Trigg Mining Declares Lake Throssell Target

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.



Azure Minerals Drills Andover, Andover Again

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: If Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) and Joint Venture partner the Creasy Group continue to tackle 2021 at the same cracking pace they found themselves moving in the field during the second half of 2020, they could find themselves nominated for the Craig Oliver Award at next year’s RIU Explorers Conference. By Mark Fraser

Just eight days before his appearance at the 2021 RIU show, Azure managing director Tony Rovira told the market that an ongoing drilling campaign at the emerging Andover base metals project in Western Australia’s Pilbara had revealed new zones of nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation to the east of the highly prospective VC-23 prospect.

In particular, four new drill holes (ANDD0012, 0013, 0016 and 0017) intersected shallow sulphide mineralisation associated with electromagnetic (EM) conductors at VC-23.

These latest holes followed on from multiple mineralised intersections in the first three ones announced during the second half of January, ultimately resulting in the impressive discovery of mineralisation in seven VC-23 holes.

ANDD0012 intersected 4.6 metres of continuous massive and semi-massive nickel-copper sulphides within a 19.4m-wide mineralised envelope coincident with a previously undrilled EM conductor.

Meanwhile, ANDD0013, 0016 and 0017 demonstrated continuity of sulphide mineralisation over 150m of strike, which remained open both along strike and down-dip.

High nickel and copper grades were subsequently confirmed by pXRF and verified by Azure’s on-site geologists. Two other rigs are now set to continue drilling the VC-7 conductor plate.

During his appearance at the RIU conference, Rovira said the JV partners had – after joining forces in August last year – initially identified 10 targets which indicated bedrock-hosted sulphide accumulations after conducting a number of fix looped surface EM surveys.

The project area, which covers 7,000 square kilometres and sits just south of the small town of Roebourne, had been in the hands of legendary WA prospector Mark Creasy, whose company had carried out a small amount of RC drilling in 2018, intersecting a small amount of nickel and copper mineralisation in the areas which are now known as VC-23 and VC-07.

“In addition to that there are numerous other EM conductors throughout the project and all of them are just waiting there to be drilled – they have never been drill tested, so there are a lot of opportunities on the property for finding bedrock-hosted sulphide mineralisation and potential nickel and copper-rich mineralisation,” Rovira explained.

Rovira said to date a total of 10 diamond holes had been drilled at Andover for 4,200m, with every one of them intersecting nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation.

“One of the holes has drilled over the top of the magnetic conductor and only intersected minor mineralisation, but the other nine all went through the modelled locations and all nine of those hit significant quantities of massive, and semi massive, and other styles of nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation,” he noted.

“So, to date we have tested the eastern 200m strike length of that VC-07 conductor (and) there’s at least another 800m further to the west for us to test, and we are expanding our drilling out along strike and to the west as we go.

“And the drilling is continuing – and at this stage we consider this to be: we’ve identified the body; we have a great understanding of the shape and the potential size of the body. So the diamond drilling we are doing now is with the intention of being able to produce a mineral resource at the completion of the drilling program.

“And importantly where we have drilled into EM conductors we have hit nickel and copper sulphide mineralisation – it is actually a 100 per cent hit rate.”

Azure holds a 60 per cent stake in Andover, while the Creasy Group has the remaining 40 per cent.



Chalice Mining Chasing Polymetallic Performance

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: If all goes to plan, Chalice Mining (ASX: CHN) should unequivocally confirm it is sitting on a potential multi-deposit world class mineral province at its wholly-owned Julimar polymetallic play in Western Australia by the middle of the year. By Mark Fraser

The junior will also be able to say if it has made not only Australia’s first major palladium discovery, but is on the cusp of establishing a very large strategic deposit of critical energy metals.

Located around 70 kilometres north east of Perth, the 26km-long Julimar has so far this year been subjected to a busy field program, with the company employing six rigs (three RC and three diamond) to carry out an initial 160,000 metre step-out and resource definition drill program at the (approximate) 1.6 km by (greater than) 0.8 km Gonneville intrusion.

First pass reconnaissance soil sampling and moving loop electromagnetic programs have also started concurrently in the Julimar State Forest just to the north.

Situated on private farmland and within the forest, the project was staked in 2018 as part of Chalice’s global search for high-potential nickel sulphide exploration opportunities.

The company interpreted the possible presence of a mafic-ultramafic layered intrusive complex (aptly called the Julimar Complex) based on high resolution airborne magnetics.

So far, this structure is interpreted to extend over (around) 26km of strike and is confirmed to be highly prospective for nickel, copper and platinum group elements (PGE).

First mover Chalice started a systematic greenfields exploration program over the Gonneville intrusion in mid-2019.

The initial drilling began in the first quarter of 2020 and resulted in the discovery of shallow high grade PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt mineralisation, with the first drill hole (JRC001) intersecting 19m at 8.4 grams per tonne palladium, 1.1 grams per tonne platinum, 2.6 per cent nickel, 1 per cent copper and 0.14 per cent cobalt from 48m.

According to the company, the Gonneville discovery defined the new West Yilgarn nickel-copper-PGE province, with the intrusion being interpreted to be a layered mafic-ultramafic sill with a moderate westerly dip and gentle northerly plunge.

The potential feeder for the system, a highly prospective area for high grade
mineralisation, is yet to be discovered.

However, PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt plus-minus gold sulphide mineralisation was widespread throughout the intrusion and has been intersected down to around 850m below surface. The intrusion is open to the north in the Julimar State Forest and its depth extent remains unknown.

Speaking during the first day of the RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, Chalice managing director Alex Dorsch said the company had yet to find the limits of the ore body, with the search so far being confined to the southern end of the tenements.

“One of the challenges we’ve got is that thing just keeps getting bigger and bigger,” he told delegates.

“We had the benefit in September of being able to fly airborne EM over the discovery, as well as over all of other untouched area to the north, and you can see there we have this Hartog EM anomaly that extends over about 6.5km, which has yet to have a drill hole in it.

“So you can see (with this) sort of scale that we are really in the top echelon of minerals potential here.”

Earlier in the day Chalice had told the market it had just completed some initial metallurgical testwork which had shown the deposit had high palladium-nickel-copper recoveries which could yield commercially attractive base metal concentrates using simple flotation techniques.

This, Dorsch said, augured well for Chalice becoming a major player in the critical metals sector, with the electric vehicle market being “very dependent on class one nickel-cobalt-cobalt”, while hybrids “are very much dependent on palladium”.

“What’s most interesting to know about PGEs, and what is just emerging at the moment in the market, is really the criticality of these metals if we move to the hydrogen economy.

“So producing, purifying and then ultimately converting hydrogen into electricity through a fuel cell requires lots of PGEs.

“(And) at the moment the vast majority of PGEs come out of Russia and South Africa so there is obviously a big push, and that makes our discovery even more special being in a Western country.”

Although Chalice’s plan was now to have a maiden mineral resource in place for Gonneville by mid- 2021, this was not – according to Dorsch – “the end of the story”.


Bellevue Gold Looks to Mine Bellevue Gold

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Bellevue Gold well and truly cemented its place as one of Australia’s leading brownfields gold developers after increasing the indicated resource of its namesake project in Western Australia by an impressive 20 per cent. By Mark Fraser

The company is currently sitting on a total resource of 2.41 million ounces of gold at 10 grams per tonne, which is comprised of 1.04Moz at 11.4g/t (indicated) and 1.37Moz at 9.2 g/t (inferred).

Given Bellevue’s busy field schedule over the past 12 months, these numbers are expected to increase during 2021.

Located 430 kilometres north of Kalgoorlie-Boulder, and 40km north of Leinster within the wealth-generating Agnew-Wiluna Greenstone Belt in the Goldfields of WA, the historic Bellevue mine produced around 800,000 ounces from 15g/t ore in a predominantly underground gold operation that ran from 1987-1997.

According to Bellevue, the increased estimate – which was announced during the December 2020 quarter – will further strengthen the baseline economic study now underway at the Bellevue mine while providing scope for a longer mine life, an increased production profile and some stronger financial returns.

This all primarily stemmed from drilling completed between August and November 2020 that focused predominantly on Deacon North and the new Armand lode.

A total of 46,000 metres of diamond core was completed since the previous estimate in July 2020, including further infill, extensional exploration and geotechnical work.

Generating some excitement is the golden high-grade core of Viago and Deacon which – when combined with the third separate mining area of Armand – totals 1.15Mt at 15.2g/t for 560,000 ounces (indicated) and 940,000t at 11.5g/t for 350,000 ounces (inferred).

“This is an outstanding result which demonstrates the exceptional quality of the mineralised system at Bellevue,” the company’s managing director Steve Parsons said.

“To have an indicated resource of this size and this grade, and with such immense scope for further increases, highlights the underlying strength of the project.

“Despite the huge success we have had, I have no doubt that there is still a lot more high-grade gold to be found at Bellevue.

“We are consistently hitting gold along strike and are continuing to find new discoveries with ongoing drilling.”

Bellevue has now completed 292,000m of diamond drilling at the project, infilling selected areas of a previous 80 by 80m drill grid, on which the inferred resources were based to 40 by 20m and 40 by 40m (and even closer spacing in select areas).

All drilling has been conducted as diamond core from surface.

Field activities during the December 2020 quarter also included the first deeper drill holes as part of the WA Government co-funded Exploration Incentive Scheme program which, as reported to the ASX during October last year, resulted in the discovery of Armand, a new parallel mineralised shear zone to the east of Deacon.

Ongoing diamond drilling is continuing to both increase the global resource figure and convert further mineralisation into the indicated category.

Surface work was supplemented by the establishment of underground drilling during December.

The updated resource includes the initial resource for the Armand lode, which was reported as 200,000t at 15.4g/t gold for 100,000 ounces of indicated and 220,000t at 12g/t gold for 85,000 ounces of inferred resource.

Here, mineralisation remains open up-plunge and down-dip, and drilling is continuing at the target.

Intercepts obtained from Armand last year included the most northern drill hit achieved to date on the shoot, which returned an impressive 8.3m at 32.1g/t gold from 358.5m.

Other gold assays included 8.3m at 32.1g/t (from 358.5m), 6.5m at 23.4g/t (384.8m), 5m at 15.4g/t (360.2m), 1.9m at 29.7g/t (379.4m), 0.5m at 22.1g/t (358.5m) and 0.4m at 75g/t gold (360.2m).

Meanwhile, recent drilling at the Deacon lode, supplemented by drill hole electromagnetic data, resulted in the definition of an exciting new target known as the Maceline lode.

Here a significant conductor was defined over 550m by 250m of strike.

Bellevue considers Maceline to represent a major target for resource definition drilling, believing it demonstrates a potential scale similar to the Deacon Central area.

Follow up drilling to advance this discovery is being progressed from surface and underground platforms during the current quarter.

This recent flurry of activity has not been included in the resource upgrade.

The soon-to-be-revived Bellevue mine consists of a high-grade lode gold deposit hosted in the Mount Goode basalt.

The current upgrade represents the amalgamated resource estimate for the project and combined revisions to the previously-announced estimates – plus the new figures for Armand, which had not been previously released.





Prodigy Gold Makes its Mark in The Territory

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Northern Territory explorer Prodigy Gold – with the help of the NT Geological Survey – started 2021 on the front foot following completion of a 400-metre diamond hole at its wholly-owned Reynolds Range gold-copper project in the Tanami Desert. By Mark Fraser

The drilling was following up on a compelling electromagnetic target at the Scimitar prospect after a moving loop EM (MLEM) survey and detailed mapping identified evidence of copper mineralisation at surface within a three-kilometre-long geochemical anomaly.

Of 127 samples collected in the area during late 2020, 39 returned notable anomalism of up to 7.5 grams per tonne gold, 1,950g/t silver, 19.3% copper and 21.3% lead.

Within the larger 3km anomaly, separate copper-gold and silver-lead zonation was observed, confirming the presence of strong gold and base metal anomalism at Scimitar.

The drill hole, which was co-funded by the NT Government as part of the Resourcing the Territory Initiative, was designed to confirm a base metal association with a 2km long south-west dipping MLEM conductor in the centre of the geological anomaly.

It intersected a package of interbedded sandstones and siltstones with minor black shales and diorite intrusions.

Sulphides, including pyrite, pyrrhotite, sphalerite, galena and minor chalcopyrite, were associated with quartz veining in deformed black shales over several intervals.

The strongest part of the conductor was modelled to start 240m vertically below surface.

Minor sulphide was intersected in the drill hole at the target depth of 350m.

According to Prodigy Gold, the sphalerite and galena in the intersected black shales may be the source of a surface zinc and lead anomaly.

Downhole EM should now confirm whether the sulphidic shales identified in the drilling were the cause of the airborne and MLEM anomalies.

Meanwhile, a stronger zone of EM conductor, sitting some 600m to the hole’s north, remains untested.

A second 500m diamond hole is planned to drill this conductor depending on assay results and the down-hole EM survey.

The source of the high-grade copper and gold soil and rock chip anomaly (1km long) has not, though, been confirmed by the first hole.

Prodigy Gold is currently planning RC drilling closer to these surface anomalies.

Scimitar is along trend from the historic Reward copper deposit which, during its life, enjoyed an average grade of 11% red metal.

It will be the first of several targets to be tested at Reynolds Range over the coming months.

Prodigy Gold managing director Matt Briggs said the second diamond hole 600m to the north would test the strongest zone of the EM conductor, “and we expect to complete this hole at the cessation of the wet season”.

“The initial round of drilling is the first phase of our broader exploration strategy for Reynolds Range, which aims to test several highly prospective targets with favourable structural indicators for hosting gold and base metal mineralisation,” he explained.

“Many of these targets are associated with historical exploration and mine workings, yet have had little exposure to any form of modern exploration, which provides an excellent opportunity for Prodigy.”

Drilling is planned to test other priority targets at Reynolds Range, including follow up work at Scimitar, the Reward copper-gold EM target, Falchion (where past gold intercepts have included 12m at 3.76g/t and 16m at 3.67g/t) as well as the Sabru prospect (17m at 3.93g/t, 26m at 2.73g/t and 24m at 2.59g/t).

Mineralisation was first identified in the area during the early 1900s with over 500 different mineral occurrences and old mines found – including extensive tin fields at Coniston (Reynolds Range), old copper workings, silver-lead-zinc mines and numerous gold occurrences.

A series of shear zones transect the project areas.

These zones, in places, have retrograded the amphibolite facies country rock to greenschist facies.

Here, gold mineralisation consists of sheared and sheeted-quartz vein deposits with the potential for economic ore bodies.

Several occurrences have been identified which include high-grade copper and silver (plus or minus gold) associated with distal lead-zinc occurrences.

The Jervoise deposits (located further east in the Arunta), the Bumblebee discovery (near Kintore in the South Arunta/Warumpi Margin) and the Tennant Creek deposits (situated to the north of the Tenant Creek Inlier) are described as iron oxide-copper-gold targets.

The rocks at Reynolds Range are believed to have similar potential.

Prodigy Gold has a unique mixture of greenfields and brownfields exploration properties in the proven multi-million gold ounce Tanami province.

It will continue prioritising drill targets for its Tanami, North Arunta and Reynolds Range projects, systematically evaluate high potential, early stage targets as well as form joint ventures to expedite further discoveries.




Chalice Mining Set to Add Julimar to List of Achievements

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Since joining the Australian bourse via a $7.5 million initial public offering back in 2006, Chalice Mining has carved quite a niche amongst the country’s home-grown exploration stocks. By Mark Fraser

And it’s not just because the company looks set to consolidate itself as a leader in Australia’s almost non-existent platinum group elements (PGE) sector.

Rather, it’s more to do with the fact that over the past 15 years Chalice has pursued fairly eclectic investment options while successfully creating wealth for its shareholders – a practice the company will no doubt continue as it advances three solid on-the-ground domestic mineral projects in 2021.

Since its IPO, Chalice has invested in a number of money-making assets which combined have – as of June last year – generated over $110 million in after-tax proceeds and sales.

Chalice’s portfolio pipeline has included district-scale precious and base metals projects, robust royalty opportunities as well as other sundry investments – both domestically and abroad.

Along the way the company has boosted its exposure to the global financial sector market through a listing on the New York-based OTCQB Venture Market, a mid-tier over-the-counter securities trading platform on which trades are conducted via dealer networks as opposed to a centralised exchange.

By taking advantage of this expertise – and using its own corporate initiatives – Chalice was able to finish 2020 with a market capitalisation of $1.27 billion (based on a then share price of $3.80), a cash balance of $126 million, combined cash and investments worth $140 million and no debt.

It was also during 2020 that the company raised $130 million to progress its wholly-owned platinum group element–nickel-copper-cobalt discovery at Julimar, some 70 kilometres north east of Perth in its home state of Western Australia.

Using high resolution airborne magnetics, Chalice interpreted the possible presence of a mafic-ultramafic layered intrusive complex (the Julimar Complex), which is now believed to extend over some 26km of strike.

This work also identified several large-scale electromagnetic anomalies (Hartog, Baudin and Jansz), which are located directly along strike from the company’s world class Gonneville PGE-nickel-copper-cobalt-gold discovery that was found during a systematic greenfields exploration program over the Gonneville Intrusion in mid-2019.

Hartog, Baudin and Jansz all represent high quality greenfields discovery opportunities over 20km of strike length across the Julimar target area.

The Hartog anomaly is Chalice’s highest priority target given its similar EM signature to Gonneville.

Exploration activities – which have been approved by the WA Government – will initially comprise prospect-scale soil geochemical sampling (200 by 100m) in conjunction with 200m-spaced moving loop EM (MLEM) and ground gravity surveys (200 by 50m) centred over the three EM anomalies.

This will be followed by infill soil geochemical sampling and further MLEM to define targets for drill testing.

The entire (approximate) 20 by 30km exploration corridor along the interpreted Julimar Complex will also be subjected to first pass exploration, including wide-spaced soil geochemistry and ground gravity surveying as well as/or MLEM.

Any further areas of interest will be infilled to define potential targets for future drill testing.

Chalice managing director Alex Dorsch said the strength and scale of Hartog’s EM target had drawn significant interest and the company now believed it could represent a different section of the intrusive complex which may be prospective for new styles of nickel-copper-PGE mineralisation.

“It should also be noted that the lack of an airborne EM response in other areas does not preclude the presence of mineralisation, as evidenced by our drilling at Gonneville,” he explained.

“The planned initial reconnaissance activities aim to define drill-ready targets, which will then form the basis of a second stage approval process for drill testing.”

Early stage metallurgical testwork completed to date on selected high grade and disseminated sulphide mineralisation samples from Gonneville returned promising flotation results, giving initial encouragement the sulphide-hosted mineralisation will be amenable to conventional flotation under standard conditions.

Chalice’s second major wholly-owned exploration project is at Pyramid Hill in Victoria, where the company holds over 5,000 square kilometres of prospective real estate north west and north east of the Fosterville gold mine.

So far it is particularly excited about a new (plus) 4km gold trend and two gold-bearing diorite intrusions.

All sit undercover in unexplored terrain. By the end of last year there were two diamond rigs working at the 4km long Karri prospect.

The third project is Hawkstone (nickel-copper-cobalt) in WA.

Described as a “new greenfield nickel sulphide opportunity in a frontier province”, it sits within an (over) 1,800sqkm holding east of the Merlin nickel-copper-cobalt prospect.



Breaker Resources Embarks on Golden Safari

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Words like “predictable” and “repetitive” are not usually uttered by junior explorers as they seek funds to look for gorillas in elephant country. By Mark Fraser

But language like this does appear in market releases from time to time, particularly if an exploration house is looking for something with the right geological recipe, but comes with low risk.

During the December 2020 quarter Breaker Resources executive chairman Tom Sanders used both terms while describing the outcome of a field campaign at the company’s wholly-owned Lake Roe gold project 100 kilometres east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in Western Australia.

Sanders was referring to new mineralisation Breaker identified via diamond and RC infill drilling below the evolving Bombora open pit ore body, which is just part of a 9km long gold system with an established resource of 23.2 million tonnes at 1.3 grams per tonne gold for 981,000 contained ounces.

This drilling provided Breaker with more firm evidence that Bombora enjoys significant scale, high-grades, continuity of mineralisation and predictable geometry and returned some healthy gold intercepts, including: 9.15 metres at 7g/t from 558.85m (including 2m at 26.15g/t) and 3.68m at 10.58g/t from 607m (with 2.88m at 13.03g/t) from the northern section of the deposit.

In the central part a new steep lode 800m below surface was discovered yielding the deepest intercept to date of: 2.64m at 11.7g/t from 933.08m, including 1.92m at 14.03g/t.

The numbers here will form part of a global resource update planned for April 2021 to incorporate the Bombora, Kopai-Crescent and Claypan areas.

Regular updates are then planned as infill drilling is completed on structures such as the Tura lode.

Sanders said the latest results established the continuity of high-grade mineralisation over a 2km length directly below the existing 1Moz resource.

“They also show that the continuity and geometry of the mineralisation at Bombora is typical of the Archean deposits seen in WA’s Eastern Goldfields,” he noted.

“The lodes are predictable and repetitive and directly comparable to many well-known mines including the Golden Mile deposit.

“This augurs extremely well for the resource update we are planning for April 2021.

“The increasing predictability of structure is helping to identify a lot of new drilling targets.

“For example, we plan to trace some of the big flat structures we are seeing at Kopai-Crescent, Claypan and Bombora eastwards into the magnetite-rich contact of the syenite.

“These are lighting up geochemically in our aircore drilling over a 12km distance.

“We also have a lot of targets identified by aircore drilling over 30km of strike that don’t yet have an RC drill hole.”

Lake Roe comprises five granted tenements and one application covering an overall greenfields area of 556sqkm.

Aside from its close proximity to Kalgoorlie-Boulder, it also sits just 60km south-south east of the operating 3.5Moz Carosue Dam gold mine and 35km north of the historic 900,000 ounce Karonie yellow metal deposit.

Wide-spaced reconnaissance drilling has delineated a large-scale gold anomaly over 8km of strike that includes Bombora, which now extends over a continuous strike length of 3.2km and remains open in all directions.

Following the discovery of Bombora in 2015, Breaker – which listed on the ASX in 2012 with the objective of applying modern, systematic exploration techniques to the largely under-explored Eastern Goldfields superterrane of WA – completed 250,000m of RC and diamond drilling to establish a 1Moz open pit resource and create an extensively de-risked development option in a single pit configuration.

This deposit is a typical Archean, multi-lode gold ore body hosted by dolerite.

It has yielded some of the best drill hits in the state over the past few years , including 17m at 15.85g/t, 7m at 61.78g/t and 32m at 15.31g/t.

Resource drilling started in late 2016 and a maiden resource of 11.9Mt at 1.6g/t gold for 624,000oz contained gold was announced in April 2018.

In September 2019 an upgraded resource of 23.2Mt at 1.3g/t gold for 981,000 oz of contained gold was announced. The company has also released an exploration target of 1.2-1.4Moz at a grade of 4.5-5.5g/t gold over and above the estimated resource.

According to broker Bell Potter, since the start of material step-out drilling in 2020 the company has identified three large areas of discovery targeted for ongoing resource growth and confirmed the project’s underground mining potential.

Importantly, the pattern of drilling and consistent discovery established each quarter over a five-year period bears all the hallmarks of a new gold camp, while regional drilling indicates scope for a 30km long gold system.





Vimy Resources Lists on Foreign Bourse

Vimy Resources may well be sitting on Australia’s largest near-term uranium deposit, but it is also headquartered in a country that has very little sympathy for nuclear energy. By Mark Fraser

As a result, Vimy’s attractiveness as an investment destination has been misunderstood by domestic punters who live in an environment where there is a healthy dose of hostility towards yellowcake.

No doubt these thoughts crossed the company’s mind as it decided to expand its access to the global pool of capital by listing on the US-based OTCQB Venture Market.

Operated by the OTC Markets Group in New York, this mid-tier over-the-counter securities trading platform offers transparent trading for entrepreneurial and development stage companies that – amongst other factors – are current in their financial reporting and have undergone an annual verification and management certification process.

These standards provide a strong baseline of transparency, as well as the technology and regulation to improve the information and trading experience for investors.

Furthermore, there are no additional compliance or regulatory standards over and above Vimy’s compliance with the ASX listing rules.

In addition, OTC trading is non-dilutive to the company’s existing shareholders as no new shares were issued to enable trading on the US-based exchange.

According to Vimy Resources managing director and chief executive, Mike Young, the move to the alternative bourse will enhance the visibility and accessibility of the company to North American shareholders and media partners.

“The start of the OTCQB trading coincides with the best couple of months the uranium equities market has seen since 2007,” he said.

“Trading on OTCQB opens Vimy up to a much larger pool of investors including specialised uranium investors in the USA and Canada – two jurisdictions that not only get nuclear power, but actually use it.

“Since the USA is our target market for future customers of uranium concentrate from our Mulga Rock and Alligator River projects, it makes sense to trade on a North American platform, increasing our exposure to a deeper pool of capital.”

Vimy will continue pushing its two big uranium projects – the flagship Mulga Rock in its home state of Western Australia and Alligator River in the Northern Territory.

Located east-north east of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in WA, Mulga Rock is the most advanced, having had its definitive feasibility due diligence updated in 2020.

The rebooted study demonstrated the 15 year project – which is looking to produce 3.5 million pounds of U3O8 (yellowcake) annually – will generate even stronger financial returns than previously predicted in the original January 2018 appraisal.

Some of the strong project economics include a net present value pre-tax of US$393 million (a 14% increase), an internal rate of return of 31% (up 23%), a capital cost of US$255 million (a 20% reduction), a payback period of 2.4 years (cut by eight months) as well as a free cash flow of US$61 million per annum (a 22% increase).

In addition, the updated documentation delivered some strong operating cost results, including a cash operating cost (C1) of US$23.33 per lb U3O8 over the first five years (an 8% fall), a C1 of US$26.02/lb over life-of-mine (a 7% decrease), an all in sustaining cost of US$28.09/lb over the first five years and a US$31.22 over LOM (an 8% drop in both instances).

Vimy’s second project, the Alligator River Joint Venture with Rio Tinto in the north east NT’s Arnhem Land, has been described as the “Athabasca Basin Down Under” given its geology, structures and mineralisation are similar to those found in the unconformity uranium deposits of Canada’s high-grade Athabasca Basin.

Rio holds 21% of the project, the tenure contains some of the most prospective land in the province (750Mlbs of mined and remnant resources, dominated by the Ranger, Ranger Deeps and Jabiluka deposits) that has undergone very little modern exploration.

The project’s Angularli deposit has an inferred resource of 26Mlbs of yellowcake grading 1.3% U3O8, while metallurgy has confirmed around 98% uranium recovery and low reagent consumption.

When looking at the Vimy story, it is important to take on board a few points raised by Canaccord Genuity in an investment note issued last year.

First, nuclear energy will maintain an important role in reducing carbon emissions (effectively meaning uranium is a critical mineral) while providing affordable baseload power generation. Second, against this backdrop, the global supply of yellowcake is becoming constrained.

Finally, the US remains the world’s largest consumer of nuclear energy, making the North American market a perfect place to be for a formidable Australian uranium developer.





Matador Mining Ahead of Aussie Canadian Pack

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Canada-focused gold explorer Matador Mining (ASX: MZZ) may well have found itself at the forefront of Australian juniors when it comes to using a much-lauded tax-based exploration funding mechanism which has received very little political sympathy Down Under. By Mark Fraser

During the middle of 2020, the West Australia-based company – which is well on the way to developing its emerging Cape Ray gold project in Newfoundland – raised $8.7 million through a share placement, adding a 40% premium to its stock via the Canadian charity flow-through shares scheme.

Not only did this help Matador fund its planned 2021 Canadian field program, it also saw the junior become one of the first ASX-listed outfits to complete such a placement – in effect making it a leader of an industry tax reform movement which hasn’t received much publicity lately, but has remained in the background since the case for this investor-friendly tax mechanism was unsuccessfully made to consecutive Coalition and Labor federal governments during the first decade of the 2000s.

No doubt the company will be successful in highlighting the effectiveness of this incentive to the appropriate authorities, judging from the results it’s achieving while turning Cape Ray into a viable investment concern.

Matador controls 425 square kilometres of exploration tenements in Newfoundland’s lightly explored, but highly prospective, Cape Ray Shear Zone, a geological structure which runs about 400km through the island province.

The company is the largest ground holder along this shear (about 120km of continuous strike) and its tenement boundary sits around 50km along strike from Marathon Gold’s (TSX: MOZ) 4.2-million-ounce Valentine Lake gold project.

When completed Valentine will be the largest gold mine in Atlantic Canada and a major contributor to the Newfoundland and Labrador economies.

As of last October, Cape Ray had a total mineral resource of 12.9 million tonnes at 2.02 grams per tonne for 873,000 gold ounces.

This, however, didn’t take into account the new Angus discovery, about 1km south west of the already existing Window Glass Hill ore body, where five of the first eight holes intersected multiple intervals of yellow metal including 12 metres at 8.3g/t from 85m, 35m at 0.52g/t from 34m and 10m at 0.67g/t from 15m.

Towards the end of 2020, Matador released further drill results that caught the market’s eye sourced from three target areas – Window Glass Hill, the Isle Aux Morts and Angus.

Resource infill and extension drilling at Window Glass Hill returned gold assays of 15m at 1.01g/t from 34m and 6.7m at 1.51g/t (within 13m at 0.87g/t) from 116m, as well as 0.34m at 12.31g/t from 151.4m.

Meanwhile, at the Isle Aux Morts, some of the better mineral resource infill drilling numbers were 20m at 5.08g/t from 8m (including 1.67m at 35 g/t), 11m at 2.51g/t from 7m (including 6m at 4.12g/t), 12m at 1.02g/t from 45m (including 2.47m at 3.84g/t), 1.47m at 1.7g/t from 72m and 1m at 1.96g/t from 79m.

As for Angus, the intersections kept coming, including 7m at 2.02g/t (within 30m at 0.74g/t) from 19m, 3m at 0.67g/t from 67m as well as 1m at 2.66g/t from 92m in one hole, followed by 7m at 1.27 g/t (within 11m at 0.9g/t) from 98m, 7m at 1.12g/t from 116m and 21m at 0.34g/t from 71m in another.

This was followed by 3m at 1.95g/t from 48m (including 0.3m at 17.73g/t).

Matador’s stage-gated “drill and assess” approach to Angus was implemented to allow detailed structural analysis and modelling of the early drill results in order to optimise the follow-up drilling of this new target area.

Cape Ray executive chairman Ian Murray said the resource expansion and greenfields exploration drilling continued to deliver shallow multi-gram per metre gold intersections.

“Approximately 75 per cent of the 2020 drill program was focused on newly identified greenfield targets and resource expansion step-out drilling,” he explained.

“Results to date reinforce our thesis that we are in a sizeable, but poorly explored, gold system as we focus on materially growing our current mineral resource.

“Whilst drilling has successfully concluded for the year, we still have 31 holes/4,325m of drilling pending assay results, which we anticipate will be announced during the March 2021 quarter.”

Matador’s corporate strategy is to increase its resource base to a size that will support a 10-year operation.

This will come from a combination of expanding the resource at existing discoveries and drilling greenfields targets.

The company is undertaking a target generation program at the project, to systemically test a number of previously underexplored priority areas where there appears good potential for gold mineralisation.





Azure Minerals Flexes Exploration Muscle at Andover

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: During the second half of 2020 Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) confirmed its outstanding geological credentials. By Mark Fraser

From acquisition, it took the company just 10 weeks with the drill rig to unequivocally prove its Andover nickel-copper Joint Venture in Western Australia’s Pilbara is a winner.

Covering 70 square kilometres and located just south of the small town of Roebourne, Andover is essentially a new nickel-copper discovery in a layered mafic-ultramafic intrusive complex.

Nickel sulphides were originally discovered there back in 2018 by WA prospecting legend Mark Creasy, when two target areas containing semi massive and disseminated sulphides, a gossan and sulphide stringers returned 7 metres at 2.62% nickel and 0.65% copper from 43m, 2m at 2.1% nickel and 0.44% copper from 15m, 4m at 1.1% nickel and 0.8% copper from 6m as well as 2m at 1.77% nickel and 0.53% copper from 62m.

When the Tony Rovira-led Azure arrived on the scene in September 2020 as the project’s 60% JV partner (with 40% holder Creasy), it surveyed 12 electromagnetic targets before making what has become the VC-07 target its top priority.

Diamond drilling subsequently started in October.

By November the JV had completed five holes, intersecting massive nickel-copper sulphides in every one.

Just before Christmas, Andover’s seventh drill hole – which was also the first step out one for VC-07 – intersected a 21.7m-wide interval containing nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation located just 120m along strike to the west of two previously reported mineralised drill holes.

This mineralised interval started at a down-hole depth of 407.9m and was extended by the 21.7m to 429.6m.

It contains multiple zones of matrix, semi-massive and massive nickel-copper sulphides – including 2.7m of matrix to massive nickel-copper sulphides from 407.9m, 1.4m of matrix nickel-copper sulphides from 413m and 0.5m of massive nickel-copper sulphides from 429.1m.

It also intersected a nickel-copper sulphide mineralised interval 120m to the west-north west of the earlier holes along the interpreted strike and down-plunge, indicating a continuity of mineralisation in that orientation.

Whatever the finer geological detail, the important take-home message regarding Azure’s rapid success at Andover remains that all seven of its seven drill holes intersected broad zones of significant nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation.

As expected, the company released further mouth-watering Andover assay results to the market during January.

They included 10.7m at 1.69% nickel and 0.71% copper from 325.3m downhole (including 6.7m at 1.98% nickel and 0.86% copper from 325.3m) as well as 19.2m at 1.47% nickel and 0.41% copper from 4.06.3m (with 4.6m at 2.59% nickel and 0.67% copper from 413.7m).

Azure has interpreted VC-07 to represent a continuous body of bedrock-hosted sulphide mineralisation extending east-west over a 1,050m strike length.

The mineralised zone dips at about 60-80 degrees to the north, with a down-dip extent of more than 200m (as modelled by down-hole transient electromagnetic surveying). It remains open to depth.

According to the company, these dimensions highlight the great potential of this body to represent a substantial nickel-copper sulphide deposit, and the drilling program planned for 2021 is focused on progressing the delineation of this mineralised system to JORC resource standard.

Using up to three diamond rigs, initial drilling at VC-07 will define the along-strike and up-dip and down-dip extents of the mineralisation.

This will be followed by close-spaced infill drilling to assess internal continuity and viability. It will yield around 30,000m of diamond core.

Based on fixed-loop electromagnetic surveying, 12 other EM conductor anomalies have been identified within Andover’s project area and the drilling of the first of these, VC-23, has started.

“Having confirmed a significant nickel-copper discovery at Andover, the board of Azure is transitioning the company’s focus from exploration of the VC-07 mineralised body to resource definition,” Rovira – who co-discovered the high-grade Cosmos nickel mine in WA for the now-gone Jubilee back in the 1990s – said.

“With the VC-07 conductor extending east-west for 1,050m, more than 200m vertically and remaining unconstrained at depth, we believe there is excellent potential to define a major nickel-copper sulphide deposit at Andover.”

Azure also has three Pilbara projects with a gold orientation: Turner River (the largest at 450sqkm), Coongan (223sqkm) and Meentheena (141 sqkm).

It also has Barton, which comprises 200sqkm of mostly soil-covered and very under-explored land in the Kookynie gold district south of Leonora in WA, where limited bedrock drilling has already intersected shallow gold mineralisation.

Although early days, one target – the Daisy Corner prospect, which was drilled in the 1990s – has returned gold intercepts of 40m at 0.2 grams per tonne, 18m at 0.77g/t (including 7m at 1.26g/t) and 8m at 0.53g/t.