Magnetic Resources Raises $3M to Feather Hawks Nest

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Magnetic Resources (ASX: MAU) has received binding applications for approximately $3 million via a placement of approximately 4.84 million new shares at 62 cents per share.

Magnetic Resources indicated the funds raised will be predominately used at the company’s Hawks Nest 9 project for additional drilling, metallurgical work, resource and scoping studies to advance the company’s gold projects.

“The past 12 months have seen the company define additional mineralisation both at depth and along strike at the Hawks Nest 9 project, with the company of the belief that additional drilling will result in a JORC resource being declared,” Magnetic Resources managing director George Sakalidis said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“These funds will allow the company to undertake metallurgical and resource definition work with the view to initiating pre-feasibility studies later in the year.”




Impact Minerals Cashed Up for Exploration Advance

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Impact Minerals (ASX: IPT) has received firm commitments to raise just over $2.1 million.

The raising is by way of a placement of 233.4 million share to sophisticated and professional investors at 0.9 cents per share.

Impact Minerals indicated it would be using the funds raised to fund new drilling at the company’s Broken Hill project targeting high-grade palladium and other platinum group metals at Red Hill, and other prospects, at a time of record prices for palladium and rhodium.

In addition, follow-up copper-gold focused work at Impact’s Commonwealth project, near Orange and along trend from the recent Boda discovery of Alkane Resources, including soil geochemistry surveys and ground geophysics, is also now fully funded and will commence as soon as practicable.

“With palladium at a record price of more than US$2,500 per ounce, and rhodium prices literally exploding above US$10,000 an ounce in the past week, Impact is pleased to now have the funds to aggressively return to exploration at our unique Broken Hill project,” Impact Minerals managing director Dr Mike Jones said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Our previous drilling there has delivered exceptional grades of all six platinum group metals (palladium, platinum, rhodium, ruthenium, osmium and iridium) not to mention gold, nickel and copper as well.

“We are looking forward to getting the drill bit turning at Red Hill as soon as possible where we returned drill grades of 1.2 metres at 254 grams per tonne palladium and 4.6 grams per tonne rhodium – exceptional PGM grades on a world scale.

“The company is also about to commence re-assays of key drill intercepts, for rhodium, which is not routinely assayed for.

“With this new funding, Impact is also now in a position to push forward with follow-up work on our exciting Commonwealth project targets along trend and close to the recent Boda discovery in the copper-gold rich Lachlan Fold Belt, currently one of the hottest exploration footprints in Australia.

“We will have boots on the ground there shortly to complete soil geochemistry surveys and subsequently ground geophysical surveys to define targets for drilling later in the year.”





Barra Resources Finalises Mt Thirsty PFS

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Barra Resources (ASX: BAR) released the long-awaited results for the Pre-Feasibility Study completed at the company’s Mt Thirsty cobalt-nickel project in Western Australia.

Barra Resources declared Mt Thirsty has now claimed the number one position of Australia’s ‘most advanced genuine cobalt project’.

Nickel is not forgotten and has emerged as a useful by-product with a cobalt-nickel value split of 71 per cent to 29 per cent.

The study has scaled up the project to a 1.8 million dry tonnes per annum feed rate to produce 19100 tonnes of cobalt and 24800 tonnes of nickel as a Mixed Sulphide Product (MSP) over a 12 year mine life.

The project boasts an estimated maiden JORC 2012 Probable Ore Reserve of 18.8 million dry tonnes at 0.13 per cent cobalt and 0.54 per cent nickel.

The release of the study results coincides with a cobalt price that is forecast to rise by investment banks surveyed by the company as demand for electric vehicle batteries continues to grow and other cobalt supply growth options limited.

The Mt Thirsty Joint Venture (MTJV) has identified the highest value development path to be a farm-in from a large global firm, eager to secure a guaranteed sustainable source of cobalt.

The direct project expenditure for the MTJV now reverts to a minimum while the partnering strategy is pursued as planned.

The MTJV is now re-engaging with several major Australian and international mining, trading and refining firms who have all identified a high quality PFS as their minimum investment criteria.

“This study is the culmination of 18 months’ work by the MTJV,” Barra Resources managing director and CEO and MTJV PFS manager Sean Gregory said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“I am confident that the PFS has been completed to a very high standard by global engineering houses that will stand up to the most detailed scrutiny from potential project partners.

“We are now looking forward to engaging with these large global firms who are eager to secure a guaranteed sustainable source of cobalt for electric vehicle batteries.”





Alloy Resources Acquires New Exploration Pipeline Via Dingo Resources

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Alloy Resources (ASX: AYR) has entered into a binding Heads of Agreement to acquire unlisted public company Dingo Resources Limited.

Alloy Resources explained that Dingo has the right to acquire two mineral exploration projects in Western Australia which Alloy believes will revitalise its pipeline of exploration projects and offer new opportunities for exploration success.

“We have been looking for the right opportunity to revitalise the company’s pipeline of projects and these high-quality exploration plays have the potential to be ‘company makers’ for Alloy,” Alloy Resources executive chairman Andy Viner said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Through Dingo, we are pleased to be acquiring two fantastic exploration opportunities in Western Australia.

“To complement our JV with Rio Tinto in the Paterson, we are now purchasing a project from Rio in the West Musgrave region which has a well-defined target.

“In addition, we have also secured a large landholding right in the middle of Sandfire’s Bryah Basin exploration areas which has numerous early stage copper-gold targets.

“This year is going to be incredibly busy for Alloy and we look forward to delivering on this huge potential for both existing shareholders and new investors.”

The Morgan Range project is located in the West Musgrave belt of Western Australia and encompasses similar geology to the large Nebo-Babel and Succoth nickel-copper deposits, located some 50 kilometres to the south west, which have been the subject of a recently completed Pre-feasibility Study by Oz Minerals in Joint Venture with Cassini Resources.

The principal target is a strong historical aerial electro-magnetic anomaly (TEM) selected by Rio Tinto Exploration (RTX) for pegging, which has now been optioned to Dingo.

The Bryah Basin project is located approximately 80 kilometres north of Meekatharra in the Gascoyne district of Western Australia.

The project comprises five early stage Exploration Licences covering 260 square kilometres.





Middle Island Resources Grabs More Barkly IOCG Ground

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) has been allocated between 19 per cent and 95 per cent of each of four competing exploration licence applications, located within the newly available IOCG-prospective former Barkly moratorium area of the Northern Territory.

Middle Island had already had a further six Middle Island exploration licence applications accepted in full (100%).

The latest Barkly super-project allocations to Middle Island comprise:

ELA32297 – 35 of 186 blocks allocated (19%), representing 110.92 square kilometres;
ELA32298 – 137 of 228 blocks allocated (60%), representing 443.37sqkm;
ELA32301 – 230 of 242 blocks allocated (95%), representing 740.7sqkm; and
ELA32304 – 21 of 73 blocks allocated (29%), representing 67.8sqkm.

The newly allocated Middle Island applications include three sites that have been reserved for government basement stratigraphic drilling in 2020, and five applications surround or immediately adjoin those of Newcrest Mining.

Subject to normal approval procedures, Middle Island’s awarded super-project blocks collectively comprise 10 applications covering 3,253sqkm, extending semi-continuously for over 350km along the axis of the East Tennant ridge from Tennant Creek east to the Queensland border.

Competing applications with Rio Tinto (in the Tennant Creek area) and Newcrest Mining (in the Barkly moratorium area) gave the applications a ringing endorsement of the project’s technical merit and strategy.

Middle Island believes the project represents a low entry cost and low initial exploration cost opportunity for the company to identify high value, Tier 1 IOCG targets of interest to major and mid-tier resources companies.

“We are extremely pleased with the outcome of what appears to have been a very equitable process involving the allocation of various competing exploration licence applications within the now former Barkly moratorium area,” Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Middle Island has secured priority areas and targets in several cases, and the allocated areas also include or immediately adjoin three sites planned for much anticipated government stratigraphic basement drilling during 2020.”





Matador Mining Raises $5.2M to Support Cape Ray Scoping Study

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) announced the raising of $5.2 million to support activities at the company’s Cape Ray gold project in Newfoundland, Canada.

Matador Mining raised the cash by way of a private placement of shares to institutional, professional and sophisticated investors at a price of 20 cents per share.

“The placement includes participation by directors of the company, who subscribed for 1.35 million shares, the issue of which will be subject to the approval of Matador shareholders at the company’s next general meeting,” Matador Mining said in its ASX announcement.

The company indicated the proceeds will be put towards the completion of a Scoping Study, which is on schedule to be completed later this quarter, as well as the recommencement of exploration activities at the Cape Ray project.

The capital raising follows a recent increase to the Resource at the Cape Ray project.

The updated Mineral Resource currently stands at 16.7 million tonnes at 2.2 grams per tonne gold and 6.6g/t silver for 1.2 million ounces gold and 3.9 million ounces silver.



Image Resources Hits New Production Records at Boonanarring

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Image Resources (ASX: IMA) reported record monthly production from the company’s 100 per cent-owned, high-grade, zircon-rich Boonanarring Mineral Sands project located north of Perth in Western Australia.

Image Resources reported record high monthly production of heavy mineral concentrate (HMC) in December 2019 and again in January 2020.

This was in line with the company’s expectations of higher ore grades that were forecast for mining in Block ‘B’ at Boonanarring.

Prior to December 2019, the highest monthly HMC production Image had achieved was in January 2019 at 25500 tonnes from ore mined in the northern section of Boonanarring Block ‘C’.

Since relocating mining activities from Block ‘C’ to the overall higher-grade Block ‘B’ in mid-November 2019, HMC production for December set a new record high at 31400 tonnes, and in January 2020, HMC production reached a new high at 35300 tonnes, providing a strong start for Q1 and CY2020 production.

The company highlighted that HMC production in December and January was in line with its updated mining model estimates which include the uplift in forecast heavy mineral and zircon grades as reported in the updated Ore Reserve results published in December 2019.

Image expects average monthly HMC production levels to moderate through the year to an average of 25-28kt/month to achieve published market guidance for CY2020 HMC production of 300-330kt.

In January 2020 the sale of a regular monthly scheduled shipment of HMC was completed and discussions are underway with off-take partners for Q1 follow-on shipments.

To date, the only impact to Image from the uncertain economic conditions in China following the emergence of the coronavirus has been a delay of a planned February shipment of HMC into March.

Image is working with its partners to expand the size and/or frequency of HMC shipments going forward, to accommodate the higher 2020 HMC production schedule.

The company is investigating interests in the purchase of its HMC from entities outside of China, as a step to minimise geographical risk and to expand marketing opportunities.

“We continue to meet our production targets at Boonanarring which for 2020 are significantly higher than 2019 targets,” Image Resources managing director and CEO Patrick Mutz said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Our efforts have been supported by substantially higher HMC production capacity following modifications to the processing plant in 2019.

“These modifications have now been proven to allow HMC production at levels substantially above original plant design capacity.

“We also remain focused on, and confident of the outcome of, accelerating exploration and the development of new Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves under the formal banner of Project ‘MORE’ with the goal of extending the mine-life at Boonanarring as quickly as practicable.

“And, in response to the recent softening of the zircon market, which were largely offset by rising TiO2 prices, we continue to evaluate value-adding steps aimed at incrementally increasing product revenue.”





Cassini Resources and OZ Minerals Deliver PFS for Low-Carbon, Long-Life, Low-Cost Mine

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL) and Cassini Resources (ASX: CZI) finally delivered the long-awaited results of the West Musgrave, Nebo-Babel Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS).

The West Musgrave project in Western Australia is a Joint Venture between OZ Minerals (70%) and Cassini (30%).

The PFS has determined a long life for the project, coming in with an approximate 26-year open pit copper and nickel sulphide mine.

The study also delivered a maiden Probable Ore Reserve of 220 million tonnes at 0.36 per cent copper and 0.33 per cent nickel, representing around 22 years of the estimated 26-year life of mine with the balance of the mine life underpinned by a combination of Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource.

The study included an innovative 50MW base case power supply proposal that will use a hybrid solar-wind-battery-diesel solution, although a gas pipeline remains a secondary option.

Baseline data collected since 2018 has demonstrated a high quality, consistent solar and wind resource is available, with higher wind velocities at night offsetting the lack of solar.

Although the current base case assumes power will be purchased under a Power Purchase Agreement arrangement, the final ownership structure for power assets will be further considered during the next phase of project development.

Modelling has demonstrated that around 70 to 80 per cent renewables penetration can be achieved for the site, with the current mix modelled to be an optimised mix of wind, solar and diesel supported by a battery installation.

The JV declared that should the renewables option be implemented, this innovative power supply solution would make West Musgrave one of the largest fully off-grid, renewable powered mines in the world.

The solution would result in the avoidance of in excess of 220,000 tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide emission compared to a fully diesel-powered operation.

“The Pre-Feasibility Study is now complete and has confirmed the project can be a low carbon, low cost, long life mine producing copper and nickel, both in-demand minerals for the renewable and electrification industries,” OZ Minerals CEO Andrew Cole said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities exchange.

“Building a viable asset in a remote part of Australia is challenging, but through our collaborative approach we have developed innovative off-grid renewable power and processing solutions, increased stakeholder awareness and involvement in the project and we have built confidence in the Mineral Resource itself.

“Furthermore, we have been able to reduce and eliminate a number of potential project risks.”

OZ Minerals will continue to sole fund the Nebo-Babel studies until the FS and decision to mine are delivered as per the current agreement.

In respect of any amount funded by OZ Minerals, Cassini will be loan-carried for its 30 per cent contribution, with principal and capitalised interest to be repaid five years after the commencement of production at West Musgrave.

“Completion of the PFS is a significant milestone for the West Musgrave Project and all its stakeholders,” Cassini Resources managing director Richard Bevan said.

“The high quality PFS demonstrates the strategic value of this project by confirming robust economics on a long life, low operating cost copper and nickel mine at the Nebo-Babel deposits.

“The province offers the potential to add value to the project over time with continued exploration and development activities.”





Lithium Australia Subsidiary Awarded Federal Battery Development Grant

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT) 100 per cent-owned subsidiary VSPC is to participate in a federal government Co-operative Research Centres Projects (‘CRC-P’) program.

VSPC– together with CSIRO, University of Queensland (UQ) and Soluna – will receive a grant totalling $1.6 million for its participation in a $5 million CRC-P program to develop fast-charge lithium-ion batteries for use in new-generation trams.

Battery-powered trams eliminate the need for overhead power lines, which are expensive, visually polluting and potentially hazardous.

CSIRO has expertise in the design of Li-ion batteries as well as experience and intellectual property relating to fast-charge batteries for application in trams and other forms of transport, such as e-buses, ferries and military applications.

VSPC will partner with battery researchers at CSIRO’s Clayton site in Victoria to design, manufacture and test fast-charge Li-ion battery prototypes.

The UQ team at the Faculty of Engineering, Architecture and Information Technology – led by Professor Lianzhou Wang from the Australian Institute for Bioengineering and Nanotechnology – has extensive capabilities with respect to the analysis of advanced materials.

VSPC will work with the UQ team on both the characterisation and optimisation of VSPC’s battery materials.

Soluna, meanwhile, will advise on manufacturing and also lead commercialisation of the fast-charge battery products developed.

“This is an unparalleled opportunity to combine VSPC’s battery-materials technology with some of the world’s leading research,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The aim is to deliver an Australian product that puts this country at the forefront of battery development … and there’s more to it than trams; successful application of what is currently at our fingertips will lead to myriad other fast-charge applications, many of them not yet thought of.”





Southern Gold Raises $10 Million From Institutional Placement

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Southern Gold (ASX: SAU) received binding commitments from sophisticated and institutional investors to raise $10 million.

Southern Gold said the objective of the placement of just over 71.4 million ordinary shares at 14 cents per share was to lift the company’s gold exploration effort in South Korea to higher level, including a doubling of the field teams and diamond drilling rate.

The placement resulted in AIM-listed investment specialist, Metal Tiger subscribing for a cornerstone position under a subscription agreement that provides the right for Metal Tiger to nominate one director to the company Board.

Prominent geologist, Terry Grammer has been nominated under this provision.

Also joining the Southern Gold Board, effective immediately, is economic geologist, Douglas Kirwin, who has been acting in a technical advisory capacity for Southern Gold but now steps up into a much more prominent role as non-executive director of the company.

“This is a truly transformative transaction as it injects significant project advancement funding that can immediately lift the exploration work rate across our South Korea gold holdings,” Southern Gold managing director Simon Mitchell said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Metal Tiger, as a new cornerstone investor, is technically sophisticated and highly selective.

“Its investment is an important vote of confidence in Southern Gold’s ability to leverage this unique position in South Korea into one of advanced discovery and value uplift.

“This is reinforced by the appointment to the Board of two industry-leading geologists, Douglas Kirwin and Terry Grammer, both with enviable discovery records, are top tier area-selection geologists and who appreciate what we are uncovering in South Korea.”