an eye on that figure, as the folk at DISR expect it will hit 90 per cent as more and more people start driving them.
“EV uptake continues to be driven by a combination of falling EV prices, rapidly widening choice of models, and ongoing government measures (although government incentives are being wound back in some countries),” DISR said.
Finally, because we’re a bit sentimental, let’s not forget the shiniest and oldest of precious metals, gold.
It’s been a happy time of late for gold with prices averaging US$1,801 an ounce in 2022.
Oddly enough, DISR anticipates prices to decline in real terms, from around US$1,800 an ounce in 2023 to US$1,550 an ounce in 2028.
Maybe there’s not enough global strife for the department to contemplate a run on the world’s oldest currency as people in countries more dangerous to live in than ours try to protect their wealth.
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Cover Picture: Drilling is underway at Torque Metals wholly-owned Paris Gold Project, located in the Western Australian Goldfields. Torque has completed five phases of drilling at Paris, with significant results including 39m @ 6.05g/t Au and 42m @ 2.48g/t Au. The current drilling campaign is focused on proving the potential for a 2.5km by 1km Gold Camp over three of its high grade gold prospects.
Talga Resources recently increased graphite mineral Resources at the company’s Vittangi graphite project in Sweden.
The project already boasted the largest graphite Resource in Europe, the update for which will underpin potential expansion pathways to anode production beyond 100,000 tonnes per annum, which the company had earlier outlined for the project and expansion of the Niska deposit.
The update was based on Talga’s 2022 Niska drilling campaign and increased the Vittangi Global Mineral Resource estimate by 23 per cent to 36.9 million tonnes of graphite (Cg) ore at 23.1 per cent Cg using an 11 per cent Cg cut-off grade, containing 8.5 million tonnes of Cg.
This includes Indicated Resources estimated to total 27.8 million tonnes averaging 23.8 per cent Cg and Inferred Resources estimated to total nine million tonnes averaging 21.2 per cent Cg.
The estimate included a maiden Mineral Resource for new extensions to graphite mineralisation at the Niska deposit – now named the Niska Link - the delineation of which continues to support the continuity of graphite grade between known deposits.
The total Niska Mineral Resource was increased to an estimated total of 14.9 million tonnes averaging 21.8 per cent Cg, containing 3.3 million tonnes of graphite, including Indicated Resources estimated to total 12 million tonnes averaging 22 per cent Cg and Inferred Resources estimated to total 2.9 million tonnes at 21 per cent Cg.
A new Exploration Target is anticipated across the project area that will entail drilling of deeper potential extensions of the existing Mineral Resources, as well as infill drilling.
Talga is in talks with European battery maker Automotive Cells Company SE looking to complete a binding offtake agreement for supply of Talga’s trademarked active anode material for Li-ion batteries, Talnode-C.
Talga and French battery manufacturer Verkor finalised a non-binding Letter of Intent to supply Talnode-C.
Talga has long been ahead of the graphite game and is well placed as the European lithium-ion battery market continues to grow. Demand for coated graphite anode in Europe is tipped to reach over 1.3 million tonnes per year.
This, along with Talga’s increasing number of customers, underscores the company’s ambitions to further increase the Vittangi resource.
Lithium by name and by nature, Lithium Energy is developing its 90 per cent-owned Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina that comprises 12,000 hectares of highly prospective lithium mineral concessions located within the Salar de Olaroz Basin in South America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’ in north-west Argentina.
Lithium energy also has a domestic graphite string to its bow in the shape of its 100 per cent-owned Burke graphite project in Queensland, for which it recently announced an upgraded JORC Mineral Resource estimate that produced a Total Mineral Resource of 9.1 million tonnes at 14.4 per cent total graphitic carbon (TGC) for a total of 1.3 million tonnes contained graphite at a 5 per cent TGC cut-off grade; including 7.1 million tonnes of graphite at 16.2 per cent TGC for 1.1 million tonnes of contained graphite at a 10 per cent TGC cut-off grade.
The estimate included an Indicated JORC Mineral Resource of 4.5 million tonnes at 14.7 per cent TGC for 670,000 tonnes of contained graphite and an Inferred JORC Mineral Resource of 4.5 million tonnes at 14.2 per cent TGC for 640,000 tonnes of contained graphite.
Graphite from the Burke project has demonstrated the ability to be processed by standard flotation technology to international benchmark product categories.
Independent flotation tests confirmed a concentrate of purity greater than 95 per cent can be achieved using a standard flotation process, while purification testwork conducted by the CSIRO, using non-hydrofluoric acid chemical process achieved purities of 99.94 per cent TGC.
The company has also commenced metallurgical test work in China on graphite recovered from the Burke deposit, results from
which will be used to support an Engineering Study for a proposed anode manufacturing facility based in Queensland to produce high value Purified Spherical Graphite (PSG) material for use in lithium-ion batteries.
Lithium Energy recently completed the first drilling at the project’s Corella deposit, which it considers important to its future.
The company believes a healthy JORC Mineral Resource of graphite at Corella would offer potential to add to the overall graphite inventory of the Burke project, providing expanded development options.
(ASX: xxx) VRX
VRX Silica is primed and ready to go with the company’s Arrowsmith North silica sand project, located 270km north of Perth.
VRX has had studies lodged with the Environmental Protection Authority and is now just waiting to receive the nod from the Authority to start operations.
In preparation for the start, VRX updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) and Ore Reserve Statement (ORS) for Arrowsmith North.
The updated Mineral Resource came in at 768 million tonnes at 98 per cent silicon dioxide (SiO2) and includes a Measured Resource of 10 million tonnes at 95.9 per cent SiO2.
The company also released a maiden Proved Ore Reserve of 9.2 million tonnes and updated total Ore Reserve of 221 million tonnes.
“This updated Mineral Resource and Reserve is a culmination of significant metallurgical testwork and evaluation of the Resource to determine the premium products we can produce,” VRX Silica Managing Director Bruce Maluish said.
“These products include sought after foundry sand as well as glassmaking sand suitable for flat glass, including automobile glass and also container glass.
“We have despatched large samples to a number of foundry and glassmaking companies in Korea, Japan and Taiwan for evaluation and subsequent discussions for offtake.”
VRX had conducted grade control drilling as a pre-production activity to increase the resource confidence in the initial years of mining, and to produce a bulk sample for pilot scale metallurgical testwork and the generation of bulk samples for potential offtake partners.
In combination with market analysis a suite of five saleable products have been determined that will be produced from Arrowsmith North.
Process and Engineering design of the proposed Process Plant has been guided by the chemical and physical specifications of these products.
The creation of a proved ore reserve has led to a high confidence schedule of the final products that will be available for sale for the initial six years of mining.
This will allow for a proactive marketing effort to return the best economic outcomes from the project.
Future grade control programs and ore reserve updates will occur within five years of the commencement of mining.
Musgrave Minerals has been busy on the company’s 100 per centowned ground at its Cue gold project in the Murchison district of Western Australia.
This is not saying Musgrave has been ignoring its Cue Joint Venture with Evolution Mining.
On the contrary, there has been many developments of late, including assay results from diamond drilling at the West Island prospect demonstrating strong gold intersections within a basement dolerite host unit.
Diamond drilling at the JV has confirmed the geology and structure of the West Island prospect is characterised by multiple, stacked narrow high-grade intercepts within a broader lower grade envelope along a 1.6 kilometres mineralised trend.
Back on 100 per cent home ground, Musgrave Minerals identified a potential new high-grade lode approx. 50 metres north the Break of Day deposit with a RC drill hole testing a new target zone intersecting:
4 metres at 8.2 grams per tonne gold from 50m, within 14m at 2.8g/t gold from 50m.
“The intersection north of Break of Day may represent a new, untested high-grade lode and demonstrates the ongoing discovery opportunity within this system,” Musgrave Minerals managing director Rob Waugh said.
“This is a positive result as it bodes well for further discovery upside within the favourable Break of Day stratigraphic package.
“In addition, further results from White Heat-Mosaic, White Light and the new Waratah zone all have the potential to add to our Resource base as we continue to advance the Cue gold project.”
Advancements continued with the release of Stage 1 Prefeasibility Study (PFS) results on the Cue project.
The Stage 1 PFS Life of Mine (LOM) plan focused on the current 417,000 ounce Indicated component of the 868,000 ounce Southern Area Mineral Resource to generate gold production of 345,000 ounces.
Musgrave is now advancing to Stage 2 PFS, which is expected to extend the LOM as drilling tests new prospects to extend and upgrade existing Inferred Mineral Resources into the mine plan.
“This potential new standalone development has a rapid payback period of nine months from first processing due to the extraordinary near-surface, high-grade nature of the Break of Day and White Heat deposits,” Waugh said.
Lunnon Metals made the market take notice by releasing an updated nickel JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Warren deposit within the company’s Kambalda nickel project (KNP) in Western Australia.
Lunnon reported the updated Warren MRE at 445,000 tonnes at 2.5 per cent nickel for 11,200 contained nickel tonnes, comprising: - 345,000 tonnes at 2.6 per cent nickel for 8,800 nickel tonnes in Indicated Resource; and - 100,000 tonnes at 2.4 per cent nickel for 2,400 nickel tonnes in Inferred Resource.
The update took Lunnon Metals’ global MRE across the KNP to 2.9 million tonnes at 3.1 per cent nickel for 87,800 contained nickel tonnes.
To put the achievement into focus, this equates to a 125 per cent increase in contained metal since Lunnon Metals listed on the boards of the ASX in June 2021.
“The drill programs at Warren have delivered steady growth to the MRE but importantly, have achieved other, just as significant, outcomes,” Lunnon Metals managing director Ed Ainscough said.
“We have hit nickel in host positions not previously considered prospective in this area, opening up an exciting new exploration search space.
“This discovery has dramatically increased the footprint of nickel mineralisation at Warren, now captured in the increased MRE.
“To test this potential properly, we will likely need to get underground and this MRE provides confidence that Warren will form an important part of the PFS studies for a possible re-start of the Foster nickel mine, from which Warren would be accessed.”
Lunnon will use the MRE as the basis of economic studies to investigate the potential to mine the Warren deposit as part of a Foster PFS.
These studies will include mine design and scheduling, estimation of capital access costs, estimation of future operating costs of mining and discussion with potential ore tolling and concentrate purchase partners with respect to the metallurgical recovery and payability terms of future Warren nickel sulphide production.
These studies, if positive, will form the basis of a development study that could eventually position the company to negotiate with potential ore tolling and concentrate purchase partners in the immediate local area.
Meteoric Resources went from chocolates to more chocolates with its purchase of the Caldeira project, a Tier 1 ionic clay rare earths project located in Minas Gerais State, Brazil.
The Caldeira project came with 30 licenses (21 Mining Licenses and 9 Mining Licence Applications) and a swathe of previous exploration, including 1,311 shallow auger drill holes for 13,037 metres across six of the licenses that had returned ultra-high-grade total rare earth oxide (TREO) intersections, all of which were reported from surface.
“The distribution of the rare earth elements at Caldeira is enriched in heavy rare earth elements (HREE),” Meteoric Resources director Dr Andrew Tunks enthused at the time.
“Additionally, the sample results to date are strongly enriched in the magnet rare earths of terbium, dysprosium, praesidium and neodymium, which make up more than 22 per cent of the total rare earth elemental composition.”
Meteoric wasted little time in carrying out a review of previous metallurgical testwork that had been performed on the project’s Capo do Mel prospect in 2019.
“The average recovery of the low temperature magnet REE, praesidium and neodymium, was 58 per cent and the average recovery of the more valuable high temperature magnet REE, terbium and dysprosium, was 43 per cent,” Tunks explained.
“These results were achieved by leaching with an ammonium sulphate solution [(NH4)2SO4)] in weakly acidic conditions [pH4] and atmospheric conditions.
“The excellent recoveries in this simple process is a crucial observation and shows that for the Capo do Mel prospect, a considerable portion of the target REE are adsorbed onto the clays.
“In layman’s terms, this means the REEs are bonded onto the outside of the clay minerals (adsorbed) and can be recovered by washing the clay in a weak ammonium sulphate solution at room temperature and pressure.
“This is not the case for many rare earth element projects, where the REEs are tightly bound within the mineral lattice or are even in colloidal suspension and require a much more intensive treatment process.”
In April, Meteoric announced a $25 million raising to fund its 2023 work program at Caldeira, that will include drilling, metallurgical testwork and commencing a Preliminary Economic Assessment.
Alto Metals recently reported a Mineral Resource update for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.
The updated Mineral Resource incorporated updates for deposits across the Sandstone project, including the Indomitable Camp (including a maiden resource for Indomitable East and Musketeer), an update to Lord Nelson and a maiden Mineral Resource estimate for Bull Oak.
The independent Mineral Resource Estimate outlined an optimised and pit-constrained 17.6 million tonnes at 1.5 grams per tonne gold for 832,000 ounces of gold within $2,500 per ounce optimised pit-shells reported at 0.5g/t gold cut-off.
The latest MRE included all drilling Alto had completed on the aforementioned deposits up to the end of November 2022.
It is important to note that Resource estimates for Lord Henry, Vanguard, Vanguard North, Havilah Camp, Tiger Moth, Piper and Ladybird deposits remained unchanged from Mineral Resources the company reported in March 2022, September 2018 and June 2019, respectively.
“This latest update once again highlights the shallow nature of mineralisation and has delivered a robust, optimised and pit-constrained Resource of 832,000 ounces gold at 1.5 grams per tonne, representing 80 per cent of the total MRE and remains open in all directions,” Alto Metals managing director Matthew Bowles said.
“Our systematic approach to exploration is continuing to deliver and we are confident further drilling will continue to grow the resource and increase the confidence of additional Inferred resources to Indicated.”
With over 27 per cent of the Total MRE within the optimised pit-shells in the Indicated category, Alto considers the total mineral resources for the Sandstone gold project have a reasonable prospect of eventually being mined.
These considerations stem from the shallow nature and the thickness and gold grades of the deposits, which are located on granted mining or exploration leases, and close to existing infrastructure.
“The company is focused on adding further ounces and sees plenty of avenues to continue growing the Sandstone resource with numerous priority targets, as well as starting to target the significant potential at depth, which remains relatively untested,” Bowles remarked.
“The total mineral resource now delineated at Sandstone is a significant milestone for the company.”
Pan Asia Metals
Pan Asia Metals is a battery and critical metals explorer and developer with a strategy of identifying and developing projects with potential to enable the company to produce metal compounds and other value-added products to meet the projected high-technology demand.
Pan Asia Metals has two lithium projects and one tungsten project, all located in Thailand, a jurisdiction the company has acknowledged as a low-cost advanced industrial economy that fits its strategy of developing downstream value-add opportunities in low-cost environments close to end market users.
The company’s focus of late has been on its Reung Kiet lithium project (RKLP), a hard rock lithium project with lithium chiefly hosted in lepidolite/mica rich pegmatite dykes and veins.
Reung Kiet has been subjected to previous open pit mining extracting tin and tantalum from weathered pegmatites into the early 1970s.
Pan Asia’s stated objective has been to complete sufficient drilling with the aim of increasing and converting much of the existing Inferred Mineral Resource into the Indicated and Measured categories.
The intention is to use the upgraded Mineral Resource as part of a Pre-feasibility study planned for later this year.
Recent drilling at the Reung Kiet lithium prospect has continued to support the geological model of extensive lithium mineralisation hosted in lepidolite rich pegmatite dykes-veins and adjacent metasediments.
The mineralised lithium zone is currently defined over a strike length of over one kilometre and remains open along strike to the north and south, and at depth especially in the south.
Pan Asia has now moved the drill rig to the Bang I Tum prospect where it will evaluate an existing Exploration Target and more recently reported adjacent target zones.
The company’s other projects include the Kata Thong geothermal lithium and hard rock lithium-tin project - a compilation of five Special Prospecting Licence Applications (SPLA) in the Phang Nga Province in southern Thailand.
The Khao Soon tungsten project is a wolframite style tungsten project located south of Bangkok in Nakhon Si Thammarat Province, Southern Thailand where Pan Asia holds a 100 per cent interest in two contiguous Special Prospecting Licences and one SPLA.
OzAurum Resources is the 100 per cent owner of the Mulgabbie North and Patricia projects, which when combined cover a strike length of 10 kilometres of greenstone belt geology in the Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone Belt, one of the richest and most prolific gold-producing camps in Australia.
OzAurum is in a well-heeled neighbourhood with its tenement portfolio sitting alongside Northern Star Resources’ Carosue Dam gold mine just outside the gold mining centre of Kalgoorlie.
OzAurum continues to advance its drilling programs to follow up on recent diamond and RC drilling success at the Demag Zone and James discoveries that have provided much confidence for the company.
The new virgin gold discovery Demag Zone, which had previously received minimal exploration attention, continued to intersect gold mineralisation, with planned structural work on site expected to assist targeting high-grade ore shoots with future drilling.
RC and diamond drilling undertaken at the James prospect encountered shallow, high-grade gold mineralisation.
Combined drilling returned results including:
13 metres at 4.6 grams per tonne gold from 21m, including 1m at 22.7g/t gold from 21m and 1m at 22.1g/t gold from 22m;
23m at 2.46g/t gold from 56m, including 6m at 5.1g/t gold from 70m.
13m at 1.58g/t gold from 22m;
17m at 0.92g/t gold from 50m, including 11m at 1.14g/t gold from 52m.
Mulgabbie North gold mineralisation is open along strike at depth with many drill targets still to be tested.
At the time of writing, OzAurum was hotly anticipating receipt of a Minerals Resource Estimate (MRE) for the company’s Mulgabbie North gold project.
The MRE is to be part of a Scoping Study OzAurum will be undertaking to assess potential Heap Leach processing of the Mulgabbie North gold project.
OzAurum has assembled a team of mining specialists, all with extensive experience in the Goldfields region that will cover project aspects including heritage, environmental, metallurgy, mining engineering, geology, geotechnical and hydrogeology.
Work already completed includes sighter metallurgical testwork, from which high gold recoveries were achieved utilising low reagent consumption, and rapid leach times observed providing scope for potential future treatment options for the project.
Torque Metals holds a portfolio of high-grade gold deposits in Western Australia, the main focus of which is the company’s 100 per cent-owned Paris gold project, located outside Kalgoorlie within the Boulder-Lefroy Fault Zone in the Western Australian Goldfields.
The Paris gold project comprises nine granted, pre-native title mining licences; two prospecting licences; and three exploration licences covering a total area of 176 square kilometres.
Torque considers the project to be vastly underexplored, as past drilling by previous owners was generally restricted to the top 50 metres.
Torque is of the opinion this provides plenty of opportunities for discovery of gold mineralisation through the application of modern-day exploration techniques and by undertaking more extensive, and deeper, drilling.
To that end, the company has already carried out five drilling campaigns at Paris with the objective of better defining the zones most likely to rapidly increase the project’s gold resource base.
Torque has, to date, discovered six different prospects within the 2.5 kilometres Paris Gold Camp.
The company recently commenced a new round of drilling on the Paris, Observation and HHH prospects targeting gold anomalies identified from historical drilling, machine learning algorithms, and geological models.
A diamond drilling campaign is aiming to extend known mineralised zones and to further delineate mineralisation.
This will coincide with infill and extensional RC drilling seeking information on the continuity and distribution of gold mineralisation.
The drilling follows up assay results released earlier this year that Torque claimed to clearly support the high-grade mineralisation structures and the concept of a potential Gold Camp at Paris.
“The results are highly encouraging and, importantly, show all gold rich prospects lining up in a north, north-westerly orientation, further supporting the potential of a ‘Paris Gold Camp’,” Torque Metals managing director Cristian Moreno said.
“Significantly, the successful holes between HHH and Paris suggest a mineralised structure potentially linking the 1.5 kilometres distance among the two deposits.
“Additionally, while further high-grade north of HHH indicates a potential rich-gold open pit deposit between HHH and Observation (1km), the substantial grades westwards of the Paris prospect confirm a consistent mineralised body that is still open to the west and at depth.” www.torquemetals.com
Infinity Lithium INF)
Infinity Lithium was recently awarded an Exploration Permit over the company’s 75 per cent-owned San José lithium project in Spain.
Infinity Lithium is aiming to take the proposed fully integrated industrial project through to the production of battery grade lithium chemicals from a mica feedstock from what the company claims as being the European Union’s second largest JORC compliant hard rock lithium deposit.
Infinity Lithium anticipates the San José lithium project could provide an essential component in the EU’s development of a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery supply chain.
Should this transpire, the company would ensure the availability of critical raw materials and the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide in the EU, which is destined to be essential to the long-term production of lithium-ion batteries for electric mobility and the transition of the EU’s automotive industry towards electric vehicles.
Infinity Lithium moved ahead of the game by signing an extension of its Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with LG Energy Solution (LGES) to advance discussions relating to the future definitive offtake agreement for battery grade lithium hydroxide from San José.
This followed the signing of another MoU, this time through its wholly owned subsidiary Extremadura New Energies, which executed a binding MoU for a photovoltaic, methane and green hydrogen project – to be known as the Renewable project - aligned to the San José lithium project.
The Renewable Project will see Extremadura New Energies partner with Enalter, a Joint Venture between leading Extremadura company Cristian Lay Grupo Industrial subsidiary Alter Enersun, S.A, and
Spanish IBEX35 energy company Enagás S.A subsidiary Enagás Renovable, S.L.
The aim of the partnership with Enalter will be to establish the Renewables Project JV company upon the successful completion of an initial scoping phase.
“The partnership with Extremadura’s pre-eminent and progressive company further reinforces the positive momentum and complementary opportunities aligned to San José following the initiation of the permitting process,” Infinity Lithium managing director and CEO Ryan Parkin said.
“Extremadura New Energies welcomes the opportunity to advance this complementary and mutually beneficial project in Extremadura in concert with the significant momentum at San José.”.
Lanthanein Resources LNR)
Lanthanein Resources could be categorized as the epitome of the modern exploration company with its focus on rare earth elements and kaolin.
Recent activity across the portfolio saw commencement of drilling at the Murraydium project in South Australia.
The company is investigating what it sees as an exciting exploration opportunity in a region that is considered highly prospective for ionic clay hosted rare earth deposits.
Lanthanein is following on from previous work done in the region by Australian Rare Earths that outlined an extensive mineralised system where shallow near surface exploration has demonstrated potential to delineate substantial JORC Resources of REEs.
At the time of writing, Lanthanein Resources had announced completion of two surveys in preparation for upcoming exploration programs at the Lyons rare earths project in Western Australia.
The company intimated the proposed drill programs will target new high‐grade ironstones similar to what has previously been encountered by drilling at Lyons 11, 12, 13 and 27 prospects.
“Additional drilling of the existing discoveries at Lyons 12, 13 and 27, which are approx. two kilometres from Hastings Technology Metals’ Frasers and Simons Find pits will allow the progress to a potential resource estimation,” Lanthanein Resources technical director Brian Thomas said.
“Drilling the multiple new ironstone trends under shallow cover only recently identified from our review of geophysics will add significantly to the exploration and resource potential.
“We also plan to diamond drill test the magnetic rims of two of the large‐scale Carbonatites.”
Lanthanein recently reported brightness results from a first pass aircore drilling program at its Koolya kaolin project in WA.
The company completed a wide spaced drill program in December 2022, with drillholes spaced 500m apart, covering 15km of prospective kaolin rich granite and intersected widespread kaolin of varying thickness, with a best result of 30m thick bright white kaolin from 4m depth.
“The exceptional brightness results in samples from our first pass aircore drilling at Koolya project is a great result,” Thomas said.
“There is a significant areal extent of high quality bright white kaolin to support the potential for a significant kaolin resource and high purity alumina feedstock project to be delineated with further drilling.”.
Coda Minerals has been studying harder than a year 12 student of late completing a Scoping Study as well as high resolution gravity surveys at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Elizabeth Creek project in South Australia.
The Scoping Study viewed Elizabeth Creek in its copper-cobalt project guise and delivered compelling financial metrics and technical outcomes, leading the Coda Minerals Board to approve commencement of next-stage Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) work.
The high resolution gravity surveys took in Elizabeth Creek as a copper project and consisted of 3,634 total stations covering a 65 square kilometre area encompassing the Emmie IOCG prospect, Emmie Bluff Mineral Resource and the surrounding IOCG and sediment hosted prospects.
The alternate studies become obvious when Coda’s primary focus at Elizabeth Creek emerges, which is on the development of the sedimentary copper-cobalt mineralisation (which formed the subject of the Scoping Study) as the basis for a sustainable long-term mining and processing operation.
In parallel, the company continues to explore for deeper iron-oxide copper-gold (IOCG) mineralisation following the discovery of the Emmie IOCG copper-gold deposit in June 2021.
For the avoidance of doubt, the contents, technical information and forecast financial information in the Scoping Study focused solely on the copper-cobalt mineralisation and did not include any reference to or inclusion of the IOCG mineralisation.
The Scoping Study confirmed the potential for a globally competitive, long-life mine based on the copper-cobalt mineralisation contained within the MG14, Windabout and Emmie Bluff deposits.
The Study was based on low-risk, conventional open pit and underground mining techniques with processing using conventional flotation and downstream processing common to copper-cobalt projects globally.
When commenting on the detailed gravity survey and its future applications, Coda CEO Chris Stevens said the company remains entirely focused on its two key strategic pillars- advancing its foundational copper-cobalt assets towards development and continuing to build on the Emmie IOCG copper-gold mineralisation it discovered in 2021.
The interpretation and modelling Coda currently has underway is expected to form the basis for its next round of IOCG exploration by providing the tools to precisely target the most prospective parts of the system.
Allup Silica is exploring for silica sand across a portfolio of projects in Western Australia.
The company’s major focus is its 100 per cent-owned Sparkler silica sand project, located in the south-western region of Western Australia, approximately 150km from the Albany Port, and approximately 300km south of Perth.
Allup Silica has been searching for, and identifying, areas prospective for high purity silica sands within its Sparkler silica sand project.
The company recently announced a maiden Exploration Target for the Sparkler C Zone of 5 million tonnes to 7 million tonnes with an average raw (unprocessed) grade range of 98 per cent to 99 per cent silicon dioxide (SiO2).
The Exploration Target is contained within a minor fraction of the greater Sparkler project, where extensive exploration has been completed by the company since it listed on the ASX in May 2022.
Allup conceptualised the Exploration Target based upon recent hand auger drilling and its current geological understanding of the extent of the mineralised zones of silica sands at the Sparkler project.
The company has developed this understanding by way of regional geological mapping and an extensive exploration program it has completed at the Sparkler project to date.
Allup took 30 initial auger samples across the target area within Sparkler C, from which 21 holes returned results above the 98 per cent cut-off, for an average SiO2 grade of 98.8 per cent and 2094ppm ferric oxide (Fe2O3).
Encouraged by the positive raw sample grades, Allup Silica has decided to continue with an aircore drilling program that it will follow up with metallurgical beneficiation testwork.
The company anticipates the follow up drilling and testwork campaign will help identify the potential for these silica sands to clean up into a suitable silica sand product.
Beyond this, the company looks to expand and further develop the Sparkler project, in addition to the 70 million tonnes Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate at Sparkler A with testwork results producing grades suitable for the photo-voltaic (solar panel) industry at (an average of) 99.7 per cent SiO2 and 84ppm Fe2O3.
FYI Resources has developed an innovative process design for the integrated production of high quality, high purity alumina (HPA) predominantly for electric vehicles (lithium-ion batteries), sapphire glass, LEDs / micro-LEDs and other broader tech applications.
FYI is positioning itself to be recognised by the marketplace as a producer of 4N and 5N HPA in the rapidly developing high-tech product markets.
With this in mind, the company recently commenced an extended HPA production run tailored to meet customer specifications through the company’s wholly owned pilot plant located in Perth, Western Australia.
FYI is undertaking a long duration market sample production run of high quality HPA to supply to potential customers following requests for follow up samples produced to meet the specifications of certain end users.
The HPA will be generated via FYI’s innovative process flowsheet, which it has optimised through development work modifications and pilot plant testwork carried out over the past 12 months.
A portion of the generated HPA will be directed to specialised finishing (to be completed by the end user) for use as a separator ceramic coating in the electric vehicle battery market.
FYI is committed to progressing the HPA project strategy through to commercial production via a defined project engineering pathway.
This pathway will be laid once FYI receives all project data from Alcoa following the termination of a joint development agreement between the two companies.
FYI will establish a revised development schedule for the completion of both the small-scale production and commercial facilities, which it anticipates being released a soon as possible.
“With FYI now back in control of our HPA development, we are undertaking these HPA pilot plant production runs in response to end user requests that demonstrates the demand for our high quality HPA,” FYI Resources Managing Director Roland Hill commented:
“We see this production run as being a critical piece in addressing potential customer product assessment needs as the results may lead to further development commitments.
“As a company, we are committed to the development of the HPA project and will continue to address potential customer product specifications as a fundamental function of our project development and project value growth.”
Azure Minerals delivered a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Ridgeline deposit in February.
This is the second MRE to be defined on the company’s Andover nickel project (60% Azure / 40% Creasy Group), in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia.
The Ridgeline deposit estimate contains 1.3 million tonnes at 1.11 per cent nickel, 0.46 per cent copper and 0.05 per cent cobalt for 14,700 tonnes of contained nickel, 6,100 tonnes of contained copper and 640 tonnes of contained cobalt.
The new Ridgeline estimate combines with the already released Andover deposit to take Global Mineral Resources for the project to 6 million tonnes at 1.11 per cent nickel, 0.47 per cent copper and 0.05 per cent cobalt for 66,400t of contained nickel, 27,800t of contained copper and 3,100t of contained cobalt.
Azure then turned a lot of heads by reporting the first lithium drill result from the now polymetallic Andover project.
The company reported a mineralised pegmatite intersection of 7.2 metres at 1.51 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O), including a high-grade zone of 1.87 per cent Li2O over 3.1m.
Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira told Resources Roadhouse, from Azure’s booth at the RIU Explorers Conference, that there were, “literally hundreds of outcropping pegmatites throughout the Andover project”, with rock chip samples returning up to nearly five per cent lithium oxide.
“So, the indications are that the pegmatites swarm at Andover has not only high-grade potential, but also has volume potential with so many pegmatites being present there,” he said.
“It’s early days…that was a hole that was actually targeting a nickel target.”
Early days, indeed, however that didn’t deter global lithium company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A., via its whollyowned subsidiary SQM Australia Pty Ltd (SQM), from completing cornerstone investment of $20 million to acquire a 19.99 per cent interest in Azure in a two-stage transaction.
Azure saw the strategic investment by SQM as a strong endorsement of the lithium potential of the Andover project while highlighting the upside potential for Andover to grow into a globally important lithium mining and processing operation.
Revolver Resources is a copper-focused exploration play with two 100 per cent-owned copper projects in Queensland.
The Dianne project covers six Mining Leases and an Exploration Permit in the proven polymetallic Hodkinson Province in north Queensland.
Project Osprey covers six exploration permits within the North-West Minerals Province, one of the world’s richest mineral producing regions.
The principal targets Revolver is chasing are Mount Isa style copper and IOCG deposits.
Late 2022, Revolver released an initial Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Dianne Mine primary and supergene massive sulphide (MS) and the Green Hill supergene oxide deposits.
The MRE for the Dianne Mine includes:
Dianne Primary and Supergene MS: Total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 135,000 tonnes at 6.1 per cent copper for 8,200 tonnes of contained copper metal, at a 0.5 per cent copper cut-off grade.
Green Hill Supergene Oxide: Total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 1.49 million tonnes at 0.66 per cent copper for 11,000 tonnes of contained copper metal, at a 0.25 per cent cut-off grade.
The combined MRE tonnage contains 72.1 per cent in the Inferred Mineral Resource and 27.9 per cent in the Indicated Mineral Resource categories.
“This initial mineral resource estimate equips Revolver with the necessary information to progress a dual track approach to unlocking early value at Dianne,” Revolver Resources managing director Pat Williams said.
“The already establish highly prospective copper district surrounding Dianne is now complimented by the clear definition of the starting resource that has the potential to support near term open pit mining.”
Revolver began 2023 in an equally exciting way with the announcement it had discovered a substantial new VMS system in the district scale tenement package containing the Larramore Volcanic Belt, within the greater Dianne project area.
Following results of a Heli-EM survey that had identified multiple priority conductive anomalies across the region, Revolver’s first diamond hole testing the first of these targets confirmed the VMS potential of the district and the validity of the Heli-EM targets intersecting VMS mineralisation.
“This is a ground-breaking result and provides Revolver with the clear evidence needed to upscale exploration activities across this exciting district-scale copper precinct,” Williams said.
Challenger Exploration got people talking earlier this year after releasing an upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the company’s flagship Hualilan gold project in San Juan Argentina.
The company declared the upgraded 2023 MRE of 1.6 million ounces at 5 grams per tonne gold equivalent within 2.8 million ounces gold equivalent as being significant due to the increase in both total ounces and the high-grade component of the MRE.
The total upgraded 2023 MRE for the Hualilan (local indigenous name for ‘land of gold’) gold project is on Mining Licenses – known locally as Minas - while the overall Hualilan project consists of a district scale 600 square kilometres of tenements.
“This updated mineral resource estimate contains a core of 2.1 million ounces at a grade of 3.1 grams per tonne gold equivalent compared to our previous resource of 2.1 million ounces at 1.4 grams per tonne gold equivalent,” Challenger Exploration managing director Kris Knauer said.
“In addition to significant lift in total ounces we have added material high-grade ounces with the upgraded MRE including a higher-grade component of 1.6 million ounces at 5 grams per tonne gold equivalent providing significant flexibility as we progress down the path towards mining.
“Mineralisation remains open in most directions, and we expect this resource to continue to grow, however, with a total of 2.8 million ounces gold equivalent Hualilan now has critical mass to support development.
“Our exploration focus will now switch to exploring the previously untouched 25 kilometres of prospective strike that we hope will contain several more Hualilans.”
The good news wasn’t contained to Argentina with Phase 2 drilling in Ecuador on the company’s 100 per cent-owned El Guayabo gold-copper project designed to allow reporting of a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate for the Main Discovery Zone hitting the mark.
“This set of results has produced our widest intersection to date with drill hole GYDD-22-025 intersecting 1.2 kilometres of mineralisation from near surface to the end of the hole,” Knauer said.
“We are targeting the main two targets for a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate expected to be available in May.”.
Mother Nature was unable to rain on the parade of Austral Resources as the copper producer maintained steady production rates in January, February, and March 2023 in the face of heavy rainfall, that included the highest aggregate weekly rainfall ever recorded in Mt Isa region.
Austral achieved outstanding sales revenue in Q1 2023 of $35.55 million with March 2023 sales revenue alone hitting $11.6 million despite the extreme rain event in Mt Isa.
Even more impressive is that total operating costs for March 2023 are expected to be substantially lower than previous months.
To say March was a good month for Austral is something of an understatement with the company successfully continuing to plate copper cathode and resume mining in three days following a suspension due to an access road issue caused by more than some 500 millimetres of rain.
In an operational update, Austral reported every month in 2023 had resulted in positive operational cashflows despite the Mt Isa Shire being declared a natural disaster zone.
The company’s EBITDA for January and February 2023, excluding March, was $6.6 million.
While all this happening Austral received results of an independent Scoping Study that concluded construction of an open cut mine at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Lady Colleen to be viable.
Lady Colleen’s current total Mineral Resource is 2.8 million tonnes at 1.9 per cent copper (at a 0.7% copper cut-off), which is part of Austral’s current total JORC Mineral Resource Estimate of 420,000 tonnes copper.
Austral plans to follow through on key recommendations coming out of the independent Scoping Study to further improve the economics of the proposed mine.
This will include upgrading the Lady Colleen Mineral Resource, of which 91 per cent is categorised as Measured and Indicated.
Further drilling will be carried out aimed at upgrading the remaining 9 per cent Inferred Mineral Resources to the higher confidence Indicated Mineral Resources.
Austral’s next stage of project development commences with a Pre-feasibility Study.
When that is completed (and the technical and economic viability of the Lady Colleen project is confirmed by this Study) a timeframe for development and production will be finalised.
Leo Lithium is developing the Goulamina lithium project in Mali, which the company has tagged as the, “next lithium project of significant scale to enter production”.
Leo Lithium claims the Goulamina hard rock lithium project will be the first of its kind in West Africa where it currently has construction underway with first production targeted for H1 2024.
Goulamina is a high-grade hard rock lithium deposit with a Mineral Resource of 142.3 million tonnes at 1.38 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) (3.9Mt LCE) and Ore Reserve of 52 million tonnes at 1.51 per cent Li2O (1.9Mt LCE).
A Resource drilling program carried out earlier this year at Goulamina had the main objective of increasing the confidence level of the orebody and converting a healthy amount of Inferred Resource into the Indicated Resource category.
An additional objective was to increase the overall resource base at the project.
The drilling encountered high-grade, thick intercepts from Danaya and the Northeast (NE) Domains within the project.
“The latest set of results from our ongoing drilling campaign are again set to enhance the already high-quality Goulamina Resource,” Leo Lithium managing director Simon Hay said.
“The Li2O grades received from the combined Danaya and NE Domain targets are overall higher than the current average Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) grades for Goulamina.
“This is a fantastic result and positions us to deliver a robust MRE upgrade by the end of the current half year.
“With the high-grade mineralisation remaining open along strike, there is further growth potential ahead as we test potential northern strike extensions this quarter.”
Leo is waiting on further drilling results to contribute to an updated Mineral Resource Estimate for the Goulamina deposit anticipated in the June 2023 quarter.
Predictive Discovery (ASX: PDI)
Predictive Discovery is focused on development of the company’s Bankan gold project that comprises 356 square kilometres of prospective exploration permits in the Siguiri Basin, Guinea.
Predictive Gold has, to date, defined a Mineral Resource of 4.2 million ounces at the project that includes the 331,000 ounces BC deposit and the recently upgraded NEB deposit.
The updated NEB estimate includes an Open Pit Mineral Resource reported at a 0.5g/t cut-off grade within a US$1,800 per ounce optimised resource pit shell.
This shell totals 67.4 million tonnes at 1.62 grasm per tonne gold for 3.5 million ounces of gold.
The pit shell is the same pit shell that Predictive used when declaring its August 2022 estimate.
An Underground Mineral Resource of 2.2 million tonnes at 4.5g/t gold for 335,000 ounces of gold is reported at a 2g/t cut-off grade, for a total NEB Mineral Resource of 69.6 million tonnes at 1.72g/t gold for 3.85 million ounces of gold.
Predictive considers upgrading the Mineral Resource to Indicated is a crucial part of its ability to progress the Scoping Study, making it a key step in the company’s strategy to secure a mining permit for the Bankan project.
The Underground Mineral Resource increase is supported by improvements in the geological understanding of the deposit, although based on limited drilling.
“We will continue to target Mineral Resource increases at the NEB and BC deposits, and their surrounds,” Predictive Discovery managing director Andrew Pardey, said.
“Both deposits remain open, and our improving geological understanding is generating additional target areas.
“We are also excited by the potential of Bankan’s northern permits and will increase our exploration focus here during 2023, with RC drilling planned.”
They say you can’t teach an old dog new tricks, but there’s no certainty that adage pertains to nickel operations.
Panoramic Resources restarted the Savannah nickel operation in 2021 at which time the project was successfully recommissioned with first concentrate shipment achieved in December 2021.
Fast-forward to the present and Panoramic has released an updated Life of Mine Plan, based principally on an Updated Feasibility Study the company completed in 2020.
Since nickel mining and processing methods haven’t changed in the past few years, basically, nothing much has changed.
What has changed is the mine scheduling, which Panoramic has adjusted with the objective of ramping up ore production to nameplate capacity of approx. 960,000 tonnes per annum from FY24.
Ore sourced from Savannah North underpins the mining strategy, with scheduling of ore from the Savannah remnants averaging approx. 20,000 tonnes per month.
The Savannah North orebody remains open along strike and at depth providing potential to bring more material into the Mine Plan.
All technicalities aside, the average annual production from Savannah over Year 1 (FY24) to Year 12 (FY35) is now estimated at 9,402 tonnes nickel, 5,046 tonnes copper and 714 tonnes cobalt metal in concentrate.
“The updated Mine Plan for Savannah confirms the significant value of the asset and where we expect the steady-state performance of the asset to reach with the ramp up now well advanced,” Panoramic Resources managing director and CEO Victor Rajasooriar said.
“The path is paved for at least 12 years of strong production through to the end of FY35.
“This update is based on the latest Resource update and applies the learnings gained from our recent operating experience, updated commodity price forecasts and the high-cost environment we are currently experiencing.”
Southern Cross Gold (ASX:
Southern Cross Gold enjoyed a ‘drop the mic’ moment earlier this year when it released compelling drilling results from the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sunday Creek project in Victoria.
The market is almost desensitised to drilling results these days, however, Southern Cross rattled a lot of cages by reporting:
12m at 7.4 grams per tonne gold equivalent (7.4g/t gold, 0.0% antimony) from 688m.
Pretty straight forward so far, then came the kicker:
Including 0.3m at 249.5g/t gold equivalent (249.5g/t gold, 0.0% antimony).
The company explained this hole was drilled as a large 270m vertical step out to depth then wryly added that it, “contained abundant visible gold”.
Even before achieving these results, the company had considered Sunday Creek to be one of the better new exploration discoveries to come out of Victoria.
Interestingly, the Sunday Creek drilling is demonstrating a decrease at depth of antimony.
This changing nature of mineralisation was highlighted by another drill hole, SDDSC050, that encountered thick quartz carbonate veins up to one metre wide with gold and arsenic, but no antimony mineralisation.
Southern Cross noted this as a typical change in epizonal deposits in Victoria which transition from gold-antimony to gold only zones at depth.
“The development of free gold, with the concurrent reduction of antimony grades is important in this transitioning system and is similar to what is observed in similar epizonal deposits that have been tested to depth including Fosterville and Costerfield,” Southern Cross Gold managing director Michael Hudson said.
“Our footprint of high-grade mineralisation is now extending both along strike and to depth with…mineralisation now extending in the main drill area over 1,350 metres.”
Green Technology Metals
ABx Group (ASX: ABX)
Green Technology Metals has three main lithium projects within its company portfolio, the Seymour, Wisa and Root lithium projects, all 100 per cent-owned and located within the province of Ontario in Canada.
The Seymour project has an existing Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 9.9 million tonnes at 1.04 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) (comprised of 5.2Mt at 1.29% Li2O Indicated and 4.7Mt at 0.76% Li2O Inferred).
The Root project recently joined the ranks of the MREd when Green Technology released an Inferred MRE for the project of 4.5 million tonnes at 1.01 per cent Li20 and 110ppm tantalum pentoxide (Ta2O5).
The MRE sits over the first 1.5 kilometres strike of the McCombe deposit within the 20km-wide Root project and incorporates drilling carried out there that commenced in August 2022.
The McCombe pegmatite has been classified as LCT-type, spodumene-subtype pegmatite based on the presence of spodumene and K-feldspar chemistry.
The McCombe lithium deposit is currently the most advanced LCT pegmatite at the Root project where Green Technology has acknowledged further extensional and infill drilling is required to improve the MRE confidence for further economic assessment as well as to further increase resource tonnage.
Exploration at the Root project to date has initially focused on four target areas; McCombe, Morrison, Root Bay and Root Lake.
The company highlighted that a large area surrounding these targets remains underexplored and highly prospective for new LCT pegmatite target areas.
Green Technology has determined the McCombe deposit remains open to the east and likely joins the Morrison pegmatites along strike forming more than three kilometres of mineralised resource potential.
To that end, further diamond drilling will continue to be undertaken in parallel to the current programs running at Morrison and Root Bay.
ABx Group is developing a portfolio of two high-technology businesses, including production of high-priced aluminium fluoride for aluminium smelters and lithium-ion batteries and the discovery of rare earth elements (REE) within the company’s Tasmanian bauxite projects.
ABx’s 83 per cent-owned subsidiary Alcore Limited has already produced aluminium fluoride samples consistent with commercial grades of aluminium fluoride used in aluminium smelters, without which, the smelters cannot operate.
Alcore went on to achieve a world first by producing aluminium fluoride from smelter waste products, which not only increases profitability but will provide security of supply of this critically important ingredient for Australasian aluminium smelters.
Most recently the company released an updated Mineral Resource Estimate that increased the tonnage of the Deep Leads – Rubble Mound channel REE deposit, located in northern Tasmania by 350 per cent to 13.9 million tonnes.
At the time of writing ABx was waiting to receive assays from a recently completed drilling campaign, where some holes intersected REE zones greater than 30 metres thick ending in mineralisation.
What is already known is that Deep Leads has been confirmed to have a strike length extending seven kilometres with the mineralised area open in all directions.
“This Mineral Resource estimation will help ABx decide how wide it must spread its drilling to find its minimum economic target with the remaining holes in this drilling program,” ABx Group managing director and CEO Mark Cooksey said.
“While the growing size of this shallow mineralised channel discovered at Deep Leads is a major revelation, I encourage investors to look closely at the project, which is enriched with high-value rare earths used for permanent magnets in advanced technologies, such as neodymium, praseodymium, terbium and dysprosium.”
OD6 Metals (ASX:
OD6 Metals is keeping true to its mantra of exploration and development opportunities within the critical mineral sector.
The company has identified clay hosted rare earths elements (REEs) at both of its 100 per cent-owned projects, Splinter Rock and Grass Patch, which are located in the Esperance-Goldfields region of Western Australia.
Drilling and geological analysis carried out across numerous prospects at Splinter Rock has already shown the presence of widespread, thick, high-grade clay hosted REE deposits that extend over hundreds of square kilometres.
A recent 83-hole drill program at Splinter Rock returned assay results and clay thicknesses demonstrating higher grades and larger thicknesses than what had been revealed in the company’s initial program.
Grades of up to 6,605ppm total rare earth oxides (TREO) were returned, encountering extensive clay thickness of between 20 metres and 80 metres at consistently high grades.
This was achieved at a high success rate, with 74 of the 83 holes returning healthy grades and thickness extending over kilometres of drill lines.
“To have one prospect achieve these results is impressive, for all four of our main prospect areas to return these results is remarkable,” OD6 Metals managing director Brett Hazelden said.
The Split Rock assays followed on from earlier good news at Grass Patch, from where assay results were received for the company’s first drill program targeting clay basins identified through an Airborne Electromagnetic Survey and analysis of regional anomalies.
This round of drilling met its brief with the 93 hole program identifying areas of high-grade clay hosted rare earth as well as exceptionally high magnet rare earth oxides.
Heavy rare earth oxides and critical rare earth oxides were also observed at elevated levels.
AIC Mines (ASX:
AIC Mines owns the Eloise copper mine, a high-grade operating underground mine located near Cloncurry in North Queensland.
After raising $30 million from institutional and sophisticated investors to fund initial work related to the Jericho mine development and Eloise processing plant expansion, AIC Mines promptly announced updated Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve (MROR) estimates for Eloise copper mine.
The numbers are impressive with Mineral Resources increased to 137,200 tonnes of contained copper and 118,800 ounces of contained gold, representing a 19 per cent increase in copper and a 19 per cent increase in gold net of mining depletion.
Ore Reserves were increased to 52,600 tonnes of contained copper and 43,100 ounces of contained gold, representing a 46 per cent increase in copper and a 32 per cent increase in gold net of mining depletion.
Combined Eloise and Jericho Mineral Resources now total 15.5 million tonnes at 2 per cent copper and 0.5 grams per tonne gold for 3.17 million tonnes copper and 229,400 ounces gold.
The main source of the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve increases was the high-grade Lens 6 deposit, which AIC discovered in September 2022.
“This MROR update and the discovery of the Lens 6 high-grade deposit at Eloise supports our confidence that ongoing exploration and resource definition drilling will extend the Eloise mine life well beyond 2030,” AIC Mines managing director Aaron Colleran said.
Since taking ownership of the Eloise copper mine in 2021, AIC Mines has completed almost 15,000m of underground drilling in the Macy, Levuka and Deeps areas, which has been the catalyst in delivering the increase in Ore Reserves and Mineral Resources.
Ongoing evaluation of the Eloise drilling database continues to identify opportunities for Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve growth.
E79 Gold Mines
E79 Gold Mines’ project portfolio consists of the company’s 100 per cent-owned Laverton South project, located outside Kalgoorlie and the Jungar Flats (Murchison) project west of Meekatharra, both in Western Australia.
Most activity of late has been happening at the Laverton South gold project where E79 has identified a second emerging gold trend from recent aircore drilling at Target 4.
Assays received for aircore drilling completed at Target 4 in late 2022 returned multiple anomalous gold intercepts along a regional-scale gold trend hosted by the Pinjin Fault.
“We know that the structure, the Pinjin Fault, is mineralised in parts and we are seeking higher grades along the six kilometres that runs through our tenements,” E79 Gold Mines CEO, Ned Summerhayes, said.
“Identifying anomalous gold, supported by pathfinder elements, in fresh rock is a great start, demonstrating that the gold is in-situ and has depth potential.”
Target 4 is the second emerging gold trend E79 has identified at Laverton South after similar aircore results at Target 3 were followed-up with multiple gold intercepts within broad zones of gold anomalism from recent RC drilling.
Earlier first-pass RC drilling at Target 3 revealed potential for a large-scale gold system by returning assays from intersected zones of gold mineralisation from within broader zones of strong gold anomalism at depth under the Central Target.
“RC drilling at the Central Zone has identified multiple zones of bedrock gold mineralisation in fresh granite, providing early-stage indications of a large gold mineralised system,” Summerhayes said.
“From this early-stage drilling, we are able to draw broad analogies to the nearby plus-one million ounce Rebecca gold project and the plus-5.5 million ounce Granny Smith gold mine.”
Altech Batteries is a specialty battery technology company in a Joint Venture agreement with world leading German battery institute Fraunhofer IKTS to commercialise the CERENERGY Sodium Alumina Solid State (SAS) Battery.
Altech is energised by the CERENERGY batteries, which it considers being a game-changing alternative to lithium-ion batteries.
The list of the CERENERGY batteries attributes reads impressively: they are fire and explosion-proof; have a life span of more than 15 years and operate in extreme cold and desert climates.
The battery technology is unique in that it uses table salt and is lithium-free; cobalt-free; graphite-free; and copper-free, eliminating exposure to critical metal price rises and supply chain concerns.
The JV recently launched the design for the CERENERGY Sodium Alumina Solid State (SAS) 1.0 megawatt hour (MWh) GridPack (ABS1000) aimed directly at the renewable energy and grid storage market.
The design has been based on preliminary discussions with potential off-takers and to minimise on site installation of individual ABS60 60KWh battery packs, a pre-installed solution has been conceived.
Each GridPack will have up to twenty 60KWh battery packs installed and connected to a pack power management system.
Every GridPack has a distinct rating of 600 volts DC and 100Ah, and it can be arranged in series (cluster or array) to achieve the required rating of several thousand KWs for grid functioning.
Altech believes that the proposed GridPacks are an excellent means of stabilising the grid by providing a source of backup power during periods of high demand or when renewable energy sources are not producing at capacity.
They are also a cost-effective solution for storing and distributing renewable energy across a variety of applications, including grid-scale storage, microgrids, and electric vehicle charging.
altechgroup.com e79gold.com.au C: 92 M: 81 Y: 38 K: 41 R: 54 G: 62 B: 89 #: 363E59 C: 100 M: 55 Y: 0 K: 1 R: 0 G: 113 B: 183 #: 007187 C: 100 M: 3 R: 0 G: 171 Limited Altec h Batteries Limited Altec h Batteries
Meeka Metals (ASX: MEK)
Meeka Metals has plenty going on with a portfolio that includes 100 per cent-owned gold and rare earths projects across Western Australia.
Most Meeka action of late has been happening in the gold space, which is where we will concentrate for now.
In March, Meeka released results from drilling carried out at St Anne’s within its Murchison gold project that was undertaken to support Mineral Resource modelling for the deposit, which was originally slated for the March 2023 quarter but has now been pushed back to April.
This drilling confirmed the high-grade gold the company had encountered by RC and aircore drilling during 2022, a nice follow up to metallurgical test work results received in December 2022 that confirmed gold recoveries averaging 98 per cent for St Anne’s, all of which augers well for a Pre-feasibility Study due in mid-2023.
Meeka recently recommenced drilling at the Murchison gold project targeting the 25 kilometres long Fairway shear zone, which the company views as an economically important zone of shearing and high strain within the Archean Gnaweeda greenstone belt and already hosts 0.7 million ounces at the Turnberry deposit.
Up to now, the Fairway shear zone remains largely untested outside of Turnberry and St Anne’s.
“This program will target areas where ineffective broad spaced historical RAB and aircore drilling intersected strong coincident gold-arsenic anomalies but were not followed up,” Meeka Metals managing director Tim Davidson said.
“This approach proved highly successful in 2022 when we targeted gold-arsenic anomalism at St Anne’s and discovered extensive, shallow, high-grade gold.
“We are looking to build on that success and add further high value ounces to our Mineral Resource.”
Forrestania Resources is an exploration company searching for a varied commodity suite via a portfolio of projects through the Forrestania, Southern Cross and Leonora regions of Western Australia.
The company recently completed a second lithium-focussed reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at its main Forrestania lithium project, in the Yilgarn region of WA.
Forrestania Resources drilled 25 RC holes across four key prospects to test geochemical lithium and pathfinder anomalies, pegmatite surface exposures and the extension of pegmatites intersected in historic drilling.
The drilling turned up several pegmatites, some of up to 32 metres width, which the company considered worthy of note, given that some of the targets had never been drilled.
At the time of writing Forrestania was awaiting assay results to be used in the design of follow up drilling programs.
“Any discovery in this region could lead to a company-making development given current lithium pricing and with regional infrastructure, major mining operations and potential partners close by,” Forrestania Resources chairman John Hannaford said.
Other exploration activities were conducted on the company’s Leonora/Eastern Goldfields project area comprising ten tenements the company considers highly prospective for large scale, multi commodity discoveries.
Recent work on the Melita 02 prospect, located on the Breakaway Well tenement, returned highly anomalous REE rock chip results, including:
4676.5ppm total rare earth oxide, including 970.4ppm neodymium, 68.4ppm dysprosium, 291.2ppm praseodymium and 13.6ppm terbium.
These exceptional REE bearing rock chips were collected from areas close to the Mt Stirling REE and gold project held by Asra Minerals… and the Redlings REE prospect held by Marquee Resources,” Hannaford explained.
“We believe the large FRS tenement holdings of the Eastern Goldfields project offer significant potential for a major REE discovery.”
Thor Energy (ASX:
Noble Helium (ASX: NHE)
Thor Energy used to be known as Thor Mining, however, the company decided on a name change feeling the new handle more accurately reflects its exploration focus on uranium and energy metals projects in Australia and USA.
Probably not a bad move, considering Thor Energy’s portfolio holds highly prospective projects with exposure to uranium, nickel, copper, lithium and gold.
In the USA, Thor holds 100 per cent interest in three uranium and vanadium projects: Wedding Bell, Radium Mountain and Vanadium King in the Uravan Belt of Colorado and Utah, with historical high-grade uranium and vanadium drilling and production results.
The rest of the portfolio is spread around Australia, the latest action occurring on the Alford West project in South Australia via an Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) survey using funds gained through a South Australian Government Accelerated Discovery Initiative grant.
The low-impact ANT survey completed subsurface mapping, delineating weathered ‘trough’ structures that host oxide copper-gold mineralisation within the Alford Copper Belt.
Thor is confident further processing and modelling will potentially highlight higher-grade mineralised zones within these structures.
The ANT survey was carried out by EnviroCopper (ECL) an Australian copper development company in which Thor holds a 30 per cent interest, which in turn holds rights to earn up to a 75 per cent interest in the mineral rights and claims over the resource on the portion of the historic Kapunda copper mine and the Alford West copper project.
Thor will combine the subsurface ANT results with historical drilling data to generate a new drilling program, targeting higher-grade oxide copper-gold mineralisation.
Future drilling will focus on areas with low-density contrast which have been shown to host oxidised copper mineralisation, amenable to potential In-Situ Copper Recovery (ISCR).
Noble Helium is determined to meet the world’s growing need for a primary, ideally carbon-free, and geo-politically independent source of helium.
The company has four projects, all located along Tanzania’s East African Rift System (EARS), which are advancing with the stated aim of, “serving the increasing supply chain fragility and supply-demand imbalance for this scarce, tech-critical and high-value industrial gas”.
The company’s North Rukwa project has an independently certified unrisked summed mean Prospective Helium Resource of 175.5 billion cubic feet (equivalent to approximately 30 years’ supply).
The project lies within the Rukwa Basin, which Noble Helium claims has potential to be the world’s third largest helium reserve behind USA and Qatar.
Noble Helium recently invested in, and completed a review of, exploration data revealing the Kachinga and Dagaa leads along the North Rukwa project’s south-western flank are one Basin Margin Fault Closure (BMFC) with a combined company-estimated, unrisked, summed mean Prospective Helium Resource of 22.5Bcf.
At its Mbelele and Pegere prospects where two wells are due to be drilled in the September quarter, Noble Helium estimates an unrisked summed mean Prospective Helium Resource of 16.5Bcf.
“The new exploration data has demonstrated its value with our interpretation showing Kachinga, Mbelele and Pegere to be much larger than originally interpreted from the legacy seismic data,” Noble Helium chief executive Justyn Wood said.
“Ahead of drilling our first two exploration wells at North Rukwa next quarter, the Kachinga lead now presents a large potential target for drilling in 2024.
“The identification of the new lead in the south of the basin further supports our thesis that the North Rukwa is analogous to other string of pearl plays within the East African Rift system in Uganda and Kenya.”
Turaco Gold (ASX: TCG)
Black Canyon (ASX: BCA)
Turaco Gold has assembled a large exploration package of highly prospective Birimian greenstones, located in northern and central-east Côte d’Ivoire.
The company’s main focus of late has been on its Eburnea gold project where it made the Satama gold discovery in 2022.
The Eburnea project covers two granted permits covering 690 square kilometres in central Côte d’Ivoire, one of which is the Satama permit that covers a large north-east trending shear splaying off the crustal scale Ouango-Fitini shear, which marks the margin of the Birimian Comoé basin.
Follow up drilling on the Satama discovery continued to provide Turaco with confidence with results from RC drilling confirming Satama as being a substantial, multi-kilometre strike length greenfield gold discovery which is expected to continue to grow.
The second Eburnea permit is Bouake North that sits on the Oume-Fetekro belt, host of the 2.5 million ounce Fetekro gold project approximately 35 kilometres to the north and the 2.5 million ounce Bonikro and 1 million ounce Agbaou gold mines 200km to the south.
Turaco’s focus within the Bouake North permit has been centred on a large 7km by 4km gold-in-soil anomaly defined in the central part of the permit.
This permit also offers much encouragement for the company, which has completed a program of auger drilling across the large-scale gold anomaly defining at least six saprolite plus-100ppb gold targets which extend for more than 1,000m of strike.
While some companies would fixate on a discovery such as Satama, Turaco continued to work up other targets in its portfolio, of which the Odienne project in the north-west of Côte d’Ivoire received a program of drilling and geochemical sampling and high-resolution geophysics that identified large scale, untested targets.
Black Canyon holds 75 per cent and is the manager of the Carawine Joint Venture with ASX-listed chum Carawine Resources.
The Carawine JV project is in Western Australia, located south of the operating Woodie-Woodie manganese mine.
Covers approximately 800 square kilometres the Carawine JV places a large footprint over a proven and producing manganese belt.
Metallurgical testwork was recently undertaken on composite samples from the LR01 and FB03 deposits within the Flanagan Bore project, which is part of the greater Carawine JV.
The testwork yielded results of between 30 and 33 per cent manganese providing confidence in the ability of the large scale, shale hosted manganese deposits being explored to deliver a consistent and reliable manganese product via a commonly used density separation technique.
The results have also given a clearer understanding of metallurgical trends, behaviour and recoveries that might be expected from ores generated from manganese enriched shales and confirmed deposit scale variations that can be expected between deposits.
“This metallurgical update is the result of four months of testwork and builds significantly upon the Scoping Study testwork completed last year where we compared HLS to ore sorting processing,” Black Canyon executive director Brendan Cummins said.
“The Scoping Study testwork led the company to focus on HLS testwork as a proxy for dense media separation (DMS) due to its simplicity of implementation, widely used application and reliability in operation.
“We believe these are critical factors in reducing processing risk as we further advance associated feasibility work programs.”
Black Canyon is now eyeing other resource target opportunities across its portfolio, which include the recently acquired E46/1383 tenement that hosts the five kilometres-long KR1 target, which has not been drill tested.
Falcon Metals’ year to date has all been about the drill bit, in particular at the company’s Pyramid Hill gold project outside of Bendigo in Victoria.
Falcon Metals drilled a 57 hole aircore program on the Ironbark East prospect to follow up on results received from drilling undertaken in 2022 that returned several high-grade intercepts.
The 2023 infilling results didn’t disappoint with the company reporting encounters with multiple gold intercepts within weathered diorite that are associated with quartz veining, arsenopyrite and pyrite, including:
12 metres at 6.18 grams per tonne gold from 74m, including 4m at 17.7g/t gold from 77m, including 1m at 52.9g/t gold from 77m.
Falcon Metals has interpreted these higher-grade results to be aligned along a NNW-SSE trend that crosscuts the diorite, with high-grade results over 400 metres strike length achieved along this trend.
Not surprisingly, the company was encouraged to begin planning a diamond drill program at Ironbark East that kicked off in February.
“Intersecting high-grade mineralisation at Ironbark East over a 400 metres strike length is a great result and provides us with encouragement ahead of the commencement of our diamond drilling program later this month,” Falcon Metals managing director Tim Markwell said.
“We are thrilled that we have achieved this key objective of the aircore drilling at the prospect following on from the drill result from the 2022 program.
“The results at Ironbark confirm the potential of diorite to host economic zones of mineralisation, especially with the intersection of a new zone at Ironbark Central announced earlier this month.
“Our success to date gives us the confidence to further ramp up our activity at Pyramid Hill and we look forward to putting out more updates over coming weeks.”
Rumble Resources (ASX:
Rumble Resources finally put a salivating marketplace at ease by releasing its maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Earaheedy zinc-lead-silver project, located near Wiluna in Western Australia.
The pit constrained Inferred MRE has come in at: 94 million tonnes at 3.1 per cent zinc+lead and 4.1 grams per tonne silver (at a 2% Zn+Pb cutoff) constrained within optimised pit shells.
The figures estimate contained metal of 2.2 million tonnes zinc, 0.6 million tonnes lead and 12.6 million ounces silver.
Rumble claims the MRE represents one of the largest zinc sulphide discoveries globally in the last decade.
The MRE occurs within the company’s 100 per cent-held E69/3787 and Joint Ventured E69/3464 (75% Rumble/25% Zenith Minerals) tenements.
The Earaheedy discovery was originally made in 2021, since which time Rumble has conducted scoping and broad spaced infill drilling that has rapidly uncovered what has emerged to be a world class scale zinc-lead-silver-copper base metal system.
Work is continuing at Earaheedy in the form of interpretative geology, geophysics, geochemistry and drilling to extend the mineralised footprints of the discoveries and outline new high-grade targets.
Rumble believes the project has exceptional growth potential with only two of five identified mineralised styles explored, and less than 35 per cent of the 45 kilometres Unconformity Unit effectively tested by drilling.
“Achieving a maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate of this size and significance in 24 months post discovery is a tremendous effort by the technical team,” Rumble Resources managing director Shane Sikora said.
“Myself and the team are really excited as we believe we have only scratched the surface on the discovery front, and can’t wait to see the drill rigs turning again.”
Emmerson Resources (ASX:
Emmerson Resources continues to advance the company’s Golden Forty project in the Northern Territory of Australia.
Emmerson recently received all results from a 26-hole drill program completed at the project that yielded healthy intersections to build on previous drilling.
The company has interpreted these results to demonstrate Golden Forty is emerging as being a gold and base metal iron-oxide style discovery centred on the Golden Forty magnetic anomaly.
Emmerson ran a high-resolution aeromagnetic survey over the Golden Forty area that produced one of the largest magnetic anomalies in the Tennant Creek Mineral Field, providing new zones of mineralisation coincident with this anomaly and plenty of new areas yet to be drill tested.
Results from drilling at Golden Forty North confirmed a major high-grade extension to the historic Golden Forty Mine.
Base and precious metal results from the new Golden Forty East area provided exciting possibilities both down plunge and along strike toward Golden Forty South.
Drilling within the Golden Forty Mine environment was aimed at confirming remnant ore within the historical mine void model, producing assay results indicating potential for shallow, up plunge extensions.
“These latest assay results continue to expand the footprint of the mineralisation with new high-grade gold at Golden Forty North and now, both gold and base metals at Golden Forty East,” Emmerson Resources managing director Rob Bills said.
“Base metals typically report to the outer or upper zones of these magnetite-hematite hosted (IOCG) style deposits and can provide a vector to the gold, which at Golden Forty East points toward Golden Forty South and/or at depth – areas that remain largely untested.
“Encouragingly the mineralisation is high-grade, relatively shallow and remains open in all directions.”.
Industrial Minerals (ASX:
Industrial Minerals representatives will be easy to spot at the conference as they will be the ones toting the heaviest portfolio satchel.
Industrial Minerals currently holds 100 per cent of an impressive 20 High Purity Silica Sand (HPSS) projects and six complementary Industrial Mineral projects across Western Australia, all of which it is focused on exploring and developing.
We’ll keep things simple and provide a quick precis on recent developments.
At the Stockyard HPSS project near Eneabba, the company hit key project development milestones on gaining approval of its Mining Proposal, Mine Closure Plan and Clearing Permit by the relevant State Government Departments.
The receipt of the environmental approvals means that mine establishment activities at Stockyard can commence immediately upon Final Investment Decision of the Board.
“The low impact nature of this project will have negligible impact on vegetation and fauna, while improving the productivity of the land post-mining,” Industrial Minerals managing director Jeff Sweet said.
“This is good for the environment and will increase the productivity of the farm, and we see that increasing the amount of productive farmland will be beneficial to the wider economy.”
A program of hand auger sampling across the company’s Southern Silica Sand projects resulted in the identification of new HPSS targets.
At Esperance East a target was identified 30 kilometres from Esperance that has been designated a high priority with an exploration work program planned to determine the extent and overall quality of the silica sand.
Narrikup presented several HPSS targets within 45km of the Port of Albany, while at North Stirlings, a tad further away at 120km from Albany an initial reconnaissance hand auger sampling program was completed on three properties within the project area producing encouraging laboratory results.
industmin.com emmersonresources.com.au emmerson resources
Lithium Plus Minerals
Widgie Nickel (ASX:
Lithium Plus Minerals is a lithium exploration company with a portfolio of projects spread across 21 tenements throughout the Northern Territory.
The major project is the Bynoe lithium project sitting on the Cox Peninsula, south of Darwin, on the northern end of the Litchfield Pegmatite Belt.
The project consists of 11 granted tenements geologically centred around the Bynoe Pegmatite Field, sharing a border with Core Lithium’s Finniss mine development.
Lithium mineralisation was discovered at the Lei prospect in 2017 within the north-northeast trending spodumene bearing pegmatites.
Lithium Plus recently received final assay results from diamond drilling completed during Phase 2 exploration at the highly prospective Lei prospect.
The drilling confirmed spodumene mineralisation in multiple holes, with assays from the final round of sampling reporting: BYLDD009
5 metres at 0.51 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) from 83m, including 1m at 0.84 per cent Li2O; and BYLDD010
7m at 0.84 per cent Li2O from 294m.
Other projects include the Wingate lithium project Located 150km south of Darwin within a single tenement that covers the Wingate Mountains Pegmatite District, the southern part of the Litchfield Pegmatite Belt.
The Wingate project already contains known presence of pegmatites with little exploration undertaken and minor historical production of tin.
Projects running under the Arunta lithium projects shingle include: Barrow Creek, which is in the Northern Arunta pegmatite province, 300km north of Alice Springs has a history of tin and tantalum production while the presence of spodumene in nearby Anningie Pegmatite field suggests lithium potential.
Spotted Wonder is located approx. 200km north-north-east of Alice Springs with proven lithium mineralisation, with amblygonite present in the Delmore Pegmatite.
Moonlight is located within the Harts Range Pegmatite Field, approx. 200km north-east of Alice Springs with the presence of pegmatites containing elbaite, indicative of lithium enrichment.
Widgie Nickel covers all point of the compass at the company’s Mt Edwards project in Western Australia.
The project consists of the Widgie North, South, East, and West sub-projects, along with the Lake Eaton-Mt Eaton area.
Recent drilling at Widgie South demonstrated potential to add to its current combined 71,800 tonnes nickel with upside potential identified and mineralisation open in all directions at Gillett, and the presence of a largely untested basal contact corridor between Gillett and Widgie Townsite.
“The latest results, which demonstrate high-grade mineralisation beyond the current Gillett deposit, complement our previous results at Gillett announced in mid- February reaffirming grade continuity within the current deposit,” Widgie Nickel managing director Steve Norregaard said.
“Widgie South is very much a long-term growth opportunity within the Mt Edwards project.
“Drilling is set to continue…as we continue to expand, refine and define the limits to the mineralisation with significant blue-sky potential ahead.”
But wait, Widgie Nickel is not just about nickel, which it demonstrated by releasing a Mineral Resource Estimate (ME) at its Faraday lithium project near Coolgardie.
Widgie reported a Faraday lithium MRE of 481,000 tonnes at 0.59 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) (0.3% Li2O cut-off) in the project’s Southern Starter Pit area.
“Widgie’s lithium is now for real,” Norregaard said.
“To now be declaring our maiden lithium resource demonstrates Widgie’s resolve to capitalise on the strong demand fundamentals for battery metals.
“This is just the beginning of a growth story, as we roll our sleeves up to realise value for shareholders in the short term.
“The Faraday lithium project has all the hallmarks of a very low-cost development able to be commercialised in the near term.” ithium PLUS MINERAL S
Richmond Vanadium Technology
Richmond Vanadium Technology listed on the boards of the ASX last year on the back of the company’s 100 per cent-owned Richmond-Julia Creek vanadium project in north Queensland.
Richmond inherited the 1.8 billion tonne vanadium project by way of a demerger of the project by Horizon Minerals of its then 25 per cent-holding.
The project had already been the subject of a Pre-Feasibility Study and Richmond has kicked off its occupancy with the immediate commencement of a Bankable Feasibility Study.
The Pre-Feasibility Study had demonstrated the project to be a technically viable and financially attractive development project, complete with a metallurgical process flowsheet using proven conventional technology and a provisional patent filed with the Australian Patent Office relating to the method for concentration of vanadium ore.
The company claims the Richmond-Julia Creek vanadium project to be the largest non-titanomagnetite vanadium deposit of its kind (soft marine sediments) globally that could produce a substantive supply of vanadium for the steel and emerging energy storage markets for many years to come.
The project involves the development of an open cut, free dig vanadium mining operation producing vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) concentrate over a 25-year initial life of mine from the ore reserve.
Vanadium is on the Australian Government’s critical mineral list and included the Richmond project on its Critical Mineral Prospectus in 2020 and 2021.
In 2021 the Queensland Government announced it will contribute “at least” $10 million towards constructing a vanadium common-user facility (VCUF) to process vanadium from the state’s deposits, allowing multiple small mining operations to access the facility with the ambition of kickstarting downstream battery storage industries in the state.
Richmond Vanadium Technology sits on a panel helping to determine the Queensland Government’s VCUF Future User Engagement Protocol.
NickelSearch lived up to its name by announcing an updated Mineral Resources Estimate (MRE) for the company’s 100 per centowned Carlingup nickel sulphide project near Ravensthorpe in Western Australia.
The updated sulphide JORC 2012-compliant MRE came in at 11.6 million tonnes at 0.56 per cent nickel, 0.05 per cent copper and 0.01 per cent cobalt for 64,900 tonnes nickel metal.
The MRE contains Indicated Resources of 8.3 million tonnes at 0.52 per cent nickel, 0.06 per cent copper and 0.01 per cent cobalt.
The increase boosted the project’s total estimate to 27.6 million tonnes at 0.56 per cent nickel for 154.9 tonnes nickel.
The company believes the MRE update demonstrates potential to continue to add resources through expansion of those open pit resources and discovery of new deposits across the Carlingup nickel project.
These targets included in the MRE were just a few of the 30-plus nickel sulphide targets with limited or no previous drilling that have been identified across the Carlingup project.
NickelSearch lifted its eyes from the nickel potential of Carlingup recently and had an independent geochemical review undertaken on the multi-commodity prospectivity of the project.
The review, which focused on part of the tenements, flagged potential for lithium and VHMS mineralisation in addition to the nickel sulphide prospectivity already being investigated.
“To date, we have focused on nickel sulphides,” NickelSearch managing director Nicole Duncan said.
“Given that we had recently completed ultra-fine soil sampling across part of the Carlingup Trend, we asked an independent geochemist to review the data to help guide our broader exploration focus.
“It is hugely exciting to have confirmation that our tenements are prospective for many minerals that are needed in the energy transition, including lithium.”
Mt Malcolm Mines (ASX:
Mt Malcolm Mines received encouragement regarding the future advancement within the company’s Malcolm gold project near Leonora in Western Australia.
Diamond drilling on the T3 target at the Calypso area recently confirmed the company’s discovery of the Constance Lodes being a series of stacked mineralised lodes within a multi-phase porphyry corridor outside of the known mineralisation within the T1 and T2 targets at Calypso.
Further drilling provided recognition of the geological controls and understanding the differences between the historical T2 mineralisation and T3 Constance Lodes.
This understanding now provides the framework for Mt Malcolm to carry out infill drilling and subsequent advancement toward the next important milestone at Calypso – the definition of a maiden mineral resource.
“Mineralisation to date has been encountered from surface to depth - a key component in any potential progression following on from the resource would be to plan to take full advantage of newly assessed near-surface potential to develop a staged plan from open pit mining through to underground operations,” Mt Malcom Mines managing director Trevor Dixon said.
“A key focus is to rapidly advance towards a cash-generating position whilst improving our ability to efficiently target the larger exploration prizes for the longer-term sustainability of M2M.”
In other news, Mt Malcom undertook reconnaissance and historical database examination that revealed enriched and anomalous Light Rare Earth Elements (LREE) within several tenements at Leonora, these being Mt Stewart, Sunday-Picnic, Malcolm Dam and the Malcolm Mining Centre.
The company has identified at least seven tenements to contain positive LREE responses with at least eight untested tenements holding potential to host enriched LREE.
The tenement areas and the immediate surrounds present as Rare Earth Element Target Zones, located within the regionally prospective Leonora—Laverton District.
Venture Minerals (ASX: VMS)
Venture Minerals added a further commodity string to the company’s Mount Lindsay project bow in Tasmania.
Venture Minerals completed Mount Lindsay Underground study work, from which it identified potential for additional, large-scale quantities of tin and boron throughout the greater Mount Lindsay skarn system.
The company explained the tin-boron zones are in the form of borate minerals that have not previously been assessed in any mining studies at Mount Lindsay.
“The value of the Mount Lindsay project, as a potential supplier of critical minerals to the globe, has been further enhanced by the potential to extract the rare light metal boron, an important and versatile element in the modern world, used in everything from computer screens to fertilisers to creating powerful magnets for wind turbines and EVs,” Venture Minerals managing director Andrew Radonjic said.
Venture Minerals continued its journey into the rare earth element realm through the acquisition and identification of new priority REE targets within part of its strategy to expand its focus on the clay hosted REE mineralisation type.
The recent acquisitions include a 511 square kilometres tenement package adjacent to the company’s Vulcan prospect, host to previously announced high-grade REE results.
The new Brothers project contains surface laterite samples grading up to 1,864ppm combined REE.
Venture also acquired a 809sqkm tenement package, known as the Bandy project, which hosts combined REE laterite results up to 2,704ppm from the same State Government dataset, which is the highest value recorded from government sampling in the area.
“The addition of four new clay hosted REE targets in Western Australia demonstrates the company’s focused approach to building a portfolio of high quality REE projects,” Radonjic said.
St George Mining (ASX:
St George Mining first identified lithium potential at the company’s Mt Alexander nickel project in the middle of 2022.
Since then, it has completed some successful lithium-focused drilling campaigns that have moved the company into the ‘new world metals’ domain.
The company recently penned a new chapter to its lithium tale when it encountered a very wide interval of pegmatite in the first drill hole drilled to test the ‘Manta’ seismic reflector at the Mt Alexander project.
The Manta seismic reflector was first identified by St George last year and was, at the time, modelled with a strike of approximately 1,000 metres and varying thickness.
Diamond hole MAD213 was drilled and intersected multiple intervals of coarsely crystalline pegmatite including: a continuous 120.8 metres interval of pegmatite from 631.2m to 752m downhole; and multiple additional pegmatite intervals of varying width from 369m to 624m downhole.
Manta was initially considered a viable target for nickel sulphides, however, subsequent geophysical testing of the core has shown the prominent reflector is probably associated with an interval containing numerous pegmatites.
“This is an exciting development in our lithium exploration at Mt Alexander,” St George Mining executive chairman John Prineas said.
“The early results from MAD213 are very encouraging with a large intersection of pegmatite that may be associated with significant structural activity.
“We are looking forward to further drill testing this very large pegmatite unit.”
St George has further drilling planned to test this large target at shallower depth, initially where the pegmatite is interpreted to intersect, or underlie, the outcropping greenstone sequence.
The granite/greenstone interface is considered more prospective for pegmatite hosted mineralisation compared with the granite intrusion which may be the source of the pegmatite.
New World Resources
New World Resources has been kept busy of late as it implements exploration and development programs at the company’s high-grade, 100 per cent-owned Antler copper deposit in northern Arizona, USA.
The impetus behind New World Resources’ activity rush is to bring the Antler deposit back into production as quickly as practicable.
Recent activity has included the release of an updated JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Antler copper deposit.
At a one per cent copper-equivalent cut-off, the updated MRE comprises 11.4 million tonnes at 2.1 per cent copper, 5 per cent zinc, 0.9 per cent lead, 32.9 grams per tonne silver and 0.36g/t gold (11.4Mt at 4.1% copper-equivalent).
When releasing the updated JORC Resource, the company said that delivering a 48 per cent increase in the resource base of what is one of the highest-grade copper deposits in the world had reaffirmed its confidence in the development potential of the Antler copper project.
The update came a year after the company had declared a maiden JORC Resource for Antler, at which time it highlighted that was an interim, initial estimate as it was still drilling, with three rigs, to expand the resource base further.
The company flagged intentions to assess the project by updating the previously released Scoping Study that would involve assessing a larger and/or longer mine plan based on the updated JORC Resource.
This was to be followed, shortly thereafter, by the completion of a Pre-Feasibility Study, another step the company considers important to de-risking the development of the Antler project.
New World has delineated multiple new, high-priority coincident geophysical/geochemical targets over six kilometres of strike to the northeast of Antler – which are yet to be drill tested.
New W orld RESOURCES
Sarama Resources is a West African focused gold explorer/developer with substantial landholdings in south‐west Burkina Faso.
The company’s 100 per cent‐owned Sanutura project is located within the Houndé Greenstone Belt and hosts the Tankoro and Bondi deposits, which have a combined Mineral Resource of 0.6 million ounces gold (Indicated) plus 2.3 million ounces gold (Inferred).
The company believes these deposits combine to present a potential mine development opportunity featuring an initial, long‐life CIL project.
Recent drilling activity at Sanutura led to the discovery of a new mineralised trend extending for 700 metres in the north of the Tankoro Mineralised Corridor.
The drilling was primarily focussed on testing for new mineralisation within the Phantom, Phantom East and Phantom West prospects, which are located in the north of the Tankoro deposit.
The results represent the seventh discovery of additional and extensional mineralisation since Sarama started drilling to continue to demonstrate, what it sees as the strong potential to grow the oxide component of the project’s constrained Mineral Resource.
“We are excited that new, near‐surface discoveries continue to be made throughout the Tankoro Mineralised Corridor with the most recent results representing the seventh successive area where new mineralisation has been intersected outside the Mineral Resource,” Sarama Resources president, CEO and MD Andrew Dinning said.
“This bodes well for the many other targets that have been identified and are yet to be drilled and continues to support our view that significant exploration potential remains.
“The identification of new cross‐linking mineralisation is expected to add to the current Mineral Resource which we plan to update after the completion and follow up of the current +50,000m program, a majority of which is cost effective aircore drilling.”
Legacy Minerals (ASX:
Legacy Minerals taken the Kevin Costner advice to ‘build it and they will come’ regarding the company’s Bauloora project located in New South Wales.
Legacy Minerals recently announced a $15 million farm-in and Joint Venture agreement with Newmont Exploration, a subsidiary of the world’s leading gold company Newmont Corporation.
The Bauloora project reads simply enough: it is located in the Central Lachlan Fold Belt, which hosts world-class copper-gold orebodies including the Cadia-Ridgeway, North Parkes and Cowal Mines.
Bauloora is a large low sulphidation epithermal project, across which Legacy Minerals has undertaken a systematic exploration program focused on mapping, regional targeting, and soil sampling across a 27 square kilometres epithermal vein field.
“This partnership with Newmont is an exciting development for both Legacy Minerals and the Bauloora project,” Legacy Minerals CEO and managing director Christopher Byrne said.
“It confirms our belief, through the systematic work completed by our exploration team to date, that this system has the potential to host a world-class epithermal system.
“As these types of systems require systematic work and significant drilling, securing the world’s largest gold mining company as a long-term partner on the project is of huge significance.
“The partnership allows us to leverage Newmont’s global epithermal expertise and sustain the funding for drilling that Bauloora will require.
“The Joint Venture will deliver significant value for our shareholders and, in the near-term, this funding will accelerate the pace of discovery at the project.
“In the longer term this partnership between LGM and Newmont will help sustain exploration momentum across Bauloora.
“Importantly, the Joint Venture also provides a clear pathway to development, with the loan financing option meaning that shareholders of Legacy Minerals would be carried through to commercial production.”
Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA)
Sayona Mining has not had time to scratch itself thus far in 2023 as it continues to gain ground in the North American lithium space.
Sayona recently announced production of the first saleable spodumene (lithium) concentrate at the company’s North American Lithium (NAL) operation in Québec, Canada.
The company produced approximately 1,200 tonnes, including SC6 (6% lithium grade), which it said demonstrates the ability to produce commercial concentrate.
The NAL project’s restart continues to proceed on schedule and within budget, with the first lithium shipment expected to occur in July 2023.
Sayona is targeting total production between 85,000 and 115,000 tonnes during the first half of fiscal 2024.
Soon after, Sayona reported an expansion to its lithium resource base, releasing an initial JORC Mineral Resource estimate for its 60 per cent-owned Moblan lithium project (SYA 60%; SOQUEM Inc 40%), that includes maiden resources for the recent South dyke discovery.
Sayona estimated a total JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 70.9 million tonnes at 1.15 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) (0.25% Li2O cut‐off grade), which it claims to represent one of North America’s single largest lithium resources.
This includes higher grade tonnage opportunities with Measured, Indicated and Inferred Resource of 51.4 million tonnes at 1.31 per cent Li2O (0.55% Li2O cut‐off grade in the sensitivity analysis).
Sayona aims to further enhance the size and grade of this Resource through additional drilling, with extra drilling planned at Moblan.
“Moblan now represents one of the single largest lithium resources in North America, justifying our move to fast‐track a major drilling program that has delivered a resource within just a year of acquisition,” Sayona Mining managing director Brett Lynch said.
Black Cat Syndicate
Black Cat Syndicate moves so quickly these days it is advisable to keep a close eye on its activities.
This has especially been the case with the company’s 100 per cent-owned Paulsens gold operation in Western Australia.
Black Cat recently increased the total gold Resources at the Paulsens gold operation by 73 per cent to 401,000 ounces at 3.3 grams per tonne gold.
Total Measured and Indicated Resources increased 65 per cent to 163,000 ounces at 8g/t gold.
The company has had the drill bit turning furiously at Paulsens with jus two months of drilling targeting the unmined Gabbro Veins underpinning a 190 per cent increase in the Paulsens Underground Resource to 258,000 ounces at 10.8g/t gold.
The drilling has grown the Gabbro Veins approx. 500 per cent to 86,000 ounces at 11.9g/t gold, signalling their arrival as a potential new, high-grade, start-up mining area.
The Paulsens operation has been on care and maintenance since 2018 and is pretty much ready to go once Black Cat is primed to push the button.
There is a well maintained, 450,000 tonnes per annum processing facility on site with the mine and advanced Resources on granted Mining Licences providing minimal barriers to restart.
“We see huge upside in the near mine area as well as potential repeat targets and the greater region. Paulsens produced over 900,000 ounces at 7.3 grams per tonne gold in the first 13 years that it was mined, averaging around 1,000 ounces per vertical metre,” Black Cat Syndicate managing director Gareth Solly said.
“The high-grade and prolific nature of the mineralisation both within the main lodes and in the Gabbro Veins provides strong potential for restarting operations in the near term.”
Fenix Resources (ASX:
Fenix Resources could possibly be Western Australia’s most underrated iron ore producer.
The company operates its 100 per cent-owned Iron Ridge iron ore project located just outside the township of Cue in the Murchison region of the state.
Iron Ridge is a premium direct shipping ore (DSO) deposit that hosts a high-grade, JORC 2012 compliant resource of 9.8 million tonnes at 64.4 per cent iron, which the company has no apprehension in telling you represents some of the highest grade iron ore in WA.
The project ticks along at a satisfactory rate, with production in the recent March quarter resulting in six shipments totalling 350,923 wet metric tonnes (wmt) of iron ore from Iron Ridge sold, consisting of 151,693 wmt of lump and 199,230 wmt of fines.
Fenix’s high-grade iron ore attracts a premium price on the seaborne market as its product is able to satisfy the demand from global customers for high-grade ore to meet increasingly strict government regulations.
Fenix operates a unique fully integrated mining and logistics business.
Mining at Iron Ridge is via conventional open pit methods with a low strip ratio and simple crushing and screening of high-grade lump and fines direct shipping ore products.
High quality iron ore products from Iron Ridge are transported by road to Geraldton using the company’s 100 per cent-owned Fenix-Newhaul haulage and logistics business and the company operates its own loading and storage facilities at the Geraldton Port.
Fenix recently launched the world’s first, state-of-the-art truck driver simulator, as a key component of the Fenix-Newhaul Kickstart Training Academy as it aspires to build on its unique advantage in the Mid-West as a fully integrated mining, haulage and logistics company.
Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:
Aurora Energy Metals is focused on the exploration and development of the company’s 100 per cent-owned Aurora Energy Metals project in south-east Oregon, USA.
The Aurora project already boasts the USA’s largest, mineable, measured and indicated uranium deposit of 107.3 million tonnes at 214ppm uranium for 50.6 million pounds uranium.
The deposit also holds known lithium mineralisation in lakebed sediments above and surrounding the uranium deposit.
It is from this suite of commodities that Aurora Energy Metals has fostered its vision to supply minerals that are critical to the USA’s energy transition.
Aurora recently reported drilling results from the project that intersected lithium as well as delivering positive uranium results.
Drilling in the graben area intersected lithium bearing clays, including:
8.3 metres at 2,046ppm lithium (0.44%) from 120m and 8.8m at 1,411ppm lithium (0.3%) from 136.5m.
Uranium chemical assays from another four holes also delivered positive results, including:
13.5m at 278ppm uranium from 158.5m, including 5.6m at 418ppm uranium from 164.6m.
Aurora has now confirmed lithium mineralisation over an area of more than 1500m x 2000m, with mineralisation open in all directions.
The company regards the presence of thicker lithium clay mineralisation and uranium mineralisation on the eastern side of the horst graben fault as a major positive result for the project.
“We have not only validated the well-defined Aurora uranium deposit model, we have also enhanced our understanding of the potential for an extension of that model,” Aurora Energy Metals managing director Greg Cochran said.
“That same hole also intersected lithium in the graben, at grades similar to the giant lithium deposits elsewhere in the McDermitt Caldera, providing further evidence that we are on the right track.”
Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX)
Blackstone Minerals is building an integrated battery metals processing business in Vietnam that will produce nickel, cobalt, and manganese, all of which are set to become important products for Asia’s growing lithium-ion battery industry.
Blackstone has developed a project that has been verified by experts to produce the lowest emission versions of these products.
The existing business has a modern nickel mine built to Australian standards, which successfully operated as a mechanised underground nickel mine from 2013 to 2016.
This will be complemented by a larger concentrator, refinery and precursor facility to support integrated production in-country.
To unlock the flowsheet, the company has realised it will need partners and is collaborating with groups who are committed to sustainable mining, minimising the carbon footprint and implementing a vertically integrated supply chain.
Blackstone’s development strategy is underpinned by the ability to secure nickel concentrate and Ta Khoa is emerging as a nickel sulphide district with several exploration targets yet to be tested.
At the start of 2023, Blackstone declared it would continue to focus on critical path items while limiting spend in this current market environment.
With the completion of the Refinery pilot program and integration of learnings into the Ta Khoa Refinery flowsheet, the company will turn its focus on completion of the Ta Khoa Refinery DFS.
Test work and piloting for the mine and concentrator will continue, with completion expected in 2023.
Blackstone’s exploration team is currently focused on geophysical targeting with Down Hole Transient electro-magnetic (EM) work looking for extensions to the Ban Phuc MSV deposit, and 3D Induced Polarisation surveying of the disseminated nickel sulphide deposits to explore for extensions to the identified resources.
Neometals describes itself as an “emerging”, sustainable battery materials producer, however, the Chris Reed-led entity has been around as long as The Roadhouse – even longer, doing what it does at a high level of achievement.
In this time, Neometals has developed a suite of green battery materials processing technologies that reduce reliance on traditional mining and processing and support circular economic principles. These proprietary, low-cost, low-carbon processing technologies are now enveloped by three core battery materials businesses.
Lithium-ion Battery (LIB) Recycling (50% equity) in an incorporated JV with leading global plant builder SMS group to produce nickel, cobalt and lithium from production scrap and end-of-life LIBs.
This technology stretches to the Primobius JV that is operating a commercial disposal service at its 10 tonnes per day (tpd) Shredding ‘Spoke’ in Germany and is the recycling technology partner to Mercedes Benz.
Primobius’ first 50tpd operation, in partnership with Stelco in Canada is expected to reach investment decision in Q3 2023;
Vanadium Recovery (72.5% equity) to produce high-purity vanadium pentoxide via processing of steelmaking by-product, aka slag.
Neometals has a 10-year slag supply agreement with leading Scandinavian steelmaker SSAB targeting a 300,000 tonnes per annum (tpa) operation in Pori, Finland.
A Memorandun of Understanding with H2Green Steel for up to 4 million tonnes of slag underpins a potential second operation in Boden, Sweden.
Lithium Chemicals (earning 35% equity) in a bid to produce battery quality lithium hydroxide from brine and/or hard-rock feedstocks using the patented ELi electrolysis process owned by RAM (70% NMT, 30% Mineral Resources).
Co-funding pilot plant and evaluation studies are currently underway on a 25,000tpa operation in Estarreja with Portugal’s largest chemical producer, Bondalti Chemicals S.A.
De Grey Mining (ASX:
De Grey Mining has found a lot of gold at the company’s Mallina gold project in Western Australia, but like all gold explorers, it always wants to find more.
To that end De Grey carried out Resource definition drilling at the Brolga and other zones at the Hemi gold deposit as part of a DFS for the Mallina project.
De Grey drilled to increase the amount of JORC Indicated Resources within pit designs for inclusion in the Production Schedule and Reserve of the definitive feasibility study (DFS) it currently has underway.
The Brolga zone was identified in the scoping and prefeasibility studies as an early production source for the project.
De Grey explained the Resource definition drilling allows more of the Brolga Resource to be classified as JORC Indicated mineralisation thus increasing potential Reserve for the DFS while providing increased confidence in the project’s projected cashflow from early production sources.
This followed reporting of resource extension and infill drilling results from the Diucon deposit that extended mineralisation by approximately 120 metres along strike and 400m down plunge to the west of the May 2022 mineral resource estimate.
Mineralisation at Diucon has now been intersected for approximately 560m along strike, to a depth of approximately 900 vertical metres and remains open.
To coincide with the RIU Explorers Conference if February De Grey announced drilling results drilling undertaken at the Withnell South target of:
20 metres at 1.62 grams per tonne gold from 110m and 9m at 4.6g/t from 159m.
“The beauty of these new results is that it’s a completely new series of lodes south of those old pits,” executive technical director Andy Beckwith told Resources Roadhouse at the time.
Strategic Energy Resources
Small wins add up to big gains and Strategic Energy Resources recently announced a couple of wins that could easily grow.
The company received a grant of $275,000 through the Queensland Government Collaborative Exploration Initiative (CEI).
SER signalled the cash would be used to drill a single deep hole at its Canobie project where it has previously defined a compelling intrusion related nickel-copper sulphide target.
“The support from the Queensland government to conduct deep drilling at Canobie reflects the quality of the drill target and validates SER’s approach to frontier exploration,” Strategic Energy Resources managing director Dr David DeTata said.
“SER once again acknowledges the Queensland Government for their continued support of our exploration program that has the potential to fundamentally change existing beliefs regarding the prospectivity for critical minerals in the undercover extensions of the Mt Isa Inlier.”
Elsewhere SER announced its Farm-in and Joint Venture partner FMG Resources, a subsidiary of Fortescue Metals Group, has commenced a detailed ground survey over the company’s Myall Creek copper-gold project.
The detailed ground gravity survey will consist of over 1900 new gravity stations on a nominal 500 metres spaced grid which will infill the existing regional two kilometres spaced gravity data.
“The SER team and shareholders have waited patiently for three years for on-ground exploration to begin at the Myall Creek project”, DeTata said.
“This gravity survey, combined with the magnetic survey already completed by Fortescue will deliver a detailed picture of the sub-surface geology of the Project area, and will be an excellent dataset to model any IOCG targets.
“Fortescue are committed to undertaking a minimum of 1,500 metres drilling across the Project area which will ensure any defined targets will be drill tested.”
Magmatic Resources is speeding ahead at the Corvette prospect within the company’s 100 per cent-owned Myall project in New South Wales.
The company recently reported visible sulphide mineralisation in the eleventh consecutive diamond hole at Myall, 23MYDD423 drilled to a depth of 876.6 metres at Corvette intersecting breccia-style, vein and disseminated visible sulphide mineralisation over a plus-500 metre interval from 240m to 751m down hole.
At the time of writing the core from this hole was being processed with assay result hotly expected.
Magmatic did, however, say that 23MYDD423 represents a notable extension to the Corvette footprint, located 100 metres north of hole 23MYDD422 that previously returned 241 metres at 0.45 per cent copper and 0.11 grams per tonne gold.
Work is continuing to understand the link between copper-gold mineralisation at Myall and this low-density zone, which remains undrilled outside of the immediate Corvette Prospect area
“These latest results clearly show Magmatic has discovered a mineralised system at Corvette with very impressive scale,” Magmatic Resources managing director Dr. Adam McKinnon said.
“While we need to wait for the assay results to fully understand the tenor of the mineralisation in hole 423, to intersect yet another plus-500-metre zone of visible sulphide mineralisation highlights the immense prospectivity of the Myall project area.
“Representing a big step to the north at Corvette, hole 423 is now the eleventh consecutive drill hole to return significant mineralisation since the high impact diamond drilling program commenced at Myall in July last year.
“Given that the system remains open or poorly tested in every direction and at depth, I am more confident than ever that Myall has the potential to grow into one of Australia’s most exciting copper-gold discoveries.”
As we write, Greenstone Resources is in a trading halt as it leaves the market hanging on the results of an upcoming updated Mineral Resources Estimate for its Mt Thirsty copper-cobalt-nickel-manganese-scandium project near Norseman in Western Australia.
The current Mt Thirsty cobalt-nickel-manganese deposit JORC Resource stands at 26.9 million tonnes at 0.126 per cent cobalt, and 0.54 per cent nickel.
Just weeks ago, the company had released assays for a further nine reverse circulation (RC) pre-collars completed late last year as part of a Phase I drill campaign on the project.
During the Phase I drill campaign, three distinct zones of flat lying horizontal mineralisation were intersected across the eastern licence area, including an upper zone consisting of a weathered ultramafic peridotite rock hosting nickel-cobalt-manganese-scandium mineralisation.
“These most recent results continue to highlight the prospectivity of the Mt Thirsty project to provide a low-cost, ethical and sustainable source of cobalt and nickel outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Russia,” Greenstone Resources managing director and CEO Chris Hansen said.
“Importantly the Mt Thirsty project is uniquely positioned to support the continued decarbonisation of our economy, not only containing cobalt and nickel, but also hosting manganese and scandium, allowing the project to potentially produce a high-value pCAM product containing cobalt, nickel and manganese sourced from the Mt Thirsty deposit.
“We are very much entering a transformational phase for the Mt Thirsty project with both an updated Mineral Resource Estimate and Scoping Study currently underway, with the former expected to be finalised within the next 1-2 weeks.
“We look forward to keeping shareholders updated on a regular basis as we continue to unlock the true potential of the Mt Thirsty project.”
Dundas Minerals (ASX:
Dundas Minerals has assembled a pipeline of exploration prospects at various stages across twelve 100 per cent-owned Exploration Licences in the Albany-Fraser Orogen, Western Australia.
The Albany-Fraser Orogen is an emerging and relatively recently recognised mineral exploration province in Western Australia.
In the lead up to the RIU Sydney Resources Roundup, Dundas Minerals had completed a four-hole reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at the Matilda South prospect.
The Matilda South exploration target consists of a large gravity anomaly the company has interpreted as a mafic intrusion, with magnetic anomalies marginal to the interpreted intrusion.
Visual inspection of drill chips returned from the drilling program confirmed predicted geophysical models, with logged intercepts of mafic rock types, however, the full extent of any mineralisation will be determined from assay results.
The Matilda South drilling program was 50 per cent co-funded by the Western Australian Government to a maximum of $180,000, under its Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS).
In addition to assaying for the targeted elements of nickel, copper and gold, Dundas indicated that samples from the Matilda South drilling program will also be assayed for rare earth elements (REEs)
It is not the only company to be heading down this road at this time with companies that hold tenements surrounding Dundas Minerals having recently announced the completion of their own REE exploration programs.
It is a no brainer for Dundas to do the same, given the geology of the Matilda South area is similar to surrounding tenements.
Dundas’ Matilda South samples will be the first ever from the area to be assayed for REEs because samples from historic air-core drilling (2006) were not assayed for these elements, as at the time REE prospectivity was likely not considered.
American West Metals (ASX: AW1)
American West Metals is exploring in North America with a focus on discovery and development of major base metal mineral deposits.
The company boasts a portfolio of copper and zinc projects in Utah and Canada that include a healthy diet of existing resource inventories and high-grade mineralisation, from which it believes it can generate robust mining proposals.
The company recently informed the market of commencement of drilling and geophysical activities at its Storm Copper project on Somerset Island, Nunavut, Canada.
This exploration program will initially aim to drill out maiden copper resources across three target zones while testing other key exploration targets.
Other exploration activities will be carried out to follow-up a sedimentary copper system the company identified last year within the Storm project area that will entail ground gravity, electromagnetics and diamond drilling.
The 2022 drilling highlighted continuity of the copper zones, however, it is the near-surface mineralisation that remains a focus for the resources drilling, due mainly to its high-grades, shallow nature and potential to provide a substantial resource base as the basis for a low-cost, open pit mine.
“The initial phase of drilling is designed to define maiden JORC resources within the 4100N, 2750N, and 2200N Zones, where high-grade copper mineralisation starts from surface,” American West Metals managing director Dave O’Neill said.
“We believe that significant copper resources exist within these zones with excellent potential to support a low-cost, open pit style mining operation.
“The 2022 drilling program indicated that we may have hit the margin of a large sedimentary copper system, and we will use ground gravity and EM to help define the core of the mineralisation.
“Further diamond drilling will be used to test these deeper targets.”
Killi Resources (ASX: KLI)
Killi Resources made inroads where others had yet to tread recently by discovering a copper mineralised magmatic system in the Tanami region of the Kimberley in Western Australia.
The discovery call came based on a diamond drill hole completed at the company’s West Tanami project, from which magmatic copper mineralisation in the form of the mineral chalcopyrite had been observed in drill core.
The company said assays had confirmed visual observations of drill core with the zone of massive sulphides returning:
4.2 metres at 728ppm copper, 58ppm cobalt and 0.46 grams per tonne silver, including 0.6m at 2,730ppm copper, 114.5ppm cobalt and 1.23g/t silver.
“This result highlights the potential for magmatic sulphide systems at the project, which could host nickel-copper-cobalt deposits,” Killi Resources CEO Kathryn Cutler said.
Not resting on its laurels, Killi Resources packed up and sped over to its Rocky prospect in the Charters Towers-Ravenswood district in Northern Queensland to continue exploring for intrusive-related gold systems (IRGs).
Killi recommenced drilling in the shape of a program of five Reverse Circulation (RC) drillholes and two diamond drill core tails to test intrusive targets it identified from processing geophysical data.
Results from previous holes suggests the Rocky prospect to be geologically comparable to Ravenswood gold mine mineralisation with gold in quartz veins within a granodiorite.
“We are very excited to be back out at Rocky,” Cutler enthused.
“The drill program has been designed from the results of the processing of the VTEM geophysics which has identified two distinct intrusive targets.
“The first holes completed last year demonstrate we are within a gold mineralised system.
“This program is designed to further test the specific traps for gold mineralisation with the granodiorite.”
Alvo Minerals (ASX:
Alvo Minerals is a base and precious metals exploration company, with a focus on the under explored Palmeiropolis region of central Brazil.
Alvo identified this region in 2018 and picked up the Palmeiropolis Volcanogenic Hosted Massive Sulphide (VMS) Project when the Brazilian Federal Geological Survey department sold it at a public auction.
With the project now in pocket, Alvo set about consolidating the acquisition of interests in various surrounding exploration permits into the control of Alvo and its subsidiaries.
The consolidated exploration tenure is called the Palma project, which now comprises approximately 500 square kilometres of granted exploration licences and applications, including 30km of strike of prospective VMS geological lithologies.
Considering that VMS mineralisation often occurs in clusters, Alvo believes Palma represents an outstanding opportunity for it to explore a district scale VMS project.
Alvo recently commenced its latest exploration salvo at the Palma project, drill testing the high-priority greenfields Pelicano prospect.
“We spent time building on our interpretation, including completing IP surveys, mapping and geochemistry,”, Alvo Minerals managing director Rob Smakman said.
“We are now at a point where we have multiple pieces of geological evidence that all support drill testing this highly compelling and major target.
“We are excited to be undertaking our first hole at this target as drilling will be the ultimate test of the conductor.”
Alvo identified Pelicano via a FLEM survey, the same way it located its high-grade C3 copper deposit and nearby VTEM conductors Mafico and C3 West.
“After inversion of the FLEM, additional lines were completed and we quickly built an understanding of the extensive size of the conductor at Pelicano,” Smakman said.
AuKing Mining (ASX:
Explorer AuKing Mining entered the June quarter buoyed by investor confidence, after successfully completing a $2.13 million raising in March at a 69 per cent premium to the previous day’s closing share price.
The company is progressing its new portfolio in Tanzania and the advanced Koongie Park project in Western Australia.
AuKing holds 80 per cent of Koongie Park and significantly increased the overall resource in December to 21.1 million tonnes, containing 121,800t of copper, 372,600t of zinc, 46,000 ounces of gold, 11 million ounces of silver and 79,300t of lead.
On the other side of the Indian Ocean, AuKing entered Tanzania late in 2022, acquiring four uranium and two copper projects.
The Tanzanian Mining Commission advised AuKing in February it was proposing to revoke two of the five prospecting licences at the Manyoni uranium project, due to “a flexicadastre system malfunction that led to double allocation of mineral rights over the same area”.
AuKing has filed an appeal and is planning to focus exploration and drilling on extending uranium resources at Manyoni’s three other prospecting licences.
“This funding allows AuKing to proceed immediately with its proposed drilling and related activities at the Manyoni and Mkuju uranium projects in Tanzania,” CEO Paul Williams said in March.
“AuKing is also on target to present the findings in the coming weeks of its scoping study for the proposed mining operations based around the Sandiego deposit at the company’s Koongie Park project in north-eastern Western Australia.”
AuKing added that it had sufficient resources to pursue its appeal that was filed with the Minister of Minerals in Tanzania, in relation the two revoked prospecting licences at Manyoni.
Nimy Resources (ASX: NIM)
Nimy Resources has a busy exploration program underway after a recent, large-scale electromagnetic (EM) survey highlighted the nickel sulphide prospectivity at its flagship, multi-element Mons project in Western Australia.
The project is also prospective for rare earth elements (REE) and lithium.
Nimy said 21 EM anomalies were identified in the preliminary data in March.
“The completion of a large-scale EM survey has provided an outstanding result in identifying potential massive sulphide mineralisation within the extensive Mons project greenstone belt,” executive director Luke Hampson said.
“This represents the first EM survey across the Mons project northern tenements and confirms the prospectivity of the 80km strike.
“Work has commenced soil sampling the EM anomalies with the aim of including in our current reverse circulation drilling program.”
Nimy struck a drill for equity agreement with Raglan Drilling in January.
The RC program is targeting seven nickel sulphide, one REE and one lithium prospect.
Nimy has said its Mons project carbonatite presents geophysically as similar to the Mt Weld carbonatite, a world class producer of REEs. Meanwhile, highly anomalous lithium in soil results, with a high of 108ppm, were announced in February.
“The greater than 60ppm prevalence aligns with the Earl Grey deposit discovery within the Forrestania Belt south along strike from the Mons project,” Hampson said.
Drilling results were pending on 7,218m of the planned 12,000m RC program at the time of writing.
The company is well-funded after raising more than $3.36 million in February.
It intended to use the funds along with existing cash reserves for drilling, further geological modelling, and general working capital.
Nimy has been laser-focused on the Mons project since listing on the ASX in November 2021.
Matsa Resources was making progress on both the gold and lithium fronts heading into the June quarter.
The company reported in April “excellent lithium recoveries” above 95 per cent had been achieved by Yongxing Special Materials on lepidolite samples from Matsa’s assets in Thailand.
“It is really pleasing to have Yongxing confirm that Matsa’s lepidolite and polylithionite samples were successfully processed using conventional techniques to extract lithium and are capable of producing battery grade lithium carbonate,” executive chairman Paul Poli said.
“Now that we’ve established lithium samples from our project can be processed, we’ll cast our mind to planning a number of initial drilling campaigns, whilst advancing discussions with Yongxing and other parties for the exploration and development of our Thai lithium project.”
In Western Australia, drills have been turning at Matsa’s 886,000 ounce Lake Carey gold project, where the company is aiming to deliver a 1 million ounce global resource.
Matsa is working towards a maiden resource at the project’s Fortitude North prospect.
22 & 23 November 2023
The Westin Perth Western Australia
Drilling also began in March at Lake Carey’s Devon Pit, managed by Linden Gold Alliance under a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA).
The drilling will be used to finalise pit designs and complete a definitive feasibility study for an open pit mine at the Devon Pit, expected in the September quarter.
Matsa said there was “strong potential to increase the size of the mine since the last optimisation study was completed in April 2021,” which showed positive cash flow of $40.5 million.
Under the terms of the JVA, Matsa is free carried on a non-recourse basis for all costs associated with permitting, financing, development and mining of the Devon Pit.
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Platinum group element (PGE) focused Peako entered the June quarter having raised more than $900,000 towards further exploration at its flagship Eastman project in Western Australia’s Kimberley.
Recent nickel sulphide (NiS) fire assay results, from a selection of 2022 drilling intervals, confirmed the presence of six rare PGEs including high-value rhodium and iridium, increasing the total PGE grade of the intervals that were analysed.
Peako said rhodium and iridium comprised about 4 per cent of the 5E PGE grade at Eastman but constituted 17 per cent of the indicative “basket price”.
“I am delighted to confirm that NiS assays of the significant intercepts identified across three prospects in our 2022 drill program at the Eastman PGE project continue to highlight the significant value-add of minor platinum-group elements, particularly the high-value elements rhodium and iridium,” executive director Rae Clark said.
“These drill results, in conjunction with the ongoing mineralogical studies at ANU [Australian National University], are assisting our understanding of the specific metal distributions and sulphide associations within these high-grade PGE areas.”
Peako said the NiS fire assays also confirmed the project was dominated by the higher-valued palladium relative to platinum, with palladium making up about 60 per cent of the total PGEs plus gold.
The company said significant intercepts from phase two drilling, updated for NiS results, included 30m at 1.45 grams per tonne palladium-equivalent from 48m at the Brumby prospect, 8m at 1.35g/t Pd-eq from 46m at Louisa and 9m at 1.23g/t Pd-eq from 66m at The Gap.
Peako said the Brumby prospect and surrounding area would be its “primary focus” in the coming field season, due to the consistently high-grade results which remained open in all directions.
Investigator Resources is advancing its Paris project, described as the highest-grade undeveloped silver project in Australia.
A share price jump prompted a query from the Australian Securities Exchange at the start of the June quarter, with the company responding by pointing to the increasing silver price and recent encouraging drilling results from Paris.
Investigator had reported high-grade silver and lead results from resource extension drilling in February.
Results included 1m at 1,030 grams per tonne silver, within 17m at 130g/t from 175m.
It also reported 17m at 2.27 per cent lead, within 62m at 1.27 per cent lead from 85m.
Final results were imminent at the time of writing, along with assays from the Apollo prospect, 4km away.
Investigator had reported a “significant” rare earth element (REE) discovery at Apollo in September, following standout silver results including 1m at 6,530g/t.
REE results included 15m at 3,221ppm total rare earth oxide, and 1,099ppm high-value magnet rare earth oxide, from 66m.
Paris’ current Mineral Resource stands at 18.8 million tonnes grading 88g/t silver and 0.52 per cent lead for 53.1 million ounces of silver and 97,600t of lead.
A 2021 prefeasibility study for Paris focused on producing up to 29Moz of silver.
The company is working towards a definitive feasibility study, which will also incorporate lead recovery.
The PFS estimated capex at $131 million, pre-tax net present value (8 per cent discount) at $202-$245 million and an internal rate of return between 47.9-54.1 per cent.
Investigator’s broader portfolio includes a recent “strategic and value-adding opportunity” – an earn-in to Joint Venture Agreement with Thor Mining to acquire up to 80 per cent of the advanced Molyhil tungsten project in the Northern Territory.
Xanadu Mines (ASX: XAM)
Gold (ASX: FG1)
Xanadu Mines has finalised a strategic partnership with Zijin Mining Group which sees it funded towards a decision to mine its flagship Kharmagtai copper-gold project in Mongolia.
Kharmagtai has a 1.1 billion tonne Resource and is slated to produce up to 50,000 tonnes of copper and 110,000 ounces of gold annually for the first five years of a 30-year mine life, according to a 2022 scoping study.
Under the transaction, finalised in March, Zijin increased its stake in Xanadu to 19.42 per cent and invested US$35 million directly into Kharmagtai to create a 50/50 Joint Venture.
Xanadu will remain project operator during 18 months of exploration and completing a Pre-Feasibility Study.
“We are pleased to have money in the bank and PFS activities underway,” executive chairman and managing director Colin Moorhead said.
“We have already started working successfully with our partners at Zijin and with Mr [Shaoyang] Shen our new director, who are fully aligned with our goal for Kharmagtai to realise its potential as globally significant copper-gold project.”
Xanadu has said Kharmagtai was one of the few large-scale, long-life, low-cost copper deposits in the world that could be developed within five years, thanks in part to a less complex ESG environment, low population density, access to excellent infrastructure and location close to major copper consumer China.
Following the PFS, Xanadu has the option to fund its share of construction, sell its 50 per cent JV share to Zijin for US$50 million, or sell 25 per cent for US$25 million plus a loan carry for its share of costs until commercial production.
Xanadu said Zijin’s $7.16 million March placement provided funding for activities outside Kharmagtai, such as its Red Mountain project to the east.
Flynn Gold kicked off the June quarter highlighting the growing scale and potential of the multi-vein system at the Trafalgar gold discovery at its Golden Ridge project in north-east Tasmania.
The company has a portfolio of exploration assets in Tasmania and Western Australia.
Results from infill sampling at Trafalgar announced in April, within core not originally recognised for priority sampling, included 0.3m at 13.47 grams per tonne gold within 2m at 4.88g/t from 276m.
Drilling highlights from the December quarter had included 0.7m at 152.5g/t gold and 277g/t silver from 120.3m; and 4.7m at 14.6g/t gold and 19.25g/t silver from 108.7m, including 0.85m at 72g/t gold and 96.1g/t silver.
“We have now established that we have made a significant new gold discovery at our Trafalgar prospect,” CEO Neil Marston said in February.
The company had phase two drilling underway at the time of writing to test for strike and down dip/plunge extensions of the high-grade gold vein zones identified in the phase one campaign.
Flynn Gold’s exploration plans are well-funded after raising $3.7 million from a placement and entitlement offer in recent months.
The Tasmanian portfolio includes the Portland gold project, two zinc-silver tenements and options to purchase the Warrentinna gold project and the Firetower gold and battery metals project from Greatland Gold.
The company says Tasmania’s north-east holds a geological analogy to the Victorian goldfields.
It believes the Golden Ridge project exhibits signs of being a large intrusive-related gold system.
In Western Australia, Flynn has four gold-lithium projects with two each in the Pilbara and Yilgarn.
The company recently identified 11 lithium anomalies at its Mount Dove project in the Pilbara through an Ultrafine fraction soil sampling program.
Caspin Resources (ASX:
Caspin Resources has outlined a work program to address “multiple opportunities for discovery” at its flagship Yarawindah Brook and greenfield Mount Squires projects in Western Australia.
Caspin holds 80 per cent of Yarawindah Brook and describes it as a breakthrough discovery in an emerging platinum group element-nickelcopper belt, 45km north of Chalice Mining’s world-class Gonneville deposit.
At Mount Squires in the West Musgrave, “one of Australia’s last mineral exploration frontiers”, Caspin has identified multiple gold targets, plus nickel-copper-PGE anomalies and targets using new exploration techniques.
The project is adjacent to OZ Minerals’ $1.7 billion West Musgrave copper-nickel development.
Caspin was set to bolster funds for exploration via a $3.8 million placement and $1 million share purchase plan, announced in April.
The company said it had received firm commitments for the capital raising, supported by major shareholders including Chalice Mining, which will maintain its 9.2 per cent stake.
“The continued support from Chalice is an endorsement of the value in the Yarawindah Brook project as well as recognition of the exciting potential of the Mount Squires project in the revitalised West Musgrave Province,” CEO Greg Miles said.
Recent drilling results at Yarawindah Brook’s Serradella discovery have included 8.9m at 2.47 grams per tonne 3E and 0.22 per cent nickel from 131.1m.
Many assays were yet to be returned at the time of writing.
Caspin said in April it had received the requisite approvals to begin ground-based electromagnetic and soil geochemistry surveys, followed by reconnaissance drilling across a range of targets at Mount Squires.
One of the first targets at the project is the shallow Handpump gold prospect, where historical drilling results include 9m at 3.25g/t gold within 43m at 1.18g/t from 14m.
Alicanto Minerals has raised $3.15 million for a comprehensive exploration campaign at its expanded portfolio in Sweden.
The company announced in February it would proceed with acquiring the former Falun mine, which closed in 1992 having produced 28 million tonnes at 4 per cent copper, 4 grams per tonne gold, 5 per cent zinc, 2 per cent lead and 35g/t silver.
The acquisition will add to Alicanto’s Greater Falun project and give it control over more than 60km of the target limestone horizon.
“Combined with our Sala project, where we have defined our maiden resource, Alicanto now has two outstanding assets in a Tier 1 location,” managing director Rob Sennitt said.
Sala was previously one of the largest and highest-grade silver mines in Europe and Sweden’s largest undeveloped zinc deposit, Alicanto said in February.
Its maiden Inferred Resource comprised 9.7 million tonnes at 4.5 per cent zinc equivalent.
Alicanto said it would primarily use the funds from the April placement to explore the Falun copper-gold project, which would include “the first modern application of surface electromagnetic techniques in the mine’s history”.
“We have made some excellent progress at Falun on the back of very limited investigations to date,” Sennitt said.
“The work we have done is supportive of our concept that the historical Falun mine is only a small part of a major mineralised belt stretching over at least 10 kilometres.”
Assays from the first drill hole at Falun’s Skyttgruvan-Naverberg prospect, announced in December, included 5.3m at 6.8 per cent zinc-equivalent and 2.9m at 14.7 per cent zinc equivalent.
At Sala, Alicanto said it would continue to focus its exploration efforts on several near-mine targets with the potential for significant silver grades.
Godolphin Resources (ASX:
Godolphin Resources is accelerating its Narraburra rare earth elements (REE) and rare metals farm-in project in New South Wales, in line with the company’s strategic focus on critical minerals and green metals.
A resource update was nearing at the time of writing, following maiden metallurgical results confirming “exceptional REE leachability at Narraburra”.
Godolphin managing director Jeneta Owens said the first results indicated Narraburra was an ionic clay-hosted source of REE, which were “very amenable to relatively low-cost processing” compared with hard rock sources.
“These preliminary results, received earlier than scheduled, will inform the pending upgrade to JORC 2012 of the Narraburra Mineral Resource and will be utilised for a larger, metallurgical and bulk sampling program to determine the ideal extraction pathway at Narraburra,” she said.
“These initiatives are scheduled to commence later this calendar year and reiterate Godolphin’s commitment to accelerate the ongoing development of Narraburra, to generate shareholder value.”
The company recently strengthened its REE portfolio and is also exploring its copper-gold projects in the Lachlan Fold Belt, including Yeoval which has a 12.8 million tonne polymetallic resource.
Godolphin reported high-grade rock chip samples from Yeoval in March.
Assays included 3.87 per cent copper, 0.31 grams per tonne gold, 20.7g/t silver and 210ppm molybdenum from the Cyclops prospect, which has historical workings.
The company recently completed a high-resolution ground magnetic geophysical survey to help define drill targets at the Cyclops, Goodrich and Yeoval East prospects.
Owens said copper would be “pivotal” as the world transitioned to green technologies.
“There will be a significant copper demand coupled with a dwindling supply, which is a major opportunity for Godolphin given the quality of the copper projects within our 100 per cent-owned portfolio,” she said.
Charger Metals boasts a project portfolio targeting battery metals and precious metals in three emerging battery minerals provinces in Australia.
These include a 70 per cent stake in the Bynoe lithium and gold project in the Northern Territory and a 70 – 85 per cent interest in the Coates nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE project in Western Australia.
Charger recently received the final assays from a drilling campaign conducted on the Lake Johnston lithium project located just east of Perth in WA where the company, at time of writing, was awaiting completion of a transaction with Lithium Australia that will move it to a 100 per cent beneficial holding in the lithium rights (amongst other rights) to all Lake Johnston lithium project tenements.
Lithium prospects at the project occur within a 50km long corridor along the southern and western margin of the Lake Johnston granite batholith.
Key target areas include the Medcalf prospect where the recently completed drilling delineated a swarm of stacked spodumene-bearing pegmatites up to 13 metres thick (down-hole) within a 100m wide corridor along 700m of strike and 250m down-dip.
“The potential for further high-grade lithium mineralisation at Medcalf remains open, and our team is now busy modelling the drilling results in order to define extensional targets for the next phase of drilling,” Charger Metals managing director Aiden Platel said.
“We will commence an Aboriginal Heritage survey later this week over the area immediately surrounding the Medcalf prospect in order to be ready for the next phase of drilling.
“In parallel to this our technical team is busy defining exploration programs for several other prospective target areas of the Lake Johnston project, including the exciting Mt Day prospect, and we’re looking forward to drill-testing these high priority prospects.”
Larvotto Resources is busy with programs underway exploring for copper in Queensland, gold in New Zealand and multi-metals and lithium in Western Australia.
The company, which listed on the ASX in December 2021, began the June quarter by announcing lithium and nickel results from the Merivale prospect at its “astonishing” polymetallic Eyre project in WA.
The aircore program identified at least nine pegmatite zones, as well as a broad zone of plus-1,000ppm nickel mineralisation, potentially more than 1km long, Larvotto said.
“The ability of the Eyre project to reveal multi-commodity results continues to astonish,” managing director Ron Heeks said.
The results followed “extremely encouraging” initial total rare earth oxide results from aircore drilling at Merivale South, announced in March.
“The next step of the ongoing lithium targeting program at Eyre is to test these results with RC drilling, which is capable of penetrating the hard pegmatite zones at depth,” Heeks said.
“The excellent nickel response is a similar grade to that seen on nearby PGE [platinum group element] projects and definitely requires follow-up work for both nickel and PGEs.”
The company struck two separate deals in the December quarter to fund its exploration plans.
Larvotto signed a $3.4 million royalty, equity and offtake agreement with Lithium Royalty Corp and Waratah Capital’s Electrification and Decarbonisation Fund AIE LP in the December quarter, to advance its lithium strategy.
It also raised $2 million in a placement for exploration at its Mt Isa copper project and Ohakuri gold project.
Drilling got underway at Ohakuri on New Zealand’s North Island in the March quarter, targeting feeder zones for surface gold mineralisation.
In Queensland, fieldwork began at Mt Isa in April after the wet season finished.
Ionic Rare Earths
Ionic Rare Earths had a busy start to the June quarter as it moves to establish itself as a miner, refiner and recycler of sustainable and traceable magnet and heavy rare earths, needed to develop net-zero carbon technologies.
Since unveiling a definitive feasibility study for its flagship Makuutu rare earths project in Uganda in March, the company has increased its ownership to 60 per cent, started works at a demonstration plant on site and expects to soon start producing refined high-purity magnet rare earth oxides (REO) at a recycling demonstration plant in the UK.
Makuutu’s stage one DFS outlined a 35-year initial mine producing a 71 per cent rich magnet and heavy rare earth carbonate product basket, based on the first of six tenements, which are progressing to a mining licence application.
Initial capex was estimated at US$120.8 million, EBITDA at $2.29 billion, the pre-tax net present value (8 per cent discount) at $580 million and internal rate of return at 32.7 per cent.
Makuutu’s demonstration plant, where early works have begun, will be one of the first large scale ionic adsorption technical facilities outside China and represents the initial phase of development at Makuutu, the company said.
In Belfast, IonicRE’s subsidiary IonicTech began commissioning a magnet recycling demonstration plant in April.
“With equipment now delivered and installed … we are confident that full commissioning will be completed on time, and I expect to see production of REOs this quarter,” IonicRE managing director Tim Harrison said.
The company is also evaluating developing its own magnet and heavy rare earth refinery, or hub, to separate the unique and high-value magnet and heavy rare earths-dominant Makuutu basket into the full spectrum of REOs plus scandium.
Latin Resources (ASX:
Latin Resources is accelerating its flagship Salinas lithium project in Brazil, after receiving firm commitments to raise $37.1 million in April.
The raising was supported by Latin’s largest shareholder Integra Lithium, a number of specialist North American battery metals funds and two Brazilian institutional funds.
Latin said it was now fully-funded through to a resource upgrade, definitive feasibility study, environmental studies and development licence approval application at Salinas.
A preliminary economic assessment has been paused so it can incorporate a resource update for Salinas’ Colina deposit, expected in June, which Latin believes will “result in a material change in the overall study metrics”.
Colina has a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate of 13.3 million tonnes at 1.2 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) and an exploration target of 13.3-22Mt at 1.2-1.5 per cent Li2O.
A 65,000m drilling program was underway at the time of writing.
Recent results have included 14m at 1.55 per cent Li2O from 323m at Colina, and 33.07m at 1.83 per cent Li2O from 319.53m at Colina West – confirming “a major new pegmatite swarm” at Colina West.
Metallurgical test work was ongoing, following heavy liquid separation which returned “exceptional recoveries” of more than 80.5 per cent Li2O recovered in a concentrate grading up to 6.6 per cent Li2O.
Latin said it was well-placed for fast-track approvals after signing a non-binding Memorandum of Understanding with the State of Minas Gerais in March, designed to reinforce cooperation and assist with streamlining the approvals pathway.
Minas Gerais also hosts Sigma Lithium’s Grota do Cirilo development which was nearing commercial production in April.
Latin’s other projects include the Catamarca spodumene Joint Venture with Integra Lithium in Argentina and the Cloud Nine halloysite-kaolin deposit in Western Australia.
Technology Metals Australia
Advanced developer Technology Metals Australia is aiming to be a leader in the vanadium industry, playing a crucial role in meeting a growing demand for a critical metal that helps the world decarbonise.
Its Murchison Technology Metals Project (MTMP) in Western Australia is described as one of the highest-grade vanadium projects in the world and is in the implementation phase.
The project has a global resource of 153.7 million tonnes at 0.8 per cent vanadium pentoxide and is expected to support a plus-25 year mine life.
The company recently engaged key project partners FLSmidth, GR Engineering Services and Iron Mine Contracting to progress MTMP.
EKF, Denmark’s export credit agency, provided Technology Metals in January with a letter of interest of financing support of about $150 million, based on expected Danish content from the involvement of FLSmidth as a key equipment supplier.
Technology Metals sees vanadium demand growing from its use as a steel-strengthening alloy, which will reduce weight in cars and increase fuel efficiency.
However, it expects market growth to be dominated by the battery sector, with vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) well-suited for large-scale energy storage.
The company said its Japanese technology partner LE System successfully produced high-quality vanadium electrolyte from MTMP feedstock in February.
“TMT is looking forward to progressing its relationships with global VRFB manufacturers and moving towards electrolyte production to support the growing long-duration energy storage market in Australia,” managing director Ian Prentice said.
In another key partnership, TMT reached a Memorandum of Understanding in April with Indian VRFB manufacturer Delectrik Systems.
It envisages vanadium supply from MTMP to Delectrik, and the supply of vanadium electrolyte by vLYTE, TMT’s subsidiary focused on adding downstream value to high-quality feedstock.
Global Lithium Resources (ASX:
Global Lithium Resources is aiming for a final investment decision next year for its Manna project, one of its two hard rock lithium assets in Western Australia.
It has a combined resource of 50.7 million tonnes at 1 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) at its Manna and Marble Bar lithium projects.
A robust scoping study for Manna, announced in February, put the internal rate of return at 103 per cent and pre-tax net present value (8 per cent discount) at $2.8 billion.
It was based on a 10-year open pit mine with an estimated total production of 2.2Mt of spodumene concentrate.
Wave International, which is managing Manna’s metallurgical testwork program, was appointed lead engineer for Manna’s definitive feasibility study in March.
The DFS is due by year-end.
Global Lithium has also pointed to exploration upside at Manna, 100km east of Kalgoorlie.
General manager exploration Stuart Peterson cited “exceptional assays”, including 19m at 1.2 per cent Li2O from drilling late in 2022, which indicated a north-eastern extension of the Manna deposit.
“The exploration team have planned a large-scale, 35,000m drilling program that is targeted to drill out and define new prospective areas within Manna,” he said.
The company raised $111.4 million in a placement and $10.1 million in a share purchase plan late last year, to fund its acquisition of the remaining 20 per cent of Manna’s lithium rights, plus for exploration and progress at both projects.
Both ASX-listed Mineral Resources and Suzhou TA&A Ultra Clean Technology – an associate of CATL, the world’s largest EV battery producer – have a 9.7 per cent interest in Global Lithium.
The company has a 10-year strategic offtake agreement with Suzhou for at least 30 per cent of spodumene concentrate produced.
Ioneer (ASX: INR)
Well-supported Ioneer is positioning itself to become a cornerstone lithium supplier to the US domestic electric vehicle battery supply chain.
It owns the advanced Rhyolite Ridge project in Nevada, described as the only known lithium-boron deposit in North America and one of only two known deposits globally.
Its current 26-year mine plan is based on 41 per cent of Rhyolite Ridge’s 146.5 million tonne resource, which contains 1.2 million tonnes of lithium carbonate and 11.9Mt of boric acid.
Ioneer received a boost in January thanks to a Conditional Commitment from the US Department of Energy for a loan of up to US$700 million to develop Rhyolite Ridge.
The proposed loan, coupled with miner Sibanye-Stillwater’s expected equity contribution to secure a 50 per cent interest in the project, is anticipated to fund a substantial part of the preliminary capital expenditure.
A definitive feasibility study completed in 2020 confirmed Rhyolite Ridge as a world-class lithium and boron project that was expected to become a globally significant, long-life, low-cost source of lithium and boron vital to a sustainable future, Ioneer said.
The company has signed separate offtake agreements with Ford Motor Company, Korea’s EcoPro Innovation and PPES, a Joint Venture between Toyota and Panasonic.
Ioneer entered the final stage of federal permitting late last year, after submitting a revised plan of operations incorporating additional key commitments relating to Tiehm’s buckwheat conservation.
Rhyolite Ridge has received air and water permits from Nevada.
The company said the next key permitting milestone was the publishing of the draft environmental impact statement, expected in the third quarter of 2023.
It’s aiming to be ready for a final investment decision and construction in 2024.
Apollo Minerals (ASX: AON)
Apollo Minerals says initial observations from recent field work at its expanded Kroussou zinc-lead project in Gabon demonstrate its “potential to be a Super Giant base metal project”.
The company said field geological mapping had confirmed a new structural trend at Target Prospect 1 (TP1), believed to be a potential repetition of the structural style that hosts massive sulphides at TP13, where Apollo reported “spectacular” results including 3.5m at 40 per cent zinc and lead from 4m in October.
Assays from TP1 were pending at the time of writing.
The company has set an exploration target for Kroussou of 140-300 million tonnes at a grade between 2-3.4 per cent zinc plus lead.
This was based on only six of 23 target prospects, Apollo said.
The company more than doubled the project footprint in October, adding the Keri exploration permit which contained “numerous” zinc-lead prospects and the Salane gold prospect.
Salane was said to have produced about 5,000 ounces of gold via small-scale mining in the mid-1900s.
Kroussou now spans 2,363.5 square kilometres in western Gabon.
Apollo raised about $2 million in a non-renounceable entitlements offer in the March quarter to advance exploration.
It had reported “excellent” metallurgical results from Kroussou samples in November, with zinc and lead recoveries into concentrate of 93 per cent and 94.4 per cent respectively.
Concentrates with a grade of 53 per cent zinc and 70 per cent lead were produced.
“Confirmation we have identified a simple processing pathway for Kroussou mineralisation with extremely strong recoveries of contained metal into clean saleable zinc and lead concentrates provides further confidence in the world-class development potential of the project,” managing director Neil Inwood said.
Odyssey Gold has been building on the success of 2022 exploration at its flagship Tuckanarra Joint Venture in Western Australia’s Murchison Goldfields.
Reverse Circulation drilling results from the Highway Zone, announced in March, included an “exceptional” 11m at 8.4 grams per tonne gold from 133m in fresh rock.
This followed “outstanding” results from the December quarter, including 3m at 80.9g/t from 73m, within 12m at 27.5g/t gold.
The Ian Middlemas-chaired company had raised $4.6 million in November to continue exploration at Tuckanarra, in a district with 7.5 million tonnes per annum milling capacity.
Managing director Matt Briggs said Odyssey was also encouraged by a step-out RC hole 400m east of the 2022 campaign, which had intersected gold mineralisation and indicated strong potential for another high-grade shoot.
Odyssey had also completed a 54-hole aircore program to define extensions of the Highway zone towards the Bottle Dump Pit, 2.1km to the east, with assays pending at the time of writing.
Shallow mining at Bottle Dump was said to produce 111,000 tonnes at 3.67g/t between 1989-1995.
“Early signs from this aircore program are also positive, with the ultramafic rocks associated with the Highway Zone mineralisation defined for a further 650m to the east of our 2022 drilling,” Briggs said.
“This area is considered highly prospective and has surface workings for 200m of strike, with grab samples assayed last year yielding up to 18.5g/t gold, highlighting the potential for the continued growth of this system.”
Odyssey planned to focus future drilling on the Highway Zone, targeting both strike extensions in the oxide zone to support open pit evaluation, and diamond drilling to follow up plus-5g/t mineralisation down dip and demonstrate underground potential.
Castile Resources is aiming to produce downstream critical and precious metals from its advanced Rover 1 project in the Northern Territory.
It has progressed Rover 1 to a bankable feasibility study, slated for completion in early 2024.
This follows the robust prefeasibility study released in December.
Rover 1 is expected to produce 252,300 ounces of gold, 58,600 tonnes of copper plate, 2,560t of 99 per cent cobalt metal and 652,300t of 96.4 per cent magnetite concentrate.
Capital costs were estimated at $279.5 million, the pre-tax net present value (6.5 per cent discount) about $451 million and an internal rate of return of 46 per cent.
“We are extremely pleased with the outcomes of the Rover 1 preliminary feasibility study and look forward to the task of bringing a major new iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) underground mine into production in the Northern Territory,” managing director Mark Hepburn said.
“Castile will mine and beneficiate all these metals to produce finished, end-user products on site with our downstream processing facilities.
“The production of pure cobalt metal aligns Castile Resources with the federal government’s push to encourage domestic, downstream production of critical minerals.”
Rover 1’s initial project life was put at eight years in the PFS, but the company has pointed to further upside.
As well as growth potential at Rover 1, Castile has three other deposits in the Rover mineral field, namely Explorer 108, Explorer 142 and Rover 4.
Explorer 108 is 40km from Rover 1 and has an 11.8Mt lead-zincsilver resource and 5.7Mt at 0.36 per cent copper.
Hepburn described it as “the next asset for the infrastructure” in a presentation to the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention in Toronto in March.
Advanced gold and nickel explorer Maximus Resources launched into the current quarter with a fast-tracked Reverse Circulation drill program testing the newly discovered Misho nickel prospect, 25km from BHP’s Nickel Concentrator in Kambalda.
First results from recent aircore drilling at Misho included 20m at 0.5 per cent nickel, 492ppm copper and 126ppb platinum group elements from 10m.
“The results are a fantastic start for the company’s renewed nickel exploration program and give us confidence in continuing drill testing many more prospective nickel targets across the highly fertile Spargoville tenements,” managing director Tim Wither said.
In tandem, the company is evaluating near-term gold development opportunities.
Its Spargoville tenements host the former high-grade Wattle Dam mine, which was mined until 2012 and produced about 286,000 ounces at 10.1 grams per tonne gold.
Wither said Maximus’ nearby Redback and Wattle Dam Stockwork deposits represented potential near-term production opportunities, with both located on granted mining leases and within short trucking distance of several gold processing plants.
Preliminary metallurgical test work on samples from both deposits, announced in March, returned gold recoveries of up to 97.3 per cent.
In a key development, Goldfields miner Beacon Minerals acquired Pantoro’s 19.8 per cent stake in Maximus in January.
Beacon executive chairman/managing director Graham McGarry was appointed to Maximus’ board in February as a non-executive director.
“Maximus welcomes Beacon as a strategic shareholder and not just as a cornerstone shareholder, but as a successful gold producer with a wealth of knowledge and skills to actively support Maximus’ gold and nickel strategies,” Wither said.
“In recent discussions, both companies recognise the potential synergies between Maximus and Beacon’s Jaurdi gold operations, and we are very pleased to have Graham’s expertise on the Maximus board.”
Prodigy Gold (ASX:
Prodigy Gold is continuing with mining studies on its Buccaneer gold deposit in the Northern Territory to determine the best approach to advance to development.
Metallurgical test work announced in March returned recoveries of 95.1 per cent, 96.7 per cent and 84.6 per cent for the oxide, transition and fresh composites respectively.
Prodigy Gold managing director Mark Edwards said the test work highlighted that a combination of gravity and carbon-in-leach processing was the most efficient way to extract the gold.
He said there was also “good potential” for additions to Buccaneer’s resource to the north and the requirement for future drilling would form part of the strategic plan being developed.
Buccaneer’s current Mineral Resource Estimate is 10 million tonnes at 1.8 grams per tonne gold for 585,000 ounces.
The company’s overall inventory is 17.1 million tonnes at 1.93g/t for 1.06 million ounces, following the addition of the maiden Tregony deposit at Prodigy’s Northern Tanami project in February.
Tregony totals 1.44 million tonnes at 1.16g/t for 54,000oz, using a 0.6g/t cut-off grade.
Edwards said the new resource was “a great step forward for Prodigy” as it continued its strategy of identifying new gold deposits within the Tanami.
The company’s NT portfolio includes three joint ventures with IGO at Lake Mackay, gold major Newmont is earning into its Tobruk and Monza projects, and Australasian Metals purchased a 90 per cent interest in Barrow Creek last year.
Prodigy planned to drill at Lake Mackay’s Goldbug prospect in the second half of 2023, having gained a majority interest in the gold tenements while retaining its stake in the base metals under restructured Joint Ventures with IGO.
Cooper Metals (ASX:
Cooper Metals entered the June quarter upbeat about the copper-gold prospectivity at the Ardmore prospect at its flagship Mount Isa East project in Queensland.
It reported “stunning” gold assays of up to 14.9 grams per tonne and copper results of up to 23.1 per cent from rock chip samples.
An induced polarisation survey also identified a “significant chargeability zone” broadly coincident with the copper-gold mineralised shear zone defined in the recent rock chip sampling and mapping.
“The combination of significant copper-gold in rock chips and IP chargeability anomaly presents a compelling drill target,” Cooper Metals managing director Ian Warland said.
Cooper recently expanded its footprint at Mt Isa East, acquiring 85 per cent of the Barbara East tenement in February, taking its tenure to more than 1,600 square kilometres.
Recent results from drilling at the project’s King Solomon prospect, below historical workings, included 1m at 4.6 per cent copper and 0.23g/t gold, within 14m at 1.1 per cent copper and 0.04g/t gold from 44m.
“King Solomon continues to grow in size and potential for more growth is very promising,” Warland said.
Cooper listed on the ASX less than 18 months ago, focused on Mt Isa East and two earlier-stage projects in Western Australia, the Yamarna gold project and the recently-expanded Gooroo copper-gold project.
The company signed a binding term sheet in February to acquire an adjoining tenement to Gooroo, on the Gullewa Greenstone Belt about 20km from Silver Lake Resources’ Deflector mine.
“Importantly, Cooper recently identified a significant gold in soil anomaly on the border of the new tenement during a 2022 regional survey,” the company said.
It had geochemical and airborne geophysical surveys underway at Gooroo, with drilling planned for later this year.
Northern Star Resources-backed Alchemy Resources is advancing its gold and battery metals projects in Western Australia and its Joint Ventures in New South Wales.
It won a ballot in September for a key exploration licence which has added to its Karonie lithium and gold project in WA, along strike from Global Lithium Resources’ Manna lithium deposit and adjacent to Breaker Resources’ Lake Roe gold project.
Results from initial drilling at Karonie’s Hickory prospect included 1m at 0.12 per cent lithium oxide from 67m, and 3m at 0.27 per cent Li2O and 53.2ppm tantalum pentoxide from 161m.
Alchemy had raised $5.5 million in the September quarter for its exploration plans.
Activity has continued at pace, with the company completing a lithium-focused gravity survey at Karonie in the March quarter.
It also began “project-wide” regional soil geochemical sampling on high-priority lithium and gold targets at Karonie and at its Lake Rebecca gold-lithium project.
In addition, Alchemy kicked off high-resolution drone magnetics at both projects.
CEO James Wilson said the drone magnetics would provide additional layers of detail to assist with drill targets.
In New South Wales, Alchemy holds 80 per cent of three projects in the Lachlan/Cobar Basin which form part of a farm-in and joint venture with ASX-listed Develop.
Back in WA, Alchemy has two separate 20 per cent-held Joint Ventures in the Byrah Basin base metals and gold exploration project.
Alchemy is free-carried to the completion of a prefeasibility study at the base metals exploration project managed by miner Sandfire Resources.
It is also carried on an interest-free deferred basis to production at the gold prospective tenements, which are managed by a subsidiary of Toronto-listed Superior Gold.
Active explorer Yandal Resources is focused on the discovery of tier one gold deposits at its three projects in Western Australia’s Goldfields.
Its total mineral resource inventory now stands at 424,000 ounces of gold across its Ironstone Well, Mt McClure and Gordons projects.
This includes an initial resource of 365,000 tonnes at 1.7 grams per tonne gold for 20,000oz at the Gordons Dam deposit, unveiled early in the June quarter.
“The Gordons Dam deposit represents a new discovery made by Yandal from tenements which formed part of its ASX listing in 2018,” managing director Tim Kennedy said.
“Importantly, Gordons Dam highlights that new shallowly covered mineralisation can still be discovered within a short drive of Kalgoorlie.”
Kennedy said Yandal had a busy schedule of exploration activity planned for the first half of 2023 at all three projects.
The company made key appointments in March to accelerate its next phase of growth, including engaging highly-regarded industry executive Eduard Eshuys as a technical advisor to assist with exploration strategy.
Chris Oorschot was appointed exploration manager, and Yandal engaged respected structural geologist Ben McCormack to undertake a review of key prospects at Gordons and engaged consultant Michael Outhwaite to complete a targeting study at Ironstone Well/Barwidgee.
Outhwaite drove the targeting that led to the greenfields discovery of the 1.7 million ounce Lake Roe gold camp.
The company was awaiting assays at the time of writing from a 5,000m aircore campaign at its Mt McClure and Ironstone Well/ Barwidgee projects.
It had announced Reverse Circulation results of up to 14.4g/t gold at Mt McClure’s Gilmore prospect in February, with the RC program confirming and extending mineralisation at Gilmore, Challenger and HMS Sulphur.
Warriedar Resources (ASX:
Having wrapped up a $9 million raising and acquired DC Mines, Warriedar Resources recently changed name from Anova Metals to more accurately reflect its focus on the Murchison province in Western Australia.
The DC Mines acquisition added the Golden Range (previously Golden Dragon) and Fields Find projects to Warriedar’s portfolio.
They bring a 19.2 million tonne resource at 1.5 grams per tonne gold for 945,000 ounces, taking Warriedar’s inventory to almost 2 million ounces across its assets in WA and Nevada.
The $9 million placement is being directed towards aggressive exploration at Golden Range and Fields Find, with more than 40,000m of drilling planned for this year.
Drilling began at both projects in the March quarter.
Warriedar pointed to the “latent, untapped primary gold potential at depth at Golden Range” after receiving first assays from drilling at the project’s Windinne Well in March.
Results included 4m at 5.17g/t gold from 52m and 8m at 2.27g/t from 235m.
Assays from Austin and Mugs Luck were due to follow.
At Fields Find, drilling was initially focused on assessing scale potential around the existing Baron deposit.
“This drilling, being undertaken by contractor Challenge Drilling, represents the first major exploration program to explore for primary gold mineralisation at Baron in over seven years,” Warriedar said.
The company also planned to follow up key base metals targets, identified in preliminary analysis of 2014 airborne electromagnetic (AEM) and 2023 AEM data by Newexco.
Priority one targets were in the Fields Find intrusive complex and gold-bearing shears at Golden Range and had not been drilled.
Priority two targets were near the former Warriedar copper mine and within the host sequence for the Golden Grove volcanogenic massive sulphide deposits, Warriedar said.
Olympio Metals has enhanced its focus on critical minerals projects in South Australia and Western Australia.
It opened the June quarter with news lithium developer Liontown Resources had agreed to farm into its Mulline and Mulwarrie lithium projects in the Eastern Goldfields.
This followed an October Joint Venture agreement with Zuleika Gold, which can earn into Olympio’s Canegrass project in the Goldfields.
The company, which re-listed as Olympio in May 2022 after a successful $6 million equity capital raising, acquired the right to earn up to 90 per cent of the Eurelia niobium-rare earth element (REE) project in SA in December.
It also applied for a contiguous tenement it named the Walloway project, which it believes is highly prospective for similar mineralisation.
Olympio promptly gained access to more than 200 historical samples from Eurelia for re-assaying.
It confirmed high-grade mineralisation of up to 1.02 per cent total rare earth oxides (TREO) and 819ppm niobium in March.
A drill program was expected to start in May.
Walloway was also “advancing quickly”, managing director Sean Delaney said.
Numerous carbonatite-style magnetic anomalies had been identified and drill targeting was underway.
In WA, Olympio recently reported REE mineralisation up to 2,295ppm in rock chip sampling from its Camelot project, 30km north of Leonora, and indicated similarities with the Mt Weld carbonatite field.
“The extent of the kimberlites and REE enriched rocks may be greater than indicated by historical exploration and Olympio are planning auger sampling of the project area to quantify the scale of this previously unrecognised REE mineralisation,” Delaney said.
Further north in WA at its Halls Creek gold project, Olympio said it was planning to drill priority targets following the end of the wet season.
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