New World Investment Series 2023 Melbourne

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: All The Resources Roadhouse interviews from the Melbourne leg of the 2023 New World Investment Series at your fingertips.

New World Metals Investment Series 2023 Perth Leg

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: All the Resources Roadhouse interviews from the Perth leg of the 2023 New World Metals investment Series at your fingertips.

Critical Metals to Shine at New World

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: We have written before, numerous times, about critical metals and the import role they are now playing in our modern lifestyles.

The Australian Government currently lists 26 resource commodities as critical minerals, a list determined by a selection process that involved assessment of Australia’s geological endowment and potential while also taking into account global technology needs with eyes on partner countries such as the United States, United Kingdom, Japan, India, South Korea and Canada.

According to Geoscience Australia,” A critical mineral is a metallic or non-metallic element that is essential for modern technologies, economies or national security, and has a supply chain at risk of disruption.”

At a business breakfast in Perth this week, Prime Minister Anthony Albanese spoke of how these metals will be part of the “Government’s vision is for Australia to be a renewable energy superpower and an advanced manufacturing powerhouse”.


In doing so, Albanese highlighted the expected input by the mining state of Western Australia as the country makes the move to net zero, embracing clean energy and renewable technology and contesting the global race to make green hydrogen work.

“For example, 50 per cent of the world’s lithium extraction occurs in Western Australia,” Albanese said.

“And I know businesses in this room are already building new connections with economies that need these resources, nations seeking to industrialise and decarbonise at the same time.

“Our government has been focused on building a framework to support these efforts.

“Forming new critical minerals and green hydrogen partnerships with India.

“And new clean energy partnerships with the United States and Japan.

“But while it is genuinely inspiring to point to technology changing the world and say that the lithium or the nickel or the rare earths it depends on, come from Australia.

“In the years ahead, I want us to build on that. I want us to go beyond it.

“I want us to be able to say that the next generation of batteries and charging technology and the innovations that will maximise their power and speed and capacity and efficiency, come from Australia.”

Last week we looked at the lithium focused companies presenting at the upcoming New Word Metals Investment Series.

This week we look at the other commodities, the critical metals, that will be on show at the conference.


Global Metals & Mining (ASX: GBE)

Global Metals & Mining’s Kanyika niobium project is located in central Malawi, approximately 55km northeast of the regional centre of Kasangu and is secured by Large-Scale Mining Licence No. LML0216/21 which grants the company security of tenure and the right to mine niobium, tantalum, and deleterious uranium.

The company recently received a letter from the Department of Mines of the Malawi Government endorsing its ongoing efforts to acquire and mobilise resources for the Kanyika project and assuring the continued security of tenure for the associated mining license.

“This is a key milestone in satisfying one of the conditions of the MDA within our previously stated timelines,” Globe Metals & Mining CEO Grant Hudson said.


Godolphin Resources (ASX: GRL)

Godolphin Resources increased the tonnage, grade and resource category of the company’s Narraburra REE project in New South Wales earlier this year.

The company announced a maiden JORC 2012 resource at the project of: 94.9 million tonnes at 739ppm total rare earth oxide (TREO) with a higher-grade component of 20 million tonnes at 1,079ppm TREO.

The upgraded resource included a 126 per cent increase in TREO grade and a 30 per cent uplift in total tonnage from the project’s historical JORC 2004 resource.

“Importantly, the resource remains open in multiple directions, providing future exploration and development opportunities and the potential to unlock more value for shareholdersinto the future,” Godolphin Resources managing director Ms Jeneta Owens said.

“We are looking forward to moving Narraburra through the next stage of development quickly.

“The results of this MRE, combined with the positive results of the metallurgical leach test work that achieved up to 92 per cent recovery of key magnet REEs (Pr, Nd, Tb, Dy) in testing completed by ANSTO and the mineralogical work yet to come, will increase our understanding of the project’s potential size, grade, mineralogy of the target near surface layers.”


Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX)

Blackstone Minerals has had its Ta Khoa project included in the Vietnamese National Mineral Master Plan which was recently approved by the Vietnamese Deputy Prime Minister, Tran Hong Ha.

The National Mineral Master Plan details Vietnam’s mineral development strategy up until 2030 with a vision to 2050.

Blackstone Minerals recently completed the Ta Khoa Nickel (TKN) plant pilot program along with progress toward completion of a variability testwork program at the existing mine site.

The completion of the TKN pilot program is in addition to Blackstone completing the Ta Khoa Refinery (TKR) pilot program.

Blackstone said the work it has carried out to date has confirmed the baseline flowsheet to treat ore through to concentrate from the nickel mine.

Both pilot and variability testwork programs achieved or exceeded pre-feasibility study (PFS) testwork assumptions.

The company highlighted these as important milestones for the site metallurgy and project team as they should enable consolidation of data and learnings to progress the TKN mine and concentrator definitive feasibility study (DFS).


Altech Batteries (ASX: ATC)

Altech Chemicals was an early convert to recognising the potential of the grid storage battery market and aspires to be a main contributor to this growth and development through the introduction of its Sodium Chloride Solid State (CERENERGY®) battery products.

The CERENERGY technology has been developed by Altech’s Joint Venture partner Fraunhofer IKTS over the last eight years, during which time it has revolutionised previous technology, achieving higher energy capacity and lower production costs.

Another string to Altech’s futuristic battery bow is the development of the company’s patented Silumina Anodes technology incorporating high-capacity silicon into lithium-ion batteries.

Altech has licenced the technology to its 75 per cent-owned subsidiary Altech Industries Germany GmbH (AIG), which has commenced a definitive feasibility study for the development of a 10,000tpa silicon/graphite alumina coating plant in the state of Saxony, Germany focused on supplying Silumina Anodes product to the burgeoning European electric vehicle market.


International Graphite (ASX: IG6)

International Graphite Limited (ASX: IG6) has received works approval from the WA government to install new graphite micronising equipment at the company’s downstream research and development facility in Collie.

The company considers the custom-built ‘qualification-scale’ plant major advancement on its pilot processing plant, the first of its kind in Australia, which was commissioned in September 2022.

The new qualification plant is designed to process graphite concentrates to produce a commercial micronised graphite product for quality and performance evaluation by potential customers.

Capable of producing 100 tonnes per annum to 200tpa of micronised graphite, the plant will also be used to develop graphite operating and materials handling expertise within the company.


Richmond Vanadium (ASXL RVT)

Richmond Vanadium is advancing its 100 per cent-owned Richmond vanadium project in North Queensland.

The company claims the Richmond vanadium project to be one of the largest undeveloped oxide vanadium resources in the world with a Mineral Resource of 1.8 billion tonnes at 0.36 per cent for 6.7 million tonnes vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) and Ore Reserve of 459 million tonnes at 0.49 per cent for 2.25 million tonnes V2O5.

Project Status was approved by the Queensland Department of Natural Resources and Mines in August 2017 allowing project-based work programs, relinquishments, and expenditure.


Group 6 Metals (ASX: G6M)

Group 6 Metals is focused on the producing high-grade tungsten concentrate from its 100 per cent-owned Dolphin mine located on King Island, Tasmania.

In July the company moved its first shipment of approximately thirteen tonnes of tungsten concentrate, with an average grade of 69 per cent WO3.

Tungsten is a critical mineral used in a variety of applications, including steelmaking, mining, construction, electronics and defence.

The global demand for tungsten is expected to grow substantially in the coming years, driven primarily by demand from the construction, mining, defence sectors and new applications in the battery and technology sectors.



Lithium Love Gun Locked and Loaded for New World Metals Investment Series

THE CONFEENCE CALLER: Azure Minerals fired its first shot from the lithium Love Gun in the lead up to the 2022 South-West Connect ASX Showcase in Busselton.

Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS)

Before the 2022 South-West Connect ASX Showcase, Azure had reported identification of numerous lithium, caesium and tantalum (LCT) pegmatites within the company’s Andover project, located in the West Pilbara region of Western Australia.

At the time, Azure hadn’t really got a handle on the lithium potential of the project with managing director Tony Rovira delivering a guarded statement to the ASX, declaring, “Azure’s primary focus is on the exploration and development of the nickel-copper-cobalt sulphide resources that we have discovered at Andover.

“We recognise that the presence of spodumene-bearing, lithium-rich pegmatites could add significant value to the overall Andover project, which aligns with increasing our exposure to clean and valuable energy metals.”

Somebody must have been paying closer attention to Rovira’s South-West Connect presentation than first thought, as just a couple of months later global lithium company Sociedad Química y Minera de Chile S.A., via its wholly-owned subsidiary SQM Australia Pty Ltd completed a cornerstone investment of $20 million to acquire a 19.99 per cent interest in Azure.

Since then, Azure has released a series of lithium hits from what was once its nickel-copper-cobalt sulphide project, culminating in an encounter with a broad zone of lithium mineralisation intersected in the project’s AP0011 pegmatite of:

209.4 metres at 1.42 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O) from 219m (~134.6m True Width), including 126.2m at 1.72 per cent Li2O from 219m (~81.1m True Width), including 56.1m at 2 per cent Li2O from 257m (~36.1m True Width); and
19.7m at 1.54 per cent Li2O from 401.6m (~12.7m True Width).

Not only have the lithium hits continued to grow, so has the company’s share price, reaching $2.93 (22/8/23).

It was hardly surprising then that the company announced receiving firm commitments to raise $120 million through a two-tranche placement for the issue of 50 million new fully-paid ordinary shares at an offer price of $2.40 per New Share.

Tranche 1 of the placement raised approximately $100 million and Tranche 2 of the placement, which includes the issue of New Shares subject to shareholder approval, is set to raise approximately $20 million.

Azure Minerals is to be a featured presenter at the upcoming New World Metals Investment Series Roadshow.

We at The Roadhouse, however, will be interested to see how other lithium hopefuls fare at the podium.


Galan Lithium (ASX: GLN)

Galan Lithium is another to have enjoyed success in the lithium space, be it far from the local climes of Western Australia.

The company’s 100 per cent-owned Hombre Muerto West has recently been the subject of a Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS), Phase 1 of which delivered an annual production rate of 5,367 recoverable tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE) contained in a concentrated lithium chloride product for a period of 40 years.

The Phase 1 DFS results and analysis provided solid outcomes that showed the HMW project was a very competitive and highly compelling project in the lithium brine industry.

Galan had previously announced, the DFS was separated into two phases.

This initial Phase 1 of the DFS focused on the production of a lithium chloride concentrate, as governed by the production permits.

DFS optimisation work continues and will culminate in the release of a Phase 2 DFS in September 2023, addressing full 20,000 tonnes per annum LCE production rate.

Still in Argentina, Galan recently acquired 100 per cent-ownership of the Catalina tenement that borders the Catamarca and Salta Provinces in Argentina.

“This acquisition represents a highly significant value accretive transaction for the company,” Galan Lithium managing director JP Vargas de la Vega explained.

“It resolves the security of tenure in this highly prospective area favourably for the exclusive benefit of Galan and its shareholders.

“As there are now no competing interests, our team can advance exploration and evaluation activities at Catalina with the objective of delineating a maiden resource.

“Furthermore, we plan to accelerate such work and look forward to keeping our shareholders informed of our progress.”

Pan Asia Metals (ASX: PAM)

Pan Asia Metals’ claim to fame was being the “only lithium explorer in South-East Asia”.

Not a bad place to be when you consider Asia accounts for over half the world’s annual vehicle production, however recent acquisitions have seen the company move into South America, in particular Chile.

The company wasted little time before commencing field work at the Hilix lithium prospect, one of seven target prospect areas that form the Tama Atacama lithium project.

“The Hilix lithium prospect is an easy project, located five minutes drive from the Quillagua village, with Chile’s main north south transport and power infrastructure adjacent to the project,” Pan Asia Metals managing director Paul Lock said.

“The lithium mineralisation is found in an approx. 30 metres thick layer of soft friable, porous, typically white, clay rich sediments which start at or near surface.

“Although yet to be tested, general observations suggest the mineralisation is homogeneous in nature and laterally extensive and is considered amenable to a wide spaced drill pattern which will facilitate a relatively cheap and quick pathway to an inaugural Mineral Resource later this year.”

Infinity Lithium Corporation (ASX: INF)

Infinity Lithium has its eyes on the development prize of the company’s 75 per cdent-owned San José lithium project in Spain.

Like the country’s Women’s Football Team, Infinity has World Cup scale ambitions for its proposed fully integrated industrial project with a focus on production of battery grade lithium chemicals from a mica feedstock that represents the EU’s second largest JORC compliant hard rock lithium deposit.

Infinity Lithium has aspirations for the project to ultimately provide an essential component in the EU’s development of a vertically integrated lithium-ion battery supply chain.

The EU is no different to any jurisdiction a present looking to lock in supply of critical raw materials and the production of battery grade lithium hydroxide to ensure the long-term production of lithium-ion batteries for electric mobility and the transition of the EU’s automotive industry towards electric vehicles.

Jindalee Resources (ASX: JRL)

Earlier this year, Jindalee resources released an updated MRE at the company’s McDermitt lithium project in the United States.

The MRE for McDermitt contains a combined Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource Inventory of 3 billion tonnes at 1,340ppm lithium for a total of 21.5 million tonnes LCE at 1,000ppm cut-off grade.

Jindalee claims that at 21.5 million tonnes LCE, McDermitt is the largest lithium deposit in the US by contained lithium in Mineral Resource.

Not much later, Jindalee commenced a PFS on the McDermitt lithium project announcing the appointment of Fluor as lead engineer, a company with extensive US sediment hosted lithium deposit experience.

Jindalee sees the PFS as the next logical step towards development of McDermitt that it expects to facilitate meaningful discussions with potential financiers (both public and private sector), off-takers and strategic partners.

Lithium Energy (ASX: LEL)

Lithium Energy recently established a maiden 3.3 million tonnes JORC-compliant Inferred Mineral Resource of LCE at the company’s 90 per cent-owned Solaroz lithium brine project in Argentina.

Lithium Energy is now considering development options for Solaroz with a Scoping Study soon to be finished.

All alternative lithium extraction technologies are under the microscope, which as seen the company execute an agreement to manufacture and commission a 3,000 tonnes per annum battery grade lithium carbonate demonstration plant on the Mario Angel concession at Solaroz, using the proprietary sorbent-based DLE technology of Lanshen.

The structure of the agreement for the construction and commissioning of the DLE Plant, in which Lanshen will supply, build and initially operate the plant at its own cost reduces the upfront capital costs in evaluating this DLE production option for Solaroz.

Burley Minerals (ASX: BUR)

Burley Minerals acquired 100 per cent ownership of the Chubb lithium project in Québec, Canada earlier this year.

The Chubb lithium project sits in a good neighbourhood, smack bang in the heart of the world-class lithium province of Quebec, which hosts major lithium projects including Sayona Mining (ASX: SYA) and Piedmont Lithium Inc’s North American Lithium (NAL) mines and operations.

Burley kicked off its drilling campaign at Chubb in early April 2023, however, as is the case in most of Canada this year bushfires interrupted proceedings.

Despite these interruptions, diamond drilling has been undertaken with assays returned from the Chubb Central Main Dyke confirming spodumene-bearing pegmatite with a strike length of at least 560m, extending from surface to below 200m depth.

Diamond drilling is ongoing to test for extensions to the Chubb project, Central Main Dyke both along strike and at depth, as well as for spodumene in mapped parallel pegmatites dykes.

Future Battery Minerals (ASX: FBM)

Future Battery Minerals has gone from an initial 5,000 metres of drilling to a further 6,000m of drilling at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Kangaroo Hills lithium project (KHLP) in Western Australia.

While undertaking Phase 3 reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drilling (DD) programs at the Rocky Prospect, Future Battery Minerals identified multiple new stacked spodumene bearing pegmatites semi parallel to the project’s Big Red lithium pegmatite.

The new intersections resulted in an increase in the scale of the pegmatite swarm and potential tonnage at Kangaroo Hills, which has been confirmed over a 1.2 x 1.5km area and remains open in all directions.

As a consequence, Future Battery Minerals has expanded the drill program with an additional 6,000m of RC drilling, with which it aims to further test additional extensions at Big Red and Rocky, as well as assess other regional prospects at Eastern Grey, Wallaroo and Pademelon.

To date, drilling at Rocky has only tested the western margin of the pegmatites on a wide spaced grid.

The expanded program will test the pegmatites towards the east and south directions, employing more closely spaced drilling technique suitable for the completion of a MRE.

Latin Resources (ASX: LRS)

In June, Latin Resources upgraded the Colina MRE at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Salinas lithium project in Brazil.

The company increased the JORC Measured, Indicated and Inferred MRE for the expanded Colina deposit by over 241 per cent to a total of 45.2 million tonnes at 1.34 per cent Li2O, reported above a cut-off of 0.5% Li2O.

This upgraded resource of 45 million tonnes represents a LCE of approx. 1.48 million tonnes.

Not long after, the company confirmed an extension of the Colina pegmatite system via drill testing of a ‘blind’ geophysical target, 560m to the southwest of the Colina, where three of four holes completed intersected shallow east dipping, course grained spodumene rich pegmatites.

Outcrop mapping undertaken six kilometres to the southwest of the Colina deposit, subsequently identified a third new pegmatite occurrence within the company’s interpreted prospective corridor.

T company considers these achievements highlight the further potential scale and growth of the Colina deposit.

Lithium Universe (ASX: LU7)

Lithium Universe came to market attention by ending its opening day of ASX trading at 6.1 cents, a healthy opening dividend from its IPO that raised $4.5 million at 0.02 cents per share.

Lithium Universe has a wide-reaching portfolio of lithium exploration assets in regions well known for discovery of the electronic feedstock in both Australia and Canada.

The company’s stated objective is to establish itself as a “prominent lithium project builder by prioritising swift and successful development of lithium projects”.

The company’s initial target is its Apollo lithium project, covering 240sqkm in the Eeyou Istchee Baie-James Municipality (James Bay), in north-west Québec, Canada.

The project has some well-credentialed neighbours, namely Patriot Battery Metals’ (ASX: PMT) Corvette Property with a maiden resource of 109.2 million tonnes at 1.42 per cent Li2O and Winsome Resources’ (ASX: WR1) Adina Property.

Solis Minerals (ASX: SLM)

Solis Minerals announced it had acquired the Jaguar hard rock Lithium project in Bahia State Brazil in May this year.

It didn’t take long for the news to flow and in July Solis announced drilling had intersected shallow-dipping coarse spodumene rich pegmatites at Jaguar in two initial diamond holes.

JADDH00002 intersected 52m of pegmatite with 8.2m of spodumene rich quartz bearing central core area from 32m downhole; and

JADDH00003 intersected 39.3m of pegmatite with 7.9m of spodumene rich quartz bearing central core area from 44.3m downhole.

“As we extend our mapping and geochemical sampling programs, we are finding evidence of a potential stacked pegmatite system,” Solis Minerals executive director Matt Boyes said.

“Multiple spodumene bearing float samples have been collected up to one kilometre from the central Jaguar artisanal mine area and large outcropping pegmatites, which are completely untested, have been located.

“We are encouraged by our early results at the Jaguar project, and we look forward to updating the market as we deliver results from this maiden drill program.”

European Metals Holdings (ASX: EMH)

The importance of European Metals Holdings’ Cínovec lithium/tin project in the Czech Republic to Europen lithium security was emphasised when the project received a recent visit from the Czech Republic Prime Minister, Petr Fiala.

“Lithium is a critical and key raw material,” Prime Minister Fiala said after his visit.

“Cínovec is the largest European deposit of this raw material.

Thanks to this, the Czech Republic has a unique opportunity to contribute to both its own and European raw material security.

“We are on the threshold of a ‘lithium revolution’ as the use of lithium will grow significantly.

“As a country with a large share of the automotive industry, it is important for us to support it and capture current trends.”

European Metals later reported that ongoing test work had achieved continued outstanding lithium recoveries.

A Definitive Feasibility Study is being undertaken on the Cinovec project and is on track for completion in Q4 2023.


Gold, Gold, Gold for Lithium at Diggers & Dealers Awards Night

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: If the mining industry was a dysfunctional family, then sibling rivalry reached new heights at Diggers & Dealers this week.

Gold traditionalists were feeling pushed to the side at this year’s Diggers & Dealers Mining Forum in Kalgoorlie, and then the awards at the Gala Dinner left them in no doubt lithium is the new favourite.

Walking around the Big Top, The Roadhouse bumped into many old gold-focused chums who couldn’t hide their chagrin at the attention being heaped upon the family’s younger sibling lithium.

For the first time ever, lithium companies outnumbered the usual gold presentations and the exhibition area basked in a bluish haze as the spruiking from the battery essential permeated the atmosphere.

If there had been any rhinoplasty surgeons in attendance at the Gala Dinner, they would have been kept busy throughout proceedings as gold noses were put out of joint when all company awards went to companies that had achieved lithium greatness throughout the past 12 months.

First electric cab of the rank was the 2023 Dealer of the Year Award, which went to Allkem (ASX: AKE) for striking a 16 billion dollar merger with Livent Corporation to create a global lithium chemicals producer to be known as NewCo.

Livent comes to the pairing as a global leader in lithium processing technologies with nearly eight decades of experience producing a diverse range of lithium chemicals for energy storage and other specialty applications.

Allkem brings complementary expertise in conventional brine-based lithium extraction, hard rock mining, and lithium processing.

With Livent’s technical and commercial capabilities and its deep customer relationships, and Allkem’s large and diverse resource base and significant growth pipeline, NewCo will be well-positioned to capitalize on the expected growth in lithium demand from electric vehicles (EVs) and energy storage solutions.

The Digger of the Year Award is presented each year to a company considered by the judges to have achieved exceptional results from its operations over the past 12 months.

The winner of the 2023 Digger of the Year award was Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) on the back of a healthy year at the company’s Pilgangoora lithium project near Port Hedland.

In the 2022/23 financial year, Pilbara Minerals increased its sales volumes by 68 per cent, which when factored into strong lithium prices, saw revenues increase 238 per cent to a lazy 4 billion dollars, giving the company a cash balance of 3.3 billion dollars.

In the last quarter alone, Pilbara increased production of spodumene concentrate by 10per cent to 162,8000 tonnes in Q4 FY23, the highest quarter it has achieved since commissioning.

The gold bugs sat with trepidation for the announcement of the Dealers Emerging Company award, hoping for a bone to be tossed their way, but alas it was not to be with lithium enjoying a D&D clean sweep.

The Emerging Company award recognises the venture the judges deem to have the greatest potential to develop into a substantial project.

This year the 2023 Emerging Company award went to Patriot Battery Metals (ASX: PMT).

Patriot Battery Metals is a hard-rock lithium exploration company focused on advancing its Corvette Property in northern Quebec, Canada.

The project currently boasts a maiden mineral Resource estimate of 109.2 million tonnes at 1.42 per cent lithium oxide, which is the largest lithium pegmatite mineral resource in the Americas and the 8th largest globally.



Gold Tailwinds: Noah’s Rule’s Sean Russo at RIU Sydney

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Noah’s Rule principal and managing director Sean Russo painted a positive picture for gold in the final presentation to the 2023 RIU Sydney Resources Round-up on Thursday.

“We’ve got a great background,” he told delegates.

“[Gold’s] not got its dual headwinds it often has … of underperforming equities and the US dollar being stronger, so things are good.

“And the world it seems, to some extent, is coming our way.”

His charted research indicated Australia was in a similar situation to the 1970s when gold was “strongly outperforming general equities”.

“And when that happens, general equity investors get really freaked out and they rush in and buy gold,” he said.

“I think this looks incredibly similar,” he continued, referring to the current point in time on the chart and citing factors including interest rate woes and financial repression.

“The gloss has come off central bankers, which is why the gloss has come on gold,” he said.

Russo noted gold had achieved a new all-time high in many currencies, including the Australian dollar and the yen, but he didn’t agree with those who thought the precious metal looked pricey.

“Gold is not expensive relative to lots of other things that most other people invest in,” he said.

“And a lot of those other things they invest in are probably challenged – and if they start to run out of that and come running to where we already are, that’s pretty exciting.”

He did suggest not going “all in” on gold, saying other commodities were even cheaper and potentially poised for a lift.

One of his charts indicated strong similarities with the lead-up to the previous commodities bull market.

“As I said last year, Goldman Sachs has talked about … the electrification of the world will require the equivalent of three times the impact of China being allowed into the WTO [World Trade Organization],” he said.

As for gold equities, Russo said the sector needed to see new buyers entering.
“We all believe … but we need to get a new group of people to come in and buy the stocks that we believe in,” he said.

“They’ve got to get the stacks on the mill, right, you’ve got to get the other people here.”

Fortitude North Assays “Dramatically” Add Potential at Matsa’s Lake Carey

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Matsa Resources (ASX: MAT) executive chairman Paul Poli had a spring in his step at the 2023 RIU Sydney Resources Round-up today, with fresh assay results he believes help demonstrate the multimillion-ounce potential at Fortitude North.

The latest results included 6m at 5.1 grams per tonne gold, within 14m at 3.4g/t from 113m.

“We think these are absolutely massive results for a [potential] open pit mine,” Poli, who is the company’s second-largest shareholder, told the conference.

The “gold company with a twist of lithium” believes Fortitude North could dramatically build the resource at its 886,000 ounce Lake Carey gold project in Western Australia’s Goldfields.

Poli told Resources Roadhouse on the sidelines it was early days at Fortitude North, where drilling has only gone to 200m deep, but they were seeing “quite substantial” similarities to AngloGold Ashanti’s nearby Sunrise Dam open pit and underground operation.

A 2021 feasibility study on Fortitude, not including Fortitude North, indicated positive cash flow of about $95 million using a $2,400/oz gold price.

Poli told delegates this would increase to $200 million using the current $3,000/oz price.

“It just needs a home for its ore and that’s what we’re addressing,” he said.

Lithium is Matsa’s second focus, added about 18 months ago, and Poli said testing had shown the company’s lepidolite and polylithionite samples were “easily processable” by Yongxing Special Materials Technology, one of China’s largest lepidolite miners and processors.

Matsa arguably holds the largest tenement applications for lithium exploration in south-east Asia of circa 2,000 square kilometres and Poli expected the granting process to begin “soon”.



Silver Demand Skyrocketing, Investigator Tells RIU Sydney

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: “Silver demand is skyrocketing” due to increasing industrial and green energy demand, Investigator Resources (ASX: IVR) managing director Andrew McIlwain told the 2023 RIU Sydney Resources Round-up.

The silver price has risen about 20 per cent over the past year to circa US$26 an ounce or A$38 per ounce.

The silver market was going through structural changes, McIlwain told Resources Roadhouse on the sidelines, referring to recent figures from the Silver Institute showing the market had achieved its second consecutive annual structural deficit.

Demand reached a new high of 1.24 billion ounces in 2022, according to the Institute, while global mine production fell to 822.4 million ounces, creating “possibly the most significant deficit on record”.

Investigator is advancing the Paris project in South Australia, which it describes as the country’s highest-grade undeveloped silver project.

Paris contains 53 million ounces of silver and 98,000 tonnes of lead, which McIlwain said in gold terms equated roughly to a 700,000oz gold project.

Recent results from Paris South included “the highest 1m silver assay” from Investigator’s 2022/23 drilling program, of 1m at 2,410 grams per tonne silver within 25m at 207g/t form 73m.

The company expects to announce a resource update in June and a definitive feasibility study early next year that will include Paris’ lead potential, unlike a 2021 prefeasibility study which focused on silver only.

Investigator has also stepped into the critical minerals space, recently gaining the option to earn into Thor Energy’s Molyhil tungsten and molybdenum project in the Northern Territory.

McIlwain told the conference the molybdenum price had risen substantially from the US$15 a pound used in Molyhil’s 2018 DFS, to about $60/lb.


St George Mining Enjoying Support For Lithium Quest

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: St George Mining (ASX: SGQ) is receiving plenty of encouragement for its focus on lithium opportunities, executive chairman John Prineas said on the sidelines of the 2023 RIU Sydney Resources Round-up.

Prineas told Resources Roadhouse the company’s initial drilling to test the pegmatite potential at its flagship Mt Alexander project in Western Australia in 2022 had returned “very positive” results.

The company recently reported assays with a peak value of 1.8 per cent lithium oxide, while earlier rock chip samples from outcropping mineralisation had returned up to 3.25 per cent lithium oxide (Li2O).

“That’s given us a lot of encouragement to go out harder this year and do a 20,000 metres program,” Prineas said.

St George had also received “great validation and support” through strategic relationships with three of the world’s biggest lithium-ion battery heavyweights, with two providing $2 million each to help fund the drilling program, Prineas said.

Mt Alexander is along strike from Delta Lithium’s (previously Red Dirt Metals) recently-established Mt Ida lithium resource, comprising 12.7 million tonnes grading 1.2 per cent Li2O.

Delta took 60,000m of drilling to establish its resource, Prineas said, while St George had only done about 5,000m so far.

“Hopefully as we continue drilling, we’ll establish a resource similar to them – we have basically the same geological setting, right next to the Copperfield Granite which is the source of the mineralised pegmatites,” he said.

Two rigs were in action at Mt Alexander this week.

St George recently expanded its lithium focus, acquiring seven projects in the Yilgarn.

Prineas said the area had been described as a “super province for lithium”, given several companies had established resources and the tussle for control of Essential Metals and its Pioneer Dome lithium deposit.

St George is also investigating the nickel-copper-platinum group elements (PGE) potential in its portfolio.


Warriedar Exploring for the ‘Next Mine in the Murchison’

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: Warriedar Resources (ASX: WA8) has launched into an exploration strategy to determine where the next gold mine will be in the Murchison, managing director and CEO Amanda Buckingham said on the sidelines of the 2023 RIU Sydney Resources Round-up.

The company opened a new chapter this year, changing name from Anova Metals and adding two Murchison projects containing almost 1 million ounces of gold to its portfolio, which already holds 1.01 million ounces in Nevada.

The Fields Find and Golden Range projects host 10 deposits along a 70km mineralised shear in a “commanding land position” in Western Australia’s north of 813 square kilometres.

Buckingham said surrounding operations in the Murchison “tap deep” such as Golden Grove being mined at 1,800m, indicating the potential on its holdings where the average drilling depth was 42m.

The company has drilled 25,000m so far at the projects this year but received less than 20 per cent of the assays, however Buckingham said they showed the exploration plan was working, revealing two significant high grade deposit extensions.

At Windinne Well, extensional drilling returned results including 4m at 5.17 grams per tonne gold, while highlights from Rothschild included 11m at 3.39g/t.

“We are uncovering more gold, we are learning which of our deposits are likely to turn into a significant resource and moving into the third quarter, once we get all the assays back, we will design a deeper diamond drilling program to really answer the question ‘Where will the next mine be in this belt?’” she said.

The Fields Find project contains the former Warriedar copper mine and the company was looking forward to soon drilling high-priority copper targets as well, Buckingham said.

Overseas, Warriedar was in the process of acquiring a larger exploration permit for its Big Springs project in Nevada, a state Buckingham described as “the land of giants” as it hosted individual deposits of up to 40 million ounces.

“Our focus is on WA [this year] but we still consider it to be an extremely important asset and we will work on it or will commercialise it in some way at the appropriate time,” Buckingham said.