Peel Mining Fights Off Wirlong NSR Bid

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) exercised its pre-emptive muscle to acquire Weddarla Pty Ltd’s 1.5 per cent Net Smelter Return (NSR) royalty over tenement EL8307, within the company’s Southern Cobar Basin tenements in New South Wales.

Peel Mining fought off a third party’s unconditional cash offer of $1.2 million made to Weddarla by a Toronto Stock Exchange listed royalty streaming business.

Respecting Peel’s first right of refusal under the Royalty Deed, Weddarla offered to sell the royalty to Peel for $1.2 million (excluding GST) in cash.

Peel elected to exercise its right to acquire the royalty interest, after which it will have 100 per cent unencumbered ownership of all its Southern Cobar Basin tenements.

“The unconditional cash offer from a TSX-listed royalty streaming business for the 1.5 per cent NSR royalty covering EL8307 continues to underscore the widespread interest that exists for Cobar Basin assets, and the strong economic potential therein,” Peel Mining managing director Rob Tyson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Peel’s pre-emptive right has ensured that the company can completely consolidate its Southern Cobar Basin tenements removing all future ownership encumbrances.”

EL8307 contains the Wirlong copper-silver deposit, as well as the Sandy Creek and Red Shaft prospects.

Peel discovered Wirlong in 2016, which is a classic Cobar-style VMS copper deposit that has returned strong copper mineralised intercepts commencing from around 60 metres below surface to at least 600m below surface.

With the Mallee Bull deposit, Wirlong increases the company’s exposure to copper.

Peel intends to undertake drilling at Wirlong over the coming months with the objective of establishing a copper-rich Maiden mineral resource estimate.

“As foreshadowed, it is the company’s intention, in due course, to undertake a resource drillout at Wirlong in order to establish a maiden mineral resource estimate,” Tyson said.

“It is our strong belief that Wirlong, and the broader EL8307 landholding, has excellent economic potential, and the buyout of the royalty interest underlines the Company’s view on the value proposition.”







Moho Resources Expands Silver Swan Tenure

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Moho Resources (ASX: MOH) has increased its landholding position at the company’s Silver Swan North project in Western Australia.

Moho has taken an Option to Purchase 100 per cent of granted mining lease and six prospecting licences covering 6.6 square kilometres.

The granted mining lease under question – M27/488 – is contiguous with Moho’s 100 per cent-owned M27/263, and represents a substantial increase in ground holding close to the East Sampson Dam gold prospect.

Moho recently completed a surface soil geochemical sampling program over its granted tenements at Silver Swan North that will be extended to cover any of the recent applications should they be granted.

The company will pay particular attention to testing whether anomalous gold within the East Sampson Dam – Tyrells corridor extends into a 2km zone from M27/263 through M27/488 and into P27/2200.

“Moho’s recent ground acquisitions represent a significant addition of highly prospective tenements to the Silver Swan North project, most of which have seen no modern gold exploration,” Moho Resources managing director Shane Sadlier said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“It is worth noting that all of the Option Tenements have a history of significant alluvial gold production.”








Encounter Resources Teams Up with BHP for Northern Territory Copper Hunt

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Encounter Resources (ASX: ENR) has entered into an Option Agreement with BHP covering the 4,500 square kilometres Elliott copper project in the Northern Territory.

Following the completion of a validation program, BHP will have the right, but not the obligation, to enter an earn-in and Joint Venture agreement in relation to Elliott where the key terms would be:

Staged earn-in where BHP has the right to earn up to 75 per cent interest in Elliott by sole funding up to $22 million of exploration expenditure within 10 years;

Upon BHP completing the earn-in, a 75:25 joint venture will be formed and the parties must contribute funds based on their percentage interest to maintain their respective interests or dilute according to a standard dilution formula. Should a party’s interest dilute to below 10 per cent it shall automatically convert to a net smelter royalty.

During the earn-in phase, BHP has the right to be the manager of the project.

Elliott was the first project secured by Encounter in the NT and comprises seven tenements covering more than 4,500sqkm.

Four of the tenements, covering over 3,000sqkm, were granted in March 2020.

Elliott is located at a major structural intersection on the southwestern margin of the Beetaloo Basin targeting sedimentary hosted copper.

The Beetaloo Basin is part of the Greater McArthur Superbasin that hosts the giant sediment-hosted base metal deposit at McArthur River.

The basin contains thick, petroleum bearing, reduced sediments which are an ideal trap sequence and structural setting for major sediment hosted base metal deposits.

“New data has shone a light on the potential for copper to be found under shallow cover in the Northern Territory,” Encounter Resources managing director Will Robinson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Encounter moved early and aggressively to secure first mover opportunities in this new frontier.

“We are delighted to be teaming up with BHP in the search for Tier 1 copper deposits at Elliott.

“We look forward to working alongside the highly respected BHP exploration team to validate this compelling opportunity.”








Blackstone Minerals Raises $21 Million to Advance Ta Khoa

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) should be operating a busy booth on the opening day of the RIU Resurgence Conference after announcing firm commitments from sophisticated, professional and institutional investors to raise up to a total of $17.8 million through a placement of approximately 42 million fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of 42 cents per share.

Buoyed by the placement, which includes Fidelity International corner-stoning the raise with an $8 million pledge, Blackstone will also offer a Share Purchase Plan to raise a further $3 million.

“We’re excited to welcome new long-term institutional investors to our register and the opportunity to raise $21 Million for Blackstone to support the ongoing exploration, resource drilling and future studies at the Ta Khoa project,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

Net proceeds from the Placement and SPP are intended to be used to fund exploration and resource drilling activities, as well as a Pre-Feasibility Study and Definitive Feasibility Study at the company’s Ta Khoa nickel project in Vietnam.








Azure Minerals Acquires Kookynie – Ulysses Gold Corridor Project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) continued to build its domestic portfolio with the acquisition of 100 per cent-ownership of the Barton gold project, a single Exploration Licence Application (ELA 40/393) in Western Australia from local company 30 Well Pty Ltd.

The Barton project is located near the historical gold mining town of Kookynie approximately 200 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie and 40km south of Leonora in the Eastern Goldfields.

The project covers just over 200 square kilometres of the Kookynie Gold District and adjoins several growing gold deposits / projects, including: Genesis Minerals’ Ulysses and Kookynie gold projects; Metalicity’s recent high-grade Kookynie gold discoveries; and Saturn Minerals’ Apollo Hill gold project.

“The Barton project is ideally situated within the Kookynie Gold District which is fast developing a reputation as a very exciting exploration and mine development area,” Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“This purchase adds to Azure’s growing portfolio of Western Australian projects which commenced with the recent acquisition of four gold and nickel projects from Mark Creasy and the Creasy Group.

“Building a portfolio of Western Australian projects has reduced Azure’s risk profile by diversifying across commodities and jurisdictions.

“This strategy has now given shareholders exposure to two of WA’s most exciting gold exploration areas – the Mallina district in the Pilbara and the reborn Kookynie district – as well as taking on Creasy’s nickel-copper discovery in the Andover layered mafic-ultramafic complex.

“Given recent exploration successes in the Kookynie district by other companies, Azure is confident that comprehensive and targeted exploration on the largely unexplored 200 square kilometres Barton landholding has good potential for the discovery of significant gold mineralisation.

“Meanwhile, we’re not neglecting our Mexican assets with target identification and drill planning finalised for the Alacrán silver-gold-copper project and drilling is expected in Q4 2020.”



Vimy Resources DFS Refresh Improves Mulga Rock Numbers

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Vimy Resources (ASX: VMY) completed its revisitation of the Definitive Feasibility Study for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Mulga Rock project in Western Australia.

Vimy Resources declared the refresh demonstrates that the uranium project will generate stronger financial returns than previously forecast.

Nutshell-wise the project economics now stand at:

─ Net Present Value pre-tax US$393 million, a 14 per cent increase
─ Internal Rate of Return 31 per cent, a 23 per cent increase
─ Capital cost of US$255 million, a 20 per cent reduction
─ Payback 2.4 years, reduced by 8 months
─ Free cash flow US$61 million year, a 22 per cent increase

The refresh also improved operating costs:

─ Cash operating cost (C1) of US$23.33 uranium over the first 5 years, an 8 per cent decrease
─ C1 of US$26.02 uranium over Life of Mine, a 7 per cent decrease
─ All In Sustained Costs of US$28.09 uranium over the first 5 years and US$31.22 uranium over Life of Mine, both an 8 per cent decrease

“The DFS Refresh reinforces the global importance of the Mulga Rock project, which is the largest advanced uranium project in Australia; a first-world jurisdiction with low sovereign risk,” Vimy Resources CEO Mike Young said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“With a completed DFS and State and Federal Government approvals, it is leader of the pack in terms of the next wave of world-wide uranium projects.

“The Refresh has been transformational for the project and moves it into the middle of the uranium producer AISC cost curve and on par with the higher cost Kazakh operations and well ahead of most other uranium juniors.

“As we move into the coming contracting cycle, the utilities will look very favourably on our location in Australia, our multi-mine pipeline, and our long, sustainable mine life at Mulga Rock.”








Middle Island Resources Gains Northern Territory Barkly Approvals

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Middle Island Resources has had all 10 exploration licences (ELs), that make up the company’s 100 per cent-owned Barkly super-project in the Northern Territory, approved by the Northern Territory Government for granting.

Middle Island explained the formal grant is now only dependent on the lifting of COVID-19 travel restrictions or at the company’s earlier election, however, at this stage MDI has elected not to trigger the formal grant at this stage.

The Barkly project comprises 3,253 square kilometres that extend semi-continuously for over 350 kilometres along the axis of the East Tennant basement ridge, extending east from Tennant Creek across the Barkly Tableland to the Queensland border.

Pre-competitive government research suggests the area is highly prospective for Tier 1 iron oxide-copper-gold (IOCG) deposits.

Of note is that the Middle Island ELs in the Barkly area surround or immediately adjoin those of Newcrest Mining, while those in the Tennant Creek area adjoin Rio Tinto tenure, providing strong endorsement of the project’s technical merit.

As exciting as the Barkly project may become, for now Middle Island’s immediate focus remains firmly in Western Australia at the company’s Sandstone gold project development.

“We are extremely pleased to confirm that all 10 Exploration Licences comprising the Barkly copper-gold project in the NT are now available for grant, making Middle Island one of the first movers and largest tenement holders along the highly prospective East Tennant Ridge,” 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 several sites planned for much anticipated government stratigraphic basement drilling.

“The Barkly project represents a second string to Middle Island’s bow, with the immediate focus firmly on completing the feasibility study on the advanced Sandstone gold project in Western Australia, with a view to recommissioning that project early in 2021.”








Meteoric Resources Divests Canadian Projects

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Meteoric Resources (ASX: MEI) reinforced its recent acquisition of Australian tenure by selling off the company’s Canadian based Midrim and LaForce nickel-copper projects.

Meteoric Resources has entered into a conditional tenement sale agreement to divest the projects to Rafaella Resources in exchange for approx. 13 million shares in that company.

Based on the last trading price of Rafaella before stamping the deal a shareholding of $860,000 will increase the value of Meteoric’s treasury stash to approximately $6.7 million, giving it range to explore both its new Western Australian and existing Brazilian gold projects.

“This is a fantastic result for Meteoric,” Meteoric Resources managing director Andrew Tunks said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“With our sole focus being on our highly prospective Western Australian and Brazilian gold projects, we did not have the bandwidth to properly explore the Midrim and LaForce projects, so we are thrilled to have entered into an agreement with Rafaella which is in a better position to further these projects.

“Additionally, through the nature of the sale our shareholders will benefit from Rafaella’s future success.”







Peel Mining to Reclaim Full Ownership of Cobar Superbasin Project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) informed the market it received written notice from Japan Oil, Gas and Metals National Corporation (JOGMEC) of its decision to withdraw from the Cobar Superbasin project (CSP) in New South Wales.

The Cobar Superbasin project contains a number of prospects with a good deal of potential, including the Wirlong copper deposit where high-grade copper mineralisation has been defined.

JOGMEC’s withdrawal will see Peel move to 100 per cent control and consolidation of its Cobar Basin tenure which includes:

Mallee Bull copper-silver-gold-zinc-lead deposit;
May Day gold-silver-zinc-lead-copper deposit;
Wagga Tank and Southern Nights zinc-lead-silver-gold-copper deposits; and
Wirlong copper-silver deposit.

The Joint Venture between the two entities had lasted six years, during which time JOGMEC had provided substantial funding towards exploration, resulting in the discovery of the Wirlong copper deposit and the advancement of multiple other targets within the CSP.

As a result of the termination, JOGMEC’s rights and interests in Wirlong and associated CSP tenure will be transferred to Peel at no cost, resulting in Peel regaining 100 per cent-ownership.

“On behalf of Peel, I would like to thank JOGMEC for their invaluable contribution to the Cobar Superbasin project over the past six years – we have thoroughly enjoyed our collaborative relationship,” Peel Mining managing director Rob Tyson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Wirlong was uncovered in 2016, through systematic exploration under the JOGMEC Joint Venture, and has since advanced into a significant copper discovery with mineralisation extending from near surface to more than 600 metres below surface.

“It is our intention, in due course, to undertake a resource drillout at Wirlong in order to establish a maiden mineral resource estimate.

“The consolidation of CSP tenure, and particularly the Wirlong copper deposit, significantly advances Peel’s business plan delivering 100 per cent control of Peel’s entire Cobar Basin tenure, whilst significantly increasing the company’s exposure to copper, and expanding the company’s asset base in its objective to achieve critical mass to support a standalone processing plant.”








Rio Tinto Contrite, But Still Digging, After Juukan Gorge Destruction

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Rio Tinto (ASX: RIO), publicly at least, has its tail between its legs in regards to the destruction of a 46,000-year-old Aboriginal heritage site in Juukan Gorge.

The company blew up the Juukan Gorge rock shelters in the Hamersley Range in the Pilbara of Western Australia in May to expand its Brockman 4 iron ore mine.

The Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people (PKKP) had pleaded with Rio, telling it they wanted to preserve the site and had issued an urgent request to halt the blast five days before the detonation took place.

Photo Credit: Puutu Kunti Kurrama And Pinikura Aboriginal Corporation

Rio Tinto made a submission to a Senate inquiry into the destruction of the site, saying that it, “has unreservedly apologised to the Puutu Kunti Kurrama and Pinikura people (PKKP), and we reaffirm that apology now”.

Then came the lip-service, letting the company look contrite, but not taking away from the wanton damage it caused.

“For the benefit of current and future generations of Australians,” the company continued.

“We are determined to learn the lessons to ensure that the destruction of heritage sites of exceptional archaeological and cultural significance, such as the Juukan rock shelters, never occurs again”.

It is probably fair to give credit to the company here, as it is true the destruction of the Juukan rock shelters can never happen again, because it has happened and they can never be re-constructed for them to fall under any further protection. They’ve gone. Never to return.

What has come to light from the Senate inquiry is that Rio had another three options on the table to expand its iron ore mine that would not have damaged the caves.

Instead, it chose option four, which allowed it to, “access higher volumes of high-grade ore”, which would ensure it maintained the happiness of its shareholders who all received a healthy dividend of approximately $2.16 this year.

Rio informed the inquiry that it had engaged an independent expert to see if it could unload explosives from the relative holes before the blast.

It was found there was, “insufficient time to do so safely”.

On how much time compared to 46,000 years it did not expand.

As we were going to press a response was in the offing from Fortescue Metals (ASX: FMG) to a submission by the Wintawari Guruma Aboriginal Corporation (WGAC) regarding two rock shelters, estimated at 60,000 years old, that are under threat from FMG expansion.