Neometals JV to Fund Battery Recycling Plant to Commercialisation

COMMODITY CAPERS: Neometals (ASX: NMT) and its German Joint Venture partner SMS group GmbH are to fast-track their Primobius JV to commercial operations and by doing so should be able to offer battery recycling services in Q1 2022.

Neomtals was one of the early Western Australian lithium cohort to recognise the opportunity that was to come as global reliance on lithium-ion batteries (LiBs) took off.

It’s no secret that LIB demand has grown at a rapid pace, one that is increasing due to the electric vehicle, energy storage and portable electronics markets.

What has also grown in this time is the waste created by end of life and scrap batteries, which poses a tremendous environmental challenge.

Globally LIB demand is already up 25 per cent with 15 million tonnes of LIBs forecast to be discarded from 2020 to 2030.

LiBs are hazardous to people and the environment when not disposed of appropriately.

Thankfully far-sighted regulators are seriously looking at battery recycling, and in many jurisdictions making it mandatory.

To meet such requirements, Primobius emerged as a Joint Venture partnership between Neometals and private German plant manufacturer, SMS group, with the aim of commercialising an environmentally friendly recycling solution for end-of-life and scrap LiB cells.

Primobius has a sustainability ethos, designing its advanced recycling solution to integrate into the circular economy, promoting the elimination of waste and the continual use of resources as well as reducing the need for primary resources.

Primobius’ advanced recycling process with low CO2 emissions delivers high purity chemicals back to the battery manufacturing sector.

Using a unique proprietary process, cobalt and other valuable materials are recovered from waste LiBs.

Source: Neometals ASX announcement.

This week the JV partners announced they intend to fund the fast-track commercialisation of Primobius’ commercial LIB recycling operations.

This will entail expanding the current demonstration plant (DP) in Hilchenbach Germany and build up operational capacity to provide a 10 tonnes per day battery disposal recycling service in Q1 2022.

This ‘Shredder Plant’ will generate early revenue from the sale of intermediate active materials, known as Black Mass, and set a market reference for operational capability.

Showcase DP trials currently underway will provide data for upcoming engineering and feasibility studies to develop a 50tpd (20,000tpa) integrated (Shredding and Hydrometallurgical Refining) German LIB recycling operation.

Neometals believes this development to fast-track commercial shredding operations is a positive move to keep pace with a rapidly developing industry searching for immediate sustainable recycling solutions.

“We are excited to herald the entry of Primobius into the commercial European battery recycling landscape,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said.

“The funding approval is an agile response by the JV shareholders to strong demand for the safe disposal of growing volumes of lithium-ion batteries arising from warranty returns and at end-of-life.

“10 tonnes per day Shredding Plant 1 represents the maximum commitment we can make to meet demand having regard to regulatory permitting timeline constraints.

“As well as being a showcase for potential customers and partners, the facility will provide a valuable training ground for the operations team and will support continuous process improvement ahead of the next scale up to a 50 tonnes per day operation.

“The scale and speed of the electrification of transport and renewable energy storage is phenomenal, the volumes and momentum of global investment funds available to support enablers of decarbonisation steel our resolve for Primobius to become the pre-eminent recycler in the western world.”








Battery Recyclers Spinout Critical Metal Assets

COMMODITY CAPERS: Two Australian companies, Lithium Australia (ASX: LIT), and Neometals (ASX: NMT), both of which are making advancements in the recycling of lithium-ion batteries, are spinning out battery metal assets to maintain exposure to raw materials.

If the human race operated like a scout troop, it could be mooted that the badge most of us would like to earn, and then wear with much pride, would be that of the ‘Enthusiastic Recycler’.

People, generally, are eager to push their recycling credentials, ensuring their weekly rubbish collection is sorted into correct bins that enable those further up the recycling chain to separate tin cans from newspapers.

The surge in electronic device use and the demand for the advancement of same over the past twenty years has been documented by us and others over and over again in recent times.

What has also been reported throughout this time is the demand for lithium-ion batteries (LIBs) due to their being a major source of portable power.

Again, we have been inundated by boffins from all sides, warning us of the environmental concern LIBs offer, especially since that globally only around nine per cent of spent batteries are recycled, with Australia maintaining its inability to keep pace with global environmental trends by recycling just three per cent, to keep them out of landfill, or more importantly, to recover valuable metals.

“Used batteries have been a problem for decades from a household and industrial waste perspective,” Chris Bolt recently wrote on the web page.

“While battery technology has changed a lot, even the most advanced rechargeable lithium ion batteries may still contain materials that could be considered hazardous.

“Most people just associate environmental pollution with these types of batteries, but there are other risks you need to be aware of.

“During the end-of-life stage of any modern electronic device, poor handling, storage, and disposal could increase the risk of fire or poisoning.

“Fortunately, lithium ion battery recycling is starting to become a widespread practice (even though it can be difficult to do so).”

Lithium Australia has hung its shingle on supplying ethically and sustainably sourced materials to the battery industry worldwide through the development of disruptive extraction technologies.

The company is operating on its belief that discarded electronic/battery waste may ultimately prove the most cost-effective and environmentally friendly source of critical metals.

LIT aspires to ‘close the loop’ on the energy metal cycle via its principal business units, which comprise its SiLeach® technology that converts mine waste to battery chemicals; and its subsidiary company VSPC Ltd that is an Australian-based company that has developed and patented processes for the cost-effective manufacture of high-purity, nano-scale materials for the lithium-ion battery market.

Neometals has also developed a proprietary sustainable process that recovers critical metals from cell production scrap and end-of-life LIBs.

Neometals has developed a processing flowsheet that targets recovery of more than 90 per cent of all battery materials from LIBs that might otherwise hit land fill.

This recycling process targets recovery of materials from consumer electronic batteries (devices with lithium cobalt oxide (LCO) cathodes), and nickel‐rich electric vehicle and stationary storage battery chemistries (lithium‐nickel-manganese‐cobalt (NMC) cathodes).

Through its recycling joint venture (Primobius GmbH) with German Company SMS group, Neometals aims to make revenue from provision of recycling services, licensing and sale of recovered cobalt, nickel, lithium, copper, iron, aluminium, manganese into saleable products.

This week, both companies informed the progress of the demerger/spinout/sale – call it what you will – of assets to aspiring IPOs.

Lithium Australia brought the market up to speed regarding its sale and Joint-Venture terms with ASX-aspirant Charger Metals.

With its listing expected on July 8, Charger Metals has exercised an option to acquire a 70 per cent interest in Lithium Australia’s Coates, Lake Johnston and Bynoe projects.

The Coates project is in the Western Yilgarn nickel/copper/platinum group elements belt, close to the recent Julimar discovery of Chalice Mining (ASX: CHN) in Western Australia, to which the JV believes the Coates project exhibits very similar geology.

The second endeavour is the Lake Johnston project, near Southern Cross, again in WA, which is considered prospective for lithium, gold and nickel and has outcropping lithium (spodumene) pegmatites.

Thirdly is the Bynoe project, near Darwin in the Northern Territory, which the JV has declared prospective for lithium and gold and close to recent discoveries of both commodities.

“Lithium Australia retains significant exposure to raw materials through its equity in Charger, as well as its free-carried project interests,” Lithium Australia managing director Adrian Griffin said.

“The latter potentially provide access to raw materials that the Lithium Australia group of companies can further process.

“Charger Metals’ specialised expertise will expedite a focused exploration effort, leaving Lithium Australia to concentrate on its core business: the ethical and sustainable supply of energy metals to the battery industry and the development of a circular battery economy.

“We eagerly await exploration outcomes at the Coates, Bynoe and Lake Johnston projects.”

Neometals’ rational is similar to that of its battery recycling chum declaring the anticipated listing of Widgie Nickel will enable development of the Mt Edwards nickel field allowing it to focus on its core battery materials projects.

The Mt Edwards project is near the small township of Widgiemooltha, south of Kalgoorlie and west of Kambalda in Western Australia.

The project spans approximately 50km of strike length across the Widgiemooltha Dome, which is a world class nickel sulphide camp that hosts more than seven historical nickel mines with a new mine, Mincor Resources’ Cassini operation, recently commencing production.

Neometals proclaimed its intention to demerge the Mt Edwards nickel project into a dedicated nickel exploration and development company on the back of a week of announcements that saw the company increase the global Mt Edwards project Mineral Resources to 10.215 million tonnes at 1.6 per cent nickel for 162,510 tonnes of contained nickel across 11 deposits.

“The demerger and return of our Mt Edwards asset offers existing Neometals shareholders the opportunity to realise the inherent long-term value of this exciting development story in a discrete, nickel focussed corporate vehicle,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said.

“Widgie Nickel has a number of very exciting deposits located on the Widgiemooltha Dome, a world class nickel sulphide camp that has hosted more than seven historical nickel mines and hosts Australia’s newest high-grade nickel mine being developed less than a kilometre from our southern tenure.

“These assets are highly deserving of their own time and attention, and the recent metallurgical results from just one of the deposits that revealed high grade palladium reporting to concentrate demonstrates just some of what can be achieved with a dedicated focus.

“Widgie Nickel is strongly leveraged to both the world economic recovery and the electrification of transport which will drive increasing product demand from both the traditional steel and lithium battery sectors.

“The Neometals Board considers it is the best outcome for shareholders that a new, independent entity is established to devote the technical, human and financial resources that the Mt Edwards Project deserves.

“We are excited by what Widgie Nickel can achieve with the assets.

“A capital reduction and in-specie distribution to Neometals shareholders will provide a direct level of participation in a new nickel-focussed business, while Neometals remains focused on the Lithium-ion Battery Recycling JV (Primobius GmbH), the Scandinavian Vanadium Recovery Project and the Barrambie Titanium Project.”









Neometals Benefitting from Battery Beneficiation

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: There’s no denying Neometals (ASX: NMT) – the self-proclaimed “sustainable investment of choice going forward” – is in a league of its own when it comes to the smaller capped mineral houses listed on the Australian bourse. By Mark Fraser

The multi-pronged outfit has its fingers in a number of pies, with all of them relating, in some way or another, to electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage batteries technologies.

During his appearance at the 20th RIU Explorers Conference held in Fremantle last week, Neometals managing director Chris Reed was fairly selective when it came to discussing his company’s undeniably eclectic project portfolio.

Rather than talk about all five of Neometals’ major endeavours, including an advanced conventional nickel exploration play in its home state of Western Australia, Reed focused on two – both of which involve what could be described as above-ground “deposits” that negate the production of carbon dioxide.

The first was its 50:50 incorporated Joint Venture with the German SMS group GmbH to fully develop, and commercialise, its lithium-ion battery recycling technology, while the second involved its vanadium recovery JV in Sweden with unlisted Scandinavian-focused explorer Critical Metals.

In terms of the former, the WA-based company has developed a process flowsheet (known as LIB Recycling Technology) which targets the recovery of valuable materials from consumer electronic batteries – including devices with lithium-cobalt oxide cathodes as well as nickel‐rich EV and stationary storage battery chemistries containing lithium‐nickel-manganese‐cobalt cathodes.

Ultimately, this technology is designed to recover cobalt, nickel, lithium, copper, iron, aluminium, carbon and manganese and turn them into saleable products that can be reused in the battery supply chain.

A 2019 scoping study, based on earlier bench scale testwork, highlighted robust project economics. Data from the successful pilot program is guiding current demonstration trials as well as engineering and feasibility studies. A demonstration plant is being constructed at Hilchenbach, which sits 100 kilometres from Dusseldorf.

During the RIU show Reed suggested the circuit was not just concerned with battery recycling, but would effectively result in the establishment of a base metals refinery, albeit one that was “hydromet not a pyromet”.

“So we just feed batteries into it – that’s all,” he remarked.

“And we beneficiate them too … these grades will double by the time we put them into a leach circuit.

“We did this in Australia and we are using solvent extraction developed in Mt Isa.

“So, we can take batteries of any format, in any state of charge, we safely process them, take out the plastics, the scrap, the metal and aluminium foils, and we get black mass, which is the graphite anode and the battery materials – nickel, lithium, cobalt, manganese – (and we) dissolve them in sulphuric acid, and sequentially strip them out.

“And why we are focused in Germany is 60 per cent of Europe’s battery making operations will be in Germany, and you’ve got the best car makers there, which is fantastic.

“And we’ve secured, for our first demonstration trial, 25 tonnes of EV batteries from one of the leading German car makers. And at the next trial we will run the stationary energy storage batteries and we’ve got about half the feed for that.”

In terms of the vanadium project, which is also a 50:50 JV, Neometals and Critical Metals are evaluating the feasibility of recovering high purity (over 99.5 per cent) vanadium products from three high grade vanadium-bearing steel by-product stockpiles (slag) in Scandinavia owned by SSAB.

Under the agreement, the ASX-listed company will fund and manage the evaluation activities up to the consideration of an investment decision.

According to Neometals, the deal provides a secure basis for the evaluation of an operation capable of processing 200,000t of slag per annum without the need to build a mine and concentrator like existing primary producers.

Other attractive project attributes include the fact the processing flowsheet uses conventional equipment at atmospheric pressure and mild temperatures and there is potentially saleable by-product generation. In addition, there is the likely possibility of a very low, or net zero, greenhouse gas footprint given the absence of mining and a processing route requiring the sequestration of carbon dioxide.

Reed told RIU delegates that while the process would work using sulphuric acid, that would generate a sulphate tail.

“These guys won’t let you do that – they are all tree huggers and stuff like that in Scandinavia,” he said.

“So we’ve developed a process which is essentially a carbonate leach; like a really super-charged soda water.

“You get about 75 per cent extraction, but the tails are carbonate. And so we will actually sequest 65,000 tonnes per annum of carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere for this project, and given that grade (around 3.93 per cent vanadium pentoxide) it’ll be the lowest cost quartile every day of the week.

“It’s fantastic. It’s not very often that you ever see a project where you’ve got 10 years stockpiled, and these guys are making 240,000 tonnes a year excess on the stockpiles.

“By the time we build it there will be bloody three million tonnes there.

“So, it’s fantastic – I’ve got to say we’ve never been happier with any project we are earning into.”

Reed said Neometals had developed a “fantastic team with a lot of metallurgical and mining skills” that it inherited after developing the Mt Marion lithium project in WA.

“(With) the development and sale of that we’ve given back $55 million in dividends in the last five years (and) we’ve still got $80 million in cash and investments and no debt,” he added.

“What we do and what we present to our shareholders is an unparalleled exposure to this megatrend in these commodities.

“So, we sat back a number of years ago – we got into recycling in 2016 after we started developing Mt Marion because we knew there were better places to be in the supply chain.”


Neometals Completes Busy Week

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Neometals (ASX: NMT) was busy this week, announcement wise, this week announcing a battery recycling Memorandum of Understanding and vanadium recoveries at a mini-pilot plant.

Neometals, by way of Primobius GmbH, the joint venture company owned 50:50 by Neometals and SMS group GmbH, executed a non-binding MoU with InoBat j.s.a., a founder and the controlling person of a Slovakian battery manufacturing company, InoBat Auto j.s.a.

The MoU provides an evaluation framework towards a potential Primobius-InoBat commercial cooperation that will operate a commercial lithium-ion battery recycling facility in Central/Eastern Europe.

“Reaching preliminary development terms with a battery producer so quickly after Primobius’ establishment reflects the status of our project and the industrial scalability of our recycling solution,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Europe leads the world in electric vehicle value chain investments and we are seeing first-hand how industry is positioning to ensure that brands can deliver the lowest carbon footprint products and support resource efficiency and circular economy principles.

“Primobius is very well placed to capitalise on the push for domestically sourced supply chains and this deal with InoBatis a material endorsement of the Primobius business plan.

“The relevance of the MoU should also be considered in the context of the consortium of conglomerate partners that sit behind InoBat(inc. CEZ, MOL and IPM Group)”

Neometals followed up this announcement with news of the completion of a mini-pilot test work campaign on the company’s Vanadium Recovery Project (VRP).

Results confirmed excellent vanadium chemical product purity (greater than 99.5 per cent V2O5), strong recoveries (>75%) and reduced residence time for Neometals’ patent pending hydrometallurgical process for recovering vanadium from Slag.

Earlier this year, Neometals executed a collaboration agreement with Critical Metals Ltd, to jointly evaluate the feasibility of constructing a facility to recover and process high-grade vanadium products from vanadium-bearing steel by-product (Slag) in Scandinavia.

Critical, in turn, has executed a conditional Slag Supply Agreement with SSAB EMEA AB and SSAB Europe Oy, subsidiaries of SSAB, a steel producer that operates steel mills in Scandinavia.

Slag is a by-product of SSAB’s steel making operations.

Neometals explained the Slag Supply Agreement provides a secure basis for the evaluation of a potential Slag Recovery Facility capable of processing 200,000 tonnes of Slag per annum without the need to build a mine and concentrator like existing primary producers.

“We are very pleased with the results of the Mini-Pilot campaign,” Chris Reed said.

“This substantially de-risks our patent-pending processing flowsheet and gives us the confidence to commence the PFS.

“We now shift our attention to the design phase of the larger proposed pilot plant which will leach material from three of SSAB’s steel operations in a mild carbonate solution at moderate temperatures and atmospheric pressure.

“The beauty of our process is that the main reagent is carbon dioxide, which we plan to capture from third-party emission to sequester some 65,000 tonnes in our leach Residue rendering it inert and available for secondary use.”












Neometals Completes Lithium Battery Recycling Pilot Testing

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Neometals (ASX: NMT) declared the completion of pilot plant test‐work on the company’s proprietary lithium‐ion battery (LIB) recycling technology a success.

Neometals said the pilot testing validated earlier bench scale assumptions with high recoveries of the targeted suite of cathode active elements and refined them into high purity chemicals for re‐use in the battery supply chain.

Neometals has developed a sustainable process for recovering nickel, cobalt and other valuable materials from spent and scrap LIBs that might otherwise be disposed of in land fill or processed in high emission pyrometallurgical recovery circuits.

The technology physically separates and recovers battery steel casings, aluminium and copper foil, plastic separators, and graphite from high‐value battery cathode materials including nickel, cobalt, manganese and lithium.

The company considers the successful completion of the pilot work as an important commercial milestone for the recycling technology.

Objectives were met and surpassed, no fatal technical flaws arose, and the company now has the data to commence feasibility‐level studies and proposed demonstration trials in Europe.

With the Pilot greatly reducing the technical risk of its proprietary process, Neometals said it can proceed confidently towards the proposed commercialisation JV with SMS Group and advance feed supply and product offtake activities.

“We are delighted to have completed the lithium battery recycling Pilot with such encouraging results,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“We remain convinced that electrification of transport is an unstoppable trend, which by default will generate ever increasing volumes of production scrap and end‐of‐life batteries to responsibly manage.

“We have now proven that we have a solution to meet the lithium‐ion battery supply chains need for a safe, environmentally friendly recycling process which can reduce reliance on imported mineral feedstocks and satisfy increasing regulatory and stakeholder demands for sustainable and ethical raw material supply chains.

“We are looking forward with our partner to commercialise this asset. SMS’s skill set and global presence will further enhance value and lower risk as we prepare to showcase our offering to the market in a Commercial Demonstration Plant in Europe, the region with the fastest growing battery cell production capacity.”

Neometals indicated that SMS Group will complete its review of the final metallurgical test work report and Metsim mass‐energy balance.

The review constitutes the final technical diligence requirements to enable an SMS decision to enter a project commercialisation JV by the end of April 2020.

Both parties are negotiating the JV legal agreements in parallel with Commercial Demonstration Plant design and procurement work packages.

The Pilot learnings have highlighted scope to further improve outcomes in optimisation test‐work that has commenced and will precede the Demonstration Trial.





Neometals Adds Nickel to its Sustainability Quest

THE CONFERENCE CALLER: As part of its corporate brief, the diversified Western Australian resources house Neometals (ASX: NMT) says it “innovatively develops opportunities in minerals and advanced materials essential for a sustainable future”. By Mark Fraser

With a focus on the energy storage megatrend, this strategy “focuses on de-risking and developing long life projects with strong partners and integrating down the value chain to increase margins and return value to shareholders”.

While most junior ASX-listed companies like to talk themselves up in such a manner, Neometals seems to be delivering on its promises, with three core projects currently gaining significant traction.

The first involves lithium-ion battery recycling, with the company having devised a proprietary process for recovering cobalt and other valuable materials from spent and scrap lithium batteries, and now in the process of pilot testing the technology with the help of potential German Joint Venture partner SMS Group.

Second, there’s the development of the wholly-owned Barrambie titanium and vanadium project in WA, which involves the mining and processing of some of the world’s highest-grade hard rock titanium-vanadium ore.

As it stands a decision regarding the go-ahead for this undertaking is expected to be made by mid-2021 with possible Chinese JV partner Institute of Multipurpose Utilisation of Mineral Resources Chinese Academy of Geological Sciences.

Finally, there’s the lithium refinery play, in which Neometals is co-funding the evaluation studies for the establishment of a lithium refinery to supply lithium hydroxide to the lithium battery industry with potential venture partner Manikaran Power.

Underpinning this project will be a binding life-of-mine annual off take option for 57,000 tonnes per annum of the company’s Mt Marion six per cent spodumene concentrate.

And as if all this wasn’t enough, the diversified junior has recently added another string to its portfolio bow – this time involving nickel.

While this base metal hasn’t always been associated with sustainability, this looks set to change with the expected growth in the electric vehicle market, wherein nickel sulphate be a vital feedstock.

A few weeks before the recent RIU Explorers Conference in Fremantle, Neometals announced RC drilling at its wholly owned Mt Edwards brownfields nickel and lithium project in Western Australia’s Widgiemooltha Dome area – which sits some 40 kilometres south east of Kambalda and 90km south of Kalgoorlie-Boulder in WA – had returned some encouraging nickel numbers from the Armstrong deposit, with the key ones being 6 metres at 8.11 per cent (including 5m at 9.63%), 10m at 1.65 per cent (with 4m at 2.42%) and 3m at 1.07 per cent.

Meanwhile, significant intercepts were also found within wide mineralised zones of disseminated nickel, with assays of the base metal including 34m at 1.94 per cent and 24m at 1.13 per cent.

In addition, another 1m at 1.18 per cent nickel was intersected at a just-acquired tenement that sits along strike from Mincor Resources’ (ASX: MCR) Cassini mineral resource.

According to Neometals, drilling at Armstrong focused on testing the down plunge component of an interpreted nickel sulphide channel located north of the previously mined open pit.

In the existing data from earlier drilling circa 2006, the association between the mineralised zones and the ultramafic-basalt contact was unclear, and areas of high-grade nickel located in the basalt below this contact also warranted investigation.

It was previously interpreted that there were some very high grade nickel (above 10%) zones at depth, which were shoots of remobilised nickel along fractures, joints and fault zones.

As it stands the project, which consists of 46 granted and pending mining tenements spanning approximately 50km of strike length over the Widgiemooltha Dome, has indicated and inferred resources of 7.718 million tonnes grading 1.7 per cent nickel for around 130,000t of contained metal in 11 deposits.

During his presentation at the RIU show, Neometals’ chief executive and managing director Chris Reed said the company planned to target larger, lower grade deposits “to identify the high-grade massive matrix ore within that and to develop a pipeline of short lead time projects, and to make new discoveries, ready for the next boom”.

“And we can see there will be a boom in the nickel price – there absolutely has to be,” he said.

“These batteries need sulphate (and) the normal way to make it is to start off with like 49s (the highly permeable nickel alloy), or almost 49s, nickel powder and nickel metal.

“It’s very, very hard to make that. You wouldn’t be able to make it out of nickel pig iron, so there will be a boom – my guess is in the next three to five years.

“So, we will align this project for that development timeline.”



Neometals Encounters Mt Edwards Massive Nickel Sulphides

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Neometals (ASX: NMT) declared to encouraged by results from reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the company’s Mt Edwards nickel project in Western Australia.

Neometals reported the completion of drilling, sampling and down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys at the Armstrong deposit on Mining Lease M15/99, and on recently acquired Exploration Licence E15/1553 that is located less than two kilometres directly north and along strike from Mincor’s Resources Cassini Mineral Resource.

The drilling at Armstrong and the yet to be named exploration licence comprised 11 RC holes completed in November and December 2019 and included a sampling and assay program the company expects to enable results to be used in future Mineral Resource estimations.

Massive nickel sulphide intercepts were encountered on the Armstrong deposit, including:

6 metres at 8.11 per cent nickel, including 5m at 9.63 per cent nickel;

10m at 1.65 per cent nickel, including 4m at 2.42 per cent nickel; and

3m at 1.07 per cent nickel.

These intercepts were within wide mineralised zones of disseminated nickel with assays including:

34m at 1.94 per cent nickel; and
24m at 1.13 per cent nickel.

The drilling encountered 1m at 1.18 per cent nickel at newly acquired tenement.

“These strong results from Armstrong continue our success in identifying massive nickel sulphide mineralisation within our existing inventory,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“In preparation for a strengthening nickel market in the medium term, driven by increasing demand in the battery materials sector, Neometals will undertake mining studies and develop a pipeline of short lead time nickel sulphide resources.

“The successful discovery of nickel sulphide mineralisation along strike from Cassini just inside the boundary of a newly acquired tenement provides encouragement that our extensive tenement package around the Widgiemooltha Dome is one of the most prospective areas for greenfields nickel discoveries.”







Encounter Resources Intersects Tanami Bedrock Gold

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Encounter Resources (ASX: ENR) reported on recent drilling activities undertaken at the Afghan and Mojave prospects in the Tanami region of Western Australia with Joint Venture partner Newcrest Mining.

Red 5 Continues Growth at King Of The Hill

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Red 5 Limited declared its decision in the December 2019 Quarter to boost underground drilling capacity at the company’s King of The Hill (KOTH) project in Western Australia with three diamond rigs, has paid off.

Peel Mining Drills New Southern Nights Gold Zone

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) reported the discovery of strong gold mineralisation associated with a new high-grade zone at the southern end of the Southern Nights deposit from the recent resource upgrade drilling program at the company’s 100 per cent-owned Wagga Tank-Southern Nights project, located south of Cobar in western New South Wales.

Neometals Produces High Purity Dioxide Hydrolsate

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Neometals (ASX: NMT) has successfully produced high purity (>98%) titanium hydrolysate (hydrated titanium dioxide ‐ TiO2.2H2O) from the titanium recovery stage of the Australian pilot plant trial at the company’s Barrambie titanium and vanadium project in Western Australia.

Magnetic Resources Encounters Encouraging Gold Results at Lady Julie

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Magnetic Resources (ASX: MAU) has completed an initial RC drilling program at the Lady Julie project, not far from the company’s Hawks Nest 9 project, located near Laverton in Western Australia.


Neometals Produces High Purity Dioxide Hydrolsate

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Neometals (ASX: NMT) has successfully produced high purity (>98%) titanium hydrolysate (hydrated titanium dioxide ‐ TiO2.2H2O) from the titanium recovery stage of the Australian pilot plant trial at the company’s Barrambie titanium and vanadium project in Western Australia.

Neometals noted that the titanium recovery from Barrambie concentrate exceeded 90 per cent, adding that the batch Titanium Pilot results confirm the technical feasibility of the company’s process at pilot scale for the production of a high purity intermediate (hydrolysate) used in the titanium pigment process.

The Barrambie resource contains high‐grade ilmenite intergrown with a vanadium‐bearing magnetite (iron).

The Neometals process flowsheet has demonstrated it can produce a superior intermediate feed material that is safer, cleaner and cheaper to produce titanium pigment from.

Further upside in this flowsheet for Barrambie is the recovery of the accessory vanadium and iron in a saleable form.

Neometals explained the Titanium Pilot is the first key evaluation milestone under a memorandum of understanding (MoU) the company has with Chinese metallurgical group, IMUMR.

Under the terms of the MoU, if IMUMR funds the demonstration plant program at its extensive research facilities in China, and both parties agree to jointly fund a formal evaluation study for a mining and concentrating operation at Barrambie with subsequent downstream processing in China, the parties may negotiate in good faith the terms of a 50:50 production JV.

Samples of titanium hydrolysate have been freighted for evaluation by prospective concentrate offtake customers, being titanium pigment producers within and outside of China.

Neometals indicated the next evaluation step is the recovery and production of a vanadium by‐product from the primary leaching stage of the Titanium Pilot Plant.

While all this is going in, Neometals is preparing approximately 10 tonnes of gravity and magnetic concentrates from the high titanium grade Eastern Band for a proposed Chinese demonstration plant trial.

The company anticipates the vanadium test work and concentrates shipment should be completed by the end of the March Quarter 2020.

“We are confident our flowsheet can produce the highest value‐in‐use for potential customers and recover maximum value from the deposit for Neometals and its partners,” Neometals managing director Chris Reed said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“Proving an ore can be concentrated and converted to high purity chemicals at good recoveries is the first step in attracting quality offtakers to enable the development of globally significant industrial mineral projects, whether they be lithium or titanium.

“The outcomes to date bode well for advancing our commercialisation plans in 2020.”





Neometals Drills Mt Edwards Nickel Results

THE DRILL SERGEANT: Neometals (ASX: NMT) has been encouraged by assay results from reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Mt Edwards nickel project near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

Neometals completed drilling, sampling and down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys conducted across the Widgie 3 and Gillett deposits and the Widgie 3 North, Rhona and Widgie 3 South prospects.

These deposits and prospects, including Widgie Townsite, are collectively known as the Widgie South Trend and are located on Mining Lease M15/94 south of the community of Widgiemooltha.

In addition, further drilling was carried out at the Lake Eaton prospect on Exploration Licence E15/989.

Drill assay results include:

16 metres at 1.45 per cent nickel, including 2m at 4.79 per cent and 5m at 1.81 per cent nickel;
21m at 1.05 per cent nickel, including 4m at 2.42 per cent nickel; and
7m at 1.37 per cent nickel, including 3m at 2.39 per cent nickel.

“Neometals is progressively increasing the quantity and quality of its Mt Edwards Nickel Mineral Resources and improving the geological understanding with modern geophysics,” Neometals said in its ASX announcement.

“The company is very pleased with the outcomes of this exploration program, which represents the first drilling for nickel at the Widgie South Trend since April 2008.

“The four kilometres long Widgie South Trend zone, with its three Mineral Resources, contains an estimated 67,000 tonnes of nickel, in a pro-mining jurisdiction located near major road, rail and energy infrastructure in a world class nickel camp.”

In addition to the positive assay results, Neometals indicated it has conducted also DHEM surveys on all 13 drill holes completed at the Widgie South Trend which show several conductors considered to be strong targets for nickel sulphide mineralisation.

Further DHEM surveys are currently being conducted on historic drill holes across the Widgie South Trend to generate further drill targets.