Global Geoscience Unveils Rhyolite Ridge Development Plans

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Global Geoscience (ASX: GSC) unveiled additional development plan details for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Rhyolite Ridge lithium-boron project in Nevada, USA.

Global Geoscience explained the development flowsheet is based on findings from the recently completed first phase of a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) and comprises three key parts:

Sulphuric acid leach to extract lithium and boron from crushed rock into a Pregnant Leach Solution (PLS).
A step similar to acid leaching commonly used in oxide copper mines;

Evaporation and concentration of the PLS followed by crystallisation of boric acid.
Using mechanical evaporators, which result in a substantial water savings, the PLS is further concentrated. The boric acid product is then further refined by flotation and recrystallisation to produce high-purity boric acid. This step is broadly similar to the process used at Rio Tinto’s Boron Mine in California; and

Further evaporation and concentration of the PLS to allow for removal of remaining impurites via precipitation and ion exchange, followed by precipitation of lithium carbonate.
This step is very similar to the process used in lithium brine operations.

Global Geoscience detailed the Rhyolite Ridge site layout, saying it has been designed with the total surface disturbance footprint of the mine and related facilities being less than one square mile (640 acres), allowing the Federal Bureau of Land Management (BLM) to consider the project for the Environmental Assessment (EA) process, which the company indicated was less time consuming than the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) process.

The site layout includes an open pit, process plant, haul roads, overburden storage, leach residue storage and salt storage.

No evaporation ponds or tailings dams are required.

“Our PFS work to date has provided a clear path to developing Rhyolite Ridge into a major, low-cost producer of lithium and boron in an environmentally sustainable manner,” Global Geoscience managing director Bernard Rowe said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We are prudently progressing Rhyolite Ridge toward production and remain on track to release the PFS outcomes in Q3 2018.”

Global Geoscience said it expects to complete the necessary environmental baseline studies by the end of Q3 2018.

Once this work is complete and it has submitted the Plan of Operations to the BLM, the BLM will make the determination regarding the Environment Assessment pathway forward for permitting and approval.




Middle Island Resources Progressing with Sandstone Ore Sorting and Resource Drilling

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Middle Island Resources (ASX: MDI) is conducting ongoing ore sorting trials and resource definition diamond drilling on the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps deposit within the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sandstone gold project in Western Australia.

Middle Island Resources’ initial mineralogical assessment involved the assaying of a series of hand-sorted composites of quartz vein material and un-veined tonalite.

The results of these suggested that greater than 99 per cent of the gold at the project is hosted in the quartz veins.

Middle Island was encouraged enough to initiate an ore sorting study on gold mineralised material sourced from the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps deposit.

More definitive ore sorting trials on bulk composites derived from diamond core hole MSDD261 at the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps deposit are nearing completion.

The company anticipates the more definitive ore sorting results will be available late in June.

Concurrently, Middle Island is carrying out Stage 1 resource definition diamond drilling, designed to bring the upper half (140m to 420m depth) of the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps Exploration Target into at least an Inferred Resource category.

Of the initial program, all RC pre-collars have been completed (541m) and three NQ diamond core tails are complete (817m).

Assuming a successful outcome on the current, more definitive, ore sorting trials, Middle Island has flagged its intentions to progress Stage II infill drilling, designed to bring the upper half of the deposit into an Indicated Resource category, prior to a more comprehensive economic assessment of underground mining options.

Middle Island Resources managing director Rick Yeates said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Despite some delays with ore sorting, we are otherwise pleased with progress on both the ore sorting and resource definition diamond drilling campaigns for the Two Mile Hill tonalite deeps deposit.

“Assuming positive results from these work streams, bulk underground mining at Two Mile Hill becomes a very real opportunity that would substantially extend and enhance the presently envisaged project production schedule.

“Middle Island looks forward to reporting the results of drilling and ore sorting during the June and September quarters of 2018.”





Metalicity Sharpens Battery Metal Focus

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Metalicity (ASX: MCT) announced a sharpening of its focus on battery metals exploration within it’s the company’s prospective landholding in Western Australia.

Metalicity recently agreed to terms for the sale and purchase of the company’s base metal (zinc) projects for a TXS-V listed IPO, Kimberley Mining.

Metalicity has recently completed exploration programs across its Pilbara lithium and Yerrida cobalt projects with the purpose of generating new drill targets and drill testing existing targets, from which assay results and evaluation is due shortly.

At the same time, the company commenced a battery metals project generation program in WA from an extensive geological database it has compiled over the past two years and is currently evaluating a pipeline of additional battery metals exploration opportunities with an update on this program due shortly.

“We are pleased with the terms for the sale agreement of our base metals projects, with the company planned to be well-funded and still leveraged for additional upside at Admiral Bay,” Metalicity managing director Matt Gauci said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We are strategically refocussing the company to deliver value from our highly prospective and underexplored battery metals projects.

“Exploration programs have recently been completed with the purpose of generating new drill targets for a more systematic exploration program.

“The company is concurrently evaluating a pipeline of new additional battery metal opportunities with strong support from battery metals company Shanghai Metals.”




Cassini Resources Commences WMP Regional Drilling Campaign

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Cassini Resources (ASX: CZI) is making progress on a regional exploration program underway at the West Musgrave Project (WMP) in Western Australia.

Cassini Resources is managing the exploration strategy program, which is funded as part of the Earn-in/JV Agreement the company has with OZ Minerals (ASX: OZL).

Under the Agreement, $4 million has been allocated for regional exploration during the current stage, which includes an ongoing Pre-Feasibility Study (PGS), with a further $4 million available during the next stage of the JV should OZ Minerals progress.

“The regional exploration strategy, managed by Cassini, is designed to identify additional high-value ore outside the Nebo-Babel deposits to complement the proposed mining operation,” Cassini Resources said in its ASX announcement.

“To achieve this, the company has identified a number of priority targets with the potential for providing high-grade nickel and/or copper mineralisation.

“The immediate priorities for 2018 program will be to follow-up the One Tree Hill discovery made in 2017, the Yappsu prospect, and further drilling at the Succoth copper deposit.”

Cassini has had Moving Loop Electromagnetic (MLEM) and Fixed Loop Electromagnetic (FLEM) surveys carried out to assist with drill targeting at the One Tree Hill and Yappsu prospects.

The new survey improved the MLEM response over the known mineralisation at Yappsu demonstrating a strong, discrete, late-time anomaly with a NW-SE trend yet the DHEM models could not fully explain the observed MLEM response.

“The new MLEM survey has provided additional confidence to drill targeting,” Cassini said.

“The primary target remains the confluence of DHEM plates from previous drilling.

“It is noted that the previous drilling has not tested the core of these conductors, yet holes have still returned significant mineralisation.

“The implication is that the core zones of the plates, all of which exhibit high modelled conductance, may consist of thicker and/or higher grade massive/matrix sulphide mineralisation.

“Drilling to test these conductors is now underway.”

At One Tree Hill, the MLEM survey defined a late-time conductive trend considered to be consistent with the position and depth of the known massive sulphides at the deposit.

The data has been interpreted to suggest that the small massive sulphide body defined by DHEM surveying was resolved from the surface, providing the company with confidence in other anomalies identified by the survey.

“The MLEM data suggests that the known massive sulphide mineralisation could extend as a narrow (less than 30m) zone over a strike extent of more than 700 metres in a NW-SE trend, perpendicular to general stratigraphy,” Cassini continued.

“There are a number of other interesting features in the survey, particularly a synclinal feature in the NE of the survey area.

“Conductors in this area are currently poorly constrained and require further evaluation.”





BCI Minerals Completes Mardie PFS

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: BCI Minerals (ASX: BCI) reported results of a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) completed on the company’s 100 per cent-owned Mardie Salt and Sulphate of Potash (SOP) project in Western Australia.

BCI Minerals declared the PFS to have confirmed the technical and financial viability of the Mardie project, establishing a positive business case for production of 3.5 million tonnes per annum of high purity industrial salt and 75,000 tonnes per annum of fertiliser grade SOP.

The project design to emerge from the study maximises the attributes of Mardie’s coastal location and large area of flat land with low permeability, whilst minimising its impact on the coastal environment.

BCI Minerals emphasised industrial salt has an attractive long-term demand outlook in Asia, driven by expected growth in the chlor-alkali industry, with a net supply gap equal to approximately seven Mardie-sized projects anticipated to emerge over the next decade.

SOP fertiliser, it said, also has a strong demand outlook linked to an increasing Asian population driving food demand, lifestyle changes requiring high quality food, and the requirement for environmentally friendly fertilisers delivering high crop yields.

The Mardie PFS demonstrates a pre-tax NPV of $335 million, IRR of 20 per cent and annual EBITDA greater than $100 million, based on a salt price of US$30 per tonne FOB and SOP price of US$500 per tonne FOB.

Total capex of $335 million will need to be spent to reach full production of both salt and SOP, comprising $248 million for salt plus incremental capex of $87 million for SOP.

BCI indicated it now intends to conduct a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), targeting completion during 2019.

“BCI gained ownership of the Mardie tenements at minimal cost in 2012 (as Iron Ore Holdings Ltd) and the team has now delivered an innovative and attractive project solution through the PFS at relatively low expenditure,” BCI Minerals managing director Alwyn Vorster said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The attractive projected investment returns of greater than $300 million pre-tax NPV, EBITDA of $100 million per annum, and potential to be a low-cost salt and SOP producer, make Mardie a compelling project for BCI to advance through the final feasibility study phase towards development.

“Availability of large areas of suitable land and securing environmental approvals are key barriers to entry in this industry, and BCI is confident that, through our positive engagement with authorities and our approvals track record, Mardie is well placed to secure key development approvals by the end of 2019.”





Corazon Mining Encouraged by Mt Gilmore Cobalt Exploration

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Corazon Mining (ASX: CZN) updated the market on current exploration activities being undertaken at the company’s Mt Gilmore project in New South Wales.

Corazon Mining said the exploration it currently has underway comprises systematic geophysical and surface geochemistry programs looking to test extensive areas of the project as quickly as possible.

The company indicated its priority objectives include identifying extensions to the cobalt-copper-gold sulphide mineralisation at the project’s main prospect, Cobalt Ridge, as well as defining new targets within the greater Mt Gilmore project area.

The results of a recent geochemical soil sampling program identified a new high-tenor gold (+cobalt) anomaly at Nettle Creek, two kilometres south of Cobalt Ridge.

The main gold anomaly is approximately 700 metres by 500 metres in area and open, peaking at 690 ppb gold, with the background gold assay value being less than 2 ppb.

“This discovery exemplifies Cobalt Ridge’s blue-sky potential for cobalt-copper-gold sulphide deposits within the Mt Gilmore project,” Corazon Mining said in its ASX announcement.

At the Cobalt Ridge prospect, a detailed 3D IP geophysical survey has been completed, which was designed to map drill defined sulphide mineralisation at depth and laterally along strike, particularly under thin cover to the east.

“Initial assessment of the preliminary 3D IP data indicates the data is of high quality, and several primary anomalies have been delineated,” Corazon said.

“The significance of this will be defined via detailed final interrogation, processing/3D inversion efforts currently in progress and expected to be completed in early June.

“The observed anomalism may be indicative of sulphide mineralisation at Cobalt Ridge.”

The company has also had an aeromagnetic survey carried out over a large area of the Mt Gilmore project, as a first pass prospecting tool to focus in on more detailed exploration.

The survey delivered high-quality data highlighting distinguishable features associated with the project’s current areas of known mineralisation.

“Additional processing and target generation in preparation for the next phase of drilling is underway,” Corazon explained.

“This work is expected to be completed in the coming weeks and is anticipated to help deliver high priority targets for the upcoming phase of drilling.”





Aruma Resources Kicks of Third Slate Dam Drilling Phase

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Aruma Resources (ASX: AAJ) has commenced a third phase of drilling at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Slate Dam gold project in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia.

Aruma Resources plans to complete approximately 3,000 metres of reverse circulation (RC) drilling across a total of 25 holes in this phase of drilling, with planned drilling depths of up to 150m.

Drilling is expected to be completed in mid-June with results to be released as they become available.

Aruma outlined the program saying it is intended to target priority areas to the north and south of the currently drill defined shoots at Slate Dam.

It is also designed to extend the Slate Dam gold mineralised system and will seek to identify repetitions of the mineralised system to the east and to the west of the current drill defined area.

Specifically, the program will include:

Eight holes to target gold extensions to the north of current drill defined area;
Six holes to target gold extensions to the south of the new S2 gold shoot discovered in Phase 2 drilling;
Nine holes to seek repetitions of Slate Dam mineralised system to the east of the current drill defined area; and
Two holes to seek repetitions of Slate Dam mineralised system to the west of the current drill defined area.

“We are highly encouraged by the results of our two drilling programs to date at the Slate Dam gold project,” Aruma managing director Peter Schwann said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Drilling has successfully taken the project from concept to validation and has continually expanded the gold mineralised system at Slate Dam.

“The next phase of drilling will commence immediately…with the aim of extending the significant current mineralised system and also seeking to discover new gold mineralised shales to the east and west of the initial drill defined area.”





Blackstone Minerals Continues High-Grade Run at Little Gem

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) released diamond drilling results from the company’s high-grade Little Gem cobalt-gold project in British Columbia, Canada.

Blackstone Minerals has received assays from the first three drill holes of its maiden drilling program at the Little Gem project, where drilling to date has intersected the Little Gem structure within metres of the interpreted target.

Blackstone has found the Little Gem alteration halo to be larger than it had previously estimated.

The company’s 2018 drilling campaign, to date, has consistently intersected a broad alteration zone, highlighting potential for a major hydrothermal system at Little Gem.

Assay results are pending for the next three holes in the maiden drilling program at Little Gem, however results from the first three drill holes include:

1.1 metres at 3 per cent cobalt and 44 grams per tonne gold, within 4.3m at 1 per cent cobalt and 15g/t gold; and

1m at 1.2 per cent cobalt and 5g/t gold, within 3.2m at 0.8 per cent cobalt and 4g/t gold.

Blackstone has initiated a geophysical survey to test for further high-grade cobalt-gold prospects within a recently identified plus-1.8 kilometre strike target zone at Little Gem and the nearby Jewel prospect located 1.1km north-northeast of Little Gem that is also considered prospective for cobalt-gold mineralisation.

“Results from the first three drill holes have confirmed Little Gem has some of the world’s highest-grade cobalt-gold mineralisation,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We are looking forward to the next round of assays and results from geophysical surveys to define the full potential of the mineralised system and the extensive alteration zone discovered at Little Gem.”





Azure Minerals Encounters High-Grade Gold and Cobalt at Sara Alicia

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) has encountered additional high-grade gold and cobalt mineralisation during follow-up diamond drilling on the company’s 100 per cent-owned Sara Alicia project, located in Sonora State, Mexico.

Azure Minerals completed the Stage 2 drilling campaign, comprising 13 holes for 1126.9 metres, which had been designed to test for extensions to the high-grade gold and cobalt mineralisation identified by the company’s 2017 maiden drilling program.

This earlier program intersected up to 26.2m at 9.5g/t gold and 1.26 per cent cobalt.

Mineralised drill intersections from the current program include:


3.75 metres at 8.08 grams per tonne gold from 11.8m;

5.9m at 5.5g/t gold from 40.9m;

3.65m at 8.41g/t gold from 0.0m and 19.6m at 8.65g/t gold from 10.65m; and

8.8m at 6.2g/t gold from 6.1m.


3.65m at 1.191 per cent cobalt from 0.0m and 24.95m at 0.312 per cent cobalt from 9.15m;

9.5m at 0.481 per cent cobalt from 3.8m; and

16.2m at 0.326 per cent cobalt from 9.15m.

Azure Minerals explained that hole DSA-14 unexpectedly drilled into a mining void, indicating the old mine workings may be more extensive than recorded in the historical data.

The DSA-14 intersection of 19.6m at 8.65g/t gold included a 1.9m mining void from 22.75m to 24.65m downhole.

Drill core samples taken from immediately above and below the void returned high-grade mineralisation of 19.95g/t gold and 0.907 per cent cobalt and 19g/t gold and 1.065 per cent respectively, which the company interpreted to suggest that higher grade material may have been exploited by historical miners.

“The high-grade cobalt mineralisation is hosted within a shoot of massive and semi-massive sulphides that outcrops near the top of the Sara Alicia hill and plunges at a shallow angle towards the northwest,” Azure Minerals said in its ASX announcement.

“This sulphide-rich shoot also contains high-grade gold mineralisation, while drilling has confirmed that gold is widespread in the rocks of the surrounding skarn system.

“The massive and semi-massive sulphides forming the mineralised shoot provide the company with the opportunity to explore for extensions of the gold and cobalt mineralisation by utilising geophysical techniques.

“Azure is planning an Induced Polarisation (IP) survey to trace the subsurface dimensions and orientations of the mineralised zone.”




Saturn Metals Returns More Positive Apollo Hill Drill Results

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Saturn Metals (ASX: STN) reported new near-surface extensional assay results from a Reverse Circulation (RC) drilling program recently completed at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Apollo Hill gold project near Leonora in Western Australia.

Saturn Metals has now reported all results for the 35 holes it completed during the first phase of RC drilling at Apollo Hill the company has carried out since taking ownership of the project.

Results from the drilling include:

22 metres at 1.01 grams per tonne gold from 52m, including 11m at 1.49g/t gold from 52m;

10m at 1.5g/t gold from 49m;

6m at 2.41g/t gold from 53m;

34m at 0.45g/t gold from 76m; ad

12m at 0.45g/t gold from 36m.

Saturn Metals said the returned drill intersections provided further comparisons to historic drill intersections from Apollo Hill.

The company said that when coupled with other recently released drill results (6m at 2.26g/t gold from 11m, and 23m at 1.15g/t gold from 11m), the latest results highlight the potential to increase the scale of the known mineralised system from the current 0.505 million ounce JORC 2012-compliant inferred gold resource of 17.2 million tonnes at 0.9g/t gold.

“These strong drill results have increased our confidence in our ability to grow and improve the Apollo Hill gold system whilst focusing on shallow extensions,” Saturn Metals managing director Ian Bamborough said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The recent holes provide great additional data on which to base our next resource calculation, which is planned for mid to late 2018.”

Saturn Metals has already commenced a follow-up phase of diamond drilling and further RC resource drilling is being planned for late June 2018.