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Gold-focused Metminco Dips Toes into Nickel

Metminco said it will buy private company Sunshine Metals in a scrip transaction to give it 80-percent ownership of the Jejovo nickel project in the Solomon Islands.

Australian explorer and miner Metminco (ASX:MNC) has announced plans to acquire the Jejovo nickel project in the Solomon Islands in a bid to tap into the lucrative and growing nickel market.

In a release on Wednesday (September 19), Metminco said it will buy private company Sunshine Metals in a scrip transaction to give it 80-percent ownership of Jejovo on Santa Isabel Island, as well as 80-percent ownership of the Tausere project — an early-stage bauxite project located on another island.

The balance of each project belongs to landowners.

For the projects, Metminco will pay Sunshine AU$1.5 million (minus a AU$50,000 non-refundable deposit) and 250 million shares valued at another AU$1.5 million to cover agreed debts.

The acquisition will be staged, with Metminco issuing another 250 million shares to Sunshine after it receives a JORC-compliant resource estimate for Jejovo of at least 125,000 tonnes of contained nickel metal at a 0.7 percent cut-off. A final 500 million shares will be issued after Metminco receives a mining license to proceed with the project.

Executive chairman of Metminco, Kevin Wilson, said that timing was key in the decision to acquire Jejovo, which is located on the coast and has direct shipping potential.

“The acquisition of the Jejevo nickel project, gives Metminco exposure to nickel at a time when rising battery manufacture is expected to accelerate demand for the metal. We will commence advancing Jejevo as soon as the acquisition completes.”

Metminco would be adding Jejevo to a portfolio of gold projects in Colombia, which it highlights as its focus, as well as three copper and polymetallic projects in Chile.

In order to proceed with Jejevo, Metminco must raise AU$3 million through equity capital raising and also successfully complete its due diligence.

To get to AU$3 million, Metminco said it would issue a private placement of 135 million shares at AU$0.4c to raise AU$540,000, and another AU$2,514,116 through a pro rata renounceable rights issue.

Jejevo is described by Metminco as having “attractive nickel grades” and a project that provides the company exposure to nickel prices “in a period when demand growth is expected to be driven by, in particular, the growing market for batteries to support increasing electric vehicle production.”

Previous owners of the project progressed it to an advanced stage, with 428 holes drilled by Sumitomo Metal Mining (TSE:5713) in the 70s.

“The nickel mineralization encountered in these holes are reported to have average grades ranging between 1.1 percent and 1.3 percent nickel over 5m to 7m in thickness,” said Metminco.

The company said that with its own analysis of Sumitomo’s data, it estimated Jejevo had an exploration target of approximately 10-15 million tonnes grading 1.1-1.3 percent nickel.

“Metminco intends to assess the existing data, and undertake any confirmatory studies with the aim of generating a JORC resource in 2019 to support economic studies on the deposit,” it said, adding that it would seek a mining license in the same year.

On Tuesday (September 18), nickel was valued at US$12,310 per tonne on the London Metal Exchange. While 2018 has seen the metal reach four-year highs — trading at US$15,754 in early June — nickel has seen a yearly low this month, down at US$12,200 a tonne on September 10, as trade war jitters ravage base metal values.

So far, nickel has proven the most resilient, losing only 2.9 percent of its value year-to-date — compared to zinc, which was down 32 percent year-to-date as of Monday September 17.

On the Australian Securities Exchange, Metminco was down 20 percent to AU$0.004 when share trading resumed for the company on Wednesday.

The company has also announced it would be delisting from the London Stock Exchange in October, citing high costs and low activity.

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

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

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Perth, Australia – Classic Minerals Limited has made significant progress at Kat Gap during the quarter as it strives to become a gold producer. Highlights of the quarter include: – Assay results returned for infill RC drilling testing the gap between oxide and deeper fresh rock high-grade gold mineralisation at Kat Gap. – Advancing engineering, mining and metallurgical studies at Kat Gap, and – IGO have made …

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Classic Minerals Limited (ASX:CLZ) has made significant progress at Kat Gap during the quarter as it strives to become a gold producer.

Highlights of the quarter include:

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Perth, Australia – Classic Minerals Limited is pleased to announce that, in accordance with the terms of its Earn In and Joint Venture Agreement with IGO Newsearch Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IGO Limited IGO has notified Classic of: its election to acquire a 51% interest in the Company’s Fraser Range tenements having earnt that interest by spending $1,500,000 on exploration of the Tenements; and its …

Perth, Australia (ABN Newswire) – Classic Minerals Limited (ASX:CLZ) (the Company or Classic) is pleased to announce that, in accordance with the terms of its Earn In and Joint Venture Agreement (Agreement) with IGO Newsearch Pty Ltd, a wholly-owned subsidiary of IGO Limited (ASX:IGO) (together, IGO) (CLZ announcement to ASX dated 17 June 2019 refers), IGO has notified Classic of:

(a) its election to acquire a 51% interest in the Company’s Fraser Range tenements (Tenements), having earnt that interest by spending $1,500,000 on exploration of the Tenements; and

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The mining and resources sector now sets its sights on Australia’s largest mining investment forum, Mines and Money @ IMARC, co-located with IMARC from January 31, 2022, to February 2, 2022, at the Melbourne Showgrounds.

It was gold price, lithium demand and China’s appetite for copper that dominated much of the discussion at Mines and Money Online Connect @ IMARC this week at the virtual event running from the 19th to the 21st October.

Mines and Money Online Connect saw 90 mining companies, 600+ investors and more than 2,000 participants log-on to hear mining executives and analysts discuss the next big thing for savvy investors in 2022.

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carbon emissions

Following international pressure, the Australian government has promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

In a last-minute commitment after months of debate, the Australian government has promised to reach net zero emissions by 2050, expecting to meet the goal largely through technology development.

The move comes following international pressure as Australia had previously refused to join countries in pledging to meet the target ahead of the United Nations' COP26 climate conference in Glasgow.

However, the plan unveiled on Tuesday (October 26), which includes a government investment of AU$20 billion, does not strengthen the target set for 2030, with Prime Minister Scott Morrison saying Australia is on track to beat its Paris Agreement goal, cutting emissions by 30 to 35 percent by that decade.


"We will do this the Australian way," Morrison said ahead of a press conference, announcing investments in new energy technologies like hydrogen and low-cost solar.

An Australian hydrogen industry could be worth more than AU$50 billion in 2050, according to the government. Meanwhile, expanding production and processing of metals like lithium, nickel, copper and uranium could together be worth around AU$85 billion in exports in 2050.

That said, Australia will continue to be heavily dependent on fossil fuels as the plan will not shut down coal or gas production. The country is a major coal player, with the third largest reserves in the world, but its reliance on coal-fired power makes it one of the world's largest carbon emitters per capita.

"We want our heavy industries, like mining, to stay open, remain competitive and adapt, so they remain viable for as long as global demand allows," Morrison said. "We will not support any mandate — domestic or international — to force closure of our resources or agricultural industries."

Australia's desire to achieve net zero emissions by 2050 is a step in the right direction, Prakash Sharma, Wood Mackenzie's Asia Pacific head of markets and transitions, said.

"Our analysis shows that Australia can reach net zero emissions by 2050," he said. The country's major trading partners — China, Japan and South Korea — are already in transition towards that goal.

According to Wood Mackenzie, nearly 83 percent of Australia's power generation will come from solar and wind by 2050, as compared to about 20 percent last year. Natural gas, bio energy, geothermal and small modular reactors will supply the remaining 17 percent in power output. Coal into power is expected to be phased out by 2035.

"Although the pathway requires complete transformation of its traditional energy and export sectors, there are significant opportunities to capitalise on and protect future revenues," Sharma said.

"This will require Australia to become a significant player in low-carbon hydrogen trade as well as being able to offer carbon storage and offset services."

Meanwhile, the Australian Conservation Foundation has welcomed the prime minister's commitment to reach net zero by 2050, but said the mid-century goal is only meaningful with deep cuts to climate pollution this decade.

"Unless the government sets the wheels in motion to cut our emissions in half by 2030, it is making climate change worse and turning its back on the opportunities," said Chief Executive Kelly O'Shanassy.

"Australia can become a global clean energy superpower in the next decade by replacing coal and gas with renewable energy," she added. "We have abundant clean energy, tools and talent, but we cannot delay any longer."

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.

panoramic view of sydney with the business district

There are at least five companies mining silver in New South Wales right now. Learn more about silver stocks in this key Australian state, as well as its rich history with the precious metal.

New South Wales is where silver mining began in Australia, and where the modern company known as BHP (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BHP) has roots dating back more than a century.

Silver was discovered at Broken Hill in the west of New South Wales in 1883. Two short years later, the Broken Hill Proprietary Company was floated, and from there the rest is history.

Broken Hill Proprietary, now known simply as BHP, rapidly became the largest mining company in Australia, and then the world, by diversifying, acquiring, merging and spreading its reach so that it had assets and interests on four continents — and it all began with the discovery of silver in New South Wales.


New South Wales' strong silver-mining history

BHP doesn't have silver operations in New South Wales today, but the legacy of silver continues in the state.

Australia has a reputation for being a desirable mining jurisdiction, but as an investment prospect, New South Wales is one of the country's less attractive areas, ranking fifth out of seven among its states and territories.

Globally, however, New South Wales is a safe bet, outranking Chile in mining investment attractiveness, according to the Fraser Institute's latest survey of mining companies.

There are at least five companies currently mining silver in the state, as per government data — though many of them are private. Publicly traded entities are accessible through the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX).

Overall, Australia is ranked among the top global producers of silver, sharing the title of fifth largest producer with Chile and Poland in 2020. It put out 1,300 tonnes of the precious metal that year.

It's worth noting that the amount of silver mined in Australia used to be much higher. Going back through US Geological Survey reports, the country enjoyed a spike in silver mining around the turn of the millennium, when annual production hovered around 2,000 tonnes per year. Since then, it's slowly fallen away to where it sits now.

For its part, New South Wales produced 128 tonnes of silver in the 2015/2016 financial year — a number that is fairly consistent year-on-year due to the number of operational mines located there. Within the region, silver is mined as a by-product at each operational mine, all of which are in the central part of the state.

ASX-listed silver stocks in New South Wales

As mentioned, quite a few of the companies mining silver in New South Wales are private, while others are public, but not listed on the ASX. Examples include China Molybdenum (OTC Pink:CMCLF,HKEX:3993) and Nonfemet.

Of course, public entities are busy in the state too. Read on for a look at some of the ASX-listed operators focused on silver in New South Wales. And if you're interested in jumping into the market, tools to learn how to invest on the ASX are freely available online through the ASX website — here's a little starter to make it even easier.

1. Newcrest Mining (ASX:NCM)

Market cap: AU$20.23 billion; current share price: AU$24.73

True to form, silver is produced as a by-product by the top mining company with silver operations in New South Wales — Newcrest Mining's Cadia operation is actually mainly centered on copper and gold. Even so, for the 12 months ended June 30, 2021, Cadia put out 643,000 ounces of the white metal, accounting for the vast majority of the company's overall silver production globally (945,000 ounces overall in the latest annual period).

2. Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS)

Market cap: AU$461.58 million; current share price: AU$0.21

Another company with interests mainly in copper and gold, Aeris Resources is the owner and operator of the Tritton copper operation. Silver plays so little a role in the company's profile that it doesn't list its output of the metal, but it has been hitting some silver mineralization in exploration works at Tritton over the last few months, with holes drilled at the Constellation deposit yielding results as fancy as 28.6 grams per tonne silver.

The company has also reported silver mineralization at the nearby Avoca Tank exploration project.

3. Silver Mines (ASX:SVL)

Market cap: AU$261.49 million; current share price: AU$0.21

Silver Mines is the owner of the Bowdens silver project in Central New South Wales, and the company describes it as one of Australia's largest undeveloped silver resources. The company also has interests in another two silver projects in the state: Conrad and Webbs, both located in the north.

The company's goal is to become one of Australia's preeminent silver companies.

A feasibility study for Bowdens was completed in 2018, and envisions a maiden ore reserve of 29.9 million tonnes at 69 grams per tonne silver, 0.44 percent zinc and 0.32 percent lead for a 16 year mine life initially. Since 2018, the company has fine tuned the proposed mine, and recently began a scoping study on underground mining.

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

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