THE DRILL SERGEANT: Ardea Resources (ASX: ARL) released an update to the cobalt Resources at the company’s Kalgoorlie nickel project (KNP) in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.
Ardea Resources has increased the Resource for the KNP Cobalt Zone to 108.3 million tonnes at 0.10 per cent cobalt and 0.79 per cent nickel.
In total the KNP Cobalt Zone contains over 108,000 tonnes of cobalt metal and over 856,000 tonnes of nickel metal.
The major contributor to the upgrade was the Cobalt Zone at the Goongarrie nickel cobalt project (GNCP), which has been defined at 83.1 million tonnes at 0.1 per cent cobalt and 0.81 per cent nickel.
The corresponding contained metal estimates are 81,700 tonnes cobalt metal and 672,300 tonnes nickel metal.
The Resource includes mineral resources at Goongarrie South, Big Four, and Scotia Dam which occur within a continuous mineralised zone extending over 16 kilometres in strike length north to south and over one kilometre wide.
Ardea declared the Goongarrie nickel cobalt project as the company’s prime development project and the subject of a forthcoming pre-feasibilty study (PFS).
The company is focused on the development of the deposits of the Goongarrie camp where mining schedules have highlighted the cobalt-rich and nickel-rich portions of the deposits which correspond to the Cobalt Zone at Goongarrie.
The company explained the Resource upgrade was not the result of additional drilling results or remodelling exercise.
The upgrade stemmed from a reappraisal of the focus of mining at Goongarrie during the development of the PFS and a substantial hike in metal prices.
The company reported previous resource estimates in 2017 using a 0.08 per cent cobalt cut-off only, ensuring capture of much high-grade nickel mineralisation.
However, the PFS has progressed and metals prices improved, positively impacting modelling of mining schedules, highlighting blocks containing high-grade nickel mineralisation with moderate cobalt grades (of less than 0.08 %) as volumetrically and fiscally important component of the deposits.
“The net effect is that 40 million tonnes of moderate to high-grade nickel / moderate cobalt mineralisation (reporting < 0.08% cobalt and > 0.5% nickel) have been added to the resource as continuity of mining blocks has improved,” Ardea Resources said in its ASX announcement.
“Most of this mineralisation is within the Cobalt Zone at Goongarrie but was not previously reported in the June 2017 Ardea announcement.
“In these areas, higher nickel grades often correspond to moderate cobalt.
“The effect of this updated reporting is that overall cobalt grade is not significantly diminished, and nickel grade is maintained.
“This newly included mineralisation is integral to the resource and indeed to the modelling and planning of the of the mining project, hence the Mineral Resource reporting for Goongarrie has been updated to reflect this.”