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  • ‘We are in a strong strategic position’: Heddle and Baxter on their plans and outlook for Greatland Gold (GGP)

    Since hitting 2.3p in March after securing a game-changing farm-in agreement with world-leading gold miner Newcrest for its Havieron asset in Western Australia, shares in Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) have slipped to 1.7p. Over this period, Newcrest has begun the initial work at Havieron and Greatland has made considerable progress across the remainder of its Paterson project. With major developments on the horizon, MiningMaven spoke to Greatland’s CEO Gervaise Heddle and CTO Callum Baxter about how their plans in Paterson could trigger a considerable re-rate in the firm’s share price.

    Unique approach

    Greatland, which currently has a £55m market cap, is an AIM-listed natural resource exploration and development business operating primarily in the gold, copper, nickel, and cobalt markets. The company identifies and advances projects that could house large mineralised systems and holds on to them for as long as possible to maximise its range of options for monetisation.

    Greatland applies the most up-to-date exploration techniques possible in underexplored areas when looking for projects. Heddle says this allows the outfit to evaluate a site’s exploration potential in the lowest-cost and fastest way possible.

    ‘As an explorer, we recognise that combining leading edge exploration techniques with a strict capital allocation process is critical,’he tells us. ‘We are continuously trying to make the next significant discovery, but we also actively bring in projects and ideas. Exploration is a creative process, and you have always got to think about how you approach assets and how you interpret the data you receive. By using an array of modern exploration techniques in a systematic manner, we have been able to uncover prospects previously missed by other miners.’

    As it stands, Greatland owns six projects in Australia, a low-risk mining jurisdiction where its management team boasts decades of experience. The most advanced of these is its Paterson project, located in the Paterson province of Western Australia. The company owns three licences in the region spanning 385km2 of ground thought to be prospective for intrusion-related gold-copper systems.

    The Paterson region hosts several long-standing, world-class gold and copper deposits, with notable examples including Newcrest’s Telfer mine and Metals X’s Nifty copper sulphide mine. The district has enjoyed something of a renaissance over recent months following a new wave of exploration licence applications and high levels of prospecting from key regional players like Rio Tinto.

    A map of the major mining projects within the Paterson region of Western Australia

    Despite Paterson sitting on the massive Proterozoic Orogen formations that hosts the globally-significant Tropicana and Nova deposits in Australia, the region remains highly under-explored. Baxter believes this is because the region’s geology requires a particular set of exploration skills that Greatland has been able to master.

    ‘Rio’s discovery at Winu and Greatland’s success at Havieron have opened everyone’s eyes up to the Paterson region because it looks like there should be more deposits out there,’ he tells us. ‘However, most of the area’s mineralisation does not pop out at surface as it’s undercover at depths anywhere from 5m to 400m below the surface. Alongside us, we believe there are only a handful of companies that understand the geophysical processes to be able to explore this mineralisation in the region. We are in a strong strategic position.’

    Major opportunity

    Greatland’s most advanced prospect in Paterson is Havieron, which is found 45km east of Telfer and 500km east of rail and port infrastructure at Port Hedland. The asset is a large geophysical target consisting of a coincident magnetic and gravity anomaly covering an area of around 1,000m by 1,000m.

    Before its acquisition by Greatland, Havieron had been subject to minimal exploration despite encouraging early signs of prospectivity. Indeed, throughout the late nineties, six holes drilled by Newcrest intersected significant alternation including several high-grade zones with peak gold grades of 15.45g/t and peak copper grades of 2.5pc.

    According to 3D models created by Greatland, Havieron offers the potential for mineralisation extending from 400m to more than 1,200m below surface -readily accessible using modern drilling equipment. In April last year, Greatland broke new ground when it followed up these models with its first drill campaign at the asset. This saw it complete four vertical core holes for a total of 2,400m of drilling. According to the firm, the work, which returned a 121m intercept at 2.93g/t gold and 0.23pc copper.

    A subsequent, second drilling programme in September last year enhanced this potential even further by establishing new peak grades of 211.3g/t gold, 12.38pc copper, and 4,104ppm cobalt at the asset. This work also included a world-class combined intersection of 275m at 4.77g/t gold and 0.61pc copper.

    Havieron’s excellent early drilling results captured the attention of Newcrest, a world-leading gold miner with operations spanning Australia, Papua New Guinea, and Indonesia. In March this year, Greatland announced that the major player had acquired the right to earn in up to a 70pc interest in the 12 blocks covering the Havieron target.

    To secure this prominent position, Newcrest must spend up to US$65m and complete a series of exploration and development milestones in a four-stage farm-in over six years. The terms of each of these stages are outlined in the image below. Regardless of whether it decides to proceed with Havieron’s development, Newcrest must spend an initial US$5m on the asset within 12 months of the farm-in commencing.

    The terms of Greatland’s farm-in deal with Newcrest for Havieron


    Elsewhere, the farm-in sees Newcrest become manager of Havieron and grants it first right of refusal over the remainder of Greatland’s Paterson project licences. Heddle expects Havieron to become a cornerstone asset for Greatland if Newcrest’s efforts are successful.

    Newcrest and Greatland have agreed in principle that all ore from the asset will be toll processed at Telfer. By leveraging Newcrest’s existing infrastructure at Telfer, Greatland believes they will reduce upfront capital costs, time to production, and time to first cash flows at Havieron. In turn, this is expected to give the project a significantly higher net present value than if the firms had to build a separate processing plant and infrastructure.

    Newcrest got straight to work at Havieron completing a native title heritage survey and construction of a local field camp. Critically, it also revealed plans for a 10,000m drilling programme to define the extent of mineralisation along strike and at depth at Havieron, testing the system to a depth of 1,000m below surface. Newcrest’s drilling campaign has now commenced with two drill rigs active.

    Wider potential

    Moving away from Havieron, Greatland’s second considerable opportunity within its Paterson project is at Black Hills. The asset – purchased by the company in late 2017 – sits adjacent to Havieron’s north-western border and contains four distinct zones of mineralisation called Saddle Reefs, Eastern, Rogers, and Northern Granites. As with Havieron, the asset is regarded as having high potential or hosting gold deposits similar in style to Telfer.

    Greatland completed its first exploration campaign at Black Hills in June last year. The work was an immediate success, with prospectors encountering many gold nuggets and pieces in bedrock within days of arriving on-site. Likewise, rock chip samples from the site contained gold grades of up to 81.7g/t and established an 800m strike length of surface gold mineralisation at Saddle Reefs. These results suggested that Black Hills could be prospective for near-surface, low-cost and low-risk exploration. They also went on to inform a 3DIP survey that outlined a large, buried chargeability anomaly at Saddle Reefs over 1,000m of strike.

    Some of the gold nuggets identified by prospectors at Black Hills

    This year has seen Greatland deliver further progress at Black Hills, notably completing a high-powered, deep-sending IP survey. This work, which concluded last month, extended the strike length of Saddle Reef’s anomaly by 400m. Greatland is now comparing historical IP datasets with its own results to select new drill targets and preparing a 6,000m drilling plan to test the areas covered by its target anomaly.

    Greatland’s final Paterson project licence is Paterson Range East, which lies c.25km north of Havieron and covers 224sq kms of rocks prospective for Havieron-style gold-copper mineralisation. Greatland revealed last month that it was planning to conduct a low-level airborne magnetic survey over the entire licence. The work is expected to begin in early June and aims to increase the resolution of magnetic targets on the licence.

    Baxter tells us that Greatland identified these targets as part of an internal review of historical regional geophysical and geochemical data over the western Paterson region following its success at Havieron. All-in-all, this work identified a total of approximately 20 Havieron-style targets that have yet to be tested on Greatland’s Paterson Range East licence.

    The results of Greatland’s airborne survey will be used alongside other geophysical and geochemical data to prioritise targets to follow up with detailed modelling and drill testing.

    Pushing ahead

    Alongside its Paterson project, it is worth noting that Greatland owns several additional projects with significant potential. These will be covered in more detail in a later piece, but include the Firetower and Warrentinna projects in Tasmania, where numerous encouraging signs of gold prospectivity are yet to be explored fully. Meanwhile, in Western Australia, the firm also owns a vast greenstone belt called the Ernest Giles project, an asset that hosts two styles of potential gold mineralisation called Panorama, and a final prospect called Bromus.

    A map showing the location of the assets in Greatland’s portfolio

    Elsewhere, Greatland also intends to capitalise on general weakness in the junior resources sector by acquiring further projects. Heddle, a former fund manager, says he views Greatland’s assets like an investment portfolio, with the addition of new assets and the replacement of others proving pivotal when maximising returns for investors. His ambition is for this approach to lead to another major discovery that will see Greatland become a mid-tier miner when combined with its all-encompassing management style.

    ‘We are already getting out there and strengthening every aspect of the business,’ he says. ‘With these processes in place, I hope to grow Greatland’s business significantly from its current level. I think there is a realistic path to do that, although risk is attached. The exploration game is tough, but if we can apply the knowledge gained from our recent success and stick to a disciplined capital allocation approach, then we can maximise our chances to repeat this success.’

    Can Greatland deliver?

    Heddle’s plans are ambitious. However, they are by no means inconceivable. Within Paterson alone, Greatland boasts a substantial initial financial commitment from a global resources leader that could lead to a game-changing mine alongside additional projects and unexplored targets to boot. When this is combined the firm’s strong management team, wider portfolio prospects, and its cash in the bank (£4m as at 31 December 2018) its future potential seems bright.  With Greatland’s shares falling to 1.7p since hitting 2.3p when the Newcrest deal was announced, a favourable Havieron development decision and steady exploration progress elsewhere could well prompt a re-rate.

    This article first appeared on our sister site ValueTheMarkets.com at https://www.valuethemarkets.com/2019/06/12/we-are-in-a-strong-strategic-position-heddle-and-baxter-on-their-plans-and-outlook-for-greatland-gold-ggp/

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

     

  • ECR Minerals – right at the heart of Australia’s second gold rush (ECR)

    The goldfields in Victoria, South Australia are grabbing the world’s attention for the second time in history.

    Upon the first discovery of the precious metal in the 1850s, we saw this desert area become a major international mining centre.

    As you can probably imagine, technology has moved on from the hand-dug pits, wooden ladders and dynamite that marked these times.

    Today, 3D-mapping, drone-based mineralogical studies, and vast national resources devoted to seismic, geochemical and geochronological surveys are unearthing a deeper, second layer to Victoria’s gold rush.

    The Geological Survey of Victoria now estimates that 75 million ounces of high-grade gold is currently sitting under the earth in Australia’s most southern state.

    Tax no dampener on gold rush

    The scale of finds being made in Victoria are so enormous that the local government is even keen to cash in.

    In January 2020, it announced that mines recovering more than 2,500 ounces of gold a year would be subject to a 2.75% tax.

    But this has done little to dampen exploration interest.

    Not least because the state government has been handing out multi-million-dollar grants to mining companies to get their projects underway.

    What the tax development does mean, however, is that the cost of mining an ounce of gold has risen to the point where only the most well-capitalised projects with licenses to boot will succeed.

    Enter ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR).

    ECR has more than a few strings to its bow in Australia.

    The firm’s main area of interest is the Victoria boom.

    In Bailieston and Creswick, ECRboasts two enormously exciting and prospective Victoria gold projects.

    Bailieston is found in the major orogenic Lachlan Fold Belt, while Creswick sits on the Dimocks Main Shale that extends to Ballarat then miles to the south.

    Bailieston’s location within Victoria

    Recreating Kirkland Lake’s success

    Kirkland Lake Gold (TSX.KL) (NYSE:KL) has become the poster child for success in the current wave of Victoria gold interest.

    In the last five years, the firm’s share price has exploded 2,263% thanks to its ownership of the Fosterville Gold Mine.

    This has made the company and its investors rich by any standard.

    Fosterville is the largest gold producer in Victoria, increasing annual gold production by 315% between 2014 and 2018 while also seeing a 540% jump in gold head grade from 4.6g/t to 24.8g/t, according to the national geological survey.

    Operating cash costs of $130 to $150 per oz are laughably small for a world-class deposit, and the spot price of gold hitting new eight-year highs of $1,759 per oz has done nothing to dampen enthusiasm for the precious metal.

    ECR’s key tenement of Bailleston sits just 18 miles east of Fosterville and on the same rich seam of gold that has made millionaires of Kirkland’s investors.

    Trading volume has started to pick up in ECR since it won licences at the start of 2020.

    But with wider equity markets consumed by Covid-19, attention has been diverted away from a potential goldmine.

    With the ECR share price trading in a range at around 0.7p, there is huge upside potential to be had.

    The Blue Moon prospect at Bailieston, Victoria

    Firms flocking to Victoria

    ABC Australia reported in May 2020 that more than 80 mineral exploration applications are now underway in Victoria.

    And it is the UK and Canada-listed companies that have got there first.

    Top names include Power Metal Resources(LSE:POW), Red Rock Resources (LSE:RRR) and Fosterville South (TSX.V:FSX).

    The latter of these has this week spun off two of its gold projects at Avoca and Timor in Victoria — bought from none other than ECR — to create a new company, Leviathan Gold, with FSX shareholders receiving shares in Leviathan on a one-to-one basis.

    Shares in FSX rose by nearly 30% to an all-time high of CAD$4.35 on the news.

    ECR’s sale of Avoca and Timor to Fosterville South means that – as well as an upfront $500,000 to fund its Bailieston and Creswick exploration – ECR will receive $1 for every ounce of gold discovered, up to a maximum of $2,000,000.

    Multinational miners are now converging on Victoria, but they have been beaten to the punch to by their nimbler rivals.

    As a relatively small AIM-listed exploration, the results here could be a kingmaker for ECR.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • ECR Minerals examining commercial options in Victoria as exploration continues apace (ECR)

    ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) is reviewing commercial options for its gold projects across Victoria, Australia, after receiving third party interest. In a wider update on its exploration progress across the assets, ECR’s chief executive Craig Brown said the firm was “considering potential transactions which may create value for the company and its shareholders”.

    Although there can be no guarantee that any transaction will be progressed, the board are encouraged by the number of opportunities that are available. Further updates will be provided as appropriate,”  he added.

    Through its subsidiary Mercator Gold Australia, ECR owns five exploration projects called Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool, and Timor across Central Victoria.

    In Thursday’s announcement, the company revealed that it has commissioned Dr Dennis Arne to carry out a lithogeochemical study of chips generated by drilling at Creswick. Arne, who has consulted extensively at the world-renowned Fosterville gold mine in Central Victoria, will work to determine whether quartz veining at Creswick is associated with the presence of ferroan carbonate.

    Ferroan carbonate, which is associated with many nearby gold deposits in Victoria, increases as mineralised structures are approached. As such, its presence will be integral to future exploration at Creswick.

    Meanwhile, ECR- which was trading close to a one-month high at 0.85p at writing – said it was considering several potential exploration programmes for Bailieston. Among its options is follow-on drilling at the Blue Moon prospect, where drilling last year returned an intercept of 2 metres at 17.87 grams per tonne gold.

    Finally, ECR also provided an update on its Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of Western Australia, where it is also preparing to explore for gold. The organisation said it has been granted an additional exploration licence at the site but has also withdrawn three applications for permits over areas now considered to be less prospective for gold. One further application remains in process.

    With gold recently breaking through the crucial $1,600 an ounce psychological barrier and showing no signs of stopping, it is encouraging to see ECR lay out a clear, transparent plan. After all, junior gold exploration firms are among the most prominent beneficiaries when the safe-haven asset soars in times of uncertainty.

    Following the release of Thursday’s update, ECR is sitting above its five, ten, and 100-day exponential moving averages but significantly below the highs of 1.22p at which it sat in June last year. With this in mind, the delivery of strong exploration results or some kind of commercial deal for one of its Victorian projects could provide plenty of upside to its current £3.9 million market cap.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • ECR Minerals leaps as better-than-expected drill results further Creswick’s ‘transformational’ potential (ECR)

    Shares in ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) soared by 49.23pc to 0.97p on Wednesday afternoon after the business announced that its Creswick gold project in Australia may be much more prospective than previously thought. The precious metals exploration and development company said its drilling programme at the Victoria-based target has identified more quartz than expected.

    To date, the firm has carried out 1,687m of RC drilling in 17 holes at Creswick targeting multiple quartz vein orientations within a 15km-long hard rock geological feature called the Dimocks Main Shale (DMS). More than one third of its drilled area has encountered quartz, including a zone exceeding 60m in width - more than twice the 25m width expected. Meanwhile, the business has encountered gold in all of the holes it has drilled so far, with grades in nine holes ranging from 0.6g/t to a whopping 44.63g/t.

    Critically, a technical review of the programme and its assay results - which has nearly completed - has confirmed that the mineralisation is ‘nuggety’ in nature. The State of Victoria in Australia is renowned for large gold nuggets. Indeed, in the list of nuggets published by the Geological Survey of Victoria it is reported there was a 112oz nugget found in a mine understood to be adjacent to one of the ECR’s drill locations at Creswick. In addition, it is reported several nuggets over 100 oz were found in the vicinity of the company’s drill targets and nuggets up to 625 oz further south in alluvial gullies downstream from the DMS.

    The discovery that gold within the DMS is nuggety is also important because such a style of mineralisation can lead to understated assay results. This is because the chance that a gold nugget will be captured in a drilled meter decreases as the nugget increases in size. Likewise, only a small portion of each RC drilling sample bag is actually tested, meaning results could be understated if one or more large nugget is not included in the tested portion. That being said - as ECR points out - this could also lead to results being overstated in the event that a large nugget is captured in the small tested portion that does not accurately represent the sample bag as a whole.

    To fix this issue, the business has resolved to complete gravity concentration tests on entire sample bags for all of its drilling to date. This new approach is already reaping rewards for the organisation, with a nugget being identified in a previously untested portion of a sample bag from hole CSR011. All-in-all, the whole bag has demonstrated gold grades of 11.8g/t from the new gravity concentration tests - some 528pc greater than the previous 1.88g/t assay result.

    With this in mind, ECR said the results of the assays from its drilling programme may be unreliable indicators of true grade at this stage. It added that it will release results as the more representative while of sample bag analyses are conducted at an accelerated rate.

    Regardless, the firm ended its update on a particularly bright note, claiming that it believes there is potential for a ‘very substantial gold deposit’ within the DMS. ECR’s chief executive Craig Brown added that the large footprint gold system at Creswick offers ‘transformational potential’.

    ‘The question we have to answer is how much gold does the DMS hold that would be amenable to a bulk tonnage gold mining operation. We are closing in on the answer and the directors believe that the outcome has the potential to be Company transformational and is therefore deserving of our close attention,’ he said. ‘We eagerly await the findings from the whole of bag gravity concentration work and will report back to the market as significant developments occur.’

    The DMS sits between two large gold producing areas in Victoria, Australia where it is estimated that, historically, 15MMozs of gold have been produced. ECR’s technical team previously announced its belief that it had identified the hard rock source for a significant portion of this work. However, further work was required to validate this proposition. With this is mind, Wednesday announcement appears to add yet more weight to the company’s thesis regarding Creswick’s upside potential.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    The Author has been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

     

  • ECR Minerals rewarded with near-£300k refund for Australian R&D work (ECR)

    ECR Minerals (LSE:ECR) was trading at 0.7p a share on Thursday after revealing that its cash balance has been boosted by a large research and development refund. The Australia-focused mining company has received AUD 555,212 (approximately £295,515) for its research into turbidite-hosted gold deposits in Victoria.

    ECR is the 100% owner of five exploration projects in the state called Avoca, Bailieston, Creswick, Moormbool, and Timor. Over the past year, it has completed a large amount of drilling across these areas, recent confirming the presence of nuggety gold mineralisation at Creswick.

    Elsewhere, ECR said that – as at 30 September last year – it had carried forward corporate income tax losses of AUD 66,341,687 (approximately £35.3 million). The organisation expects this figure to be available for offset against taxable gains in the future.

    Craig Brown, ECR’s chief executive officer, said the refund provides a “significant boost” to the firm’s cash position at a strong time for gold prices. Gold prices continue to remain high after surging 18% throughout 2019, driven forward by trade tensions between the US and China, buying from central banks, and an increase in investment demand.

    The gold price remains strong and we believe there is considerable and growing interest in respect of Australian gold exploration, and we have also observed strong interest in the Victorian goldfields where we have an active exploration portfolio,” added Brown. “Overall, the board believes the additional cash creates exciting opportunities for an entrepreneurial gold-focused company like ECR.”

    Thursday’s news signalled the end of a quiet period for ECR, whose last release came in November. The company revealed that final “full bag” analysis had confirmed that “very high grade” nuggety gold mineralisation is present in a formation called the Dimocks Main Shale at Creswick, Brown said he believes there to be “significant upside” at the project in light of the results, adding that the company is now considering “how best to build on the results obtained”.

    Elsewhere, ECR is the owner of the Windidda gold project in the Yilgarn region of western Australia. Here, the firm is searching for Archaean greenstones buried beneath cover, which it believes to present an excellent gold exploration opportunity. In October, a study by Western Geophysics indicated “feasible drill targets” at the project.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • Final assay results reveal fresh Plateau gold hits for Rockfire Resources (ROCK)

    Wednesday saw Rockfire Resources (LSE:ROCK) reveal assay results for the last two drill holes at its increasingly prospective Plateau gold deposits in Queensland, Australia.

    The business revealed that hole BPL012 intersected 1m at 18.4g/t gold – the second-highest gold grade encountered during drilling at Plateau to date – while also hitting 12m at 2.5g/t gold. Meanwhile, hole BPL019 intersected 10m at 2g/t gold including 4m at 4.2g/t gold.

    The figures are the last ones to be received from Rockfire’s highly-encouraging October 2019 drilling programme at Plateau, which is based around 50km southeast of the Australian gold mining centre of Charters Towers.  It is also 17km east of the 3-million-ounce, operating Pajungo gold mine, and 47 southwest of the 10-million-ounce gold Ravenswood gold mining operations.

    Last month saw Rockfire soar on the news that it had potentially discovered a ‘large-scale gold deposit’ at the project. It revealed that initial drilling results from its programme had returned broad, consistent gold assays with mineralisation occurring almost continuously throughout a 215m deep drill hole.   In particular, the firm believes that hole BPL025 – which intersected 177 at 0.5g/t gold – had intersected the upper levels of an extensive mineralised system.

    Gold grades are now expected to increase continually alongside depth, as they do at a comparable 10-million-ounce gold project owned by Resolute Mining called Mt Wright. Following this, earlier in December, the business said further assay results from its recent drilling campaign on the project had extended the discovery’s confirmed length of mineralisation to more than 150m.

    In Wednesday’s update, Rockfire said that it is now planning further geophysics at Plateau and will update its modelling of mineralisation for the project to include all of its recent drilling results. Furthermore, additional reverse circulation drilling is planned to extend gold mineralisation along strike and at depth.

    Chief executive David Price added: ‘We're delighted that drilling beneath the Plateau resource has hit such excellent grades and widths. These results demonstrate that gold mineralisation extends deeper and provides strong growth potential for the resource.

    ‘These deeper intersections are only 65m from surface and are still well within depths possible for open pit mining. There are operating gold processing plants nearby, so should any future toll treatment possibility eventuate, the costs of processing may materially reduce. I should clarify that no discussions have been instigated with the owners of these facilities at this point in time.

    ‘With all holes in this drilling campaign intersecting outstanding gold grades and widths, we are confident that our understanding of the geology and mineralisation is improving with each hole drilled. Additional geophysics will be undertaken to expand our interpretation at depth.

    ‘Targets for growth of the gold resource have been clearly identified and Rockfire plans to recommence drilling as soon as possible. The recent exercise of warrants has provided additional drilling capital and our technical team has already started planning for the next phase of drilling.’

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

     

  • Global Energy lays down plans to take key Millennium cobalt project forward (GEMC)

    Wednesday saw Global Energy Metals (TSXV:GEMC) reveal plans to investigate the cobalt, copper, and gold recovery potential of its Millennium project in Queensland, Australia. The Canadian cobalt business, which announced plans to co-list in London earlier this year, has entered into a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with its Australian peer Cobalt Blue Holdings.

    Cobalt Blue has been developing minerals processing technology for the extraction and recovery of cobalt and elemental sulphur from cobalt-pyrite feedstocks. The process avoids explicitly the simultaneous production of sulphuric acid, which usually occurs when roasting pyrite, or leaching pyrite through pressure oxidation. Its technology was successfully shown to be technically and economically viable last year following the completion of a pre-feasibility study for the Thackaringa deposits near Broken Hill. Together, Cobalt Blue and Global Energy plan to prepare new cobalt-pyrite samples from Millenium and test the applicability of the former’s process to the concentrates.

    Mitchell Smith, CEO and director at Global Energy– which recently revealed its outright acquisition of Millennium – said he is confident that the program can demonstrate a viable way of taking the project forward. Indeed, historical studies have shown that cobalt and copper concentrates can be floated from samples of drill core at the project. What’s more, Cobalt Blue has already begun to apply its technology to tailings from Cuedco’s Rocklands project, which is based just 20km from Millennium.

    ‘It is invaluable to conduct metallurgical testwork on this resource at this stage in its development and further de-risk the project while looking at various processing options for the company as it continues to grow the existing resource and delineate new targets at Millennium,’added Smith. ‘Given the encouraging results of previous metallurgical tests with high recovery rates for copper, cobalt and gold we are confident that the results from this program can demonstrate a potentially viable option for the project.’

    Specifically, the two businesses have proposed an initial review of both historical testwork to produce concentrates and cobalt-pyrite quantity, grade, mineralogy and other physical characteristics at Millennium. They then plan to create cobaltpyrite concentrate samples, conduct laboratory-scale ‘proof-of-concept’ testwork, and prepare a short-form report summarising their findings.

    Millennium is a multi-zone, near-surface cobalt-copper sulphide system with several kilometres of potential strike length. It is located near established mining, transport, and processing infrastructure and offers easy access to a very skilled workforce.

    The growth-stage site contains a defined zone of cobalt-copper mineralisation. Here, a 2016 JORC Resource estimate identified 3.1MMts of inferred resources containing 0.14pc cobalt and 0.34pc copper with gold credits. Global Energy is now looking at ways to increase the size of its deposit. Results from a first phase exploration campaign at two zones called Millennium North and Millennium South exceeded grade and thickness expectations. The firm will now carry out a second phase of drilling to examine both areas further.

    Alongside Millennium, Global Energy has acquired two further discovery sites called Mt. Dorothy and Cobalt Ridge. These are collectively known as the ‘Mt. Isa projects’. The areas expand Global Energy’s Australian land position by nearly twenty times but have yet to be exploited. Exploration to date has returned high-grade cobalt intercepts at both, allowing Global Energy to line up numerous targets for further investigation and test work to define a resource.

    Global Energy focuses on offering security of supply of cobalt, which is a critical material in the rapidly growing rechargeable battery market. It is building a diversified global portfolio of assets in the sector, including project stakes, projects and other supply sources.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

     

  • Global Energy Metals to seek London dual-listing as its portfolio progresses and battery mineral demand grows (GEMC)

    Cobalt developer Global Energy Metals (TSXV:GEMC) has revealed plans to pursue a dual-listing in London. The Toronto-listed business said it expects the listing to support its large existing UK shareholder base and enhance its market exposure by providing access to British investors on a domestic exchange.

    In an update on Thursday, Global Energy said it has been discussing a dual-listing of its securities on a ‘recognised investment exchange in London’ for many months now. It has hired Peterhouse Capital to act as it lead adviser and manager throughout the process.

    Global Energy’s chief executive and director Mitchell Smith said the timing for a UK co-listing is currently ‘ideal’ because it will complement the recent progress made by the company across its portfolio.

    ‘A UK co-listing will allow European investors to participate in the increased demand for battery minerals brought on by the aggressive growth and continued global adoption of electric vehicles that our cobalt projects in safe, stable, top-tier mining jurisdictions offer,’ Smith added.

    As Smith highlights, the last few months have seen Global Energy take significant steps forward at several of its critical assets. Critically, last November saw the business execute final agreements to take a 100pc interest in the Millennium Project, located in the world-renowned Mt. Isa region of Queensland, Australia.

    The growth-stage site is a multi-zone, near-surface cobalt-copper sulphide system with several kilometres of potential strike length. It contains a defined zone of mineralisation where a 2016 JORC Resource estimate identified 3.1MMts of inferred resources containing 0.14pc cobalt and 0.34pc copper with gold credits. Global Energy is now looking at ways to increase the size of this deposit.

    As part of the Millennium deal, Global Energy has also acquired two additional, unexploited Mt.Isa discovery sites called Mt. Dorothy and Cobalt Ridge. It has lined up numerous targets at the projects for investigation and test work to define a resource.

    Beyond Millennium, last month saw Global Energy secure an option to take an 85pc position in two highly prospective cobalt projects in Nevada. The Lovelock cobalt mine and Treasure Box project in Churchill County are based just c.150km east of Tesla’s Gigafactory. Finally, the business owns 70pc of the Werner Lake cobalt mine in Ontario Canada where partner Marquee Resources is currently completing an exploration campaign.

    Elsewhere on Thursday, Global Energy announced the resignation of its VP projects Paul Sarjeant, who leaves to pursue a leadership position within the resource sector. He will remain a member of Global Energy’s board.

    ‘I would like to take this opportunity to thank Paul for his hard work and commitment having played a critical role in the building and growing of Global Energy Metals into what it is today,’ said Smith. ‘On behalf of the Board and the Management of GEMC I would like to wish Paul all the very best in his new role and appreciate his continued support of our company as director and a qualified person.’

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author.  News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • Greatland Gold leaps as Newcrest drilling at Havieron continues to impress (GGP, NCM)

    Greatland Gold(LSE:GGP) was one of Wednesday's biggest winners after announcing another excellent set of drilling results at its Havieron project in Australia.

    The company said work by major miner Newcrest(ASX:NCM), which is currently completing a farm-in to Havieron, has expanded further the continuity of high-grade gold mineralisation at the project. Mineralisation now extends over a 450-metre strike length to vertical depths of 600 metres while still remaining open at depth and to the northwest.

    Highlight intersections from Newcrest's latest round of drilling include:

    -142 m @ 1.9g/t Au, 0.38% Cu from 534m, including 15.7m @ 9.8g/t Au, 0.61% Cu from 572.3m

    - 24m @ 3.9g/t Au, 0.21% Cu from 734m, including 17.3m @ 19g/t Au, 0.62% Cu from 790.7m

    Work will now continue with the aim of establishing a maiden resource for Havieron by the second half of this year. Numerous environmental, geotechnical, and metallurgical studies are currently in place to support these efforts alongside future permitting requirements.

    Meanwhile, Greatland expects Newcrest to complete the second stage of its farm-in to Havieron by the end of this month. The company is looking to begin an exploration decline at the project by the of this year or early 2021. It is also examining the likelihood of establishing commercial production within two to three years from this point.

    Results to date support both high-grade selective and bulk mining methods at the project, and both options are currently being evaluated.

    Greatland's chief executive Gervaise Heddle said: "We are delighted by this sixth consecutive set of excellent results from Newcrest's drilling campaign, which continue to demonstrate the continuity of high-grade mineralisation and expand the mineralised footprint. These latest results represent one of the best sets of drilling results at Havieron since Newcrest began its exploration campaign and reinforce the potential to accelerate the timetable for commercial production.

    "As we enter the Australian exploration season, Newcrest continues to drill Havieron at pace and will shortly complete Stage 2 of the Farm-in. Meanwhile, we are planning to be very active with our own systematic exploration campaign across the Paterson, which will focus on drill testing many of the high-priority targets we identified last year."

    As at writing, the company was trading 11.45 higher with a share price of 4.7p and a market capitalisation of £170.9 million.

    The latest round of work adds further fuel to our recent argument that Havieron could be truly transformational for Greatland. To read our analysis, please click here.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • Power Metal Resources to push on “innovatively and aggressively” following recent placing (POW)

    Earlier this week, Power Metal Resources (LSE:POW)outlined in detail its plans to "push on with existing interests more innovatively and aggressively" following a recent £1 million fundraise.

    The company's chief executive Paul Johnson said he and his team are pursuing two key objectives. The first of these is to make one or more major metal discoveries within the firm's gold, base, and strategic metal projects. It will then look to crystallise the value of any such discovery for the benefit of shareholders.

    Although Johnson said each of Power Metal's five projects has the potential to deliver such a discovery, he highlighted three standout opportunities for the remainder of 2020.

    The first is the firm's 51%-held Molopo Farms Complex project in Botswana, where drilling over coming months will target major nickel, copper, and platinum group metal ("PGM") targets. The second is its Haneti polymetallic project in Tanzania, where exploration drilling plans are being developed to target major nickel, copper, and PGM targets.

    The third, and arguably most exciting, opportunity is its Australia gold joint venture with AIM peer Red Rock Resources. The two firms have been building up their position in the highly-prospective region of Victoria over the past few months, and proactive exploration may be completed in 2020 subject to permitting developments.

    "So now we find ourselves with a diverse and exciting portfolio of project interests, and with the support of shareholders and investors in the recent financing, a considerable working capital position with which to drive forward those interests," added Johnson. "If we are fortunate in making a major discovery in just one of our projects, we could create significant value for our shareholders."

    Power Metal'ssecond key objective is to build up its working capital and balance sheet towards what it describes as "financial self-sufficiency". Moving forward, the company means that it aims to reduce its reliance on funding from the market to achieve its business objectives. This is something the firm does not feel like many of its junior resource peers are pursuing, highlighting their reliance on a "more traditional model of cash burn for exploration" in Monday's release.

    Johnson said that his firm would achieve financial independence in three different ways.

    The first is by taking positions in project holdings companies alongside direct project participation. This is something it has already done at Molopo Farms with Kalahari Key and Haneti with Katoro Gold, and in Botswana with Kavango Resources.

    "The aim is that successful project development will drive the value of the ultimate holding company in which Power Metal has a stake, driving the value of our investment in that company higher," the company added.

    Alongside this, the firm said it is working to monetise its existing project interests, as already described. Finally, it will invest in other junior resource sector opportunities, having recently established a "Junior Resource Fund" that allows it to invest up to £75,000 in value cases it finds across the market.

    "In the current climate there are opportunities for significant capital returns to be generated from investment in junior resource equity or related financial instruments," it added.

    Rounding up, Johnson added: "I am keen for us to be bold and adventurous with reward weighted risk-taking, but with solid underlying principles of risk management covering geopolitical, commodity, operational and financial considerations. In other words, combining boldness with risk management means diversification, which is what we have achieved.

    Many companies put their business case forward-focused around a single major project and concentrate their energies around that.  I understand this, but it's not the Power Metal approach, where instead, in our view, we have numerous major projects, each of which is capable of delivering a transformational discovery and by virtue of this shareholder wealth."

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • REPORT: Greatland Gold- Developing the Paterson’s next major gold project alongside leading resource player Newcrest Mining

    In March 2019, Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) signed a $65m farm-in deal with major international gold firm Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM) for its Havieron project in the Paterson area of Australia.

    Subsequent drilling has solidified Greatland’s belief that Havieron holds the potential to host an extensive mineralised system. If correct, then this project could become a large, multi-commodity, bulk tonnage, underground mining operation.

    Newcrest’s work at Havieron to date has firmed up the asset’s depth of mineralisation as well as extending its strike length both from the north to the south and from the east to the west. What’s more, the potential for gold to continue into asyet-untested areas remains open, presenting the opportunity for yet more upside at the prospective project.

    In this special report, we lay out the potentially significant, value-enhancing effect that Havieron could have on Greatland’s market valuation to the benefit of the company’s investors.

    To read the report in full, please click here.

     

     

  • Rockfire Resources reveals further gold prospectivity at Plateau (ROCK)

    Rockfire Resources (LSE:ROCK) sat at 1.9p on Thursday after revealing more positive signs from its Plateau gold deposit in Queensland, Australia, where a significant mineralised system was unveiled last month. The firm said further assay results from its recent drilling campaign on the project have extended the discovery’s confirmed length of mineralisation to more than 150m.

    Particular highlights included a strong interval of 7m at 2.3g/t gold within a broader interval of 12m at 1.3g/t gold from hole BPL015. Meanwhile, BPL016 returned a substantial interval of 5m at 1.3g/t gold from 14m deep within a broader zone of 18m at 0.7g/t gold.

    The latest assays come just weeks after Rockfire soared on the news that it had potentially discovered a ‘large-scale gold deposit’ at Plateau. The firm revealed that initial drilling results had returned broad, consistent gold assays with mineralisation occurring almost continuously throughout a 215m deep drill hole.  In particular, the firm believes that hole BPL025 – which intersected 177 at 0.5g/t gold – had intersected the upper levels of an extensive mineralised system.  Gold grades are now expected to increase continually alongside depth, as they do at a comparable 10-million-ounce gold project owned by Resolute Mining called Mt Wright.

    On Thursday, Rockfire said it believes that the latest mineralised zone unearthed by its drilling at Plateau forms part of this proposed, large gold system. The firm added that gold mineralisation remains open at the central breccia in all directions. Meanwhile, it said the new mineralisation is not currently included in its 41,000oz gold resource estimate for the Plateau. It is now awaiting the results of nine additional shallow exploration/resource-infill/resource-extension drill holes over the next two weeks.

    Rockfire’s chief executive David Price said: ‘It is extremely pleasing to have four holes drilled into a new target, with all four holes returning potentially economic gold grades and potentially mineable widths, so close to surface.

    ‘These results build on the recently discovered Central Breccia zone, which was identified by the Rockfire exploration team during mapping and sampling. The results from these holes demonstrate the strength of the near surface gold mineralisation, which is still open in all directions. The Central Breccia is a priority target for further exploration.

    ‘These holes are interpreted to represent the near-surface expression of what we believe to be a large gold system encountered at depth in hole BPL025. Importantly, the four exploration holes into the Central Breccia extends the mineralised target zone by another 150 m towards the east. The Central Breccia lies above a recently demonstrated geophysical resistivity and chargeable anomaly, providing Rockfire with a very large target for future gold exploration.’

    Plateau is located around 50km southeast of the Australian gold mining centre of Charters Towers. It is also 17km east of the 3-million-ounce, operating Pajungo gold mine, and 47 southwest of the 10-million-ounce gold Ravenswood gold mining operations, including Mt Wright. The prospect is a breccia-hosted gold system where historic drilling undertaken by the likes of Esso Australia and Newcrest Mining has returned high-grade gold from a distinct circular magnetic feature.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • Rockfire Resources rockets as it launches work to extend gold mineralisation at Plateau (ROCK)

    Rockfire Resources (LSE:ROCK) was trading 27% higher at 1.05p on Monday morning after announcing that drilling to extend gold mineralisation had kicked off at its Plateau deposit in Queensland, Australia.

    The firm said that a reverse circulation programme consisting of 13 proposed holes totalling 1,500m has now begun. This will aim to explore at depths of around 250m below the surface at the deposit as well as extending and infilling near-surface resources.

    The development comes after Rockfire intersected 177m at 0.5 grams per tonne gold at Plateau in November last year with hole BPL025. The company will now test this geophysical anomaly by drilling holes 50 metres and 150 metres east of BPL025.

    Alongside this work, which is expected to take 15 days to complete, Rockfire is also completing geological mapping and rock chip sampling at Plateau. Meanwhile, specialist analysis of drill chips collected in October last year is also nearing completing.

    Rockfire’s chief executive David Price labelled the current drilling programme as “very exciting”, adding that success will demonstrate “significant extension of this deep gold mineralisation in an east-west orientation”.

    "A second aim of the current program is to expand and build greater confidence in the gold mineralisation at our near-surface JORC resource, in an effort to define an open cut resource, 80m from surface,”he added. "We are fortunate to get underway with drilling at this time of the year, as the usual wet season in northern Australia has not yet arrived, and we intend to make the most of this window of good weather. Geological mapping, rock sampling and XRF analysis of drill samples from October 2019 drilling is in progress and the company expects results from this analysis within the next few weeks. We will keep the market informed of our progress."

    Plateau is based around 50 kilometres southeast of the gold mining centre of Charts Towers in Queensland and 47 kilometres of the Ravenswood mining operations, which contain more than 10 million ounces of gold. The deposit is a breccia-hosted gold system and comprises similar mineralisation and geology to that at nearby mines Mt. Wright and Kidston. Rockfire’s ultimate goal is to identify another Mt Wright-style gold opportunity.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

     

  • Rockfire Resources strikes major gold system in Queensland (ROCK)

    Rockfire Resources(LSE: ROCK) chief executive David Price has hailed a set of “extremely positive” results from its drilling in north Queensland, Australia, where all its holes hit gold. The firm's shares opened 20% higher at 1.445p in Tuesday trading.

    Rockfire reported that it found “extensive intercepts of continuous gold mineralisation” at its Plateau deposit, 30 miles southeast of Charters Towers on the country’s east coast. Drilling revealed a 2.0 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold zone at 145 metres, closer to the surface than the 2.0 g/t zone discovered at the nearby Mt Wright Gold Mine. 

    The exploration means the gold explorer is now confident that the Plateau deposit extends to an area thought to be more than 200 metres long, 70 metres wide and 200 metres deep. 

    Price told in the market in an RNS: “These long intervals of gold in the upper levels of Plateau are extremely positive and demonstrate the size of the mineralising system.”

    He added that his technical team believed Plateau presents “similarities” to Mt Wright, an existing underground mine that is thought to host 1.5 million ounces of gold, with the main ore between 400 metres and 850 metres below surface level. 

    "We appear to be at the top of a similarly large gold deposit,”said Price.

    The drill results at Plateau include three holes of 0.4 g/t, 0.4 g/t and 0.2 g/t, extending mineralisation more than 100 metres east of previously reported results. 

    Shares in the AIM-listed explorer have been active of late. Positive results from late November 2019 drilling which announced a major gold system at Plateau saw the price surge from 0.41p to a three-year high of 2.2p. The company then told the market last month that its x-ray analysis of October 2019 drill samples had unveiled significant silver deposits of 2 ounces per tonne at Plateau.

    Rockfire said its next steps would be to conduct a geophysical survey called controlled source audio frequency magnetotellurics, which was expected to provide target generation below the levels drilled thus far at Plateau. The same survey method identified deep drill targets at Mt Wright, Price said. 

    Author: Tom Rodgers

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

     


  • Strategic Minerals reveals promising copper assays at Leigh Creek (SML)

    Strategic Minerals (LSE:SML) rose 2.4pc on Monday morning after revealing promising copper mineralisation in the latest round of assay results at its Leigh Creek project.

    Eight out of 10 holes drilled at a site called Paltridge North within the South Australia-based project last August intersected significant copper mineralisation including malachite, azurite, chalcocite and native copper. Six of the latest holes had an intersection of 1.34pc, which is significantly higher than the resource average of 0.81pc.

    Paltridge North deposit is a relatively flat tabular deposit hosted in fine-grained siltstone. Mineralisation has varied from predominantly copper oxide minerals, malachite and azurite, in the upper levels of the deposit. This grades into a relatively sharp contact where the copper minerals are mostly chalcocite with some minor native copper observed in the drill core.

    The company carried out its infill diamond drill programme with the aim of providing metallurgical test samples and testing historical drilling. Strategic said its results reinforce a previous resource model estimate and highlight areas of higher-grade copper, including 1m at 8.7pc.

    A previous JORC resource gave Leigh Creek a JORC Resource of 3.6Mt at 0.7pc copper, with contained copper of 24.9Kt, at Paltridge North alongside two other deposits called Lynda and Lorna Doone. The firm is now producing an updated resource model that will incorporate these results. It expects this to complete in March 2019. 

    Meanwhile, Stragic also completed seven diamond drill holes at another Leigh Creek site Rosmann East. Here, Strategic has defined a mineral inventory of 1.8Mt at 0.65pc copper, with contained copper of 11.5kt. The holes tested below the existing pit floor at the site and have so far provided strong support for continued mineralisation.

    Strategic says this continued to as much as 60m below the existing pit floor and 30m below previous drilling, with its first hole returning 69m at 0.37pc copper. Results for the other holes, which have targeted known areas of higher grade, will be released when available, the business said.

    Managing director John Peters said: ‘The Paltridge North deposit assays, arising from the first diamond drilling programme for 32 years, have delivered better than expected results and provide the SML Board confidence that Paltridge North could be a significant copper producer in the near future.

    ‘Additionally, the assays from the first hole at the Rosmann East deposit support potential additional mineralisation below the existing open pit floor. This is good news due to the ease of accessibility to this ore. Management and the Board look forward to restarting the Mountain of Light operations in the first half of 2019 and moving into long term, higher volume production at a later date.’

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not own a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

  • The elephant in the room: How large could Greatland Gold and Newcrest Mining’s Havieron project be? (GGP, NCM)

    Greatland Gold (LSE:GGP) powered forward to a record high of 3.78p at the end of last week after posting an “outstanding”set of drilling results for the Havieron asset it is advancing with Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM). With a market cap of £104.1 million, the Australia-focused gold explorer and developer sat nearly 110% higher than it did at the beginning of 2020 after riding a massive wave of increased trading volume in its shares. The market is now eager to see the extent to which Greatland can build on this success and how big Havieron could ultimately prove to be, with an extra $25 million expected to be spent on the property this year.

    Aside from Havieron’s ongoing potential, there were several key reasons why investors were particularly excited about the latest drilling campaign here. The long-term implications factors could prove to be truly transformational. Here, we take a detailed look at what is causing all this excitement.

    Firstly, and perhaps most obviously, investors were highly encouraged by the quality of the news itself.

    To recap, Havieron is a gold deposit centred on a magnetic anomaly in the Paterson region of Western Australia. Newcrest operates it under a farm-in agreement with Greatland. Exploration drilling by Greatland in 2018 led to the discovery of significant gold and copper mineralisation under 400 metres of cover.

    After following this with its own set of strong drilling results in mid-2019, Newcrest completed nearly 19,000 metres of additional drilling in the final quarter of last year to enhance its understanding of Havieron’s true scale. With its latest work extending continuity of mineralisation at the asset over 450 metres of strike, including widths of up to 150 metres and depths over 600 metres, Newcrest has undoubtedly met its primary objective. What’s more, these extents could extend further yet, with mineralisation remaining open both to the north-west and at depth.

    Meanwhile, highlight intersections included 136 metres at 2.9 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold and 0.6% copper from 504 metres and 73 metres at 3.2 g/t gold and 0.67% copper from 513 metres.

    In its update, Greatland put the importance of the results into context, stating:

    “The latest drill results and the initial observed dimensions of the deposit suggest that Havieron represents a significant gold-copper discovery.”

    Newcrest exceeds expectations

    A second, highly encouraging sign for investors was Newcrest’s enthusiastic reaction to its latest results at Havieron.

    The Havieron deposit is based just 45 kilometres east of Telfer, one of Newcrest’s flagship project that produces up to 460,000 ounces of gold and 13,000 kilotonnes of copper a year. Newcrest’s ultimate goal, alongside Greatland, is to truck high-grade ore from Havieron to Telfer for processing - extending its mine’s life and reducing production costs per ounce. To do this, the major miner entered a deal with Greatland last year that granted it the right to earn up to a 70% interest in Havieron target by spending up to $65 million on its development across four stages, as seen below.

    Newcrest is currently in the second stage of the farm-in. However, the firm’s outpouring of support for Havieron in the wake of its latest results suggests that Greatland will continue to benefit from the major’s massive firepower moving forward.

    For example, in its exploration report, Newcrest described the grades it has seen at the deposit as “unique” for the region, adding that it now plans to “progress and accelerate our evaluation of this opportunity”. Likewise, in a tweet, the company said Havieron “signals a new era in our asset portfolio”, adding: “Grades like this are rare & we’re excited with our progress”.

    Newcrest also appears to be putting its money where its mouth is when it comes to this enthusiasm. As Greatland highlighted in its update:

    -Drilling has recently recommenced drilling at Havieron following a short Christmas break;

    -An additional 20,000-30,000 metres of drilling are planned in the next two quarters to support the potential delivery of a maiden resource by the end of the calendar year 2020;

    -A number of environmental, geotechnical, and metallurgical studies have commenced to support the potential delivery of a resource and future permitting requirements.

    Meanwhile, Newcrest itself said it expects its exploration expenditure to be $25 million higher than anticipated at Havieron in light of the positive results.

    Things could not have got off to a better start at Havieron for Newcrest, and this paints a very bright picture for Greatland’s future at the asset.

    Mapping out Havieron

    With Havieron’s dimensions now established, the third (and perhaps most important)point that is likely to be on the minds of excited Greatland investors is that it is now possible to make an estimate of the project’s contained gold. Although by no means definitive at this stage, the early signs are very encouraging.

    Let’s take a look.

    With a 450-metre strike length, a 150-metre width, and a depth of 600 metres, it is reasonable at this stage to assume that mineralisation at Havieron covers roughly 40,500,000 cubic metres (450 X 150 X 600). Next, if we apply a specific gravity of three (which is broadly expected in the regional geology), we get to approximately 120,000,000 tonnes of ore (40,500,000 X 3 = 121,500,000).

    Now it becomes a question of what gradewe apply to the ore. To provide a range of potential outcomes, let’s apply three scenarios (note that we divide by 31.1 because this is the number of gramsin one troy ounce):

    -LOW: 1 g/t ore, which results in roughly 3,900,000 ounces of gold ( (120,000,000 X 1) / 31.1 );

    -MID: 1.5 g/t ore, which results in roughly 5,800,000 ounces of gold ( (120,000,000 X 1.5) /  31.1 ); and

    -HIGH: 2 g/t ore, which results in roughly 7,700,000 ouncesof gold ( (120,000,000 X 2 ) / 31.1 )

    Now, we have to assign a valuationto each ounce contained within the Havieron. The table below, taken from our recent report on Greatland, demonstrates the value of a few of Australia’s largest gold miners, in US dollar per resource terms.

    If we take a relatively conservative view and assume that each Havieron ounce is valued at $200, then the total value of Greatland’s 30% project interest (on the assumption that Newcrest takes a 70% stake) is as follows:

    -LOW: $234 million (£178.7 million)( (3,900,000 X 200) X 0.3 )

    -MID: $348 million (£265.8 million)( (5,800,000 X 200) X 0.3 )

    -HIGH: $462 million (£352.8 million)( (7,700,000 X 200) X 0.3 )

    No matter what scenario you apply, this initial estimate compares very attractively to Greatland’s current all-time high market cap of £104.1 million. This is especially encouraging when we take into account that gold prices are on one of their strongest runs in years and Havieron’s resource remains open – the project’s ultimate dimensions could be significantly larger than the numbers we have used here.

    A bright future at Havieron

    Three clear takeaways emerge from our analysis:

    -Joint venture work has got off to as good a start as possible at Havieron, with the deposit showing more and more signs of boasting the prospectivity that Greatland has long suspected;

    - With Newcrest indicating an additional $25 million spend here, this is a most encouraging indicator of its commitment to Havieron over the long term; and

    -Rough early resource estimates suggest Havieron, even when using conservative assumptions, could be a vast economic force for Greatland- especially in combination with the remainder of its portfolio.

    All of these points have the potential to have a very positive impact of Greatland’s share price and market cap, potentially pushing it to further hights. Heddle was keen to express his enthusiasm for the Havieron’s game-changing potential when we spoke to him, saying:

    “It is a really exciting time for Greatland and Newcrest. We are just starting to see the true potential scale of the Havieron project, and we will see a lot more over the next six months. Our eyes are now on delivering a maiden resource by the end of the year, and this will be a really huge milestone for us.”

    If Newcrest and Greatland can remain on track at Havieron as they have so far been able to, the future could indeed be very bright for shareholders.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

  • Thor Mining announces strong gold showings at Pilbara Goldfields (THR)

    Thor Mining (LSE:THR) is currently trading at 0.4p after announcing strong initial sampling results from its 100%-owned Pilbara Goldfield tenements in Western Australia.

    On Thursday, the company revealed that three samples from a preliminary geochemistry reconnaissance programme at the projects assayed above 0.3 grams per tonne (“g/t”) gold, while one assayed above 0.9 g/t gold. Thor also encountered anomalous nickel and chromium up to 1,272 parts per million (“ppm”) nickel and 2,074 ppm chromium.

    The work involved collecting stream sediment samples from 44 sites to broad, project-wide coverage and followed a successful programme of panning announced in November last year. These earlier efforts provided strong evidence of gold prospectivity, with visible gold in 13 of the 44 sediment trap sites sampled.

    Thor said that the latest round of work provides “further support” for the Pilbara Goldfields’ gold potential while also indicating that the tenements could be prospective for nickel and chrome. As executive chairman Mick Billing put it:

    “Very encouraging results from our initial reconnaissance survey on this ground, with plenty of follow up targets, focussing on gold, nickel & chrome. The elevated nickel & chrome samples either side of the ultramafic ridge on the western side of the licence area is particularly intriguing.”

    Billing added that the next phase of work is likely to involve further detailed stream sediment sampling along soil sampling and geological mapping to confirm and extend existing results. Thor acquired the Pilbara tenements last year when it purchased two private companies – Pilbara Goldfields and Hamersley Metals.

    Meanwhile, this month has also seen Thor announce a series of high-grade tungsten and copper assays at its Bonya deposits 30 kilometres to the east of its flagship Molyhil project. On this, Billing said:

    "The Bonya tungsten deposits are delivering robust results which we believe can add significantly to the economic life and commercial outcomes of the nearby proposed Molyhil project. The Bonya project hosts additional tungsten and copper deposits, and these will be tested in due course, however our initial focus is likely to remain with the White Violet tungsten deposit, the Samarkand tungsten/copper deposit, and the Bonya copper deposit.  It is hoped that these can extend the Molyhil project life of mine towards 10 years."

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, does not a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article’s content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

     

  • Thor Mining flies as Pilbara work continues to show strong visible gold (THR)

    Shares in Thor Mining(LSE:THR) enjoyed a boost of more than a fifth on Friday morning after the company delivered a promising gold update from Australia at a time when the precious metal is trading at record highs.

    Thorwas sitting at 0.47p, its highest value since the beginning of the year, at writing after announcing that sample panning of geochemical samples from its Pilbara Goldfield tenements had unearthed visible gold.

    The £4.6 million firm said that 17 of 32 stream sediment samples had visible gold in panning, while two of the tenements' 2019 sample sites showed the yellow metal in "multiple follow-up stream sediment samples".

    The timing of the news is highly fortunate, with gold currently trading above US$1,900 an ounce as investors around the world rush into safe-haven assets amid unprecedented macro uncertainty.

    Thor'sexecutive chairman Mick Billing said finding visible gold in multiple sites at Pilbara in very close proximity to previous gold samples is "very encouraging".

    "This appears to be a highly successful follow-up, to the previous, very successful, sampling program," he added. "We look forward eagerly to confirmatory gold assays along with assays of the potential nickel site samples".

    The latest round of results come after Thorsuccessful revealed gold, nickel, and chromium assays from preliminary geochemistry reconnaissance at Pilbara back in January. Three of these samples assayed above 0.3g/t gold, while one even reached as high as 0.9g/t gold. Elsewhere, the company located anomalous nickel and chromium at the project of 1,272 parts per million and 2,075 parts per million respectively.

    Friday's results come amid a busy period for Thor,which only last week revealed positive test results for its Kapunda copper in-situ-recovery ("ISR") project – also in Australia.

    A hydrogeological testing programme at the project was successful, with a tracer test showing fluid movement from well to well in a "relatively short time period". This is essential for the ISR process, and Thornow believes that cost savings could arise from reducing the number of well at the project to optimise production.

    Some zones within the Kapunda deposit have previously been reported to host highly promising gold values, including 95 metres at 3.06g/t.

    Thor holds a 25% interest in EnviroCopper, which – in turn – holds an agreement to earn, in two stages, up to 75% of the rights over metals that may be recovered via ISR at Kapunda.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for the article's content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance

     

     

  • Thor Mining pushes forward on strong tungsten intercepts at Bonya (THR)

    Thor Mining (LSE:THR) rose 7.7pc to hit its highest level this month on Monday morning after announcing a series of strong tungsten grades from the White Violet deposit at its Bonya project. A second drilling round at the asset, which is adjacent to Thor’s flagship Molyhil project in Australia’s Northern Territory, intersected 20m at 0.24pc tungsten trioxide from 2m, including 8m at 0.38pc copper from 3m. Other highlights included 8m at 0.24pc tungsten trioxide, 14m at 0.23pc tungsten trioxide, and 2pc at 0.71pc tungsten trioxide from 11m.

    The work, which was managed and 40pc funded by Thor alongside 60pc project owner Arafura Resources, has extended tungsten-bearing mineralisation at White Violet by 40m to both the east and the west. Total strike length now comes in at 120m, while vertical depth now hits 110m. Mick Billing, executive chairman of Thor, which was trading at 0.28p as at writing, said it was ‘very exciting’ to confirm both consistencies of mineralisation and extensions to strike at White Violet, adding:

    ‘Tungsten grades continue to be positive, and it is also pleasing to see further evidence of copper mineralisation. The key Thor driver for drilling at Bonya is to add to the Molyhil area mining inventory with an objective of a minimum of ten years total open pit mining and processing.  These results, subject to assay and follow up resource work, should, we expect, go quite some way towards meeting that objective.

    The rig used to drill the holes has now moved on to another Bonya deposit called Samarkand for the second part of the Thor/Arafura JV’s current drilling programme. This work aims to test the extent of the two deposits to help create create reportable mineral resource estimates.

    Bonya hosts 13 outcropping tungsten deposits that currently carry an exploration target of 3-4.9MMts at 0.3-05pc tungsten trioxide. The area also hosts an inferred copper resources of 230,000ts for 4,600ts of copper.  Thor plans to extract and process this copper at Molyhil for a ‘minimal additional cost’. Despite the licence area being part of a known tungsten province, no tungsten drilling had taken place since the 1970s. Until now.

    Thor and Arafura completed an initial 2,500m reverse circulation drilling programme across Bonya earlier this year. The work confirmed strong tungsten and copper mineralisation across several deposits, with particularly strong results coming from two areas called White Violet and Samarkand. Highlights from White Violet included 27m at 0.29pc tungsten trioxide from 35m, 12m at 0.67pc tungsten trioxide from 46m and 29m at 0.7pc tungsten trioxide from 81m, including 13m at 1.13pc tungsten trioxide.   Meanwhile, top copper intersections at Samarkand included 5m at 0.36pc copper, 12m at 0.77pc copper, and 7m at 1.23pc copper.

    Thor hopes that Bonya could add ‘considerably’ to Molyhil’s life, scale, and economic outcomes. To recap, Molyhil is a tungsten and molybdenum asset located around 320km east of Alice Springs. The project is formed from two adjacent magnetite skarn bodies that contain economic amounts of scheelite, molybdenite and magnetite mineralisation.

    Before Thor’s involvement, little work had taken place at Molyhil bar a brief period of mining at its southern ore body during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Thor has built upon these efforts considerably, completing resource extension drilling and metallurgical test work. It has also made a great deal of permitting progress, carrying out technical, environmental and social studies as well as securing environmental approvals and land agreements with traditional owners.

    Thanks to Thor’s work, Molyhil is now one of the higher-grade open-pit tungsten in the western world. A mineral resource estimate in 2014 gave it a complete resource of 4.71Mt for 13,100ts of tungsten trioxide and 6,220ts of molybdenum. To build on this potential, the firm completed a feasibility study in August last year. The work gave Molyhil a post-tax NPV of $101m, an IRR of 59pc, and a seven-year open pit mine life delivering annual production of 120,000mtu tungsten trioxide and 450t of molybdenum – both in concentrate.  Meanwhile, opex came in at just $90/mtu.

    Thor also believes that Molyhil could deliver a great deal of upside, through both operational enhancements and the opportunity to pursue satellite resources and underground production. Indeed, the firm has demonstrated that high molybdenum and tungsten trioxide continue below the pit floor. To read more about Molyhil and Bonya, including details on ongoing funding talks, please see our recent project update here.

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    MiningMaven Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and MiningMaven Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy and do not share the views of the author. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

  • Thor Mining reiterates strong portfolio progress in H2 2018 update (THR)

    Thor Mining (LSE:THR) was sitting at 1p on Friday morning after re-iterating the substantial progress made across its portfolio in H2 2018.

    During the period, the firm completed an upgraded definitive feasibility study at its Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project in Australia. This gave the site an NPV(5) of A$101m, an internal rate of return of 59pc, an EBITDA of A$239m and a payback period of around 18 months.

    Last month, Thor said these attractive figures have already attracted the interest of various potential partners. It hopes to finalise an acceptable financing arrangement for the project with the help of Argent Partners over the near term.

    Elsewhere, H2 2018 saw Thor complete its acquisition of an interest in the Bonya tenements, which are located near Molyhil. These contain 13 outcropping tungsten deposits, plus the small Bonya copper resource, providing significant potential to extend the profitable life of the proposed Molyhil operation. Thor has previously said that it expects to get drilling approval at Bonya over the coming quarter.

    Meanwhile, the period covered by the results also saw Thor release a scoping study for its Pilot Mountain tungsten project in the US. This indicated the potential for a profitable 12-year mine life, while a revised mineral resource estimate boosted tungsten resources, and included zinc for the first time. Thor now plans to carry out the second stage of metallurgical test work and environmental and infrastructure studies at the site.

    Finally, the business plans to prepare the Kapunda copper project in Australia for field pump testing in the current quarter. This comes after it demonstrated proof of concept for in situ recovery at the site last year.

    Elsewhere in Thursday’s results, Thor revealed a bullish outlook for metal prices. It said that, although tungsten pricing fell by around 20pc early in H2 2018 to settle at between $260/mtu and $270mtu, Molyhil remains ‘very well positioned’ thanks to production costs of just 490/mtu. This places the project in the first quartile of global production costs.

    Speaking to MiningMaven last month, Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing said industry dynamics could see Tungsten prices rise from their current level:

    ‘China, the dominant global supplier, has withdrawn production licences from a number of producers for environmental reasons, and reports suggest that they have issued no new production licences for a couple of years. While a number of projects elsewhere are in development and hopeful producers, like Thor, are poised to commence development, it is unlikely that these new developments will meet the expected growth in demand.’

    Meanwhile, Thor said that molybdenum pricing has maintained gains made in early 2018 and continues to sit in the $11-12/lb range.

    Finally, the business revealed a cash balance of £1.11m as of 31 December. It said this figure was bolstered by the exercise of 52,699,789 warrants and options, at various exercise prices, raising £625,623 at an average conversion price of 1.19 pence.

    In Thor’s update for Q4 2018, issued last month, Billing said: ‘A positive quarter with progress on all core projects, and a strengthened cash position. The appointment of corporate advisors to support and guide our efforts towards off-take & financing for Molyhil is a strategy we believe will improve our prospects of securing the best arrangement possible for our shareholders. A number of potential scenarios are possible with various interested parties, and we hope to be in a position to advise progress shortly. Additionally, the potential of nearby Bonya tenements, hosting tungsten, copper, and vanadium, provides potential upside for Molyhil, and also for other stand-alone development opportunities.’

    Author: Daniel Flynn

    The Author does not hold any position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    The Author has not been paid to produce this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

     

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, owns a position in the stock(s) and/or financial instrument(s) mentioned in the piece.

    Catalyst Information Services Ltd, the owner of MiningMaven.com, has not been paid for the production of this piece by the company or companies mentioned above.

    MiningMaven.com and Catalyst Information Services Ltd are not responsible for its content or accuracy. News and research are not recommendations to deal, and investments may fall in value so that you could lose some or all of your investment. Past performance is not an indicator of future performance.

  • Thor Mining reveals strong initial drilling results at Kapunda ISR project (THR)

    Tuesday saw Thor Mining (LSE:THR) rise after revealing positive drilling results at its part-owned Kapunda in-situ recovery (ISR) copper project in South Australia.

    Three holes were drilled, and two screened wells installed, to complete initial hydrogeological investigations at the asset – in which EnviroCopper has entered a two-stage agreement to earn a 75pc stake. Thor, in turn, holds a 25pc interest in EnviroCopper with rights to increase that stake to 30pc.

    Not only did this work reveal that the project’s water table is quite shallow, but it also confirmed connectivity between screened intervals along its predominant fracture directions. These are both critical requirements for the ISR process, which centres around a chemical process called ‘leaching’. In layman’s terms, this involves dissolving minerals underground in a solution before extracting them at the surface. As ISR is much cheaper and quicker than actually building a copper mine, EnviroCopper believes that the technique can bring lower-grade projects into economic territory.

    Elsewhere on Tuesday, Thor said the first round of drilling at Kapunda had revealed that the fracture zone contains significant copper mineralisation thought to be amenable to the ISR process. Indeed, the pilot hole encountered 66m at 0.27pc copper including 5m at 0.72pc copper and 11m at 0.54pc copper. Meanwhile, the two additional holes intersected 8m, 23m at 0.49pc copper to end of hole and 22m, 6m at 0.47pc copper to end of hole respectively.

    EnviroCopper’s next stage of work includes large-scale column leach recovery tests leading on to a full-scale field trial.

    Thor’s executive chairman Mick Billing said: ‘It is very exciting to have confirmation of both consistency of mineralisation and possible hydrogeological connectivity along strike in the facture zone. This adds considerable weight to the potential for a successful ISR operation in due course. ‘It is also pleasing to note that the preliminary copper grades are above the average for the resource.  We are very keen to have laboratory assays to confirm these, and also to provide any gold values, as gold is most unlikely to be picked up in portable XRF readings.

    ‘These holes were drilled on the very southern tip of the main resource area, and previously conducted IP surveys further south show additional chargeable anomalies which should be investigated to see if they contain additional mineralisation, which could significantly extend the resource.’

    As we have written before, by achieving production at Kapunda, EnviroCopper hopes to demonstrate ISR’s operational viability in the copper market and take the technology to other projects.

    Aided by historical mining data and environmental and hydrogeological work, EnviroCopper has estimated Kapunda contains an ISR-amenable inferred copper resource of 119,000ts. As announced in April, the company has also been able to recover gold from samples taken from the project and work to ascertain whether it can establish a resource for the precious metal is ongoing.

    Before commercialisation, EnviroCopper must complete a pre-feasibility study and a definitive feasibility study at Kapunda.  It will also have to meet any necessary environmental, social, and regulatory requirements and secure financing.  Handily, its $2.8m government-issued research grant will support it in these efforts- indeed, the firm expects these funds to take the project through to demonstration of feasibility.

    Once progress has been made at Kapunda, EnviroCopper will move on to Moonta - its second 75pc-held project. Moonta is located around 160km north-east of Adelaide within the historical copper triangle of South Australia, where around 300,000ts of copper were mined and processed between the 1860s and 1920s.

    Although it is an earlier-stage project than Kapunda, Moonta is also thought to be a much larger opportunity. In August 2019, EnviroCopper announced an initial inferred resource estimate for the asset of 66.1MMts grading 0.17pc copper. This translates to 114,000ts of contained copper considered amenable to ISR, taking EnviroCopper’s business-wide managed resource inventory 233,000ts. However, this initial figure was formed from the analysis of just 164 drill holes at Moonta. This lead to the identification of three copper deposits, called Wombat, Bruce, and Larwood. A further 308 holes already drilled over these deposits will feature in future resource modelling once quality assurance has been completed, providing an obvious opportunity for upside. What’s more, all three deposits remain open along strike or at depth – providing EnviroCopper with a chance to identify mineralisation beyond that already discovered.

    Author: Daniel Flynn