THE CONFERENCE CALLER: If there is one compelling reason to invest in specialist sulphate of potash (SOP) explorer Trigg Mining (ASX: TMG) it’s that people have to eat. By Mark Fraser
Describing itself as a modern, purpose-driven exploration house set on helping to deliver global food security, Trigg plans to employ a sustainable “mining” method – the solar evaporation of hyper-saline brine – to produce a SOP premium mineral fertiliser essential for the production of high value agricultural products.
The company controls around 1,585 square kilometres of tenure covering two projects in Western Australia’s north eastern Goldfields, which includes 380 square kilometres of playa lakes and 140km of paleochannels – all of which are prospective for SOP mineralisation.
These projects lie near the terminus of extensive palaeovalley catchment areas
(ancient river valleys) which extend for over 500km and are underlain by potassium-bearing source rocks (namely granites, sandstones and salt diapirs).
Here, brine solutions carrying potassium mineralisation have been concentrating in
the palaeovalleys and salt lakes (evaporite systems) for millions of years.
Trigg’s flagship project, the high-grade Lake Throssell, covers 1,085sqkm and has around 70km of interpreted palaeovalley extent.
So far the highest SOP grade discovered in this tenure has been 14,800 milligrams per litre, while the initial results for the current air core drilling program – drilled to a depth of up to 130 metres – returned an average grade of 9,772 milligrams per litre.
Furthermore, 92% of all samples taken to date have revealed grades exceeding 9,000 milligrams per litre, while 64% are over 10,000 milligrams per litre.
Meanwhile, the junior’s second project – Lake Rason – is currently being seen as a potential satellite ore body.
It covers 500sqkm and includes 194sqkm of playa lake and 64km of interpreted palaeovalley.
Importantly, it already has an inferred mineral resource of 6 million tonnes at 5,080 milligrams per litre SOP and the potential to increase volume and grade to the west, with the western-most hole drilled (LRTAC001) returning results of up to 6,645 milligrams per litre.
Just before appearing at the RIU Explorers Conference in WA, the company announced that recent exploration success had enabled a sizeable initial high grade exploration target to be estimated at Lake Throssell, with outstanding growth potential.
This target was approximately 7.5 to 27 million tonnes at a grade ranging between 9,000 and 10,000 milligrams litre SOP equivalent and covered a strike length of around 70km of the interpreted palaeovalley within a total strike length of about 112km under tenure – including adjacent tenements under application.
Trigg said high grades and multiple potential aquifers were encountered throughout the profile, meaning that trenching and the establishment of deep production bores were possible.
Earlier this month the company also announced that 2021 air core drilling at Lake Throssell, where field work completed in 2020 within the northern half of the project area (16 holes for 1806m representing some 40 per cent of the program), confirmed the presence of a broad palaeovalley at least 1km wide, with some areas potentially broadening up to 3-4km wide.
Assay results were positive, returning high grades of up to 11,519 milligrams per litre SOP (or 11.5 kilograms per cubic metre) with an average grade of 9,772 milligrams per litre SOP.
During her appearance at the RIU conference, Trigg managing director and chief executive Keren Peterson said the company was looking to establish a maiden JORC resource in the second quarter of 2002.
“So that (February 16) announcement – that exploration target – has us very excited because it is substantial,” she noted.
“This is a project that has never had any drilling done until we got out there (last) July.
“And it’s taken a fair bit of innovation … because it is of substantial scale.
“It’s going to be big. It’s going to have a long life when we bring it into production, and it’s got the grade to do that.”
Petersen said SOP was an essential fertiliser for high value, chloride sensitive crops like fruit, vegetables, avocados, coffee beans, grapes, tree nuts, cocoa and anything grown under glass and in arid and acidic soils.
In addition, with the natural endowment of the minerals dissolved in brine and the ability to harvest solar evaporation to produce SOP, brine producers were generally low cost ones.