THE CONFERENCE CALLER: It’s only a few weeks until we pack our bags and shine our white shoes to head off to the land of sunshine to attend the 2019 Gold Coast Investment Showcase.
In the lead up to the event The Resources Roadhouse will take a weekly look at a few of the resource industry-focused companies that will be in attendance.
BMG Resources (ASX: BMG) announced it has formally commenced the Chilean lithium brine Joint Venture with Lithium Chile SpA (LCS) following execution of full formal documentation.
BMG entered a binding agreement with project owner LCS in 2018 to form a JV to progress and develop three Lithium brine projects.
The company executed a revised binding term sheet in February 2019 after undertaking due diligence investigations, an initial geophysical survey at Salar West, and expanding the project area that now spans over 20,000 hectares across three claims in the Salar de Atacama, Salar de Pajonales and Salar de Tuyajto – Natalie in the Chilean region of the ‘Lithium Triangle’ – a region of the Andes encompassing parts of Northern Chile, southwest Bolivia and northwest Argentina.
This is lithium brine heartland, hosting more than 50 per cent of the world’s lithium resources and the largest and highest-grade lithium brine deposits in the world.
BMG is now gearing up for its maiden drill program, which is expected to comprise two diamond holes of around 200 metres each in key conductive units in the Southern area (4,200 Ha) of Salar West the company identified in recent geophysical surveys.
“We are excited to have formalised our joint venture agreement with Lithium Chile SpA, and are now finishing preparations for our first drilling program at Salar West, which we expect to commence within the next month,” BMG Resources managing director Bruce McCracken said.
“Surveys we completed during due diligence identified a consistent strongly conductive unit on the southern properties, so we look forward to drilling this area with the support of our JV partners to gain a closer understanding of the scope of potential lithium resources.”
BMG is set to invest US$3.5 million over three years to earn a 50 per cent interest in the projects.
FYI Resources (ASX: FYI) received results from a recently completed drilling program undertaken at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Cadoux kaolin project (EL/4673) in Western Australia.
FYI Resources said the results came from a combination of diamond (DDH) and reverse circulation (RC) drilling and have confirmed the presence of high-grade, high-quality high purity alumina (HPA) feedstock characteristics.
The company indicated the drilling data and results will assist in progressing the current bankable feasibility study (BFS) and project permitting.
FYI said the combined RC and diamond drilling program was carried out at the Cadoux kaolin project to meet several key technical project objectives and contribute to delivery of a robust BFS for the company’s integrated HPA strategy.
As FYI progresses the BFS and commences pilot plant project studies, undertaking the detailed drilling campaign provides the company with an increased understanding of the project’s metallurgical model in terms of grade and variation of the deposit as a feedstock.
The drilling should also increase FYI’s technical understanding and confidence in the deposit for an upgrade from a Measured to a Proven Reserve for the first phase of mining as well as grade control data for the first phase of mining, increasing the predictability of the future production schedule.
“The program and subsequent results of the latest round of drilling are particularly pleasing as it confirms our view that the quality of the Cadoux kaolin has excellent feedstock characteristics for HPA processing and it also provides us with specific detailed information to finalise our environmental permitting and mining study phases in preparation for mine plan application – well ahead of normal submission timeframes,” FYI Resources managing director Roland Hill said.
Blackstone Minerals (ASX: BSX) struck a binding term sheet for the exclusive option to acquire a 90 per cent interest in the Ta Khoa nickel project.
The Ta Khoa nickel project is located 160 kilometres west of Hanoi in the Son La Province of Vietnam and includes an existing modern nickel mine built to Australian Standards that is currently under care and maintenance.
The Ban Phuc nickel mine operated as a mechanised underground nickel mine from 2013 to 2016 and its previous owners invested more than US$136 million in capital and generated US$213 million in revenue during a 3.5-year period of falling nickel prices.
The project was placed into care and maintenance in mid-2016 during some of the lowest nickel prices in the past 10 years.
Existing infrastructure associated with the project includes an internationally designed 450,000 tonne per annum processing plant connected to local hydro grid power with a fully permitted tailings facility and a modern 250- person camp.
Blackstone Minerals also has its eyes on the potential the project offers with the 150 square kilometre land package hosting more than 25 advanced stage massive sulphide vein (MSV) targets and many large disseminated sulphide (DSS) targets including the unmined Ban Phuc DSS.
Blackstone also signal its interest in investigating the potential to develop downstream processing infrastructure in Vietnam to produce a downstream nickel and cobalt product to supply Asia’s growing lithium ion battery industry.
“This is an exciting opportunity for Blackstone to acquire a 90 per cent interest in a project that has a history of profitable nickel production even during low nickel prices,” Blackstone Mineral managing director Scott Williamson said.
“Blackstone will be the first company to explore Ta Khoa for both MSV and DSS nickel sulphide deposits all the while investigating downstream processing opportunities to meet the demands of the growing Asian lithium ion battery sector.”