The company’s managing director said the results had the potential to significantly increase Oposura’s resource base.

Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS) has announced that resource infill and extension drilling at its Oposura project, located in Sonora Mexico, has returned further high-grade mineralization over substantial widths.

The company said that resource infill drilling confirms good internal continuity of mineralized zones:

  • OPDH-184: 5.25m at 24.4 percent zinc-lead from 48.35m; including 3.05m at 39.3 percent zinc-lead
  • OPDH-185: 8.65m at 11.4 percent zinc-lead from 61.15m; including 4.55m at 19.6 percent zinc-lead
  • OPDH-194: 6.00m at 11.7 percent zinc-lead from 39.00m; including 2.95m at 21.9 percent zinc-lead

Managing director of Azure Tony Rovira said:

“These latest, high-grade, massive sulfide drill intersections from the sparsely drilled Central Zone confirm that this area has the potential to significantly increase Oposura’s resource base.
They continue to build on the very positive results from the Oposura scoping study and confirm potential to extend the mine life and further improve the already impressive project economics.”
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WHAT'S IN STORE FOR THE RESOURCE SECTOR IN 2022?

The Investing News Network (INN) spoke with analysts, market watchers and insiders about which trends will impact this sector in the year ahead.
✓ Trends   ✓ Forecasts    ✓ Top Stocks



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an open-pit mine

As more emerging exploration companies and investors catch wind of this impressive mining jurisdiction, the Edmund Basin could become a hot spot for high-quality mineralization and commodities like precious and base metals.

Australia is often known for sunny skies and big waves across its golden coast. However, the country has always been an understated gem in mining for some of the world’s most sought-after commodities.

Silver, gold and other high-demand base metals can be found across the continent, with high concentrations in the country’s Western regions.

One of these emerging prospects is the Edmund Basin in Western Australia. Underexplored and situated in a highly attractive jurisdiction for mining, the basin presents a potential for base and precious metal mineralization and widespread discoveries for early-movers who take advantage of Australia’s next big mining exploration site.


The mining history of the Edmund Basin

Australia stands as the world’s largest producer of lithium and a global producer of gold, iron ore, lead, zinc and nickel. According to the International Trade Administration, one-third of its mines are located in Western Australia, with over 350 currently in operation country-wide. As an up-and-coming mining jurisdiction, the Edmund Basin leverages high-quality mineralization and economic potential that has been demonstrated by many other geographical prospects surrounding the landform.

In the 1960s and 1970s, basement rocks of Western Australia's Gascoyne region and the overlying sedimentary rocks of the Edmund Basin and neighbouring Collier Basin were first systematically mapped by the Geological Survey of Western Australia. This program produced 1:250,000 scale maps, explanatory notes and a number of early reports outlining the protracted tectonic history of this part of the Orogen.

Other significant mappings and exploration campaigns have outlined the basin’s half-graben architecture, which was formed by the normal reactivation of older basement faults and sutures during the latter part of the Mangaroon Orogeny. According to the most recent profiling programs, the Edmund Basin and the Collier Basin have geological structures and rock formation styles that have been divided into six informal depositional packages, each defined by basal unconformities or major marine flooding surfaces.

Despite extensive mapping and geological surveying, the Edmund Basin remains underexplored and ready for discovery.

Mineral resources and major players in the Edmund Basin

The Edmund Basin contains a wide range of mineral occurrences — including supergene manganese, lead, gold and phosphate — many of which have been associated with major crustal-scale faults.

One of the most notable prospects in the region is Western Australia's largest strata-bound lead-gold-copper-silver deposit, the Abra base metals project. Owned by the major Australian mining player Galena Mining (ASX:G1A), the company’s flagship project is located in the Gascoyne region of the country. Leveraging the low-risk, Tier 1 jurisdiction status of the area, the celebrated Abra base metals project presents promising discovery potential.

Current reports estimate that Abra carries JORC mineral resource estimates of 16.7 million tonnes (Mt) at 8.5 percent lead and 24 grams per tonne (g/t) silver in the Indicated category and Inferred estimates at 24.4 Mt at 6.5 percent lead and 14 g/t silver.

Another player taking advantage of the Edmund Basin’s underexplored history and potential mineral resources is Todd River Resources (ASX:TRT). The Australia-based resource company’s Pingandy base metal project covers 895 square kilometres within the Edmund Basin. The company has received one licence and applied for three more. As an emerging mining company, Todd River is focused on outcropping, sub-cropping and continued exploration efforts to uncover the full extent of what the Edmund Basin has to offer.

Changing tides for Edmund Basin exploration

The uniquely varied geological and structural make-up of Edmund and the adjacent Collier Basin has posed some challenges in discovery and exploration in the past. Reactivated basement structures, basin inversion by reverse transpression and deformations all point to interesting mineralized profiles, but without the tools to explore these characteristics more extensively, the packages of the Edmund Basin remain relevantly untouched.

Luckily, advancements in mining technology, surveying and mapping have led to significant strides in discovery, development and exploration capabilities. Research and technology companies like the Australian Centre for Field Robotics have introduced advanced gradiometer technology, robotics, 3D imaging and automated drilling, which can be used to get to the core of underexplored mining prospects like the Edmund Basin. With mining companies and technology giants collaborating, the sky’s the limit for highly prospective regions like Western Australia and assets like the Abra base metals project.

As more emerging exploration companies and investors catch wind of this impressive mining jurisdiction, Edmund Basin could become a hot spot for high-quality mineralization and commodities like precious and base metals. Investors should look to first-movers like Galena Mining, which is already making strides to advance its positioning in Western Australia with its secondary Jillawarra manganese and gold properties, to see why Edmund Basin presents exploration opportunities unique to the Gold Coast.

Takeaway

The Edmund Basin in Western Australia sits amongst some of the world’s most abundant base and precious metal prospects and operating mines but remains underexplored. First-movers like Galena Mining and Todd River Resources demonstrate the early-mover advantage in exploring such a highly prospective region. With advancements in mining technology and good mapping and geological research already established in the area, investors and exploration companies could see very positive mining and exploration opportunities across the Edmund Basin.

This INNspired article is sponsored by Galena Mining (ASX:G1A). This INNspired article provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Galena Mining in order to help investors learn more about the company. Galena Mining is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this INNspired article.

This INNspired article was written according to INN editorial standards to educate investors.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Galena Mining and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

G1A:AU

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott and Rio Tinto Managing Director of Port, Rail and Core Services, Richard Cohen, joined community members, local businesses and representatives from local government to celebrate the official opening of its new community ‘Hub’ in Karratha. Located on Ngarluma country in the heart of Karratha’s CBD, the new Rio Tinto Karratha Hub will make it easier for local …

Rio Tinto Iron Ore Chief Executive, Simon Trott and Rio Tinto Managing Director of Port, Rail and Core Services, Richard Cohen, joined community members, local businesses and representatives from local government to celebrate the official opening of its new community ‘Hub’ in Karratha.

Located on Ngarluma country in the heart of Karratha’s CBD, the new Rio Tinto Karratha Hub will make it easier for local people to connect with our busines.

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Galena Mining CEO Alexander Molyneux is confident that the company has more than one reason to welcome investors to the next phase of the program. 


After successfully completing the fully funded 2020 Abra drilling program, Galena Mining (ASX:G1A) CEO and Managing Director Alexander Molyneux is confident that the company has more than one reason to welcome investors to the next phase of the program.

“The program was successful in terms of infill drilling,” Molyneux said. “We can say that 75 percent of the 57 holes either met or exceeded expectations compared to the previous resource model. I think that’s pretty positive. In terms of targeting metal-rich zones, we had two zones where we found extremely good cumulative grade and thickness of lead-silver.”

The Abra base metals project is a globally significant lead-silver project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. It is fully permitted and construction work has already begun.

“We are 15 months away from the first production. Once we’re producing at a steady state, we have a projection to make AU$114 million a year,” Molyneux said. “And when a company has already eliminated the funding risks, it’s an exciting time for investors to join the story.”

Watch the full interview with Galena Mining CEO and Managing Director Alexander Molyneux above.


This interview is sponsored by Galena Mining (ASX:G1A). This interview provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Galena Mining in order to help investors learn more about the company. Galena Mining is a client of INN. The company’s campaign fees pay for INN to create and update this interview.

INN does not provide investment advice and the information on this profile should not be considered a recommendation to buy or sell any security. INN does not endorse or recommend the business, products, services or securities of any company profiled.

The information contained here is for information purposes only and is not to be construed as an offer or solicitation for the sale or purchase of securities. Readers should conduct their own research for all information publicly available concerning the company. Prior to making any investment decision, it is recommended that readers consult directly with Galena Mining and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

Rio Tinto is progressing an innovative new technology to deliver low-carbon steel, using sustainable biomass in place of coking coal in the steelmaking process, in a potentially cost-effective option to cut industry carbon emissions. Over the past decade, Rio Tinto has developed a laboratory-proven process that combines the use of raw, sustainable biomass with microwave technology to convert iron ore to metallic …

Rio Tinto is progressing an innovative new technology to deliver low-carbon steel, using sustainable biomass in place of coking coal in the steelmaking process, in a potentially cost-effective option to cut industry carbon emissions.

Over the past decade, Rio Tinto has developed a laboratory-proven process that combines the use of raw, sustainable biomass with microwave technology to convert iron ore to metallic iron during the steelmaking process. The patent-pending process, one of a number of avenues the company is pursuing to try to lower emissions in the steel value chain, is now being further tested in a small-scale pilot plant.

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Galena Mining Ltd. (ASX: G1A) announces achievement of the key objectives from the 2020 Abra Drilling Program and has subsequently completed an updated JORC Code 2012 Mineral Resource estimate for the Abra Base Metals Project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia.

Galena Mining Ltd. (“Galena” or the “Company”) (ASX:G1A) announces achievement of the key objectives from the 2020 Abra Drilling Program and has subsequently completed an updated JORC Code 2012 Mineral Resource estimate (“April 2021 Resource”) for the Abra Base Metals Project (“Abra” or the “Project”) located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The April 2021 Resource has been independently prepared by Optiro Pty Ltd (“Optiro”).

Managing Director, Alex Molyneux commented, “The objectives associated with the 2020 Abra Drilling Program were successfully completed. The Project now has over 100 kilometres of drilling in its database, and the geological confidence and understanding of the deposit continues to improve. Almost all of the new holes were drilled within the previous Mineral Resource envelope and over 75% of those holes achieved expected or better results. This Mineral Resource update will now feed into an optimised mine plan, and mine development will allow for underground drilling to continue Resource development, particularly the conversion of significant Inferred Mineral Resources associated with the Core Zone
mineralisation, which remains open in several directions and also hosts the interpreted copper-gold zone.”


Table 1 (below) states the Abra April 2021 Resource at a 5.0% lead cut-off grade.

2020 ABRA DRILLING PROGRAM AND OBJECTIVES

The completed 2020 Abra Drilling program included 57 drill-holes totalling 24,834 cumulative linear meters and was designed to achieve three specific objectives. These objectives were mainly focussed on the original Mineral Resource estimate and potential grade and continuity risk
of certain areas within that estimate, and they were:

(i) Lead-silver orebody infill drilling – Some infill drilling that had previously been planned to take place from underground once the decline was in place was pulled forward into the 2020 Abra Drilling Program. This aimed to further tighten the drill-hole spacing over the first four years of proposed production to 20 by 20 metres and up to 30 by 30 metres or better, compared with a more variable drilling density of up to 40 by 40 metres and up to 60 by 60 metres in that area previously.

(ii) Drilling into selected lead-silver ‘metal rich’ zones – Some drill-holes successfully targeted selected areas within the Abra lead-silver mineralisation where higher concentrations of metal (in both grade and thickness) were projected from previous drilling campaigns, in particular drill-hole AB147, which became the best high-grade lead-silver drill-hole ever at Abra, and the follow-up drill-holes that were added to the program in its vicinity (see Galena ASX announcements of 19 October 2020, 18 November 2020, 22 January 2021 and 24 February 2021).

(iii) Gold-copper exploration – Some of the drilling, in particular drill-hole AB195 (see Galena ASX announcement of 22 February 2021) successfully targeted the newly interpreted gold and copper drilling targets to the south and south east of the leadsilver mineralisation and at depth (see Galena ASX announcement of 29 June 2020).

The first two of these objectives enable the Company to optimise mine planning, which is now underway.

MINERAL RESOURCES

Geological model

Abra is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia within clastic and carbonate sediments of the Proterozoic Edmund Group. Abra is a base metals replacement-style deposit, where the primary economic metal is lead. Silver, copper, zinc and gold are also present within
the established lead mineralised zones but are of lower tenor.

Abra can be divided into two main parts, the upper “Apron Zone” and lower “Core Zone”.

The Apron Zone comprises stratiform massive and disseminated lead sulphide (galena), with minor copper sulphide (chalcopyrite) and zinc sulphide (sphalerite) mineralisation within the lower conglomerate unit (KCLC) of the Edmund Basin Kiangi Creek Formation and the Upper
Carbonate Unit (UID) of the Irregully Formation. The Apron Zone is characterised by flat-lying alteration zones containing jaspilite (Red Zone), barite (Barite Zone), silica-sericite (Micrite Zone), siderite and dolomite (Carbonate Zone), and haematite and magnetite (Black Zone). Distinct stratiform alteration domains can be defined within the Apron Zone and have assisted in the definition of the distribution of the lead mineralisation and construction of the lead mineralisation lodes. The Apron Zone extends for over 1,200 metres along strike and 750 metres down dip, dipping gently south.

For the full news release, click here.

Learn more about Galena Mining

G1A:AU
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The gold price is trading lower than some market watchers would prefer, but the top-performing ASX gold stocks so far this year are making leaps.

Click here to read the previous best ASX gold stocks article.

While 2021 was a disappointing year for gold, analysts are optimistic about the outlook for 2022.

The yellow metal passed the US$2,000 per ounce mark as tensions between Russia and Ukraine heated up, but has since pulled back to trade closer to US$1,800. However, diverse factors could combine to push it higher.

Demand for gold jewellery, gold bars and coins, and the metal’s use in the technology sector are still going strong, and supply is also a growing concern due to decreased gold exploration efforts in recent years.


Against this backdrop, many Australian gold stocks are doing well. And with the precious metal generally considered a safe investment, it's worth being aware of the county's top-performing companies.

Here the Investing News Network looks at the best ASX gold stocks of the year so far by year-to-date gains. The list of stocks below was generated on April 29, 2022, using TradingView’s stock screener, and all companies included had market caps over AU$30 million at that time.

1. Xantippe Resources

Year-to-date gain: 180 percent; market cap: AU$107.3 million; current share price: AU$0.01

Xantippe Resources (ASX:XTC) is focused on Western Australia's Southern Cross region, which is widely known for its past gold production. The precious metals explorer's Southern Cross project is made up of 20 prospecting licences and six exploration licences, and holds a number of key priority targets.

In late April, Xantippe confirmed the acquisition of lithium tenements in Argentina with the hope of commencing exploration activities in the third quarter.

2. Minrex Resources

Year-to-date gain: 55.81 percent; market cap: AU$63.05 million; current share price: AU$0.07

Minrex Resources’ (ASX:MRR) assets include five gold and base metals projects in Western Australia, four of which are in the mineral-rich East Pilbara region.

The company started off the year with high-grade gold drill results from its work at the Queenslander gold prospect within its Sofala project. The prospect is centred around the past-producing Queenslander mine.

3. Aston Minerals

Year-to-date gain: 38.1 percent; market cap: AU$164.19 million; current share price: AU$0.15

Gold and nickel-cobalt explorer Aston Minerals (ASX:ASO) is moving forward at its Edleston gold project, located in the Cadillac-Larder Lake fault zone of Canada's Abitibi greenstone belt. Edleston is its flagship asset, and according to the company, it is the first in over a decade to drill in this area.

Aston continues to focus on gold at Edleston, but its Boomerang nickel-cobalt target has come to the forefront in recent months, with the company announcing the results of its maiden hole there in early December.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Marlee John, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

business people stacking wooden blocks

Australian lithium miners continued to move ahead with their projects during the year's third financial quarter.

After hitting all-time highs in 2021, lithium prices started to stabilise in 2022's first quarter.

China’s lockdown measures to battle COVID-19 have disrupted the supply chain and impacted domestic demand in recent weeks, but this is expected to be temporary, according to William Adams of Fastmarkets.

“The lithium market is very tight. We don't see that easing anytime soon,” he said during a recent webinar about risks in the battery metals market. “We think the underlying fundamentals and the trends are still very strong.”


During the third quarter of the financial year, Australian lithium miners continued to move ahead with their projects, and despite the increased volatility in the markets, many ASX lithium stocks saw share price gains as well.

Perth-based Pilbara Minerals' (ASX:PLS,OTC Pink:PILBF) production for the quarter was 81,431 dry metric tonnes (dmt), slightly down compared to the previous three months, but within guidance. The company said the main factor impacting output was higher COVID-19 cases, which resulted in staff and contractor shortages.

“COVID-19 has (and may continue in the near term) to cause operational delays, including staffing shortages for both shut-down and operating staff (mining and processing),” the company said in a statement. Even so, Pilbara has decided to maintain its production guidance in the range of 340,000 to 380,000 dmt.

During its fourth battery material exchange auction, the company saw the highest bid ever at US$5,650 per dmt for a cargo of 5,000 dmt of spodumene, showing the critical shortage in lithium raw material supply.

Western Australia-focused Pilbara, which owns the lithium-tantalum Pilgangoora operation, has partnerships with Ganfeng Lithium (OTC Pink:GNENF,SZSE:002460), General Lithium, Great Wall Motor Company (OTC Pink:GWLLF,HKEX:2333), POSCO (NYSE:PKX), CATL (SZSE:300750) and Yibin Tianyi.

Shares of Pilbara were trading at AU$2.53 on May 10, down 28.13 percent year-to-date, but up more than 100 percent compared to this time last year.

For its part, leading Australian lithium and iron ore miner Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN,OTC Pink:MALRF) saw its Mount Marion mine’s production reach 104,000 dmt during the quarter; it also shipped 94,000 dmt of spodumene concentrate. The company is maintaining its full-year production guidance at 450,000 to 475,000 dmt.

In April, Mineral Resources and partner Ganfeng agreed to optimise production and upgrade Mount Marion's processing facilities. Spodumene concentrate capacity at the operation is expected to increase from 450,000 dmt per year to 600,000 dmt annually.

“The decision to upgrade the plant reflects an expectation that the lithium market outlook will remain extremely strong for the foreseeable future,” the company said in a press release. A second stage increase, expected to be completed by the end of 2022, will see capacity rise further to reach 900,000 dmt.

Aside from Mount Marion, the company holds interests in Wodgina in partnership with another top producer — Albemarle (NYSE:ALB). The companies decided to restart Wodgina last year as a result of soaring global lithium demand. The mine produced its first spodumene concentrate on May 12.

“(We have) also agreed to review the state of the global lithium market towards the end of this calendar year to assess timing for the start-up of Train 3 and the possible construction of Train 4,” the company said. Each train has a nameplate capacity of 250,000 dmt of 6 percent product.

Mineral Resources’ share price was down 10.71 percent on May 10, trading at AU$52.71. That said, the stock is up 9.11 percent year-on-year.

During the March quarter, Argentina-focused Allkem (ASX:AKE,OTC Pink:OROCF) outlined its plans to increase lithium production threefold by 2026 and become a top three chemicals supplier.

In Western Australia, the company owns the Mount Cattlin mine, which produced 48,562 dmt of spodumene concentrate and shipped 66,011 tonnes in the March quarter.

“Strong conditions in the spodumene market are supporting advanced discussions for spodumene concentrate pricing in the June quarter of approximately US$5,000 per dmt SC6 percent CIF on sales of approximately 50,000 tonnes,” the company told investors in a note.

In Argentina, Allkem operates the Salar de Olaroz and is developing the Sal de Vida lithium brine. Additionally, in partnership with Toyota Tsusho (TSE:8015), Allkem is building a 10,000 tonne per year lithium hydroxide plant in Naraha, Japan. The company also owns the James Bay lithium pegmatite project in Canada.

On May 10, shares of Allkem were changing hands for AU$10.95, down 2.23 percent year-to-date, but up over 55 percent year-on-year.

Although its main focus is nickel, Independence Group (ASX:IGO) joined the lithium party last year after it bought a stake in Tianqi Lithium’s Australian assets. The companies, in joint venture, now control the majority of the biggest lithium mine in the world — Greenbushes.

Production at the mine was up 5 percent quarter-on-quarter at 270,464 tonnes of spodumene concentrate. By 2025, Greenbushes is expected to add around 800,000 tonnes per year to its output capacity.

IGO has seen its share price decline 4.63 percent year-to-date, trading at AU$11.34 on May 11. However, the stock is up 47.27 year-on-year.

Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Australia for real-time updates!

Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.

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