Carnaby Resources IP Survey Lights Up Lady Fanny

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Carnaby Resources (ASX: CNB) attracted a crowd on the final day of the 2022 RIU Explorers Conference after reporting exploration results from the company’s 100 per cent-owned Lady Fanny copper gold discovery, located within its Greater Duchess copper gold project in Mt Isa, Queensland.

Carnaby Resources reported results from the first three lines of IP completed at Lady Fanny that outlined several strong inversion chargeability anomalies across all three lines.

Data from an additional three infill and extension IP lines have been received and inversion modelling of the data is underway and is expected to be reported soon.

The IP lines were completed over 1.4 kilometres long east-west traverses covering the entire Lady Fanny to Burke & Wills lines of workings.

“The Lady Fanny IP results are extremely encouraging and are suggestive of a much larger copper sulphide bearing system at depth and along strike,” Carnaby Resources managing director Rob Watkins said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“The IP at Lady Fanny appears to be working as well as it did at Nil Desperandum which led to the high-grade discovery.

“This bodes well for the follow up drilling at Lady Fanny which is underway.

“The strength of the Lady Fanny inversion chargeability anomalies is stronger than in the high-grade discovery IP section at Nil Desperandum.

“While the strength of the chargeability inversion anomalies cannot be used as a guide for copper grades or widths, the strength of the Lady Fanny IP chargeability anomalies is certainly a positive sign.

“With this in mind, we are genuinely excited about what lies ahead at Lady Fanny and Nil Desperandum and the broader Greater Duchess copper gold project in the weeks and months ahead.”

 

TO READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: CLICK HERE

 

Email: info@carnabyresources.com.au

 

Web: www.carnabyresources.com.au

 

Matador Mining Doubles Gold Target at Window Glass Hill Granite

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) was holding court at its 2022 RIU Explorers Conference booth as punters took in the announcement that interpretation of detailed magnetics, lithogeochemistry and historic data has doubled the known strike length of the highly prospective Window Glass Hill Granite (WGHG) Intrusion to over six kilometres at the company’s Cape Ray gold project in Newfoundland, Canada.

Matador Mining explained the new detailed magnetics and bottom of hole (BOH) lithogeochemistry data demonstrate that an untested sheared wedge of the WGHG extends three kilometres further north-east along the Cape Ray Shear Zone (CRSZ) than previously interpreted, immediately north of the 519,000 ounces gold Central Zone Mineral Resources.

“The opportunity presented by the large WGHG system to support significant mineral resource growth within a stone’s-throw of the proposed processing facility at Central Zone is extremely exciting,” Matador Mining executive chair Ian Murray said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“To find that the WGHG extends a further three kilometres to the north-east, immediately adjacent to the existing 519,000 ounce gold Central Zone Mineral Resource, in an area almost completely devoid of previous drilling, represents a great opportunity for Matador to test through 2022.

“Matador will dedicate at least one diamond drill rig throughout the 2022 summer drilling season aiming to grow the WGHG-hosted resources footprint and continue to make new discoveries across the 85 per cent of WGHG area and granite contact zones that are still to be effectively drill tested.

“We will also concurrently advance the broader greenfield discovery efforts and exploration target pipeline.”

 

TO READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: CLICK HERE

 

Email: info@matadormining.com.au

 

Web: www.matadormining.com.au

 

Eagle Mountain Mining Going Underground at Oracle Ridge

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Eagle Mountain Mining (ASX: EM2) had punters queuing at its 2022 RIU Explorers Conference booth after announcing its plan to recommission parts of the existing underground mine at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Oracle Ridge project in Arizona, USA.

Eagle Mountain explained its reasoning behind the decision being that by accessing the existing Oracle Ridge underground mine it would be able to drill from underground, gaining improved access for future studies.

Indicated benefits include shorter drill holes that will increase productivity and reduce costs and faster upgrading of the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) to increase the Measured and Indicated resource categories.

“Drilling from underground will be a massive step-change for our exploration and move us closer to feasibility studies,” Eagle Mountain Mining CEO Tim Mason said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“We are very fortunate to have an existing underground mine in very good condition with development in the right location to continue to build and upgrade our Mineral Resources.

“We don’t need to de-water the mine to access the drill sites and rehabilitation is expected to be relatively minor.

“Along with drilling shorter holes, it also enables better access to the orebody for taking bulk samples for metallurgical test work for optimisation of processing design and recoveries.

“Importantly, two drill rigs will continue to focus on resource expansion and upgrade drilling at the Talon as results have demonstrated the growth potential of the Resource.

“Given the large number of assays pending (56 holes), results will continue to be received whilst we recommission the underground mine.

“With the reduction of one drill rig and the recommissioning of the mine, we do not expect a significant impact on our rate of expenditure.

“However, it is setting us up for the future with drill platforms to efficiently build out the resource and potentially install a drill drive to the south into the Talon zone which is growing with almost every drill hole.

“We are currently in discussions with underground drilling contractors, and we are working to secure a drill rig for mobilisation around Q3 2022.”

 

 

Email: info@eaglemountain.com.au

 

Web: www.eaglemountain.com.au

 

Azure Minerals Expands Barton Gold Project

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) was anticipating a rush of booth enquiries at the 2022 RIU Explorers Conference after announcing the staking of two new Exploration Licence Applications (ELAs) in the Kookynie gold district and application for an additional two new ELAs to the south of the company’s Barton tenement package.

Azure has made application for two Exploration Licences located within the Kookynie gold district.

The tenements are:

• Christmas Well ELA 40/421 69sqkm Azure is sole applicant;
• Two Dees ELA 40/432 33sqkm Azure is sole applicant.

Christmas Well is thought to have potential for Kookynie-style gold mineralisation and Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) mineralisation (copper-zinc-lead-gold-silver).

Two Dees is considered prospective for gold mineralisation similar to Genesis’ nearby Ulysses and Admiral-Butterfly-Clark gold deposits.

Azure has also made applications for two new Exploration Licences further south from Kookynie:

• Cranky Jack ELA 31/1310 173sqkm Azure is sole applicant; and
• Yarri ELA 31/1314 208sqkm Multiple applications, pending ballot.

Azure Minerals expects to eventually hold a large, strategically-situated portfolio of tenements within the Kookynie district with potential extensions to the south, comprising:

• One granted Exploration Licence (E40/393: 198sqkm);

• Six ELAs (totalling 483sqkm) with Azure as the sole applicant; and

• Four ELAs (totalling sq336km) where Azure is a competing applicant, and which will go into a Mining Warden’s Court ballot to decide ownership.

 

TO READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: CLICK HERE

 

Email: admin@azureminerals.com.au

 

Web: www.azureminerals.com.au

 

De Grey Mining Wins Craig Oliver Award and Reports New Results from Diucon Deposit at Hemi

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: De Grey Mining (ASX: DEG) enjoyed the opening morning of the 2022 RIU Explorers Conference by picking up the celebrated Craig Oliver Award.

The Craig Oliver Award is presented each year at the RIU Explorers Conference in memory of the former Sundance Resources director and major contributor to the mining industry and recognises the ASX resources sector’s best all-round achiever throughout the previous 12 months.

When accepting the award in front of a packed day one auditorium at The Esplanade Hotel in Fremantle, De Grey Mining general manager exploration Phil Tornatora said the De Grey story was one that perfectly suited an explorer’s conference.

“The Hemi discovery was made in a frontier area in the Pilbara not seen as a gold destination,” he said.

“Our philosophy has been a geologist’s main job is to find the ore body.

“You can’t find anything without drilling and never die wondering.

“My summary for Hemi is it’s big, it will get bigger and it will be a very big gold mine.”

De Grey had earlier released the latest resource definition and resource extension results from the Diucon deposit at the company’s Hemi gold project in Western Australia.

The drilling has demonstrated gold mineralisation at Diucon to have similar alteration and sulphide development as seen at the adjacent deposits of Aquila, Brolga, Crow, Falcon and Eagle.

Drilling at Diucon and Eagle has intersected broad zones of mineralised intrusive in resource definition and extensional drilling including late high-grade mineralisation associated with quartz-carbonate veining, sericite-albite alteration and visible gold.

New resource definition drilling results include:

HEDD064
148.6 metres at 2 grams per tonne gold from 92m, including 8.9m at 7.3g/t gold from 101m and 34.8m at 2.9g/t gold from 129.3m;

HEDD305
8m at 5g/t gold from 131m and 71.1m at 3.5g/t gold from 188m, including 38.1m at 6.2g/t Au from 221m;

HEDD307
64m at 3.7g/t gold from 259m;

HEDD107
152.5m at 2.3g/t gold from 53m, including 25m at 4.4g/t gold from 106m and 6.3m at 25.7g/t gold from 135.4m; and

HEDD108
104m at 1.2g/t gold from 151.8m, including 33.2m at 2.3g/t gold from 151.8m.

New extensional drilling results include:

HERC775D
128.9m at 1.5g/t gold from 340m, including 26.3m at 2.3g/t gold from 341m and 43.9m at 2.2g/t gold from 374.1m and 9m at 2.4g/t gold from 441m.

“The resource definition results at Diucon have continued to intersect broad deposits of mineralisation including high grade intervals near surface,” Tornatora said in the company’s ASX announcement.

“[These] and other recent intersections are expected to have a positive impact on the Diucon resource grade and PFS mine schedule.

“The new extensional result at Diucon in HERC775D…including higher grade intervals is located approximately 100 metres beneath the Scoping Study open pit design.

“New pit shell optimisations will be conducted in the PFS aiming to increase gold production from the Diucon pit.

“Diamond drilling at Hemi will pivot to resource extension and discovery drilling after the March quarter and these new results at Diucon provide encouragement.

“Exploration with aircore and RC drilling continues to be conducted in the Greater Hemi region outside the Hemi footprint seeking new near surface gold bearing intrusions.”

 

TO READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT: CLICK HERE

 

Email: admin@degreymining.com.au

 

Web: www.degreymining.com.au

 

 

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.

 

Email: info@chargermetals.com.au

 

Web: www.chargermetals.com.au

 

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:

PRRC135
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.

PRRC103
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.

 

Email: info@podiumminerals.com

 

Web: www.podiumminerals.com

 

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:

21MRRC003
14 metres at 2.66 grams per tonne gold from 45m;

21MRRC011
6m at 3.23g/t gold from 31m and 7m at 9.1g/t gold from 81m;

21MRRC032
7m at 4.5g/t gold from 46m;

21MRRC016
4m at 4.48g/t gold from 16m; and

21MRRC039
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.”

 

Email: admin@ozzresources.com.au

 

Web: www.ozzresources.com.au

 

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.”

 

Email: admin@tietto.com

 

Web: www.tietto.com

 

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.”