Impact Minerals Expands Platinum Springs PGE-Copper-Nickel

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Impact Minerals (ASX: IPT) has encountered further high-grade assays for platinum group elements (PGE) at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Broken Hill project in New South Wales.

Impact Minerals reported the PGM assay results came with associated copper and nickel that has expanded the mineralised footprint at the Plat Central and Plat East prospects, part of the Broken Hill project.

Plat Central and Plat East form part of the larger Platinum Springs area at the southern end of a nine kilometre long, ultramafic to mafic Moorkai Trend characterised by extensive high-grade PGM-copper-nickel in rock chip samples but which has been very poorly explored.

Impact’s recent drilling has identified a second channel at Plat Central and a further channel at Plat East, all three of which are open along trend, both up and down plunge.

“In addition, high-grade PGM-copper-nickel mineralisation has been identified for the first time within the host ultramafic unit which, together with numerous thick intercepts of lower grade mineralisation throughout the ultramafic, support the potential for a larger bulk mining opportunity should further drilling be successful,” the company said in its ASX announcement.








PVW Resources Swoops on Kalgoorlie Drill Rig

THE DRILL SERGEANT: PVW Resources (ASX: PVW) has taken advantage of a spare drill rig to commence auger drilling comprising up to 600 holes to test for near surface gold anomalism on two of the company’s Kalgoorlie tenements.

PVW Resources will commence drilling on E27/571 with 100 holes planned at the southern end of the tenement and then move to E27/614.

While this drilling is underway the company is finalising drill sites for drilling to commence at its Leonora project.

“Auger drilling has commenced at our Kalgoorlie project, aimed at collecting samples below the soil profile,” PVW Resources executive director George Bauk said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“This will provide the team with information to assist with drill target definition.

“The area adjoining our tenements has produced some excellent results in the past 12 months which has encouraged us to commence exploration in this area immediately.

“It’s a busy period for the company following the completion of the merge with Thred Limited.

“We are currently planning the final position of the holes at Leonora for our RC drilling program which could start as early as next week, subject to the arrival of the drill rig.”









Trigg Mining Drills Path to Lake Throssell JORC Resource

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Trigg Mining remains on track for a maiden JORC Resource at the company’s e 100 per cent-owned Lake Throssell sulphate of potash (SOP) project, located east of Laverton in Western Australia.

Trigg Mining had expanded the program from its original 38 holes to 54 holes, on the back of results achieved during the first stage of the program.

The recent program has covered the palaeovalley extent within tenement E38/3065 covering a strike length of approximately 36 kilometres of the 112km in the total project area.

Field analysis of salinity has indicated the recently drilled southern portion of the palaeovalley has comparable salinity to the northern portion where assay results returned grades of up to 11,519mg/L (11.5kg/m3) SOP equivalent.

Brine samples have been submitted to laboratory for analysis, with results expected at the end March / early April.

Geological modelling has commenced for a maiden JORC Inferred Mineral Resource estimate, which is expected to be completed next Quarter.

“The completion of our first-ever comprehensive air-core program at Lake Throssell is a significant milestone for the team and an important step towards unlocking the commercial potential of this large-scale, high-grade sulphate of potash deposit,” Trigg Mining managing director Keren Paterson said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“We are encouraged and excited by what we have seen in the drilling so far, with preliminary observations from the field confirming that we have a very large-scale palaeovalley system extending over a strike length of 36km within granted tenement E38/3065, up to 5km wide and up to 100m deep.

“Importantly, there is clear evidence of the presence of multiple aquifers across the profile – which suggests the potential for multiple production sources.

“We are now eagerly awaiting assay results from the drilling and work has already commenced on the geological model required to underpin a maiden JORC Mineral Resource estimate, which we expect to complete next quarter.

“This will provide a foundation for economic studies and is only the beginning of the resource story at Lake Throssell with roughly two thirds of the strike potential within the current project area still untested.

“We are continuing our systematic approach to unlocking the potential of this exciting high-grade sulphate of potash project, and we are looking forward to delivering a significant amount of news-flow for our shareholders and investors over the next few months.”







Alto Metals Claims New Gold Zone Discovery

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Alto Metals (ASX: AME) is in the midst of a major drilling program at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.

The company has received results from drilling carried out late last year that was designed to test structural targets along the Lords Corridor, which it claims to have confirmed the discovery of a New Zone of gold mineralisation.

Recent assays results include:

4 metres at 5.3 grams per tonne gold from 124m within 16m at 1.6g/t gold from 116m; and

4m at 2.7g/t gold from 148m within 8m at 1.6g/t gold from 144m.

“These new results from the successful first pass ‘step-out’ exploration holes drilled late last year, have confirmed two new lodes, within a New Zone of gold mineralisation discovered more than a kilometre south of Lord Nelson,” Alto Metals managing director Matthew Bowles said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“Importantly, these holes were drilled in an area completely undercover and the style of mineralisation intersected is exactly the same as what we see at Lord Nelson and reminds us of the first few holes drilled that led to the Orion Lode discovery.

“We are fully focused on exploration.

“We have a major drilling program underway, with two rigs on site testing extensions of known resources and priority regional targets.

“Once initial assays from drilling that commenced at the start of this year are received, expected early next month, we will then have regular, ongoing news flow.”








Musgrave Minerals Identifies New Cue Gold Corridor

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Musgrave Minerals (ASX: MGV) believes it may have opened a new seven-kilometres-long mineralised corridor at the company’s Cue gold project in the Murchison region of Western Australia.

Musgrave Minerals recently completed basement RC drilling west of the Lena deposit at Cue that intersected gold mineralisation in what could potentially be a new mineralised corridor extending from Target 14 in the north through to Targets 5 and 20, 2.5km to the south where it remains open.

The drilling at Target 14 was targeted to identify the source of a regional regolith aircore gold anomaly 800m west of Lena, the company had interpreted to represent a possible new, untested shear corridor hosted in felsic and sedimentary lithologies.

Musgrave thinks this new corridor has a potential strike of over 7km and is along trend from Targets 5 and 20 more than 2.5km to the south.

The area has no previous drilling.

RC drilling at the Target 14 prospect, west of Lena intersected thick gold mineralisation including:

30 metres at 3.5 grams per tonne gold from 36m, including 12m at 6.9g/t gold from 36m.

Drilling at Target 5, 2.5km to the south, intersected gold mineralisation in basement, from which 1m resamples confirmed high gold grades.

Results include:

5m at 42.2g/t gold from 25m;

34m at 0.73g/t gold from 42m to EOH, including 18m at 1.2g/t gold from 48m; and

52m at 0.61g/t gold from 30m to EOH, including 12m at 1.2g/t gold from 36m.

At Target 20, 500m south of Target 5, initial RC drilling intersected:

34m at 0.74g/t gold from 38m to EOH, including 6m at 2.3g/t gold from 44m.

“These results are potentially very significant as these are the first basement drill holes into what could represent a seven kilometre stretch of a new mineralised shear corridor with no previous drilling,” Musgrave Minerals managing director Rob Waugh said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“We have now intersected basement gold mineralisation in broad intervals over more than three kilometres of strike in this new shear corridor and the team is excited by the opportunity to continue to test this area.

“This new well mineralised gold corridor remains largely undrilled in bedrock and can host significant widths of high-grade gold mineralisation.

“Drilling is ongoing with further assay results expected in coming weeks from White Heat and follow-up of Targets 5, 14 and 20.”









Peel Mining Encounters Further Copper Hits at Wirlong

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) reported that drilling at the company’s 100 per cent- owned Wirlong deposit has returned new broad and high-grade copper-mineralised intercepts.

The Wirlong deposit is part of Peel Mining’s South Cobar project, centred around 100km south of Cobar in Western New South Wales.

The recently received assays confirm further broad and high-grade copper intercepts at Wirlong with better results including:

163m at 1.08 per cent copper, 4 grams per tonne silver from 233m to end of hole, including 21m at 2 per cent copper, 9g/t silver from 283m and 7m at 2.09 per cent copper, 6g/t silver from 310m and 11m at 1.73 per cent copper, 5g/t silver from 337m and 19m at 1.58 per cent copper, 5g/t silver from 359m; and

9m at 1.78 per cent copper, 5g/t silver from 294m.

“The wide and high-grade copper hits reported herein, as well as those previously reported, point to the potential for a major Cobar-style copper system to take shape at Wirlong,” Peel Mining managing director Rob Tyson said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“These results, as well as visuals and XRF analyses for drillholes still to be reported, add to an excellent start to the company’s efforts to establish a maiden high-grade copper resource at Wirlong.

“Importantly, the results lend support to our aspiration to become Cobar’s next copper-dominant base and precious metals mining company.

“Once again we look forward to receiving the assays for the additional copper intercepts yielded from drilling since our last report and releasing them in due course.”








Lithium Australia Readies to Pilot Test Spodumene Conversion Process

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) is ready to push the go button to pilot test the company’s LieNA® spodumene conversion process.

Lithium Australia’s self-developed LieNA® hydrometallurgical process differs to processes used by conventional converters, in that it requires no roasting, is capable of handling very fine spodumene particles and exhibits superior impurity rejection during the lithium recovery process.

In February the company received a grant under the Australian federal government’s CRC-P (Co-operative Research Centre Projects) initiative, to support the next stage of its $3.6 million research and development program for the recovery of lithium from spodumene using LieNA®.

Much of the preparatory work has now been completed, including collection of an initial test sample recovered from drill chips and bench-scale test work to characterise the flotation conditions required for pilot-plant production of concentrates from the drill chip sample, optimise caustic conversion conditions and confirm the final autoclave design specification.

“Lithium Australia’s LieNA® technology is the pinnacle for hydrometallurgical processing of spodumene, the principal hard-rock source of lithium,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“LieNA® is capable of recovering lithium from fine and/or contaminated spodumene that fails to meet the feed specifications of current converters.

“It also provides the highest levels of impurity rejection.

“It is these characteristics that set it apart.

“LieNA®, then, is designed to improve overall recovery and achieve better utilisation of existing resources: it’s about cost reduction, sustainability and maximising the benefit of our critical (and finite) resources.”









Black Cat Syndicate Progresses Resource Infill Drilling Campaign

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Black Cat Syndicate (ASX: BC8) received assay results from drilling undertaken at Imperial/Majestic, part of the company’s Kal East gold project in Western Australia.

Black Cat drilled 13 diamond holes at Imperial/Majestic in late 2020 with results from the final nine holes showing multiple high-grade zones indicating strong structural continuity up to 75m below the current Resource.

The results, which will be included in the next Resource estimate, include:

0.28 metres at 30.3 grams per tonne gold from 362.94m;

1m at 13.4g/t gold from 294.2m and 0.29m at 12.1g/t gold from 301.67m;

1m at 15.9g/t gold from 147m and 0.4m at 8.53g/t gold from 345.43m and 0.25m at 9.45g/t gold from 346m and 2.16m at 5.81g/t gold from 347.45m; and

0.48m at 40.23g/t gold from 413.43m and 0.34m at 14.3g/t gold from 476.4m.

Black Cat is continuing infill drilling at Fingals Fortune, which has to date confirmed the structure and grades expected in the Resource within this large, shallow deposit.

The company has received results for 34 of 75 holes, 90 per cent of which have shown to contain mineralisation with multiple intersections in each hole.

Results will be included in a Resource update to be estimated in March 2021.

“Majestic continues to show potential for a long-life underground operation,” Black Cat Syndicate managing director Gareth Solly said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“The new results demonstrate continuation of the primary mineralisation approximately 75 metres below the current Resource and will be used to estimate a new Resource to be announced later in March 2021.

“The infill drilling at Fingals Fortune continues to add confidence to this large, shallow Resource, which will also be updated in late March 2021.

“With the recent option to purchase the key components of a processing facility, we are well positioned to transform into a developer in the near term.

“In the meantime, drilling will be focused on Resource growth and maiden Reserve definition.”









Magnetic Resources Building Cosy Retreat at Hawks Nest 9

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Magnetic Resources (ASX: MAU) is proving to the market that not all major gold producing regions currently occupied by some of the world’s largest mining houses are exhausted from an exploration point-of-view. By Mark Fraser

The Western Australian-based company, which has 261 square kilometres of prospective real estate in WA’s Laverton region and another 213sqkm around Leonora, has made what it believes are a couple of major new gold discoveries in locations which, from all indications, seem to have been mostly overlooked by previous tenants.

First cab off the rank is Hawks Nest 9 (HN9), which sits only 15km north of Gold Fields’ Wallaby mine, 35km north of AngloGold Ashanti’s giant Sunrise Dam operation and 10km north west of Dacian Gold’s Jupiter deposit.

Here, Magnetic Resources’ exploration endeavours have demonstrated significant and coherent mineralisation over a 3km by 200 metre area that is still open and predominantly within the top 50m of cover, thus providing tremendous potential for deeper mineralisation

Within this 3km mineralised shear zone there are many shallow gold intersections, with 240 being greater than 1 gram per tonne, 89 higher than 2 grams per tonne, 44 more than 3 grams per tonne and 32 over 4 grams per tonne. To date, the company has drilled 723 RC holes for 39,740m.

Of particular interest is the Central Thickened Zone, where some thick gold intersections like 104m at 0.82 grams per tonne from 8m (including 20m at 2.23 grams per tonne from 95m) have been encountered.

These thickened zones have multiple stacked shallow dipping lodes similar to those at Wallaby, Jupiter and Sunrise Dam.

According to Magnetic Resources, a new thickened gold intersection of 90m at 0.37 grams per tonne from 80m (including 8m at 2.5 grams per tonne from 80m) was located 600m south of the Central Thickened Zone.

This intercept is only 60m north of another one of 7m at 3.04 grams per tonne from 108m.The areal extent of the mineralisation is growing in the southern direction and remains open both to the north east and at depth.

During the 20th RIU Explorers Conference held in Fremantle, Magnetic Resources’ managing director George Sakalidis said a large drill program of 98 holes for 11,937m was planned mainly to define an indicated resource within HN9 and extend the size of the new Southern Thickened Zone.

Meanwhile, sitting just 1.5km to the east is Lady Julie, where the tenements are strongly mineralised with 101 gold intercepts (1-19m) greater than 1 gram per tonne, including 34 being greater than 2 grams per tonne, 20 more than 4 grams per tonne and 13 over 4 grams per tonne.

So far, the prospect has been subjected to 131 RC holes for 7,196m.

Several of these mineralised zones were similar to HN9 and occurred within altered porphyry and altered porphyry and mafic contacts as well as, in some cases, sediment zones.

During his time at the RIU podium Sakalidis said HN9 – in combination with Lady Julie – represented an exciting large scale near-surface gold deposit.

The shallow gold and adjacent mining operations, he noted, were the unique point of difference for investors.

Ultimately, Magnetic Resources was looking to identify large economic gold deposits of 1 million gold ounces or more using the knowledge of the region’s geology and geophysics garnered by the current producers working there.

After his RIU presentation, Resources Roadhouse asked Sakalidis how was it that new gold discoveries could be made in a well looked over world class mining district (Leonora-Laverton) which had already yielded over 34Moz (mined and resources) and was second only to the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region in WA when it came to yellow metal endowment.

“Other companies that have looked at it obviously haven’t appreciated it or understood it – they haven’t understood it, so we have spent a lot of time and energy trying to understand what it all means,” he replied.

“There was some data (when Magnetic Resources first pegged the tenements), but it needed someone to drill it out to connect it all up.

“So, we went out in the field, and you can see with these old pits (on HN9) that they are only small, but they are also horizontal.

“So, one of the things that we noted was that a lot of the lodes carrying the gold in the large ore bodies are near horizontal. And that wasn’t recognised straight away, so that could be part of the reason. They (previous modern explorers) were looking for these big plunging deposits.

“Basically, HN9 sits on this one thrust plane, and that thrust plane goes down to 2km depth. The length of the thrust is about 4km, so this is a pretty significant stuff.

“These thrusts are bringing the mineralisation up. We can see a set of six thrusts over HN9, and we’ve really only investigated one of them. So fundamentally, now that we have done the seismic, we understand the geometry, and having a thrust plane bring up mineralisation is very significant.”

Sakalidis said Magnetic Resources’ current field program included some passive seismic work, which was being conducted over a much larger grid.

“What we are trying to do is get a pseudo 3D effect,” he explained.

“So, with these thrust zones, we know they occur on this line, but do they go directly north or do they go that way?

“We are trying to work out, by having a 3D effect, if you might be able to trace these going north.

“And that will be very important, because if they do intersect areas that we haven’t drilled, then they become a good target.”



Polar X Biden its Time on US Projects

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: An Australian explorer with two emerging projects in the US does not expect the recent election of the Joe Biden-led Democrat administration will have much impact on the country’s minerals sector – at least not in the short to medium term. By Mark Fraser

Speaking just before his presentation at the 20th RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle last week, Polar X (ASX: PXX) managing director Dr Frazer Tabeart said while the new American government had “a broadly different philosophy about mining than the outgoing administration” – meaning there may, across a longer time frame, be some changes “particularly in areas that are federally-controlled rather than state-controlled” – he suggested it would be manageable.

The Western Australian-based explorer has two polymetallic projects in the US – one in Nevada and the other in Alaska. Both states are globally recognised as being attractive mining jurisdictions.

In Nevada, the company is looking for high grade gold and silver in the Humboldt Range, which sits around 200 kilometres north east of Reno.

Here, Polar X has a low cost exclusive agreement to wholly acquire a mine lease agreement over 177 lode claims in two areas – Black Canyon and Fourth of July.

At Black Canyon, these claims have been owned by the same family since 1950 and exposed to limited modern exploration since mining ceased there in 1927.

Located between Argonaut Gold’s 5 million ounce Florida Canyon gold mine and the 400Moz Rochester silver operation (which also contains 3.5Moz in gold credits) owned by Couer Mining, outcropping quartz veins and historical mines show numerous gold assays over 10 grams per tonne, with peak values of a whopping 3,384 grams per tonne gold, 2,837 grams per tonne silver, 22.9 per cent lead and 3.1 per cent zinc being recorded.

Meanwhile at the Fourth of July just to the south, rock chip sampling has returned some pretty interesting numbers, including 3.38, 15.28 and 12.3 grams per tonne gold as well as 23.4, 2,639 and 838 grams per tonne silver.

As it stands Polar X plans to complete its Humboldt Range due diligence and exercise the option by the end of April before immediately starting exploration in earnest, with the aim of generating drill targets by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Over in central south Alaska, the company is looking at two properties covering a combined 261 square km – the wholly-owned Stella and Caribou Dome, where it is earning up to 90 per cent. Both are located around 250km north east of Anchorage.

Prospective for large porphyry copper-gold deposits, field activities at Stella – which has shown the presence of Zackly skarn mineralisation – have returned intercepts like 102m at 0.22 per cent copper and 0,1 grams per tonne gold (with the hole ending in mineralisation) at the Mars prospect. The Zackly Main deposit is now 1km long and occurs along a structure with a strong magnetic gradient.

Sitting just to the south west, Caribou Dome contains high grade volcanic sediment-hosted mineralisation, where prospective drill intersections occur over 800m of strike length.

It is envisaged a mining scoping study for this project will be completed during the third quarter.

When pressed by Resources Roadhouse whether he thought the defeat of former Republican President Donald Trump last November would impact Polar X’s activities, Dr Tabeart said it was unlikely in the short term given mining was such an important part of both Nevada’s and Alaska’s economic make up.

“Having said that, obviously the new administration has a broadly different philosophy about mining than the outgoing one, so longer term there may be some changes – particularly in areas that are federally controlled rather than state controlled,” he said.

“These will likely be very project- and very area-specific.

“Our projects in Nevada are on federal land and are controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, the BLF, but as I said – particularly in Nevada where gold and silver mining is such a massive part of the economy – I don’t think we are expecting to see any changes in the short to medium term.

“And in our case we are very fortunate in that Humboldt Range is very close to existing, fully permitted mines. So if we make a discovery there, we will always have the option of working with existing mines in some form of an operating joint venture so we wouldn’t have to permit something like a new processing plant or a new heap leach.

“I think in the longer term it’s the permitting of things like heap leaches that might get further scrutiny, but I can’t see that impacting us in the next 2-3 years.”

In Alaska, Dr Tabeart said, mining was not subjected to the same environmental concerns as the state’s energy sector given it did not potentially impact fragile ecosystems or face permafrost issues.

“There really shouldn’t be a perception that Alaska is anti-mining – it’s a very pro mining state,” he noted.

“In all of the recent polls that have been taken within industry, Alaska is probably second in the US after Nevada, and that puts it in the top 10 in the world.

“We’ve found everybody in Alaska to be really supportive – in the past the state has had such a reliance on royalties from oil and gas that it really did see the need to diversify its economy, because it’s obviously a risky strategy if you are only relying on one source of income.”

Although the development of one of the world’s giant copper-gold porphyries – Pebble, some 310km south west of Anchorage – was recently stopped after years of controversy, Dr Tabeart said this was not reflective of mining in the state as a whole.

“Pebble is a very specific project – the complexities there are multiple types of land ownership, with private land ownership, state owned and federal native corporation ownership,” he noted.

“The project had a very large footprint potentially, and also it was quite sensitive in terms of the large number of commercial fishing ventures involved, so there was quite a lot of opposition to that – and there had been for 10 to12 years.

“But while that was all been happening a lot of other big projects were permitted, so there has been significant progress over that time.”

In short, Dr Tabeart said, Alaska was “open for business”.

“Of course with every individual project there will be specific issues, but you have just got to manage it, and you have to manage it well from day one,” he added.

“So it certainly can be done.”