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Blackstone (ASX:BSX) has intersected a 15.4m wide zone of nickel sulfide mineralisation at the Ban Chang prospect at its Ta Khoa Nickel-PGE project in Vietnam
- Blackstone (ASX:BSX) has intersected a 15.4m wide zone of nickel sulfide mineralisation at the Ban Chang prospect at its Ta Khoa Nickel-PGE project in Vietnam (refer to Figure 7), including massive sulfide veins (MSV), net-textured sulfide (NTS) 1 (refer to Figures 1 to 3 & 5) and disseminated sulfide (DSS) mineralisation with the broader intersection (refer to Figure 6) comprising of the following:
1 In magamatic Ni-Cu-PGE sulfide deposits there is a broadly trimodal sulfide distribution between “disseminated” ores with typically <10% sulfide located as isolated grains in the interstices between silicate crystals, “net” or “matrix” textured mineralisation in which the sulfide (typically 30-70% of the rock) forms a continuous network or matrix around the silicate crystals, and “massive” with >80% sulfide as a continuous mass. Although the exact origin of the net texture is debated its is spatially associated with massive sulfide in many Ni deposits (eg Naldrett 1973, Barnes et al 2017). Magmatic sulfide textures within the Ta Khoa Ni-Cu-PGE deposits have also been metamorphically modified.
- Blackstone’s maiden four drill holes at Ban Chang have all intersected massive sulfide nickel over a 1.2km strike within a 1.2km long massive sulfide target zone defined by high priority electromagnetic (EM) plates (refer Figure 4);
- Blackstone’s drill hole BC20-04 intersected a zone of 15.4m wide veins of MSV, NTS and DSS mineralisation within an ultramafic body over 1.2km along strike of Blackstone’s maiden Ban Chang drill hole BC20-01;
- Blackstone’s maiden drill hole at Ban Chang (ASX 17/06/20) delivered the high-grade result of:
- BC20-01 5.2m @ 0.66% Ni, 0.73% Cu, 0.04% Co & 0.79g/t PGE2 from 58.0m 1.5m @ 2.20% Ni, 2.12% Cu, 0.13% Co & 2.66g/t PGE from 58.5m incl. 1.05m @ 2.98% Ni, 1.22% Cu, 0.18% Co & 3.43g/t PGE from 58.5m 2 Platinum (Pt) + Palladium (Pd) + Gold (Au)
- Assays are still pending for drill holes BC 20-02 (ASX 03/06/20) intersecting 1.2m of MSV and BC 20- 03 (ASX 11/06/20) which intersected 4.6m of MSV and semi massive sulfide veins (SMSV).
- Blackstone is testing high priority EM targets generated from 25 MSV prospects in the Ta Khoa nickel sulfide district to supplement a potential bulk open pit mining scenario at Ban Phuc and the King Cobra discovery zone (KCZ), where drilling continues at depth;
- Blackstone is targeting MSV prospects analogous to the Ban Phuc MSV, where previous owners mined 975kt of high-grade ore at average grades of 2.4% Ni & 1.0% Cu from an average vein width of 1.3m, producing 20.7kt Ni, 10.1kt Cu and 0.67kt Co;
- Blackstone’s drilling continues to intersect massive sulfide within metres of the modelled EM plates, confirming EM’s potential to unlock the world-class magmatic nickel sulfide geology throughout the Ta Khoa nickel sulfide district;
- Blackstone’s Scoping Study on downstream processing to produce nickel sulfate for the lithiumion battery industry and a Ban Phuc maiden resource are on track for completion in Q3, CY20;
- Downstream processing potential supported by $6.8 million investment from EcoPro Co Limited, the world’s second largest nickel-rich cathode materials manufacturer, completed in April 2020.
Blackstone Minerals’ Managing Director Scott Williamson commented: “We’re pleased to announce a significant intersection of 15.4m of nickel sulfide mineralisation at Ban Chang, as this adds potential to a bulk underground mining scenario to supplement possible open pit mining at the Ban Phuc disseminated sulfide orebody, where Blackstone continues to aggressively drill out the King Cobra discovery zone.
“We look forward to further results from Ban Chang and the King Cobra discovery zone at Ban Phuc. The results will enable us to better understand the full potential of this nickel sulfide district which includes a further 24 massive sulfide vein targets analogous to Ban Chang and the successfully mined Ban Phuc massive sulfide underground mine.”
Blackstone Minerals Limited (ASX code: BSX) is pleased to announce it has intersected MSV in its four maiden drill holes at Ban Chang, part of its Ta Khoa Nickel-Cu-PGE project, Vietnam. Blackstone’s four maiden drill holes cover a distance of over 1.2km along strike and within a 1.2km-long massive sulfide target zone defined by high priority EM plates. Drillhole BC20-04 intersected a zone of 15.4m wide vein of sulfide mineralisation which includes MSV, NTS and DSS sulfide mineralisation.
The drilling is part of an ongoing campaign to target regional MSV as Blackstone aims to build its resource inventory at Ta Khoa. Blackstone’s second drill rig will continue to follow the in-house geophysics team throughout the Ta Khoa nickel sulfide district, testing high priority EM targets generated from 25 MSV prospects including King Snake, Ban Khoa, Ban Chang, and Ban Khang.
An unprecedented increase in nickel prices pushed the London Metal Exchange to halt nickel trading.
Nickel doubled in price to hit a record level of US$100,000 per tonne before the London Metal Exchange (LME) decided to suspend trading on Tuesday (March 8).
The base metal, used mainly in stainless steel, but gathering attention for its use in electric vehicle batteries, was up an unprecedented 250 percent in two days on the back of a short squeeze.
“Nickel is clearly trading in crisis mode,” ING senior analyst Wenyu Yao said in a note. “Market positioning could be the trigger, but the industry has long faced structural issues.”
Nickel prices were 66 percent higher, at US$80,000, when the LME decided to suspend trading for at least the rest of the day. Earlier on Tuesday, nickel had soared to a record US$101,365 ― 111 percent higher than its closing price on Monday (March 7).
The 145-year-old exchange had been monitoring “the effect of the evolving situation in Russia and Ukraine,” saying it is clear the nickel market in particular has been affected. The LME later said it would cancel all nickel transactions that had taken place earlier in the day.
The latest price increase has been attributed to the additional time given to China Construction Bank (OTC Pink:CICHF,SHA:601939), a big state-owned lender, to make payments on margin calls it missed on Monday. Payments have now been made.
Additionally, Bloomberg reported that Chinese tycoon Xiang Guangda — who built a large short position in nickel futures and controls the world’s largest nickel producer, Tsingshan Holding Group — is facing billions of dollars in mark-to-market losses.
Low inventories have added volatility to the market, with stocks of nickel in LME-registered warehouses standing at 75,012 tonnes, their lowest point since 2019.
“Fundamentals, though supportive of stronger prices, do not justify this frenzy,” Yao said. “It remains to be seen how this crisis ends. However, the market has long been faced with structural issues.”
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Priscila Barrera, currently hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
As the world continues its transition towards a sustainable future, Australia has the potential to become a major player in clean energy and climate projects.
Sustainability is changing the course of multiple industries, with significant impacts on the investment sector.
Sustainable investing is the future — a means by which one can diversify their portfolio while also promoting positive societal and environmental impacts. This is arguably most evident in the energy and carbon markets.
"We're really in the middle of a low-carbon transition right now," said Adeline Aw, vice president of environmental sustainability at Singapore's Economic Development Board, according to a recent McKinsey podcast. "What's really important is to help finance and bring to life projects that can help us remove and to avoid carbon emissions."
The global push for sustainability
In 2018, scientists published a study in the peer-reviewed Earth System Dynamics, a scientific journal focused on climate change, geology and atmospheric science. According to that study, the world was fast approaching the point of no return for reversing global warming. Another report was published later that same year by the UN International Panel on Climate Change.
The second report has been the source of much confusion on the sustainability front. Many have grimly noted that it establishes 2030 as the point at which climate change is irreversible. What it actually says is that we need to significantly lower carbon emissions by that point — otherwise, we may be unable to stabilize the planet's warming.
This does not make the need for climate action any less urgent, nor does it undermine the importance of decarbonisation. It simply establishes a critical milestone for climate initiatives. That milestone has served as the bedrock for multiple countries as they lay out their environmental goals in both the short and long term.
Australia occupies a unique niche in that with respect to decarbonizing efforts. Although it was only responsible for roughly 1 percent of global carbon emissions in 2020, Australia is home to over 10 percent of the world's species. It’s also home to Daintree, the world's oldest known rainforest. Protecting the country's unique ecosystem, especially its forests, will be critical in the fight against climate change.
Australia has made great progress in this regard, and the country is currently on track to exceed its initial 2030 target for emissions reduction by up to 9 percent.
A closer look at Australia's climate change strategies
Australia has adopted what it refers to as a technology-led approach to emissions reduction. The country's Technology Investment Roadmap is foundational to this strategy, establishing a clear process for identifying, developing and deploying sustainable technology. Australia's investments are not solely domestic in nature either.
The country has also established low-emissions technology partnerships with several key global players, including South Korea, the UK, Germany, Japan and Singapore.
Australia has also established the Emissions Reduction Fund, the Safeguarding Crediting Mechanism and Climate Active initiative to incentivise decarbonisation and sustainability in both business and industry. Finally, it has defined comprehensive systems for emissions monitoring, reporting and accountability.
As some have noted, Australia could go even further than carbon neutrality with technology that already exists. It could achieve net-negative carbon, removing more carbon from the atmosphere than it creates. To that end, researchers at the Australian National University have created the ANU Below Zero Initiative, which sets the deadline for net-zero carbon emissions in 2025.
A net-negative approach to a sustainable future
Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) is one of the companies currently leading Australia's transition towards net-negative emissions.
Its flagship project, the Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub (TECH), will produce nickel through a proprietary process that requires no tailings dams and discharges no liquids. TECH will also leverage waste mine gas from the Bowen Basin in its production process, helping offset a major contributor to Australian emissions. Finally, the company is exploring productive uses for the residue created from nickel production, primarily silica.
Recognized as a prescribed project by the Queensland government, the TECH project is expected to reduce net emissions by 14.9 kilograms of carbon dioxide (CO2) equivalent for every kilogram of nickel produced, a total reduction of 238,000 tonnes annually. The independent sustainability consultant Minviro undertook these CO2 emissions calculations in an ISO-compliant lifecycle assessment.
Australian Mines (ASX:AUZ) is another major player in the pursuit of Australia's net-zero goals.
The Sconi project, situated just 220 kilometres northwest of Townsville, aims to deliver the most sustainable, carbon-neutral-certified nickel and cobalt in the world. Australian Mines has placed its focus on developing an end-to-end production chain, including a 2 million tonne per annum ore processing plant. Expected to begin production in 2024, Sconi has a projected lifespan of over 30 years and will primarily supply materials to LG Energy Solution (KRX:373220).
As with TECH, Sconi has been identified by the Queensland government as a prescribed project.
Australia's second largest independent producer of oil and gas, Santos (ASX:STO) operates a carbon capture and storage (CCS) project known as Moomba, alongside partner Beach Energy (ASX:BPT). Developed to capture carbon produced by the nearby Moomba gas plant, the project will, upon completion, reduce Southern Australia's annual emissions by more than 7 percent. Captured carbon will be injected into depleted gas reservoirs via pipeline and is part of a plan to develop longer-term CCS capabilities in the region.
Finally, Anglo-Swiss mining and commodity company Glencore (LSE:GLEN) is currently developing its carbon transport and storage company project, which will capture emissions from a coal-fired power plant for storage in Queensland's Surat Basin. Speaking to Reuters, a Glencore spokesperson noted that if proven sustainable, the basin could hold "very sizable" volumes of carbon.
There are many carbon-focused projects in Australia across multiple industries and sectors, which together have the potential to greatly reduce the country's carbon emissions, while also providing compelling opportunities for sustainable investment.
This INNSpired article is sponsored by Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM). This INNSpired article provides information which was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Queensland Pacific Metals in order to help investors learn more about the company. Queensland Pacific Metals 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 Queensland Pacific Metals and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.
Indonesia, the Philippines and Russia were the top nickel-producing countries in 2021. Interested in nickel investing? Find out which other nations made the list.
As the electric vehicle (EV) industry continues to boom, the future of nickel looks bright in the coming years, and activity in the world’s top nickel-producing countries could increase.
With demand for the commodity continuing to grow, companies and countries alike have been eager to jump on the production bandwagon.
Having said that, it’s worth keeping the top nickel-producing countries in mind. Here the Investing News Network presents the top nickel-producing countries of 2021, based on the latest data from the US Geological Survey.
Don’t forget to follow us @INN_Resource for real-time news updates!
Securities Disclosure: I, Melissa Pistilli, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
Developing a Sustainable and High-Purity Battery Materials Refinery Project
The rapid growth of the electric vehicle (EV) industry has created a strong demand for battery materials. The expected demand has been intensified by efforts from various governments to support decarbonization goals. A key element of the EV industry is nickel, which is a base metal that is mainly used in stainless steel. The nickel industry’s environmental, social and governance (ESG) credentials have recently received considerable attention as well.
Still, the most pressing issues facing the nickel industry relate to the environment –– specifically carbon emissions and environmental footprint. Even though nickel supports the EV industry and thus the green economy, current production comes largely from Indonesia. The country is the largest producer of nickel and it does not have a net-zero plan by 2050. New High Pressure Acid Leach projects being constructed in Indonesia will also require tailings dams and effluent disposal, which will leave a significant environmental footprint. As a result, companies with prospective nickel and battery material projects with strong sustainability credentials may present an exciting opportunity for investors.
Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) is a company focused on developing its sustainable and high-purity battery materials refinery project in Townsville, Northern Queensland. The company’s fully-owned flagship Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub “TECH” project will be a modern and sustainable producer of critical metals for the lithium-ion battery and electric vehicle sector.
“We believe that the TECH Project can be a global leader in sustainable battery metal production, with our net-negative carbon emissions, zero liquids discharge and no requirement for a tailings dam. Methane emissions from coal mining in the Bowen Basin is one of Australia’s biggest contributors to carbon emissions. By working with our partners to capture the waste gas and utilise it at the TECH Project, we simultaneously reduce carbon emissions, whilst producing critical battery metals to enable the electrification of the automobile industry,” said Managing Director Dr Stephen Grocott in an interview with INN.
The company’s TECH project will process high-grade ore imported from New Caledonia to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate, high purity alumina and other by-products –– maximising the value of the underlying metals in the ore. In November 2021, an ISO-compliant Life Cycle Assessment was completed by Minviro Ltd. The assessment highlights the TECH Project as not only net-zero carbon but significantly net Carbon Negative. The Life Cycle Assessment calculated that in steady state operation, the TECH Project will reduce carbon emissions by 238,000 tonnes per annum, the equivalent of 52,000 typical
Queensland Pacific Metals is committed to environmentally sustainable production. The company has entered into an MOU signed with Transition Energy Corp. to commission the supply of waste gas that will be used to fuel the TECH project. The company has also entered into an MOU with North Queensland Gas Pipelines for the transport of the fuel.
In June 2021, Queensland Pacific Metals formed strategic partnerships with LG Energy Solution and POSCO to significantly advance its project. LG is the world’s largest battery manufacturer and this partnership represented their first investment in their nickel supply chain. POSCO is one of Korea’s biggest conglomerates and one of the largest steel producers in the world that is seeking to diversify its assets. POSCO recently purchased 30 percent of a significant nickel project from First Quantum Minerals Ltd. (TSE:FM) called Ravensthorpe. The partnership involved an equity investment of US$15M by LG and POSCO in Queensland Pacific Metals, resulting in the companies becoming shareholders with respective ownership interests of 6.4 percent and 2.8 percent. As part of the partnership, the company also entered into a binding offtake agreement with LG and POSCO for almost two thirds of its nickel and cobalt production.
The company’s 290-hectare TECH project is strategically positioned 40 kilometers south of Townsville in the Lansdown eco-industrial precinct. The precinct is anticipated to become Northern Australia’s first environmentally-sustainable advanced manufacturing, processing and technology hub. Ore will be imported from New Caledonia, unloaded at the Port of Townsville and transported by road to Lansdown. QPM products will then be transported back to the Port for export to global customers.
Queensland Pacific Metals’ TECH project is well supported by all levels of government. At a State level, the TECH Project has been awarded Prescribed Project status by the Queensland Government, making it a project of state significance.
QPM is currently completing a Definitive Feasibility Study for the TECH Project, which is expected to be completed mid 2022. Subject to financing and approvals, construction could start later this year with first production in 2024.
- Queensland Pacific Metals (ASX:QPM) is developing its sustainable and high-purity battery materials refinery project in Townsville, Northern Queensland.
- The company’s fully-owned flagship Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub “TECH” project will produce critical battery metals, including nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate, high purity alumina and other by-products.
- Queensland Pacific Metals’ TECH project has a minimal environmental footprint with zero liquids discharge and no requirement for a tailings dam. The project will also be net carbon-negative according to an ISO-compliant life cycle assessment.
- The company has strategic partnerships in place with LG Energy Solution and POSCO with each party obtaining shareholder status in Queensland Pacific Metals and having signed binding offtake agreements for nickel and cobalt.
- Queensland Pacific Metal’s TECH project is strategically positioned in the Lansdown eco-industrial precinct that is anticipated to become Northern Australia’s first environmentally-sustainable advanced manufacturing, processing and technology hub.
Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub “TECH” Project
The Townsville Energy Chemicals Hub “TECH” project is located in the Lansdown eco-industrial precinct in Northern Queensland. The 290-hectare project has access to skilled labor, engineering services and infrastructure including port, rail, water pipeline, gas pipeline, electric transmission, fiber optic communications and solar arrays.
The company’s TECH project will process high-grade ore imported from New Caledonia to produce nickel sulfate, cobalt sulfate, high purity alumina and other by-products –– ultimately resulting in almost zero-waste products for the first time in the world. New Caledonia hosts many ore supply partners with long-established mining operations. The ore would be transported by road or rail and unloaded at the Port of Townsville. The TECH project proposes to use a patented technology called DNi Process™ to process the ore in a processing plant.
Dr. Stephen Grocott - Managing Director and CEO
Dr. Stephen Grocott is an accomplished executive in the mining and mineral processing sector with nearly 40 years of international experience. Dr. Grocott was the chief technical development officer at Clean TeQ Holdings Limited in which he was accountable for all technical and process development. He also supported technical marketing, due diligence and project funding for the A$2B Sunrise Ni-Co-Sc Project in NSW. Dr. Grocott’s exposure to EV and battery producers combined with his world-class expertise in process and development for minerals processing and battery chemicals will underpin the progress of the company
Duane Woodbury - Chief Financial Officer
Duane Woodbury has more than 25 years of experience in listed equity markets. His experience includes involvement with many organizations in Australia and overseas. Woodbury has worked with Macquarie Bank. He has also worked with Kingsgate Consolidated Ltd. as CFO. His most recent role was CFO at Metro Mining Ltd. where he successfully procured all funding required to construct the Bauxite Hills mine. At Metro Mining Ltd., he also secured a loan from Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) to fund expansion initiatives. During his career, Woodbury has managed large debt and equity raisings for development and operating companies primarily in the resources sector.
Barry Sanders - Project Director
Mr Sanders has over 30 years’ experience, including 20+ years in leadership and strategy roles involving the delivery of complex industrial, power, mining and oil & gas projects throughout the Asia Pacific region. Barry is highly regarded by industry and peers for exemplary leadership across construction, commissioning and project delivery with roles at GE, John Holland, Thiess, Jacobs and Clough.
Corinne Bufnoir - General Manager New Caledonia
Mrs. Bufnoir is a geologist engineer with 20+ years’ experience in the nickel industry. Corinne has had a public-private career in areas related to strategy and resource management in lateritic nickel mining operations and has strong New Caledonian relationships and ore supply chain operating experience. Corinne's most recent role was mining counsellor to President of the New Caledonia Government. Corinne has worked for a range of New Caledonian and international organisations including country manager for Transamine Trading SA and Queensland Nickel Pty Ltd. Previously, she held senior roles with the New Caledonian Department of Industry, Mines & Energy and Goro Nickel New Caledonia
Cyprium Metals Limited (ASX: CYM) (“Cyprium” or the “Company”) is pleased to announce further assay results from 28 RC holes (for 7,504m) of the Nifty West drilling program. The drilling programme targeted a lightly drilled area, up-plunge of the former underground mine in the keel area of the Nifty Syncline, below the western end of the Nifty open pit (refer to Figure 1).
- Assay results have been received from a further 28 RC holes drilled at Nifty West, targeting lightly tested areas of copper mineralisation below the former Nifty open pit.
- Confirms continuation of significant copper mineralisation in the keel zone to the west at 80- 100m thick, enhancing a potential large-scale open pit development.
- Significant results include:
Hole 21NRWP018 - 86m @0.57% Cu downhole zone of copper mineralisation including:
- 8m at 0.49% Cu from 170m including:
- 1m at 1.09% Cu from 176m, and
- 9m at 0.81% Cu from 181m including:
- 2m at 1.23% Cu from 182m & 2m at 1.05% Cu from 187m, and
- 18m at 0.96% Cu from 196m including:
- 1m at 2.03% Cu from 197m & 3m at 1.85% Cu from 202m & 1m at 1.36% Cu
from 207m & 2m at 1.29% Cu from 209m, and
- 10m at 0.76% Cu from 215m including:
- 1m at 1.00% Cu from 217m & 1m at 1.41% Cu from 223m, and
- 3m at 1.09% Cu from 226m including:
- 1m at 1.62% Cu from 226m, and
- 12m at 0.52% Cu from 244m including:
- 1m at 2.21% Cu from 245m
Hole 21NRWP020 - 97m @0.47% Cu downhole zone of copper mineralisation including:
- 7m at 0.58% Cu from 153m including:
- 1m at 1.02% Cu from 156m, and
- 5m at 0.60% Cu from 169m including:
- 1m at 1.12% Cu from 170m, and
- 6m at 0.91% Cu from 179m including:
- 3m at 1.30% Cu from 180m, and
- 5m at 0.54% Cu from 187m including:
- 1m at 1.02% Cu from 190m, and
- 15m at 0.70% Cu from 201m including:
- 2m at 1.49% Cu from 207m & 1m at 1.19% Cu from 215m, and
- 4m at 0.75% Cu from 222m including:
- 1m at 1.78% Cu from 223m, and
- 7m at 1.90% Cu from 235m including:
Managing Director Barry Cahill commented:
“We have been very pleased with the drilling results received to date. These assay results continue to confirm the presence of a substantial zone of copper mineralisation which is up-plunge of the former underground mine. We continue to be excited about the receipt of the results of balance of the outstanding assays. It is not often that you have the privilege of getting these widths of mineralisation beneath an existing shallow open pit. The assays will be included in an updated mineral resource estimate that we look forward to releasing during the first half of this year.”
This article includes content from Cyprium Metals, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.
Drill Assays From San Finx Sn-W Mine Confirm Significant Extensions of The High-Grade Vein Mineralisation
Rafaella Resources Limited (ASX:RFR) (‘Rafaella’ or the ‘Company’) is pleased to announce that assay results from three exploration diamond drillholes (‘DDH’) drilled, but never assayed, in 2015 by Valoriza Minería S.L.U. (‘Valoriza’) returned high tin grades from cassiterite mineralisation. These results will be included for the ongoing 3D geological model of the vein system and for a maiden JORC compliant Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its 100% owned San Finx tin and tungsten mine1 (“San Finx”).
- Drillhole 15DDPN01 (PN01) was in the NE extreme of the main UG development of Pozo Nuevo zone, and it returned:
- 2.23% Sn over 1.50m, from 84.25m and
- 1.12% Sn over 1.10m, from 174.90m.
- Drillhole 15DDPN02 (PN02) tested depth extensions in the central part of Pozo Nuevo zone and intersected:
- 2.12% Sn over 1.60m, from 287.50m, undercutting level 8 of the UG development, proving continuity of the vein system and good grades at depth.
- Drillhole 15DDPN03 (PN03) was in the SW extreme of the main UG development of Pozo Nuevo zone, and it intersected:
- 0.73% WO3 over 1.00m from 244.90m,
- 0.55% Sn over 2.00m from 374.80 and
- 0.61% Sn over 1.00m from 436.40m.
- Cu assay returned an average grade of 0.30% Cu within the 0.25% Sn and W cut-off intervals, suggesting that the mine could generate copper concentrate by-product credits.
- San Finx was producing a clean concentrate of both tin and tungsten as recently as 2017.
Managing Director Steven Turner said: “These results confirm the exceptional grades of both tin and tungsten that are characteristic of this mine and underpin the attractiveness of restarting operations as soon as possible. San Finx is a historically producing mine with simple metallurgy and a track record of selling high-grade clean concentrates under contract. Work is continuing with the JORC compliant mineral resource estimate, and these results will be incorporated into that study. The Board looks forward to updating the market with the final report in Q3 2022.”
Assay results from 3 deep DDH, drilled by previous owners
Rafaella Resources has received assay data from the three DDH re-coded as 15DDPN01 (PN01), 15DDPN02 (PN02) and 15DDPN03 (PN03) which were drilled by Valoriza with the objective of expanding resources at depth for the underground operation. Figure 1 shows the location of the drillholes and of the underground development projections.
Figure 1. San Finx Sn-W deposit showing the mineralized zones at surface and the projection of the underground development for the zones of Buenaventura and Pozo Nuevo. Collar and projection of DDH PN01, PN02 and PN03.
Table 1 is showing drillhole coordinates, depth and downhole survey.
A total of 71 samples from the 3 DDH, including QA/QC (blanks, standards and duplicates from both, pulps, and coarse rejects) were submitted to ALS preparation laboratory in Seville.
All intercepts above 0.25% cut-off (combined Sn + WO3) have been calculated, as shown in table 2. True thickness factor has been applied according to the angles measured directly from core.
Cu assay returned an average grade of 0.30% Cu within the 0.25% Sn+WO3 cut-off intervals, suggesting that the mine could generate credits from a by-product sulphide concentrate.
The mineralised veins intersected generally correspond with the NE system, showing high core angles, Corrections ranging between 0.50 and 0.95 have been applied for the true thickness factor. Note that for the shallower mineralised veins intersected by DDH 15DDPN01, drilled in the NE extreme of the Pozo Nuevo Zone and that corresponds with the NNE trending Campelo-Silva vein system, the true thickness factor applied was much higher due to the low angle that such veins have been intersected.
This article includes content from Rafaella Resources Limited, licensed for the purpose of publishing on Investing News Australia. This article does not constitute financial product advice. It is your responsibility to perform proper due diligence before acting upon any information provided here. Please refer to our full disclaimer here.
General Manager Matt Herbert described Ontario as an “undiscovered gem,” and spoke about the company’s work on its lithium projects in the province.
After making its ASX debut this past November, Green Technology Metals (ASX:GT1) has been hard at work in Ontario, Canada, where it holds three projects covering 35,000 hectares.
Speaking to the Investing News Network at the Prospectors & Developers Association of Canada (PDAC) convention, General Manager Matt Herbert described the province as an “undiscovered gem” with the potential to contribute to the lithium supply chain in an environmentally conscious manner.
“I think the opportunity there is to create some very, very green lithium,” he said.
“At the moment, a lot of lithium is mined in Western Australia, (then) shipped to China for processing; from China it goes to European battery markets. I think by the time that lithium arrives where it’s supposed to arrive it’s left itself a bit of a carbon footprint,” Herbert explained during the conversation. “We have a real opportunity here to leverage low-carbon lithium in a place that is really screaming for security.”
Green Technology Metals has already seen support from members of the Ontario government, including recently re-elected Premier Doug Ford, and Greg Rickford, who is the province’s minister of northern development, mines, natural resources and forestry, as well as its minister of indigenous affairs.
“Both are massive supporters of critical minerals,” said Herbert. “Those things are important when you’re at the permitting and approval stage, and that’s exactly where we’re at. We’re able to leverage those relationships really well, and there’s just no better place to be at the moment.”
Watch the interview above for more from Herbert on Green Technology Metals and its plans for the next six months. You can also click here for our recap of PDAC, and here for our full PDAC playlist on YouTube.
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Securities Disclosure: I, Charlotte McLeod, hold no direct investment interest in any company mentioned in this article.
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Housing the world’s largest deposits of lithium, Chile’s unique geological landscape and climate make it ideal for lithium brine extraction
As the world continues on the path towards a future dominated by clean energy, lithium’s importance only continues to grow. Demand for the battery metal has already reached an all-time high, increasing by 400 percent in 2021. What’s more, there is every indication that this growth will continue in 2022, with prices increasing by 126 percent in just the first quarter.
Currently, Australia and Chile are the two leading producers of lithium, respectively accounting for 46.3 percent and 23.9 percent of worldwide production. Both countries are jurisdictionally inclined to support the mining sector. However, Chile’s potential could one day see it outstrip even Australia where investment is concerned.
Housing the world’s largest deposits of lithium, Chile’s unique geological landscape and climate makes it ideal for lithium brine extraction. The country thus has a pivotal role to play in meeting demand and establishing a stable global supply chain.
A critical component of sustainability
Climate change is an undeniable problem, one which requires a collaborative effort to address. It is for this reason that governments around the world have all agreed to pursue full climate neutrality by 2050. Because combustion engines represent an inordinate percentage of greenhouse gas emissions, replacing them with electric vehicles (EV) is essential if any nation is to achieve their sustainability goals.
Given its cross-sector industrial importance, the battery metal was already in high demand.
The large-scale manufacturing of electric vehicles has caused this demand to increase exponentially. As multiple automotive manufacturers construct gigafactories to ramp up EV distribution, the need for lithium is growing well beyond our current production capacity.
Investors and mining companies can benefit by turning to jurisdictions like Chile to ramp up supply. The world’s migration towards a sustainable future simply cannot occur without lithium.
Lithium: Australia versus Chile
Although Australia houses impressive lithium reserves, the majority of the country’s stores occur in hard rock deposits. Mining these deposits is relatively inexpensive, but hard rock lithium operations also tend to have narrow margins compared to other methods. In particular, lithium brine extraction offers higher yields, greater efficiency and a lower overall environmental impact.
Currently, the largest lithium producer in Australia is Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS,OTC Pink:PILBF). Its flagship project, the Pilgangoora operation, is situated atop one of the world’s largest hard rock lithium deposits. It also jointly owns a pegmatite lithium project with Atlas Iron (ASX:AGO), the Mt Francisco project.
Geography represents Chile’s first major advantage over other jurisdictions. Alongside Bolivia and Argentina, Chile lays claim to a geographic region known as the Lithium Triangle. Located in the Andes in South America, it contains an estimated 68 percent of the world’s identified lithium resources.
The Lithium Triangle is home to a series of vast salt flats, beneath which sit incredibly lithium-rich brine pools. More promising still is the climate of the region, which is known for being incredibly hot and dry. This represents a considerable boon for extraction operations, which typically rely on evaporative processes.
A powerful investment opportunity
Chile’s mining sector has leveraged its arid geography to great effect. The country’s Salar de Atacama salt flat is the largest-producing brine deposit in the world. It is also home to several major lithium brine operations.
One of these is owned and operated by Albemarle (NYSE:ALB). Currently the largest business provider of lithium for electric vehicle batteries, Albemarle also operates a lithium carbonate plant at La Negra. According to an Albemarle spokesperson, the company has a long history in Chile backed by a unique contract.
SQM (NYSE:SQM) operates another major lithium brine operation in the salt flat. As the world’s largest lithium producer overall, the company recently announced plans to reduce brine extraction in the region by 50 percent by 2030. This announcement came in tandem with a commitment to reduce water usage across all its operations by 40 percent.
Finally, just south of Salar de Atacama is situated the highest-quality lithium pre-production project in Chile. Maricunga is jointly owned by Lithium Power International (ASX:LPI), Minera Salar Blanco and Li3 Energy. Situated just 250 kilometers from Chile’s coast, and 170 kilometers from the mining town of Copiapo, it’s said to possess characteristics directly comparable to Atacama. Maricunga is also adjacent to Highway 31, which connects Northern Chile to Argentina.
The most significant challenge to Chile’s growth, from an investment perspective, is sociopolitical. Although the country has a history of being relatively friendly towards the mining sector, its current government is exploring new legislation that could nationalize both copper and lithium. A new mining royalty bill is also in the works, which could increase tax rates by up to 80 percent.
It’s worth noting that not every investor considers the current political climate to be a risk. South32 (ASX:S32), a spinoff of BHP (ASX:BHP), recently invested US$1.55 billion to purchase a 45 percent stake in the Sierra Gorda copper mine, and a lithium auction held by Chile earlier this year saw Chinese manufacturing company BYD acquire extraction rights for 80,000 metric tons of lithium.
Chile is home to the largest, richest and most valuable lithium deposits in the world. For many investors, the high margins and low cost of lithium extraction in Chile more than make up for the potential of a few political speed bumps.
This INNSpired article is sponsored by Lithium Power International (ASX:LPI). This INNSpired article provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Lithium Power International in order to help investors learn more about the company. Lithium Power International 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 Lithium Power International and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.