Graphite Metallurgical Test Work Progress Update
Comet Resources

Comet Resources Ltd (Comet or the Company) (ASX:CRL) is pleased provide an update on ongoing test work on natural flake graphite from its Springdale Graphite Project (Springdale) located in Western Australia. Both excellent grade and recoveries were achieved on initial tests, leading to commencement of work earlier this year to produce a concentrate bulk sample for further testing. The production of the concentrate material was completed inJune in a lab in Perth, Western Australia, and was subsequently air-freighted to a specialist testing provider in Germany. That material has now arrived, been dried, and prepared for testing, with testing works now commenced. In addition to the tests being performed by the specialist lab for Comet, a sample of the concentrate material has also been provided to a third-party producer of natural flake graphite products for battery anodes for their own evaluation.


Highlights:

•Production of the bulk sample of Springdale graphite concentrate was completed on time in Q2, 2021

• Concentrate has now arrived at specialist facility in Germany and test work has commenced to assess amenability to produce battery anode material suitable for use in EVs

• Sample concentrate material has also been provided to a third-party producer of anode material for their test work

• Final results from this test work are expected within the current quarter

• Natural Flake Graphite included in EU Critical raw materials list


The specialist lab in Germany will assess, among other properties, the performance of the graphite during purification, micronisation and spheronisation. These are the key steps for the processing of natural graphite products for electric vehicle (EV) battery anode markets. Comet's German lab partners will simulate these to test Springdale's product suitability to meet industry standards in these areas. Graphite suitable for battery anode production also achieves premium pricing in graphite markets, making it a highly sought after product.

The inclusion of natural flake graphite on the European Union (EU) list of critical raw materials highlights the importance of these products as part of the push to reduce global carbon emissions. Comet's Springdale Project in WA, a stable tier one mining jurisdiction, is strategically well placed to provide such products.

Comet Managing Director, Matthew O'Kane, commented, "We now have material for testing in Germany, both for ourselves and a third-party producer of anode material. The results of these test work programs will determine the suitability of Comet's natural flake graphite from the high grade zone at Springdale for use in the manufacture of battery anodes for electric vehicles. With the continued push towards an electrified transport network, demand for these graphite products is expected to continue to grow."


Click here for the full ASX release.

Featured
Global News
stones balancing with three smaller ones on one side and one larger one on the other

Experts believe the positive long-term outlook for electric vehicles means lithium demand’s breather could just be temporary.

Lithium prices climbed over 400 percent last year, with other key battery raw materials such as cobalt and nickel also seeing prices rally as demand from the electric vehicle (EV) industry picked up pace.

But by the end of the first quarter, prices started to stabilize as demand took a breather, particularly in China, where the government has imposed lockdown measures to contain a new wave of COVID-19.

“We expect lithium and cobalt prices to peak this year, from dented but still strong demand and supply chain challenges,” Alice Yu of S&P Global Market Intelligence said at a recent webinar.

read more Show less

Comet Resources

Active Company
Comet Resources

Working to develop resource projects including gold, copper and graphite.

Battery Commodities for the Low-Carbon Revolution



Overview

Comet Resources' flagship Barraba copper project encompasses 2,375 hectares across project license EL8492 near the town of Barraba, 550 kilometers north of Sydney. Comet Resources finalized the acquisition of the Barraba copper project in April 2020. Under the updated terms of the acquisition, Comet Resources is expected to pay AU$150,000 in cash for the project, in addition to AU$200,000 in shares at $0.01 per share. Following the closing of the agreement, the company announced it had successfully closed a private placement of AU$650,000 at $0.01 per share.

The Barraba copper project sits along the Peel Fault line and encompasses the historic Gulf Creek and Murchison copper mines. The project area is known to contain volcanogenic massive sulfide-style mineralization, with historical workings at the Gulf Creek mine producing high-grade copper and zinc briefly during the turn of the 19th century.

In October 2020, Comet Resources gained access to officially begin exploring the Barraba copper project. The agreement finalised a significant portion of freehold land in the EL8492 region of the project, while accessible land includes the historical, high grade Murchison Copper Mine.

The Murchison Copper Mine is a volcanogenic massive sulphide deposit that has produced previously copper at 3 percent average grade from surface with historical assays returning grades of over 5 percent copper.

In addition to its flagship Barraba project, Comet Resources has also committed to a binding Heads of Agreement for the acquisition of the high-grade Santa Teresa gold project in Baja California, Mexico. The Santa Teresa project is located in the El Alamo district, which is home to historical production of between 100,000 and 200,000 ounces of gold. The property comprises two mineral claims totaling 202 hectares, with minimal exploration conducted on the property. Santa Teresa hosts a non-JORC2 inferred mineral resource estimate of 64,000 ounces of gold grading at 8.7 g/t gold which was reported at a 4 g/t cutoff.

Comet Resources is also developing the Springdale graphite project in Western Australia, which is located 30 kilometers east of Hopetoun. According to the Fraser Institute, Western Australia ranks as the second most attractive jurisdiction for mining investment.

Company Highlights

  • Acquisition of the Barraba copper project offers the opportunity for further exposure to the battery metals industry, as well as adding the base metals sector
  • Historical workings of the Gulf Creek copper mine returned multiple lodes grading between two and six percent copper (average 5 percent) combined with zinc grades historically higher than copper grades
  • Comet raised AU$500,000 to fund exploration on Barraba according to the project's final acquisition terms
  • Gained access in October 2020 to begin exploring the Barraba copper project, which includes the historical, high grade Murchison Copper Mine
  • Acquisition of the Santa Teresa gold property provides exposure to the precious metals market, with a non-JORC2 inferred mineral resource of 64,000 ounces of gold grading at 8.7 g/t gold
  • Santa Teresa gold project is located in the El Alamo district, home to between 100,000 and 200,000 ounces of historical gold production
  • 100-percent-owned high-grade Springdale graphite project is located on freehold land with access to grid power, piped gas and sealed roads directly to the nearest port
  • Springdale project is located in Western Australia, the Fraser Institute's second-ranked mining jurisdiction in the world for 2018
  • The highest-grade intersection at Springdale returned 3.23 meters at 51.02 percent total graphitic carbon (TGC) from 35.27 meters within 42.5 meters at 17.02 percent TGC from 20 meters
  • Directors and founders hold approximately 18.3 percent of currently outstanding shares, reflecting the company's belief in the success of its projects

Key Projects

Barraba Copper Project

In April 2020 Comet Resources completed the acquisition of the Barraba copper project, a new copper exploration property in New South Wales, Australia. The exploration license covers 2,375 hectares near the town of Barraba, approximately 550 kilometers north of Sydney. The property sits along the Peel Fault line and encompasses the historic Gulf Creek and Murchison copper mines. Historical workings at Gulf Creek produced high-grade copper and zinc at the turn of the 19th century, including grades between 2-6 percent copper to a depth of 150 meters.

Under the terms of the finalized acquisition, Comet Resources has a conditional right to acquire an 80 percent interest for consideration of AU$150,000 cash, AU$200,000 in shares and a commitment to complete a minimum drilling and exploration program within 18 months of the date of settlement. The minimum exploration commitment entails AU$600,000 spent with a minimum of 1,250 meters of RC or diamond drilling. Comet also has the option to purchase the remaining 20 percent interest in the first 36 months for $2.5 million. The company was also required to raise a minimum of AU$500,00 to fund future exploration, a condition that was satisfied by the recent AU$650,000 placement.

In October 2020, the company was granted access to begin exploring the Barbarra Copper project, with the initial exploration program having begun in November at the Murchison Copper mine region and a few IP anomalies north of the Gulf Creek Mine.

The Murchison Copper Mine is a volcanogenic sulphide deposit that has a history of producing copper at 3 percent average grade from the surface, while historical assays have returned grades of more than 5 percent copper.

Regional Geology of the Barraba Project

Comet Resources believes that the acquisition of the Barraba property has the potential to serve the global electric vehicle revolution, which is projected to rely on copper for electrical infrastructure. According to the CRU Group, the copper market could see a deficit in the long term, partially due to the growing demand caused by electric vehicles. "Certainly by the mid-2020s, and even slightly before, you're starting to see some sizable deficits in the market," said CRU Principal Analyst Robert Edwards.

The Barraba copper project is seen as a complement to the company's existing graphite project, as both elements can be found in electric vehicles and their related infrastructure. "It is an exciting opportunity for Comet to be able to acquire the Barraba Project as it is in a prospective location and hosts a number of drill-ready targets. We will be working hard to be in a position to test the project's prospectivity as soon as possible after completion," said Matthew O'Kane, managing director of Comet Resources.

Comet Resources' Santa Teresa Gold Project

In June 2020 Comet Resources announced a binding heads of agreement (HOA) with El Alamo Resources Limited for the proposed acquisition of the Santa Teresa gold project located in Baja California, Mexico. Immediately following the signing of the agreement, Comet Resources announced a concurrent non-binding term sheet with Raptor Capital International Limited for gold streaming and royalty financing in order to fund activities at Santa Teresa for up to US$20 million, with an initial minimum investment of US$6 million.

The Santa Teresa project is located in the El Alamo district, which is home to historical production of between 100,000 and 200,000 ounces of gold. The property comprises two mineral claims totaling 202 hectares.

The Santa Teresa gold project hosts an existing non-JORC2 inferred mineral resource estimate of 64,000 ounces of gold grading 8.7 g/t gold which was reported at a 4 g/t cut-off. Individual assays were capped at 20 g/t. Comet Resources believes the under-explored nature of the property indicates potential moving forward, with 32 modern drill holes returning a number of high-grade intersections, including:

  • 2m @ 32.4g/t gold from 19m
  • 1m @ 958.4g/t gold from 239m
  • 5m @ 38g/t gold from 174m
  • 9m @ 39g/t gold from 121m
  • 3m @ 19.9g/t gold from 214m
  • 1m @ 125.9 g/t gold from 83m
  • 1 @ 14.4g/t gold from 59m
  • 1m @ 16g/t gold from 101m

In October 2020, Comet Resources released its initial JORC compliant inferred mineral resource estimate for the Santa Teresa Gold Project, which noted 88.6koz at 7.47g/t gold. This information will be used for the company's drilling program at the project.

Limited historical exploration has also been conducted on the property, including trenching and various prospecting visits conducted by Dakota Mining Corporation, which defined 12 gold-bearing quartz vein lodes over a strike length of 500 meters. Moving forward, Comet Resources intends to focus its work at Santa Teresa on assessing its near-term production potential. The company has also proposed to acquire additional licenses within the El Alamo district, which may be financed by stream financing provided by Raptor.

Comet Resources' Springdale graphite project

Comet Resources' wholly-owned Springdale graphite project is situated on freehold land in Western Australia, with access to nearby infrastructure including grid power, piped gas and sealed roads that lead to the port at Esperance only 150 kilometers away. The Springdale project is made up of tenements (E74/562 and E74/612) within the southern margin of the Yilgarn Craton, which constitutes part of the Albany-Fraser Orogen.

map of western australia showing location of springdale graphite project

Exploration

Comet Resources first conducted a first pass aircore drilling program on the property in February 2016, which confirmed the presence of graphite in the Western zone. In September 2017 a detailed aeromagnetic survey was conducted in order to delineate 26 kilometers of stratigraphy deemed to be prospective for graphite mineralization. Less than 20 percent of the identified stratigraphy has been drill tested.

comet resources northern zone

Exploration work on the project revealed the Northern zone as a high-priority drill target. Comet Resources completed RC Drilling on the property between December 2017 and February 2018 and successfully identified high-grade graphite mineralization in the Northern zone. Follow-up metallurgical test work conducted in April 2017 proved that the graphene on the property can be produced by electrical exfoliation.

Maiden Resource

In December 2018 Comet Resources released a maiden inferred resource of 15Mt at 6.0 percent TGC including a high-grade component of 2.6mt at 17.5 percent TGC, which incorporated the Northern, Eastern and Western zones. The company has since discovered two new high-grade zones of graphite mineralization outside the existing resource. High-grade intersections at Springdale returned 3.23 meters at 51.02 percent TGC from 35.27 meters within 42.5 meters at 17.02 percent TGC from 20 meters. Results of a 2019 drilling program have confirmed that electromagnetic surveys could be used to target shallow, high-grade mineralization.

comet resources northern zone, section line 7

In 2019 the company conducted a diamond drilling program and aerial electromagnetic survey in September and October of 2019, with results pending. The company intends to conduct metallurgical test work using this material, with results expected in the first quarter of 2020. Comet Resources has engaged a specialist metallurgical team with significant graphite-specific experience to conduct the analytical and metallurgical test work for Springdale.

Select drill chips have been taken from the property to assess flake size. Flakes found on the property have reached up to 500 µm in size.

Management Team

Matthew O'Kane- Managing Director

Matthew O'Kane has over 25 years of finance experience in the mining, commodities and automotive sectors. Matthew has held senior executive roles across a range of private and public companies in Australia, USA and Asia. He also spent nine years in Asia, gaining a wealth of experience and contacts in the region over a wide range of commodities from producing companies to exploration and development plays, as well as commodities trading.

Matthew has experience in internal and external financial reporting, forecasting and analysis, long-range planning, internal control and corporate governance, and productive negotiations. Matthew O'Kane has a Bachelor of Economics and Finance, and an MBA, from the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology.

Alex Molyneux - Non-executive Director

Mr. Molyneux is an experienced metals and mining industry executive and financier. He is currently CEO of Galena Mining Limited (ASX: G1A), which just over two weeks ago announced a $90 million project equity investment from Toho Zinc of Japan, for a 40% ownership interest it's Abra Base Metals Project. Prior to Galena, Mr Molyneux completed three-years as CEO of Paladin Energy Ltd. (ASX: PDN), one of the world's largest uranium companies, where he completed a US$700M successful recapitalization including raising US$115m in new capital and a re-listing of the company on the ASX. Prior to Paladin Energy, Mr Molyneux spent approximately five-years with Ivanhoe Mines Group and Ivanhoe Energy in various leadership capacities.

Mr. Molyneux is well known for his breadth of experience in the mining industry and serves on a number of public company boards, including: Galena Mining Limited. (ASX: G1A), Argosy Minerals Ltd. (ASX: AGY), Metalla Royalty & Streaming Ltd. (TSX-V: MTA), Tempus Resources Ltd. (ASX: TMR) and Azarga Metals Corp. (TSX-V: AZR). Prior to his mining industry executive and director roles, Mr Molyneux was Managing Director, Head of Metals and Mining Investment Banking, Asia Pacific for Citigroup. As a specialist resources investment banker, he spent approximately 10-years providing investment banking services to natural resources companies. Mr Molyneux holds a Bachelor Degree in Economics from Monash University.

Hamish Halliday - Non-Executive Chairman

Mr. Halliday founded Adamus Resources Limited and grew that Company to a multi-million ounce emerging gold producer. Mr Halliday also co-founded Gryphon Minerals Limited and Venture Minerals Ltd, both highly successful junior explorers.

Mr. Halliday is a Director of Blackstone Minerals Ltd, Alicanto Minerals Ltd and Venture Minerals Ltd. He resigned from Renaissance Minerals Limited on 26 September 2016.

David Prentice - Non-executive Director

Mr. Prentice is a senior resources executive with 25 plus years domestic and international experience. David started his career working in commercial and business development roles within the resources sector working for some of Australia's most successful gold and nickel exploration and mining companies. During the last 12 years, David has gained international oil and gas exploration and production sector experience (with a specific focus on the Mid-Continent region of the United States) working in both executive and non-executive director roles with Australian publicly traded companies. David is the Managing Director of Brookside Energy Limited, Chairman of Lustrum Minerals Limited and a non-executive director of Black Mesa Production, LLC and Comet Resources Limited.

CRL:AU
federal reserve symbol
Lotus_studio / Shutterstock

"The Fed still has an enormous amount of capacity to raise interest rates without killing the economy," said Jeffrey Christian of CPM Group.

Jeffrey Christian: Fed Can Hike a Lot Further, How Gold and Silver Will Perform youtu.be

The US Federal Reserve is moving to fight inflation, and two rate hikes are in the bag so far this year.

Many market participants are skeptical about how much further the central bank can go, but Jeffrey Christian, managing partner at CPM Group, believes it can go "a lot further."

Speaking to the Investing News Network at the recent Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (VRIC), he said that rates can go much higher before real demand and borrowing start to hurt.

read more Show less
glowing arrow pointing up
Who is Danny / Shutterstock

"What we want to do is find some of those real diamonds in the rough," said Andrew O'Donnell of Market Mindset.

Andrew O'Donnell: Where to Find Diamonds in the Rough as Market Chaos Reigns youtu.be

With turmoil reigning supreme in the broad markets, where can investors find safety?

Speaking to the Investing News Network at the recent Vancouver Resource Investment Conference (VRIC), Andrew O'Donnell, founder of Market Mindset, emphasized the importance of sticking with the basics.

"There's a lot of bad news, there's a lot of chaos; there's not a lot of strong messaging as to how to get out of things," he said. "What we want to do is find some of those real diamonds in the rough — so really strong stocks with management teams that will excel even in troubling times. That's why I think it's a stock picker's market."

read more Show less
Comet Resources' Quarterly Activities Report – June 2021
Comet Resources

Comet Resources Limited (Comet or the Company) (ASX:CRL), is pleased provide the Quarterly Activities Report and Appendix 5B for the quarter ending 30 June 2021 (the Quarter). The Company proactively progressed various exploration programs across its projects and successfully completed the acquisition of a portfolio of copper-gold and base metals assets in Australia's Northern Territory. Post Quarter end, the Company provided an update regarding the status of ongoing metallurgical test work on graphite from its Springdale Graphite Project located in Western Australia.


Matthew O'Kane, Managing Director of Comet Resources, commented "It's been another busy quarter for the Company, with drilling works at Santa Teresa, graphite test work ongoing at Springdale and further M&A activities bringing in the new NT assets, and the potential acquisition of a complimentary gold project in Mexico. We will be focussing our efforts for the next quarter on continued drilling in Mexico and the graphite test work in Germany, as well as completion of the due diligence process on La Sorpresa III. We look forward to sharing the results from our exploration and metallurgical test work programs as soon as they are available."


Highlights:

• Diamond drilling program commenced at Santa Teresa Gold Project

•Executed binding HOA to acquire the La Sorpresa III licence to extend the Santa Teresa Gold Project in Baja California, Mexico

• Agreement to acquire a portfolio of copper-rich base and precious metals assets in Australia's Northern Territory now completed • Assets include: Oonagalabi Copper-Zinc Project, Paradise Well Copper-Gold Prospect and the Silver Valley Copper-Gold-Silver-Lead Prospect, which combined cover approximately 840 km1

• Oonagalabi best intersections from historical drilling include 36.6m at 1.0% copper and 1.7% zinc from 1.5m, 5m @ 1.26% copper and 1.22% zinc from 70m, 6m at 0.9% copper from 102m and 14m at 0.7% copper from 148m1

• Paradise Well rock chip samples returned up to 8.9% copper and 2.2g/t gold, Silver Valley rock chip samples returned 554 g/t silver, 20% lead, 11.9% copper and 2 g/t gold, providing exciting earlier stage exploration potential1

1 Please see the Company's ASX announcement of 19 March 2021 for full details.

Post Quarter End:

• Graphite metallurgical test work has now commenced at a specialist facility in Germany to assess amenability to produce battery anode material suitable for use in EVs


Click here for the full ASX release

Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans

Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans said, “Canada and the US are working feverishly to develop an internal battery materials supply chain and we think we're going to play a critical role in that.”

Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans: Sustainable Hardrock Lithium Opportunities in Quebec youtu.be


Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1) CEO Chris Evans joined the Investing News Network to discuss the company and its Cancet lithium project in Quebec, Canada.

"We listed on the ASX on November 30, 2021," he explained. "We're lithium focused but based in Canada, and we've been pretty successful in the last six months — our share price has done well. I think I've been putting this down to the success factors which we possess as a company, including the fact that we're into lithium at a moment with high demand. Any mining company that's associated with lithium has tended to do well.

“Our assets are in Quebec, a fantastic mining jurisdiction for all sorts of reasons. Also, being listed on the ASX — Australian investors tend to like early stage plays a bit better. They've certainly woken up to the electric vehicle and lithium revolution that's occurring in the world. And it's a pleasure having the assets in Canada.”


Next, Evans got into specifics about the company's flagship project. “The Cancet project is our flagship, in the James Bay region of Quebec. All our projects are hard-rock lithium; that's digging the rocks out of the ground and concentrating the lithium in them. Then it gets converted into the final product, which is lithium carbonate or hydroxide, that then goes into electric vehicle batteries,” he explained.

“Cancet’s had about 5,500 metres of drilling done on it historically, so we know that there's a great deposit of lithium at fantastic grades. It outcrops on the surface, the lithium-containing spodumene from the pegmatite rock, where we have 3.7 percent lithium oxide over a 17 metre interval from the surface at our most successful drill hole. We just completed 2,000 metres of drilling ourselves, increasing our knowledge of the orebody that's there, and also looking for extensions to the orebody. We've got 395 claims, and our drilling and exploration is only over about 15 of the claims. So we've got a lot further to look here and a lot more to develop.”

As for supply location, and the company's relationship with the international market, Evans said, “We think it's fantastic for us, and our shareholders, that we have assets in Quebec. Roughly 50 percent of the world's hard-rock lithium comes from Australia, where it’s mined and concentrated. The problem is that final conversion into lithium carbonate or hydroxide all occurs at the moment in China ... lithium is on the critical minerals list in Canada, the US and Australia, and Canada and the US are working feverishly to develop an internal battery materials supply chain. We think we're going to play a critical role in that.”

Elaborating on the sustainability industry that drives the battery revolution, he said, “(Nearly) all power in Quebec is generated by hydroelectricity and renewable forms of electricity. That’s very important, because the mining and concentration process for lithium products traditionally produces a large carbon footprint, because it's energy intensive. The EU, from 2024, has mandated that all batteries are labeled with the carbon footprint of all the materials that are contained within them. Then, by about 2026, there's specific targets that batteries have to meet in order to be sold in the EU. If you don't have a renewable source of energy to produce your lithium products that go into those batteries, it's going to severely restrict your markets — and that's another bonus for us being in Quebec.”

Evans said that Winsome Resources’ approach is to develop a mine itself, rather than selling or partnering. “We will approach this as if we are going to be developing the Cancet project, and producing lithium ourselves, in four or so years. And I think that'll best serve our shareholders.” With regards to other ways the company could benefit investors, Evans said, “Being listed on the ASX, and having access to a lot of capital, I think there's a great opportunity for us to acquire other projects in Canada. We're about to start our summer exploration. And we're on the lookout for a new project. So I think the good news is really to come.”

Watch the full interview of Winsome Resources CEO Chris Evans above.

Disclaimer: This interview is sponsored by Winsome Resources (ASX:WR1). This interview provides information that was sourced by the Investing News Network (INN) and approved by Winsome Resources in order to help investors learn more about the company. Winsome Resources 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 Winsome Resources and seek advice from a qualified investment advisor.

This interview may contain forward-looking statements including but not limited to comments regarding the timing and content of upcoming work programs, receipt of property titles, etc. Forward-looking statements address future events and conditions and therefore involve inherent risks and uncertainties. Actual results may differ materially from those currently anticipated in such statements. The issuer relies upon litigation protection for forward-looking statements. Investing in companies comes with uncertainties as market values can fluctuate.

WR1:AU

Where are the silver mines in Australia? You might be surprised to learn that the country is home to one of the world’s top primary silver producers.

Mining is a big part of Australia’s history, and it continues to shape the country’s economy and position in the world today. The nation is one of the world’s top producers and exporters of resources, with coal, uranium, copper and gold being some of its best-known commodities.

Australia is also a key producer of silver — it was the world’s fifth-largest producer of the metal in 2021, tied with Russia, putting out 1,300 MT. Interestingly, most of Australia's silver is produced from silver-bearing galena, but some is also produced from copper and gold mining.

Refined silver comes mainly from the Port Pirie lead smelter and refinery in South Australia, though silver is also refined at gold refineries in Perth, Kalgoorlie and Melbourne.


But where are the silver mines in Australia, exactly? While it’s interesting to know what types of deposits the precious metal is found in, many investors want to know what companies are producing silver and where their mines are located geographically. Read on to find the answers to those questions.

Where are the silver mines in Australia?

Silver has played a role in Australia since the mid-1800s — Wheal Gawler, Australia’s first metal mine, was a silver-lead mine developed in South Australia in the 1840s. And that’s not Australia’s only early silver-mining operation — the Broken Hill deposit in New South Wales and the Mount Isa deposit in Queensland are two other early Australian silver discoveries.

Broken Hill, a lead-zinc-silver deposit, was discovered in 1883 by German immigrant Charles Rasp, and the Broken Hill Proprietary Company was born in 1885; it ultimately merged in 2001 with another mining giant, Billiton, to form BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP,NYSE:BHP,LSE:BLT). BHP Billiton is no longer involved with Broken Hill, but ore is still being extracted there today. Perilya now runs the southern and northern operations.

For its part, Mount Isa was discovered in 1923 by John Campbell Miles, and like Broken Hill is still producing today. It was acquired by Glencore (LSE:GLEN) in 2013 and in addition to silver is also a producer of zinc.

These major early Australian silver discoveries are not the country’s only sources of silver. Other silver mines in Australia include Cannington, one of the world’s top primary silver producers. It’s a fly-in, fly-out mining and processing operation that is owned by South32 (ASX:S32,LSE:S32), a diversified resource company spun out from BHP Billiton in 2015. Cannington also produces lead and zinc.

Australia holds the McArthur River mine as well, which opened in 1995 and is owned by Glencore subsidiary McArthur River Mining. The mine is one of the world’s largest zinc-lead-silver mines, and is located in Australia’s Northern Territory.

Glencore’s 2021 annual report claims total silver production reached 31.519 million ounces for the year, representing a 4 percent drop from 2020. That includes 625,000 ounces from McArthur River.

The Century mine, which previously belonged to MMG (HKEX:1208), shut its doors at the end of 2015, but was a major producer of zinc (and silver) until that time. It was reopened in mid-2018 by New Century Resources (ASX:NCZ) and the company says it now has an estimated annual production capacity of 264,000 tonnes of zinc and 3 million ounces of silver.

Independence Group (ASX:IGO) also produces silver, along with copper and zinc, at its Jaguar operation in Western Australia. Gold producer Silver Lake Resources (ASX:SLR) owns some projects with silver reserves as well. As you can see, there are and have been many silver mines in Australia.

Future silver mines in Australia?

In addition to being home to a slew of large silver mines, Australia also plays host to many companies that are exploring and developing silver projects. Below are a few that have made recent progress.

Please let us know in the comments if we’ve forgotten to mention any Australia-focused silver companies. All companies listed had market caps of at least AU$5 million on May 19, 2022.

Argent Minerals (ASX:ARD) — Argent Minerals’ main asset is its 100-percent-owned Kempfield polymetallic project in New South Wales. In May 2018, the company announced an updated resource estimate for the asset — its silver equivalent contained metal now stands at an estimated 100 million silver equivalent ounces at 120 g/t silver equivalent; that’s approximately double the previous estimate.

In total the company has three projects, with all of them being in New South Wales.

Investigator Resources (ASX:IVR) — Investigator Resources is advancing silver, copper and gold deposits in South Australia. Currently its properties include the Peterlumbo/Paris silver project, the Eyre Peninsula and Stuart Shelf projects and the Northern Yorke Peninsula projects.

The total resource for Paris stands at an estimated 18.8 million tonnes at 88 g/t silver and 0.52 percent lead for 53.1 million ounces of contained silver and 97,600 tonnes of contained lead (at a cut off of 30 g/t silver). The indicated component is 12.7 million tonnes of silver (95 g/t) and represents 73 percent of the total estimated resource ounces.

Horizon Minerals (ASX:HRZ) — Horizon Minerals owns the Nimbus silver-zinc project in Western Australia. Nimbus has a high-grade silver-zinc resource estimate of 255,898 tonnes at 773 g/t silver and 13 percent zinc; the total Nimbus resource stands at 1.21 million tonnes at 52 g/t silver, 0.9 percent zinc and 0.2 g/t gold.

Silver Mines (ASX:SVL) bills itself as a leading Australian silver exploration company, and has spent a considerable amount of time acquiring Australian silver projects. Those include Malachite Resources’ (ASX:MAR) Conrad project and Kingsgate Consolidated’s (ASX:KCN) Bowdens silver project.

While the company’s main focus has been on the Webbs silver project in New South Wales, the Bowdens project represents the largest undeveloped silver project in Australia, and Silver Mines is working to get the project through the feasibility, environmental impact statement and permitting stages.

In a 2018 report, the feasibility study demonstrated an average silver production of 3.4 million tonnes per annum for the project, with 5.4 million during the first three years of operation. Estimations also included 6,900 tonnes of zinc and 5,100 tonnes of lead.

This is an updated version of an article first published by the Investing News Network in 2018.

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

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

Top News

Global News

×