Blackstone Minerals Signs on for Ta Khoa Downstream Refining

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) improved its chances of upscaling its downstream refining business and realising its vision to become a global supplier of downstream nickel products for the Lithium-ion battery industry.

Blackstone Minerals has signed a Non-Binding Letter of Interest (LOI) with Trafigura Pte Ltd one of the largest physical commodities trading groups in the world and one of the leading physical commodities traders involved in copper, zinc, lead, nickel and cobalt trading.

The LOI relates to a potential agreement for Trafigura to supply nickel and cobalt products to Blackstone, which will supply downstream products for the Lithium-ion battery industry from the company’s Ta Khoa nickel project in Vietnam.

“We are delighted to have laid the foundations for our relationship with Trafigura, a globally significant trading company,” Blackstone Minerals managing director Scott Williamson said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“Blackstone is taking steps to become a significant global, green nickel product supplier catering to the battery market.

“We believe Vietnam is ideally situated to manufacture green nickel products, given its competitive costs, abundant supply of renewable energy and excellent infrastructure.

“In recent years, the country has demonstrated an enviable record of attracting foreign direct investment, particularly from Asian countries.

“In addition, our strategy to upscale the downstream business is particularly pertinent, given leading battery manufacturers have indicated the potential to construct battery manufactory facilities in country.

“The economic return on capital invested downstream is underpinned by superior margins achieved by producing downstream products.

“We are confident we can deliver a robust downstream processing flow sheet, enabling value to be realised from our mining inventory at Ta Khoa, as well by purchasing and subsequently refining of a range of nickel and cobalt materials.

“The purchase of third-party nickel & cobalt materials not only adds scale to the downstream business, it also adds diversification and reduces risk across the company’s portfolio of assets in Vietnam.”







PolarX to Acquire Nevada Gold Project

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: PolarX (ASX: PXX) has picked up an option to acquire a Mining Lease Agreement over the Humboldt Range gold-silver project in Nevada, USA.

The Humbolt Range project comprises 177 lode mining claims, over which the option provides PolarX a 120-day exclusive period to finalise technical and legal due diligence.

Humboldt Range sits between two large-scale active mines: the Florida Canyon gold mine, and the Rochester silver-gold mine and contains geology typical to Nevada being consistent with bonanza-style epithermal gold-silver mineralisation.

High-grade gold and silver assays from previous rock-chip sampling of outcropping veins and grab sampling from the dumps of old mine workings occur in both groups of claims, with peak values up to 3,384 grams per tonne gold, 2,837g/t silver, 22.9 per cent lead and 3.1 per cent zinc.

PolarX paid US$35,000 to secure the option, which it can exercise by paying a further US$175,000 (in stages) and issuing five million shares to the Vendor and paying the Owner a 2.5 per cent NSR upon production with US$10,000 monthly advance royalty payments from September 2022.

Humboldt Range will enable PolarX to leverage its existing management team at its Alaska Range project.

“Surface grades from rock-chip sampling and mine dumps at Humboldt Range are exceptionally high, with multiple samples exceeding 100 grams per tonne gold along with high-grade silver, lead and zinc,” PolarX managing director Frazer Tabeart said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“It’s surrounded by large producing mines which shows the geology is conducive to significant modernscale operations.

“Seasons in Nevada will allow us to work from April to December each year, enabling us to generate strong news flow virtually all year round and leverage our current team, most of whom live in relative proximity and are familiar with the region.”








Calidus Completes Farm-in to Enhance Warrawoona Production Hub Strategy

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Calidus Resources (ASX: CAI) completed a busy week with the announcement of a Farm-in Agreement with Gondwana Resources.

The Farm-I deal provides Calidus the right to earn up to 75 per cent of a promising exploration tenement (E46/1026) located just 75 kilometres from the company’s Warrawoona gold project in Western Australia.

The tenement is also located immediately along strike of the Blue Spec gold mine which is currently in the process of being acquired by Calidus.

“The farm-in arrangement with Gondwana provides Calidus with a low-cost consolidation opportunity in an underexplored and highly prospective mineral tenure along strike from the high-grade Gold Spec and Blue Spec deposits,” Calidus Resources managing director Dave Reeves said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“This additional ground increases our critical mass around Blue Spec where we envisage a satellite mining operation providing ore to the central Warrawoona processing facility.

“The Blue Spec shear has been mapped on the tenement, however, there has been no historic drilling.

“We intend to start exploration next year.”

Under the Farm-in, Calidus can:

Stage 1: Earn up to 51 per cent interest with an initial minimum exploration expenditure commitment of $500,000 within 3 years from the commencement date.

Stage 2: Earn up to 75 per cent interest with a further $500,000 exploration expenditure commitment within 5 years of the commencement date.

If either party dilutes their interest to below 10 per cent the interest will automatically revert to a net smelter royalty of 1.5 per cent.








Azure Minerals Raises $37 to Advance Andover

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) is in a healthy position following the receipt of commitments to raise $37 million to clients of Euroz Hartleys Securities Limited.

Azure Minerals received assurances from new and existing institutional and sophisticated investors to raise the funds via the issue of 50 million fully paid ordinary shares at an issue price of 74 cents per share.

The company has the funds earmarked to immediately plan and undertake accelerated exploration at the large VC-07 target at its Andover nickel-copper project in Western Australia.

Azure currently has one diamond drill rig operating at Andover and, with the exception of a short Christmas break, will continue drilling into 2021.

“We are very encouraged by the positive response to our fundraising and are now in the strong position of accelerating the exploration on our new projects,” Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“These projects tick all the boxes – right location, right commodities, right partner and delivering outstanding results.

“The first five holes drilled by us at Andover are nothing less than exceptional, with all intersecting substantial widths of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation.

“We will immediately move to secure multiple drill rigs for the drill-out of the VC-07 target and to test the other 12 strong electromagnetic (EM) anomalies on the project.

“The funding also allows us the capacity to commence exploration on the Turner River gold project, which is along strike of De Grey Mining’s Hemi and other gold discoveries.

“We are looking to expedite the grant of the exploration licences and start work as soon as possible.”







Ardea Resources and Red 5 Limited Combine to Enhance Promising Gold Tenure

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Ardea Resources (ASX: ARL) and Red 5 Limited (ASX: RED) have struck a Joint Venture Agreement in two of the former’s prospective gold exploration projects located in close proximity to the latter’s Darlot gold mine in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia.

Adrea Resources declared the JV (ARL 20% / RED 80%) was part of its strategy to prioritise exploration and development work on the company’s Kalgoorlie Nickel Project (KNP) tenure.

For its part, Red 5 declared the Farm-in JV Agreement supports its multi-strand strategy to expand the Darlot Mineral Resource base, which includes regional ‘bolt-on’ acquisitions, such as the two prospects in question, in addition to comprehensive exploration being undertaken as part of the Darlot Mining Hub Strategy.

Red 5 can earn up to an 80 per cent interest in Ardea’s Mt Zephyr and Darlot East gold projects, through its 100 per cent-owned subsidiary, Darlot Mining Company Pty Ltd, that is required to spend $1.5 million within a 2-year period to earn an initial 60 per cent interest in the tenements.

Should this be achieved, Darlot may then elect to spend an additional $800,000 to earn an additional 20 per cent interest, for a total 80 per cent earned interest in the tenements.

Ardea is free carried by Darlot up to a Decision to Mine, after which it may elect to contribute pro-rata or dilute.

Should Ardea’s diluted interest falls below 10 per cent, it will convert to a 1.5 per cent Net Smelter Royalty (NSR).

The Mt Zephyr project covers an area of 900 square kilometres and is considered by Red 5 to represent an excellent gold discovery opportunity, located within 100 kilometres trucking distance from the Darlot Mill.

Mt Zephyr hosts several areas of known mineralisation, including the Dunn’s Find prospect (gold associated with Banded Iron Formation) and the Gale prospect (gold associated with granodiorite intrusion), which Red 5 considers to demonstrate early-stage similarities to its 4.1 million ounces King of the Hills (KOTH) gold deposit.

The Darlot East project comprises two Exploration Licences in an under-explored area located eight kilometres to the east of the Darlot Mine.

“Following the recent delivery of the Final Feasibility Study for the development of a bulk mining and processing operation at King of the Hills, Red 5’s growth vision is based on the establishment of two separate production hubs at KOTH and Darlot,” Red 5 managing director Mark Williams said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“This Joint Venture Farm-in Agreement with Ardea Resources provides an exciting opportunity for the discovery of gold resources within economic haulage distance of the Darlot processing plant, which is currently operating at one million tonnes per annum throughput.

“Ardea’s grassroots exploration programs have delineated a series of highly-prospective targets, including the high-priority Gale prospect, which shows interesting early-stage analogies to our 4.1 million ounces KOTH deposit.

“Red 5 now has a combined granted tenement footprint of 1,919 square kilometres in Western Australia’s Eastern Goldfields (including 423km2 under application), giving us a commanding position in this world-class gold district and an exceptionally strong growth pipeline of exploration projects.

“We are looking forward to getting on the ground to commence drilling and exploration programs at both the Mt Zephyr and East Darlot projects.”









VRX Silica Granted Arrowsmith Mining Leases

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: VRX Silica (ASX: VRX) has had Mining Leases granted for the company’s Arrowsmith North and Arrowsmith Central silica sand projects, located north of Perth in Western Australia.

VRX Silica has completed studies on the projects that demonstrate combined 3600-hectare Mining Lease areas can support over 100 years of production.

The Arrowsmith North Mining Lease area contains Probable Ore Reserves of 204 million tonnes at 99.7 per cent silicon dioxide (SiO2).

The Arrowsmith Central Mining Lease area contains Probable Ore Reserves of 18.7 million tonnes at 99.6 per cent SiO2.

“The grant of Mining Leases for our Arrowsmith Silica Sand Projects is another significant milestone for VRX Silica, hot off the heels of the Mining Lease granted for our Muchea Silica Sand Project,” VRX Silica managing director Bruce Maluish said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“As for Muchea, there is strong demand for Arrowsmith sand and we will now look to finalise sales contracts for high-quality silica sand products and secure the necessary funding for the development of these projects.

“All three projects have outstanding economic prospects and will support a substantial export industry in Western Australia providing significant financial and employment benefits to the State.

“With all three Mining Leases granted and development of our projects on-track, VRX Silica is truly a global player in high-quality silica sand supplies.”








RareX Raises $30M to Advance WA Rare Earths Projects

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: RareX Limited (ASX: REE) received commitments to raise $3 million via a share placement to institutional, sophisticated and professional investors.

Rare X raised the funds at 10 cents per share, a nice discount to its current share price of 12 cents, resulting in 30 million new fully-paid ordinary shares to be issued.

The raising received strong support from existing institutional and professional investors, with the company’s Directors also chipping in by collectively subscribing for $90,000 worth of shares.

The shares to be issued to the Directors will be subject to shareholder approval at a meeting to be convened in due course.

The company indicated the proceeds of the placement will be used to fund upcoming drilling programs at the company’s Weld North rare earths project; and to complete a Mineral Resource update, initial scoping studies and further exploration at the Cummins Range rare earths project.

“We are delighted by the strong support for this capital raising, which has introduced a number of new shareholders to the register and will see the company well placed to accelerate our rare earth exploration and development programs,” RareX managing director Jeremy Robinson said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“Investors can look forward to a news-flow-rich period for RareX with the potential to deliver numerous catalysts that could well and truly re-rate the stock.

“We are very much looking forward to testing the Weld North project, which shows some compelling early-stage similarities to Lynas Corporation’s Mt Weld rare earths deposit, which underpins one of the world’s highest-grade rare earth mines.

“Air-core drilling is set to commence at Weld North before the end of the year, providing our first real insight into the source of the large-scale magnetic anomaly and its potential to host a significant new discovery.

“In addition, the funds will also be used to progress our Cummins Range rare earths project, including the delivery of an updated Mineral Resource Estimate and the commencement of initial Scoping Studies.

“Further news-flow on this front is imminent, with outstanding assays from the recently completed drilling expected over the next 2 to 3 weeks.”







Cazaly Resources Moves to 100 per cent Ownership at Halls Creek

THE BOURSE WHSIPERER: Cazaly Resources (ASX: CAZ) has taken 100 per cent-ownership of the Halls Creek project in Western Australia.

Cazaly Resources already owned 20 per cent of the project and purchased the remaining 80 per cent from 3D Resources (ASX: DDD).

The Halls Creek project comprises granted Mining Lease 80/247 situated near the township of Halls Creek covering part of the Halls Creek Mobile Zone, which is considered prospective for a range of commodities including base metals, gold, diamonds and nickel.

The project hosts the Mount Angelo copper-zinc deposit, a zone of near surface oxidised copper-zinc mineralisation overlying massive copper-zinc sulphide mineralisation.

Previous results from work conducted by Cazaly prior to the JV included:

64m at 2.72 per cent copper (1.13 per cent zinc);
62m at 2.41 per cent copper (2.75 per cent zinc);
37m at 2.63 per cent copper (6.05 per cent zinc);
16m at 5.91 per cent copper; and
18m at 2.53 per cent copper.

The company will be conducting a review of all previous exploration on the project,” Cazaly Resources said in its ASX announcement.

“There remains very good upside potential with mapping defining the untested northern extensions of the deposit including mapping out of the important Banded Iron Formation capping unit.

“Furthermore, downhole EM conductors previously defined have yet to be drill tested.”









Galan Lithium Takes 100% Ownership of Argentine Projects

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN) has acquired further, important strategic projects alongside the company’s Hombre Muerto West tenements in Argentina.

Galan Lithium announced that it has completed the purchase of 100 per cent interest in the Del Condor and Pucara lithium brine salar projects that abut the Hombre Muerto West tenements.

The Del Condor and Pucara comprise two claim blocks totalling 1,804-hectares and are located within the world-class, Salar del Hombre Muerto, where Livent Corporation (NYSE: LTHM) is currently producing lithium carbonate and Galaxy Resources (ASX: GXY).

Galan has now consolidated HMW that is expected to host a resource with a continuous polygon of approx. 7.5 kilometres strike, up to approx. 2.5km in width and up to 718m in depth as recorded at Pata Pila.

Of note, the projects abut Galan’s Pata Pila, Deceo III and Rana de Sal interests, which currently house an indicated resource of 1.37 million tonnes LCE at 946Mg/L lithium.

“Despite COVID-19 constraints, the team in Argentina has delivered on our original vision from 2017,” Galan Lithium managing director JP Vargas de la Vega said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Announcement.

“HMW is now a significant polygon, the acquisition and the annex of these new tenements consolidates the project as a genuine lithium development in Argentina.

“We look forward to receiving the Resource Update from SRK and including the new data into our PEA/Scoping Study due in Q4 2020.”








Neometals Completes Busy Week

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Neometals (ASX: NMT) was busy this week, announcement wise, this week announcing a battery recycling Memorandum of Understanding and vanadium recoveries at a mini-pilot plant.

Neometals, by way of Primobius GmbH, the joint venture company owned 50:50 by Neometals and SMS group GmbH, executed a non-binding MoU with InoBat j.s.a., a founder and the controlling person of a Slovakian battery manufacturing company, InoBat Auto j.s.a.

The MoU provides an evaluation framework towards a potential Primobius-InoBat commercial cooperation that will operate a commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Central/Eastern Europe.

“Reaching preliminary development terms with a battery producer so quickly after Primobius’ establishment reflects the status of our project and the industrial scalability of our recycling solution,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Europe leads the world in electric vehicle value chain investments and we are seeing first-hand how industry is positioning to ensure that brands can deliver the lowest carbon footprint products and support resource efficiency and circular economy principles.

“Primobius is very well placed to capitalise on the push for domestically sourced supply chains and this deal with InoBatis a material endorsement of the Primobius business plan.

“The relevance of the MoU should also be considered in the context of the consortium of conglomerate partners that sit behind InoBat(inc. CEZ, MOL and IPM Group)”

Neometals followed up this announcement with news of the completion of a mini-pilot test work campaign on the company’s Vanadium Recovery Project (VRP).

Results confirmed excellent vanadium chemical product purity (greater than 99.5 per cent V2O5), strong recoveries (>75%) and reduced residence time for Neometals’ patent pending hydrometallurgical process for recovering vanadium from Slag.

Earlier this year, Neometals executed a collaboration agreement with Critical Metals Ltd, to jointly evaluate the feasibility of constructing a facility to recover and process high-grade vanadium products from vanadium-bearing steel by-product (Slag) in Scandinavia.

Critical, in turn, has executed a conditional Slag Supply Agreement with SSAB EMEA AB and SSAB Europe Oy, subsidiaries of SSAB, a steel producer that operates steel mills in Scandinavia.

Slag is a by-product of SSAB’s steel making operations.

Neometals explained the Slag Supply Agreement provides a secure basis for the evaluation of a potential Slag Recovery Facility capable of processing 200,000 tonnes of Slag per annum without the need to build a mine and concentrator like existing primary producers.

“We are very pleased with the results of the Mini-Pilot campaign,” Chris Reed said.

“This substantially de-risks our patent-pending processing flowsheet and gives us the confidence to commence the PFS.

“We now shift our attention to the design phase of the larger proposed pilot plant which will leach material from three of SSAB’s steel operations in a mild carbonate solution at moderate temperatures and atmospheric pressure.

“The beauty of our process is that the main reagent is carbon dioxide, which we plan to capture from third-party emission to sequester some 65,000 tonnes in our leach Residue rendering it inert and available for secondary use.”