Charger Metals Completes Flyover Investigation at Coates Project

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Charger Metals recently listed on the ASX targeting battery-component and precious metals.

The company arrived with a portfolio consisting three projects, two in Western Australia and the third in Northern Territory.

The Coates nickel-copper-gold PGE project in WA (Charger 70%-85% interest) is approximately 20 kilometres SE of Chalice Mining’s Julimar nickel-copper-gold-PGE discovery.

Coates has SkyTEM anomalies, some with coincident nickel, copper, gold and PGE geochemistry anomalies that the company has identified as priority targets for further testing.

Charger just announced identification of a cluster of HEM anomalies at the priority Target 1 via a SkyTEM aerial survey.

The survey showed Target 1 consists of a cluster of 19 HEM anomalies that have been interpreted to form several parallel conductors extending over 1500 metres of strike length.

The Target 1 conductors sit immediately adjacent to magnetic features interpreted to be components of the Coates mafic intrusion.

The northern end of Target 1 has a nickel-copper-gold-PGE geochemistry anomaly, while the southern end of the target has previously not been tested.

Some of the other targets are less extensive but are considered good conductors by Charger and will be progressively further tested, including Target T8, which is highly conductive and along strike from the Target T1.

The second WA project, Lake Johnston lithium and gold project (Charger 70%-100%), includes the Medcalf spodumene discovery and much of the Mount Day lithium caesium tantalum (LCT) pegmatite field.

The region has attracted considerable interest for LCT Pegmatite mineralisation due to its proximity to the large Earl Grey lithium deposit (owned by Wesfarmers Limited and SQM of Chile), located approximately 70km west.

In the Northern Territory, the Bynoe lithium and gold project sits within the Litchfield Pegmatite Field.

The area has a history of tin mining and is demonstrably prospective for tantalum and alkali metals including spodumene, which are primarily hosted in LCT pegmatites.

The Bynoe project is surrounded by the extremely large tenement holdings of Core Lithium’s Finnis lithium project that is at a very advanced stage of development having had completed a definitive Feasibility Study in April 2019.






Podium Minerals Holds Rhodium and Iridium Aces at Parks Reef

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Podium Minerals (ASX: POD) is exploring for platinum group metals, gold and base metals with the aim of developing the company’s 100 per cent-owned Parks Reef PGM project located within its mining leases in the Mid-West Region of Western Australia.

Podium Minerals recently completed drilling that led to the upgrading of the Resources at Parks Reef with contained metals increasing to a total of 2.2 million ounces of combined platinum, palladium and gold plus base metal credits with 79,000 tonnes copper.

The total Minerals Resources extend over approximately 15 kilometres of strike of Parks Reef and have now been defined to a depth of 100 metres below surface based on an assumption of bulk open-pit mining with PGM mineralisation open at depth.

The Resources include a high value Upper PGM Horizon of: 9.2 million tonnes at 2 grams per tonne 3E PGM and 0.17 per cent copper.

3E PGM refers to platinum plus palladium plus gold expressed in units of grams per tonne.

“The latest round of drilling included for the first time, significant drilling below 100 metres in the western sector and results to date have reinforced the sheer consistency and continuity of the Parks Reef PGM-gold-copper mineralisation,” Podium Minerals executive chairman Clayton Dodd said.

“In addition, it has also re-affirmed that high-grade primary PGM mineralisation is not uncommon within Parks Reef.

“Results from recent drill programs have refocussed Podium attention to high-grade zones along the Parks Reef strike.

“Understanding the controls and distribution of these reported high grade mineralised zones will be our priority with further follow-up drilling.”

The resource estimate did not, however, include the high value platinum group elements rhodium and iridium which occur throughout Parks Reef the company had previously reported.

In its June Quarterly report, Podium reported results that included rhodium and iridium hots of:

7m at 5.75 grams per tonne 3E PGM, 0.32g/t rhodium and 0.14g/t iridium from 89m, including 3m at 10.83g/t 3E PGM, 0.65g/t rhodium and 0.29g/t iridium from 89m, including 1m at 25.74g/t 3E PGM, 1.35g/t rhodium and 0.7g/t iridium from 91m; plus
11m at 1.25g/t 3E PGM, 0.08g/t rhodium and 0.03g/t iridium from 100m.

6m at 3.75g/t 3E PGM, 0.15g/t rhodium and 0.07g/t iridium from 142m, including 1m at 15.29g/t 3E PGM, 0.4g/t rhodium and 0.2g/t iridium from 142m.

Rhodium is regarded as the best catalyst for the aftertreatment of gasoline nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions.

Iridium has an extremely high melting point and is the most corrosion resistant metal known.

It is commonly used as a hardening agent together with other PGM’s in particular, platinum.

While Podium has previously assayed selected holes for rhodium and iridium, there is currently insufficient drill data to include these platinum group elements into the Mineral Resources.

Podium plans to routinely assay for rhodium and iridium once the company moves to in-fill drilling for indicated resources.

It is expected that this will allow rhodium and iridium to be included within the Parks Reef Mineral Resources.






OZZ Resources Sets Early Running at Maguires Gold Project

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: OZZ Resources (ASX: OZZ) is shiney and new to the ASX, having just listed in July this year, bringing with it the intention of conducting an aggressive exploration program across its portfolio of projects.

The company is on the ground in the Central Murchison Region of Western Australia at the Maguires gold project.

Maguires includes three advanced prospects defined by previous drilling, with high-grade shoots contained in two shear zones.

OZZ recently completed a maiden 4,300m Reverse Circulation drilling program at Maguires, consisting of a 45-hole program targeting the Old Prospect, results from which determined two zones of mineralisation (Old Prospect North and South) which remain open along strike and at depth.

Best intercepts, included:

14 metres at 2.66 grams per tonne gold from 45m;

6m at 3.23g/t gold from 31m and 7m at 9.1g/t gold from 81m;

7m at 4.5g/t gold from 46m;

4m at 4.48g/t gold from 16m; and

10m at 2.48g/t gold from 100m.

OZZ is now reviewing the results from the program, however given the encouraging results achieved the company considers there to be potential to extend the mineralisation in all directions, thus Stage 2 drilling will be planned.

The two known mineralized zones are approximately 200m apart and, within this untested gap zone, OZZ is looking for potential to identify additional mineralised shoots.

The only drilling to date in this zone is historic shallow RAB drilling.

“We are delighted with the success of our first drilling campaign, which marks a very bright start to our journey as a listed gold explorer,” OZZ Resources managing director Jonathan Lea said when reporting the results.

“The drilling was focused in and around the Old Prospect, which was last drilled by BHP and others in the 1980s and 1990s.

“The results have met or exceeded our expectations, returning some broad zones of strong, high-grade gold mineralisation including several standout intercepts such as 7m at 9.1g/t and 7m at 4.5g/t.

“Importantly, the mineralized intervals show correlation with the historic drilling, giving additional confidence that OZZ can advance rapidly towards resource definition following further drilling.

“The high-grade shoots represent a very attractive target for future drilling.

“In light of the success of this campaign, we are actively planning follow-up drilling to expand and increase the defined extent of the mineralisation at Maguires.

‘This next phase of work will also involve testing a parallel structure to the west which has had virtually no RC drilling.

“The data from that additional drilling should allow the calculation a maiden JORC Mineral Resource for Maguires, which could well become a strategic asset for the company given its location in the heart of a prolific mining district.”






Tietto Metals Making Steady Progress on Abujar Gold Project

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Tietto Metals (ASX: TIE) listed on the ASX in January 2018 with its eyes firmly on development of the Abujar gold project in Côte d’Ivoire, West Africa.

The Abujar gold project comprises three contiguous exploration tenements, Middle, South and North, covering a total land area of 1,114 square kilometres, of which less than 10 per cent has been explored.

Tietto wasted little time, hitting project with an aggressive.drill campaign that quickly grew gold Resources at Abujar to 87.5 million tonnes at 1.2 grams per tonne gold for 3.35 million ounces.

These included mineral resources for the AG deposit of 50.3 million tonnes at 1.5g/t gold for 2.45 million ounces; and

Mineral Resources for the APG deposit of 36.7 million tonnes at 0.7g/t gold for 0.87 million ounces.

These results increased indicated Resources by 49 per cent, taking them to 43.4 million tonnes at 1.3g/t gold for 1.85 million ounces of contained gold, representing more than 55 per cent of the current project ounces.

Tietto recently announced results of a Definitive Feasibility Study for the Abujar gold project, based on an open-pit 4 million tonnes per annum operation.

Highlights from the DFS included:

260,000 ounces of gold forecast in first year of production (30% increase over the PFS) at an AISC of US$651 per ounce;

2 million ounces of gold production forecast over first six years for 200,000 ounces per annum (20% increase over the PFS) at an average AISC of US$804/oz;

Updated Open Pit Probable Ore Reserves have grown to 34.4Mt at 1.3 g/t Au for 1.45Moz using US$1,407/oz (68% increase over the PFS and 78% of Indicated Mineral Resources); and

Life of Mine (LOM) mining inventory inclusive of Ore Reserves of 44.9 million tonnes at 1.2g/t gold for 1.7 million ounces gold recovered (54% increase over the PFS) for a strip ratio of 6:1 w:o;

Payback period post-tax of less than one year from first production.

“Our recent update to the Abujar Resource Model has allowed Tietto to deliver a DFS that confirms Abujar’s potential to be one of the largest gold producing mines in Côte d’Ivoire,” Tietto Metals managing director Dr Caigen Wang said on release of the DFS results.

“The DFS metrics are clearly compelling – all PFS measures have materially improved, from production to finance.

“Gold production in particular is positioning Abujar as a Tier 1 gold mine.

“We are confident the Abujar gold project will continue to enjoy growth in both Resources and Reserve and hence LOM production increases into next year through our continued large-scale drilling program.

“We are focused on advancing the Abujar gold project towards becoming West Africa’s next gold mine.”

Latest drilling at the AG deposit returned favourable results, including:

ZDD665 – Section 24A
22 metres at 5.62 grams per tonne gold from 97m, including 5m at 17.87g/t gold
2m at 59.77 g/t gold from 54m

ZDD685 – Section25A
6m at 17.01g/t gold from 61m, including 2m at 50.35g/t gold

ZDD671A – Section 24A
14m at 2.87g/t gold from 136m, including 4m at 9.19g/t gold

“Our third batch of results from our infill drilling program at Abujar is delivering up more high-grade gold intercepts that continue to de-risk open pit mining at Abujar,” Wang, said.

“The infill program is designed to convert Indicated Resources to Measured Resources, which are scheduled to be mined within the first two years of production.

“These impressive results follow hard on the heels of our DFS…that confirmed Abujar’s potential to be one of the largest gold producing mines in Côte d’Ivoire with more than 260,000 ounces of gold expected to be produced in the first year and 1.2 million ounces of gold in the first six years.”






Nickel Bulls Pump Bandwagon Tyres

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Opening Paydirt’s Australian Nickel Conference in Perth this week, Wood MacKenzie principal analyst, nickel Angela Durrant was bullish on the outlook for the forum’s featured metal.

With a full house in for the opening session, Durrant opened on fairly safe ground, acknowledging what most in attendance already knew, that being that nickel prices are currently enjoying a runin the sun thanks to the current global energy transition, which for nickel has meant ever increasing interest in the electric vehicle (EV) supply chain and production of nickel sulphate to feed EV batteries.

She provided a look at price data the boffins at Wood MacKenzie have accumulated over the past 18 months for metals that are part of the energy transition story, namely copper, cobalt, aluminium and nickel, which demonstrate how all have climbed significantly from March 2020 through to September this year.

“For nickel, in particular, after recording a low of US$11,055 on March 23 2020, prices increase steadily for the next 12 months,” Durrant said.

“If we consider nickel consumption by first use, stainless remains the market’s main consumer, currently accounting for around 70 per cent of total consumption.

“However, looking out to 2040, this share drops to 53 per cent as battery precursors for EVs and energy storage become increasingly more important.”

Battery precursors for electric vehicles currently account for just seven per cent of global nickel consumption, but by 2040 it is expected this share will have climbed to 30 per cent.

Wood MacKenzie is well on board the nickel bandwagon, with Durrant reporting for the next 20-years the firm is forecasting nickel consumption to more than double from 2.4 million tonnes in 2020 to 4.9 million tonnes in 2040.

This includes stats for nickel consumed in stainless, which Wood MacKenzie expects to hit 2.5 million tonnes in 2040 compared to 1.7 million tonnes in 2020 and nickel consumed in battery precursors reaching 1.5 million tonnes, compared with only 177,000 tonnes in 2020.

“The bottom line is that we are anticipating solid growth in demand for battery precursors above all other first-use sectors,” Durrant said.

“This view is supported by projections for electric vehicle car sales over the same 20-year period.

“We currently forecast annual sales for passenger EVs to exceed 49 million in 2040, compared to around three million in 2021 and two million in 2020.”

Not all batteries are the same and their chemical make ups differ to the point where some will maintain favour, while others will fall off the pace.

The current dominance of nickel, manganese, cobalt (NMC) batteries of the 532 and 662 variety is thought to be challenged by high-nickel 811 types by 2025.

The NMC 811 and the LFP (lithium-ion phosphate) battery types, will provide the majority of required gigawatt hours for EV batteries from 2030 onwards.

“In the next 10 years or so, it is quite possible that other configurations may find favour, but in terms of what is commercially applied right now, this is how we see the market developing,” Durrant said.

“In terms of nickel, the progressive dominance of 811 will boost consumption, but this will be countered by lower intensity of use as battery pack size gets smaller due to increasing energy density.”

Possibly one of the least surprising statements Durrant delivered during her address was that future demand for battery precursors, or sulphate, on a regional basis, would see China taking the main podium as the main consumer in the years to 2030.

“In 2021, we estimate China’s demand will total 211,000 tonnes of nickel in precursor and will increase to almost 700,000 tonnes in 2030, Durrant explained.

“In terms of supply, nickel sulphate for use in EVs will be the largest consuming sector, accounting for over 900,000 tonnes of nickel by 2030.

“Coming back to this year, we expect that nickel in sulphate production will actually start to exceed demand and that this will continue until 2025.

“This is the point, in 2025, where there will be a need for new investment in sulphate capacity.

“Our current outlook for the short-term nickel market is one of tightness.”

Despite the number of nickel miners, potential miners and explorers in the room, Durrant raised the important part to be played in the future prospects of the metal by the recycling industry.

“Given the consecutive deficits…that we are forecasting over the latter half of the decade, we expect that recycling will also become increasingly important for nickel,” she said.

“In fact, we could be so bold as to suggest the future nickel supply could be a redirection of investment funds to recycling.

“The inherent qualities of recycling make it attractive – a potential lower environmental footprint combined with the social message of moving, what is hitherto, being material going into landfill.”

Market watchers will already be aware of the companies already breaking ground in this field that are rapidly establishing themselves by collecting and processing spent batteries or through the manufacture of reusable products.

Although differences exist between the different players, most share a commonality in their small company size, and typically producing less than 10,000 tonnes of nickel in black mass, or sulphate, but potential exists for scaling up these efforts.

An important emerging factor noted by Durrant is the growing concern producers and consumers alike have with ESG in carbon dioxide emissions and the knock-on effect this has on production.

She stressed the need to produce clean, green, sustainably resourced nickel has become increasingly important and with this in mind, Wood MacKenzie has developed an emissions benchmarking tool.

“The Carbon Emissions Intensity Tool illustrates that nickel pig iron (NPI) producers in Indonesia high on the emissions curve, largely due to the intensive use of coal for power generation,” she said.

“Large integrated sulphide producers, however, sit much lower down on the curve.

“Not to disappoint, in Australia most producers, both sulphide and laterite, are closer to the lower end of the CO2 emissions curve and sit well below the weighted annual average, which I’m sure you will all be happy to know.

“These positions will become increasingly important as consumers and investors look to the source of the nickel supplying their electric vehicle batteries and their energy storage requirements of the future.”

Looking at current market fundamentals, Wood MacKenzie has determined the global nickel deficits running through to 2030 will support annual average prices approaching US$19444 per tonne by 2026, followed by even higher prices of around US$21000 through to 2029.

This could see four straight years of metal inventory drawdowns that will drastically shrink global stocks towards 100 days of consumption around 2031, a level not seen since 2005 when prices also averaged US$19980 per tonne.

“By 2026, the market will need to find new nickel, either from our extensive list of probable projects, or possible projects as well, or from elsewhere,” Durrant said.

“By 2031, the requirement for nickel from these sources is estimated to be around 570,000 tonnes…which will expand to 976,000 tonnes by 2040.

“I think worth pointing out, at this juncture, that nickel prices currently sit around US$18,000 to US$19,000 per tonne

“Even at that level, we are not seeing banks putting their hands in their pockets to finance new projects, which signals there is still much caution despite the optimism around EVs and nickel consumption growth.”



Foreign Minister Acknowledges Australian/African Cooperation

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Western Australia is probably the most difficult state to enter at present, especially so for international travellers.

This meant this year’s Africa Downunder Conference in Perth became a televisual feast as government officials from around the resource-rich continent were required to send pre-recorded video presentations.

The hard state border meant the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs; Minister for Women, Senator the Hon. Marise Payne joined the conference in the same way.

The Minister opened her address by noting Australia and Africa share strong economic and people to people links with, “vibrant diaspora communities and robust trade and investment”.

“In 2019, two-way trade was valued at almost $11 billion,” Payne told her viewing audience.

“Our engagement in agriculture, energy and professional services is growing, and our mining sector remains a key contributor to economic jobs growth and prosperity.”

Payne paid tribute to the role that Australian companies play in Africa.

“I know many of the people who make those companies successful are participating today in Africa Down Under,” she said.

“You represent large and small companies: those that explore and extract gold and other traditional minerals, as well as those who find and supply the critical minerals that are essential to new technologies and to global efforts to reduce carbon emissions.

“Across the African continent, you’re working to identify and develop resources essential to Australia’s, and Africa’s, prosperity.

“I want to say thankyou for working to open new markets and to grow our global supply chains.

“Companies are providing training and employment opportunities for young people and I pay particular acknowledgement to those companies that are encouraging more women into the industry and empowering them to be leaders in the mining sector.”

The Minister also paid homage to the work that African governments are doing to enhance trade.

“The African Continental Free Trade area is the largest in the world, in terms of the number of countries participating,” Payne continued.

“Many of you contribute to unlocking opportunities to improve the livelihood of Africans and to create a more prosperous market.”

Payne declared Australia’s desire to work with African nations saying Australia’s nine High Commissioners and Ambassadors across Africa are more than happy to work with the Continent’s Nations to help reduce barriers to investment and operations.


Roadhouse Looks Forward to Meeting New Chums at 2021 Gold Coast Investment Showcase

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: The Resources Roadhouse will be out and about soon, this time attending the 2021 Gold Coast Investment Showcase.

It will be a perfect opportunity for us to catch up with some old chums, however a quick look at the lie up tells us that there will also be the opportunity to make new chums with a sag of companies attending that have yet to sweep across The Roadhouse radar screen.


Aurumin (ASX: AUN)

Aurumin is a gold exploration company with two advanced high-grade projects in the Southern Cross region of Western Australia.

The company listed on the ASX in December 2020 raising $7 million to fund exploration and to grow the Mt Dimer and Mt Palmer gold projects as well as leverage the skills of the well credentialled board and management team into acquisitions.

The Mt Dimer and Mt Palmer gold projects have historically produced over 125,000 ounces of gold at 6.4 grams per tonne gold and 158,000 ounces 15.9g/t of gold respectively from open pit/s and underground.

The company has built substantial tenure positions around these historical production centres and is pursuing an aggressive exploration program with the objective of identifying multiple replications of historical and remnant mineralisation.


Mayur Resources (ASX: MRL)

Mayur Resources is focused on the development of natural resources in Papua New Guinea where it has systematically progressed a diversified asset portfolio spanning cement and lime, industrial minerals and iron, and energy and power generation.

This platform has provided the foundation to drive long term shareholder value while contributing to nation-building and job creation in a country starting on the path of meaningful growth.

The company’s Central Cement and Lime project is fully permitted and shovel ready with Mayur currently undertaking offtake and funding discussions to support a staged development.

Mayur is now progressing a disaggregation strategy to unlock the full value of its portfolio.

This commenced with the spin out of its copper and gold assets into Adyton Resources, listed on the TSX Venture Exchange.

The company continues to deliver on its stated strategy as witnessed by the recent announcement of executive appointments to lead the spin out of its attractive iron and industrial sands focussed business.


QMines (ASX: QML)

QMines is seeking to become Australia’s first zero carbon copper and gold developer.

The company’s Mount Chalmers project is a high-grade historic copper and gold producer located north east of Rockhampton in Central Queensland with an existing JORC 2012 inferred resource of 73,000 tonnes copper equivalent, three Exploration Targets (JORC 2012) and a large drilling program designed to provide shareholders with leverage to a number of pricing catalysts.

Three additional projects located near Warwick and Stanthorpe in Southern Queensland include the historic Warroo Gold Mine.


Bastion Minerals (ASX: BMO)

Bastion Minerals is focused on discovering high-grade precious and base metals deposits within the mineral-rich Atacama Region of Chile.

Bastion’s strategy is to apply cutting-edge exploration techniques to make multiple discoveries on its highly prospective Capote Gold, Cometa copper and Garin gold-silver projects, which have had no modern exploration.

Exploration work is now well underway following the company’s IPO in March 2021 on its vision of becoming a mid-tier company via the development of its a quality portfolio of assets, which surround mines producing high-grade gold and copper.


Oklo Resources (ASX: OKU)

Oklo Resources has a total landholding of 1,405 square kilometres covering highly prospective greenstone belts in Mali, West Africa.

The company’s current focus is its West Mali landholding, encompassing its Dandoko project located east of the prolific Senegal-Mali Shear Zone near numerous world-class gold operations.

In April 2021, Oklo delivered an initial Measured, Indicated and Inferred JORC 2012 compliant resource of 11.3 million tonnes at 1.83g/t gold for approx. 6.68 million ounces contained gold encompassing the Seko, Koko, Disse and Diabarou deposits, which all remain open and are expected to grow with ongoing drilling either along strike or at depth.

The company has a corporate office in Sydney, Australia and an expert technical team based in Bamako, Mali, led by Dr Madani Diallo who has previously been involved in several discoveries totalling circa 30 million ounces gold.


Tambourah Metals (ASX: TMB)

Tambourah has issued a prospectus to raise a minimum of a $5 million to a maximum of $8 million to list on the ASX.

Projects in the Pilbara include the advanced Tambourah and Cheela gold projects and the Julimar North and Achilles nickel-PGE exploration projects.

The company intends to commence magnetic surveys at Julimar North shortly after listing.

The details of the proposed fund raising is on the company website.


Renegade Exploration (ASX: RNX)

Renegade Exploration is focused on projects in Tier One jurisdictions, including a base metal deposit in the Yukon Canada, a gold exploration project located in the Yandal region of Western Australia and has recently acquired an interest in the MIM/Glencore managed Carpentaria Joint Venture, which has advanced copper projects in the prolific Cloncurry region of North Queensland.

Renegade is poised for an exciting period as it focuses on the advanced copper projects in Queensland and the Yandal East project which has drill ready targets.


Elementos (ASX: ELT)

Elementos hopes to become a major tin producer through the development of its two world class tin projects.

The company’s Oropesa tin project in Spain is one of the world’s highest grade, lowest cost tin projects.

Resource drilling and feasibility work programs are currently underway to increase the confidence of Oropesa’s Mineral Resource and prepare the understanding of the asset for a Feasibility Study.

The company is also progressing opportunities to further unlock value from the Cleveland tin project in Tasmania.

The Cleveland project contains a large Mineral Resource of tin-copper amenable to both open cut and underground mining techniques, located in a world-class mining district with excellent infrastructure.

As tin prices reach 10-year highs and as tin’s critical requirements are better known, Elementos is well-positioned to help fill the significant supply shortfall in coming years.


Thomson Resources (ASX: TMZ)

Thomson Resources holds a diverse portfolio of minerals tenements across gold, silver and tin in New South Wales and Queensland.

The company is implementing an aggressive “Fold Belt Hub and Spoke” consolidation strategy in the NSW and Qld border region on key projects, including the Webbs and Conrad silver projects, Mt Carrington silver-gold project, Texas silver project – including the Silver Spur mine, as well as the Hortons gold project.

Thomson’s strategy has been designed and executed in order to create a large precious (silver – gold), base and technology metal (zinc, lead, copper, tin) resource hub, with a targeted, aggregate, in ground material available of 100 million ounces of silver equivalent, that could be developed and potentially centrally processed.

Thomson is also progressing exploration activities across its Yalgogrin and Harry Smith gold projects and the Bygoo tin project in central NSW, as well as the Chillagoe gold and Cannington silver projects located in Queensland.


Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX: QPM)

Queensland Pacific Metals aims re-energising Australia with critical battery metals production through construction of its Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub – the TECH project.

The TECH project will sustainably process high-grade nickel-cobalt laterite ore sourced from New Caledonia into nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and high purity alumina (HPA), all of which are key components for batteries within the high growth EV sector.

The company has already attracted the attention of word class, bankable offtake partners with MoUs in place with market leaders LG Chem and Samsung SDI.

QPM is currently undertaking a Definitive Feasibility Study for the TECH project and is aiming to commence construction in 2022.


Medallion Metals (ASX: MM8)

Medallion Metals is focused on increasing the established resources at its 100 per cent-owned Ravensthorpe gold project (RGP), 550 kilometres south-east of Perth.

Located in an historically proven mineral field, the RGP hosts a high-grade resource of 674,000 ounces gold at 2.4g/t gold with the deposits open at depth and along strike.

In addition to the near mine potential, Medallion’s ground holding represents an exciting belt scale advanced exploration opportunity, which the company is confident will grow to one day support a long life, low-cost gold mine.




Miramar Resources at RIU Sydney Resources Roundup

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: The Resources Roadhouse spoke with Miramar Resources (ASX: M2r) executive chairman Allan Kelly at the recent RIU Sydney Resources Roundup.

Magnetic Resources Building Cosy Retreat at Hawks Nest 9

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Magnetic Resources (ASX: MAU) is proving to the market that not all major gold producing regions currently occupied by some of the world’s largest mining houses are exhausted from an exploration point-of-view. By Mark Fraser

The Western Australian-based company, which has 261 square kilometres of prospective real estate in WA’s Laverton region and another 213sqkm around Leonora, has made what it believes are a couple of major new gold discoveries in locations which, from all indications, seem to have been mostly overlooked by previous tenants.

First cab off the rank is Hawks Nest 9 (HN9), which sits only 15km north of Gold Fields’ Wallaby mine, 35km north of AngloGold Ashanti’s giant Sunrise Dam operation and 10km north west of Dacian Gold’s Jupiter deposit.

Here, Magnetic Resources’ exploration endeavours have demonstrated significant and coherent mineralisation over a 3km by 200 metre area that is still open and predominantly within the top 50m of cover, thus providing tremendous potential for deeper mineralisation

Within this 3km mineralised shear zone there are many shallow gold intersections, with 240 being greater than 1 gram per tonne, 89 higher than 2 grams per tonne, 44 more than 3 grams per tonne and 32 over 4 grams per tonne. To date, the company has drilled 723 RC holes for 39,740m.

Of particular interest is the Central Thickened Zone, where some thick gold intersections like 104m at 0.82 grams per tonne from 8m (including 20m at 2.23 grams per tonne from 95m) have been encountered.

These thickened zones have multiple stacked shallow dipping lodes similar to those at Wallaby, Jupiter and Sunrise Dam.

According to Magnetic Resources, a new thickened gold intersection of 90m at 0.37 grams per tonne from 80m (including 8m at 2.5 grams per tonne from 80m) was located 600m south of the Central Thickened Zone.

This intercept is only 60m north of another one of 7m at 3.04 grams per tonne from 108m.The areal extent of the mineralisation is growing in the southern direction and remains open both to the north east and at depth.

During the 20th RIU Explorers Conference held in Fremantle, Magnetic Resources’ managing director George Sakalidis said a large drill program of 98 holes for 11,937m was planned mainly to define an indicated resource within HN9 and extend the size of the new Southern Thickened Zone.

Meanwhile, sitting just 1.5km to the east is Lady Julie, where the tenements are strongly mineralised with 101 gold intercepts (1-19m) greater than 1 gram per tonne, including 34 being greater than 2 grams per tonne, 20 more than 4 grams per tonne and 13 over 4 grams per tonne.

So far, the prospect has been subjected to 131 RC holes for 7,196m.

Several of these mineralised zones were similar to HN9 and occurred within altered porphyry and altered porphyry and mafic contacts as well as, in some cases, sediment zones.

During his time at the RIU podium Sakalidis said HN9 – in combination with Lady Julie – represented an exciting large scale near-surface gold deposit.

The shallow gold and adjacent mining operations, he noted, were the unique point of difference for investors.

Ultimately, Magnetic Resources was looking to identify large economic gold deposits of 1 million gold ounces or more using the knowledge of the region’s geology and geophysics garnered by the current producers working there.

After his RIU presentation, Resources Roadhouse asked Sakalidis how was it that new gold discoveries could be made in a well looked over world class mining district (Leonora-Laverton) which had already yielded over 34Moz (mined and resources) and was second only to the Kalgoorlie-Boulder region in WA when it came to yellow metal endowment.

“Other companies that have looked at it obviously haven’t appreciated it or understood it – they haven’t understood it, so we have spent a lot of time and energy trying to understand what it all means,” he replied.

“There was some data (when Magnetic Resources first pegged the tenements), but it needed someone to drill it out to connect it all up.

“So, we went out in the field, and you can see with these old pits (on HN9) that they are only small, but they are also horizontal.

“So, one of the things that we noted was that a lot of the lodes carrying the gold in the large ore bodies are near horizontal. And that wasn’t recognised straight away, so that could be part of the reason. They (previous modern explorers) were looking for these big plunging deposits.

“Basically, HN9 sits on this one thrust plane, and that thrust plane goes down to 2km depth. The length of the thrust is about 4km, so this is a pretty significant stuff.

“These thrusts are bringing the mineralisation up. We can see a set of six thrusts over HN9, and we’ve really only investigated one of them. So fundamentally, now that we have done the seismic, we understand the geometry, and having a thrust plane bring up mineralisation is very significant.”

Sakalidis said Magnetic Resources’ current field program included some passive seismic work, which was being conducted over a much larger grid.

“What we are trying to do is get a pseudo 3D effect,” he explained.

“So, with these thrust zones, we know they occur on this line, but do they go directly north or do they go that way?

“We are trying to work out, by having a 3D effect, if you might be able to trace these going north.

“And that will be very important, because if they do intersect areas that we haven’t drilled, then they become a good target.”



Polar X Biden its Time on US Projects

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: An Australian explorer with two emerging projects in the US does not expect the recent election of the Joe Biden-led Democrat administration will have much impact on the country’s minerals sector – at least not in the short to medium term. By Mark Fraser

Speaking just before his presentation at the 20th RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle last week, Polar X (ASX: PXX) managing director Dr Frazer Tabeart said while the new American government had “a broadly different philosophy about mining than the outgoing administration” – meaning there may, across a longer time frame, be some changes “particularly in areas that are federally-controlled rather than state-controlled” – he suggested it would be manageable.

The Western Australian-based explorer has two polymetallic projects in the US – one in Nevada and the other in Alaska. Both states are globally recognised as being attractive mining jurisdictions.

In Nevada, the company is looking for high grade gold and silver in the Humboldt Range, which sits around 200 kilometres north east of Reno.

Here, Polar X has a low cost exclusive agreement to wholly acquire a mine lease agreement over 177 lode claims in two areas – Black Canyon and Fourth of July.

At Black Canyon, these claims have been owned by the same family since 1950 and exposed to limited modern exploration since mining ceased there in 1927.

Located between Argonaut Gold’s 5 million ounce Florida Canyon gold mine and the 400Moz Rochester silver operation (which also contains 3.5Moz in gold credits) owned by Couer Mining, outcropping quartz veins and historical mines show numerous gold assays over 10 grams per tonne, with peak values of a whopping 3,384 grams per tonne gold, 2,837 grams per tonne silver, 22.9 per cent lead and 3.1 per cent zinc being recorded.

Meanwhile at the Fourth of July just to the south, rock chip sampling has returned some pretty interesting numbers, including 3.38, 15.28 and 12.3 grams per tonne gold as well as 23.4, 2,639 and 838 grams per tonne silver.

As it stands Polar X plans to complete its Humboldt Range due diligence and exercise the option by the end of April before immediately starting exploration in earnest, with the aim of generating drill targets by the fourth quarter of 2021.

Over in central south Alaska, the company is looking at two properties covering a combined 261 square km – the wholly-owned Stella and Caribou Dome, where it is earning up to 90 per cent. Both are located around 250km north east of Anchorage.

Prospective for large porphyry copper-gold deposits, field activities at Stella – which has shown the presence of Zackly skarn mineralisation – have returned intercepts like 102m at 0.22 per cent copper and 0,1 grams per tonne gold (with the hole ending in mineralisation) at the Mars prospect. The Zackly Main deposit is now 1km long and occurs along a structure with a strong magnetic gradient.

Sitting just to the south west, Caribou Dome contains high grade volcanic sediment-hosted mineralisation, where prospective drill intersections occur over 800m of strike length.

It is envisaged a mining scoping study for this project will be completed during the third quarter.

When pressed by Resources Roadhouse whether he thought the defeat of former Republican President Donald Trump last November would impact Polar X’s activities, Dr Tabeart said it was unlikely in the short term given mining was such an important part of both Nevada’s and Alaska’s economic make up.

“Having said that, obviously the new administration has a broadly different philosophy about mining than the outgoing one, so longer term there may be some changes – particularly in areas that are federally controlled rather than state controlled,” he said.

“These will likely be very project- and very area-specific.

“Our projects in Nevada are on federal land and are controlled by the Bureau of Land Management, the BLF, but as I said – particularly in Nevada where gold and silver mining is such a massive part of the economy – I don’t think we are expecting to see any changes in the short to medium term.

“And in our case we are very fortunate in that Humboldt Range is very close to existing, fully permitted mines. So if we make a discovery there, we will always have the option of working with existing mines in some form of an operating joint venture so we wouldn’t have to permit something like a new processing plant or a new heap leach.

“I think in the longer term it’s the permitting of things like heap leaches that might get further scrutiny, but I can’t see that impacting us in the next 2-3 years.”

In Alaska, Dr Tabeart said, mining was not subjected to the same environmental concerns as the state’s energy sector given it did not potentially impact fragile ecosystems or face permafrost issues.

“There really shouldn’t be a perception that Alaska is anti-mining – it’s a very pro mining state,” he noted.

“In all of the recent polls that have been taken within industry, Alaska is probably second in the US after Nevada, and that puts it in the top 10 in the world.

“We’ve found everybody in Alaska to be really supportive – in the past the state has had such a reliance on royalties from oil and gas that it really did see the need to diversify its economy, because it’s obviously a risky strategy if you are only relying on one source of income.”

Although the development of one of the world’s giant copper-gold porphyries – Pebble, some 310km south west of Anchorage – was recently stopped after years of controversy, Dr Tabeart said this was not reflective of mining in the state as a whole.

“Pebble is a very specific project – the complexities there are multiple types of land ownership, with private land ownership, state owned and federal native corporation ownership,” he noted.

“The project had a very large footprint potentially, and also it was quite sensitive in terms of the large number of commercial fishing ventures involved, so there was quite a lot of opposition to that – and there had been for 10 to12 years.

“But while that was all been happening a lot of other big projects were permitted, so there has been significant progress over that time.”

In short, Dr Tabeart said, Alaska was “open for business”.

“Of course with every individual project there will be specific issues, but you have just got to manage it, and you have to manage it well from day one,” he added.

“So it certainly can be done.”