Connect with us

Base Metals

Poseidon shares rally on ‘very wide’ intersection of massive nickel sulphides at Silver Swan

Special Report: Poseidon has reported its best hit so far from drilling the Silver Swan Channel, with one intersection showing … Read More
The post Poseidon…

Published

on

This article was originally published by Stockhead

Poseidon has reported its best hit so far from drilling the Silver Swan Channel, with one intersection showing much thicker massive nickel sulphides than the previously estimated average thickness of the resource.

Drilling by Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS) into the Tundra-Mute zone within the Silver Swan Channel has intersected 13.6m of massive nickel sulphides – news that sent shares up over 17% on Monday morning.

The true width of this latest intersection is estimated at 9.8m and assays are pending.

“This is the best intersection so far in this drill program and is significant given that the average thickness of the Tundra Mute Inferred Resource was previously about 2 metres,” Managing Director Peter Harold said.

“The aim of this program is to increase the confidence in the resource, by converting existing resources from inferred to indicated and to potentially find high-grade mineralisation outside the current known resources.

“This latest hole will most certainly increase the amount of material in the indicated resource category.”

By upgrading a resource to the indicated category, it means an explorer has sufficient information on geology and grade continuity to support mine planning.

Visual massive sulphides in hole PTMD018 from 265.5m

Investors welcomed the news, driving shares up to an early trading high of 11c on Monday morning.

Poseidon Nickel (ASX:POS) share price chart:


 

Poseidon is drilling at Silver Swan to not only increase the confidence in the resource but also to potentially find high-grade mineralisation outside the current resource.

The company has drilled 18 holes so far in the current program.

“We are still planning to drill at least two deeper EM holes and look forward to seeing whether the EM surveys detect any EM plates beyond the current extent of the known mineralisation,” Harold explained.

Silver Swan has previously delivered some impressive high grades like 1.55m at 12.98% nickel, including 1.05m at 15.67% nickel.

The Silver Swan and Golden Swan deposits provide Poseidon with high-grade nickel that can be blended with the lower grade Black Swan disseminated open pit ore to increase the grade and quality of the concentrate.

Black Swan has a 2.2-million-tonne-per-annum processing plant in good condition, which provides Poseidon with a low-cost and relatively quick restart option.

In early September, a scoping study showed the most economically attractive option for a production restart at Black Swan was to refurbish the 2.2Mtpa processing circuit, derated to 1.1Mtpa and fill that plant to maximise nickel concentrate production.

Poseidon is on track to deliver a bankable feasibility study in the middle of 2022, having delivered a maiden resource for Golden Swan in late October and with the significant results returned so far from infill drilling in and around the Tundra-Mute resource at Silver Swan.

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Poseidon Nickel, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post Poseidon shares rally on ‘very wide’ intersection of massive nickel sulphides at Silver Swan appeared first on Stockhead.




Author: Special Report

Base Metals

Vale adapts iron ore processing route to make sand product for construction sector

After seven years of research and investment of about BRL50 million ($8.9 million), Vale says it has developed a process for producing sand from its production…

After seven years of research and investment of about BRL50 million ($8.9 million), Vale says it has developed a process for producing sand from its production processes with applications in the construction market.

After adaptation in the state of Minas Gerais’ iron ore operations, the sandy material, previously disposed in piles and dams, is now being processed and transformed into a product, following the same quality controls used in the production of iron ore. This year, around 250,000 t of sand has been processed and destined for sale or donation to be used in concrete, mortar, cement and road pavement.

According to Marcello Spinelli, Vale’s Executive Vice President for Iron Ore, the development of this product is the result of more sustainable operating practices.

“This action promotes a circular economy within our units and reduces the impact of tailings disposal for the environment and the society, in addition to being a reliable alternative for the construction industry, where the demand for sand is high,” he said.

Sustainable sand stock yard at Brucutu

Vale’s Sustainable Sand is considered a co-product of the iron ore production process. The material extracted in the form of rocks undergoes several physical processes in the plant, such as crushing, classification, grinding and concentration, until iron ore is obtained.

The innovation introduced by Vale lies in the concentration stage where the by-product of the iron ore processing is once more processed until it reaches the necessary quality to become sand for commercial use. In the traditional method, this material would become tailings and be destined to dams or piles. Every tonne of sand produced represents one less tonne of tailings being generated.

The sand resulting from the iron ore treatment is a 100% certified product, with high silica content and very low iron content, in addition to high chemical and granulometric uniformity.

According to Jefferson Corraide, Executive Manager of the Brucutu and Água Limpa Complex, the sand does not have hazardous characteristics in its composition.

“The mineral processing to obtain the sand is essentially physical, not altering the composition of the materials, so the product is not toxic,” Corraide said.

Recently, Vale’s sand had its application in concrete and mortar certified by three specialised laboratories in Brazil: Instituto de Pesquisas Tecnológicas, Falcão Bauer and ConsultareLabCon.

The properties of Vale sand are also being analysed by an independent study conducted by researchers from the University of Queensland’s Sustainable Minerals Institute (Australia) and the University of Geneva (Switzerland), who are investigating whether alternative construction materials produced from mineral ores could become a sustainable source of sand while significantly reducing the volume of waste produced by mining. These researchers introduced the term “ore sand” to refer to this type of processed sand sourced as a co-product or by-product of mineral ores.

Precast concrete produced with Vale’s Sustainable Sand

Production scale

Vale has already committed to allocating more than 1 Mt of sand for sale or donation in 2022. Buyers are companies operating in four different regions in Brazil: Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, São Paulo and Brasília. It is estimated that, in 2023, production will reach 2 Mt.

Rogério Nogueira, Director of Ferrous Marketing, explained: “We are getting ready to scale up the sand destination even more from 2023. For this purpose, we have a team of professionals dedicated to this new business and adapting our operations to meet the market needs.”

Currently, Vale is producing sand for sale and donation at the Brucutu Mine, in São Gonçalo do Rio Abaixo (Minas Gerais).

Other mines of the company, also located in Minas Gerais, are in the process of obtaining environmental and mining approvals for sand production.

André Vilhena, Manager of New Businesses at Vale, said: “Our mines provide a sandy material that is rich in silica, which can be used in different industries. We are working with several institutions, including universities, research centres and Brazilian and foreign companies, to develop new solutions to give new destinations to iron ore tailings.”

In addition to using the existing infrastructure in the iron ore mines, Vale also has a railway and road network to transport the sand to markets in several Brazilian states. “With this activity, our main focus is on the sustainability of our iron ore operations, minimising the environmental liabilities, in addition to seeking to promote employment and income by means of new businesses,” Vilhena said.

Eco products

Vale has been carrying out tailings application studies since 2014. Last year, the company inaugurated the Pico Block Factory, the first pilot plant for construction products whose main raw material is tailings from mining activity. Installed at the Pico Mine, in the municipality of Itabirito (Minas Gerais), the factory promotes a circular economy in iron ore processing operation.

The Federal Center for Technological Education of Minas Gerais (CEFET-MG) provides technical cooperation with the Block Factory. Ten researchers from the institution are working on site during this period, including professors, laboratory technicians and graduates, undergraduates and technical course students. During the R&D period, the products will not be sold.

Another research initiative aims to develop the use of sand in pavement solutions in partnership with Itabira’s campus of the Federal University of Itajubá (Unifei). The focus is on the donation of sand for the pavement of local roads.

More sustainable mining

In addition to the Eco products line, Vale has other initiatives to make its mining more sustainable and reduce the generation of tailings. The company has been developing technology to increase the dry processing of its ores, which does not require the use of water. Currently, around 70% of Vale’s production is dry processed and this shall remain at this level when the production capacity of 400 Mt/y is reached and after the start-up of new projects. In 2015, this figure was 40%.

In Carajás, as the iron content is already high (above 65% Fe), the material is only crushed and screened to be classified by size (granulometry).

In Minas Gerais, in some mines, the average content is 40% Fe. By the conventional method, the ore is concentrated by means of processing with water to increase the iron content, with most of the tailings deposited in dams or pits. This is where another technology under implementation at Vale stands out: FDMS (Fines Dry Magnetic Separation). This technology sees the magnetic concentration of ores of low iron grade with no use of water, and therefore, with no need for dams.

Developed in Brazil by New Steel, a company acquired by Vale in 2018, this technology is already in use in a pilot plant in Minas Gerais. In 2023, the first commercial plant will start up in Vargem Grande, with a production capacity of 1.5 Mt/y and investment of up to $150 million.

Another technology which reduces the need of dams is tailings filtration and subsequent dry piling. Once the capacity of 400 Mt/y is reached, more than 60 Mt/y (or 15% of this total) will be processed in plants, where most of the tailings will be filtered and piled this way.

Vale has already opened a filtration plant in Vargem Grande and three more will be commissioned in the March quarter of 2022: one in Brucutu and two in Itabira. Only 15% of the production will continue to be processed by the conventional method, with wet concentration and disposal in dams or deactivated mine pits.

The post Vale adapts iron ore processing route to make sand product for construction sector appeared first on International Mining.


Author: Daniel Gleeson

Continue Reading

Articles

Lunnon Metals charts path to success in world-class nickel domain after transformative year

Special Report: While the world is on the lookout for nickel sulphide deposits anywhere they can be found, Lunnon Metals … Read More
The post Lunnon…

While the world is on the lookout for nickel sulphide deposits anywhere they can be found, Lunnon Metals chief Ed Ainscough maintains there’s no place like Kambalda.

The mining town 50km south of Kalgoorlie in WA has produced 1.6Mt of the stainless steel and now lithium ion battery ingredient since 1966, when WMC driller Jack Lunnon punched the discovery hole and gave birth to Australia’s first nickel boom.

Since listing in a $15 million IPO in June, Lunnon (ASX:LM8) has continued Kambalda’s rich legacy of delivering high grade nickel.

Lunnon owns the Foster and Jan nickel mines from which WMC produced more than 90,000t of nickel metal from the 1975 to 1994, operations that missed the early 2000s nickel revival that proved the making of ASX success stories Mincor, IGO and Panoramic.

Lunnon already boasts 39,000t in resources at typical Kambalda nickel grades of 3.2% and drilling since its float is already delivering high grade results.

These have confirmed historical results from kilometres of old WMC drill core logged by Lunnon at the Kambalda coreyard and backed the Lunnon team’s conviction in the quality of the Foster and Jan assets.

“One of the benefits at Kambalda is that generally above a 1% cut off if you’re going to mine, it’s going to be in the high 2s or 3s,” Ainscough said.

“And it is very pleasing to not only reproduce the nickel where WMC was hitting it, but to be hitting it at the same level of mineralisation.

“I just think that speaks to the quality of the camp and that particular contact between the Kambalda Komatiite and the Lunnon Basalt.

“It’s a world famous contact, and nearly all the nickel in Kambalda is on or close to that contact, and it’s proven to be the case so far. You’ve got to persevere and be resilient because the rewards are definitely worth the effort.”

Lunnon Metals
Lunnon has hit high grades on the contact of the Kambalda Komatiite and Lunnon Basalt. Pic: Lunnon Metals

An option to play the Kambalda narrative

Kambalda is on the cusp of a revival.

Mincor Resources will open the first new nickel mine in the district since production at the Long mine ceased in 2018, when its Cassini operation starts production in 2022.

That will see BHP’s Nickel West division restart its Kambalda concentrator, just a few clicks from Foster/Jan, for the first time in four years.

Unfortunately for investors there are not a lot of options to play the Kambalda story, with what was a diverse field of ASX companies a few years ago whittled down to just Mincor and Lunnon after Panoramic sold Lanfranchi into private hands in 2018.

That’s where the opportunity lies, Ainscough says.

“Lanfranchi’s private now, so that’s been a big message I’ve been trying to sell – if you want to invest in Kambalda through the ASX it’s Mincor, and it’s a half-a-billion dollar company plus, or little old us at $50 million,” Ainscough said.

The key for Lunnon will be resource growth, which Ainscough said is a major aim in 2022 after its success with the drill bit in recent months.

“It’s a 10 times gap and the encouragement is that’s a big gap, but it’s a gap we feel we can make a big effort to fill next year,” he said.

“That will be filled by drill results and resource growth, but we’ve just got to get the runs on the board…  but what better place to be trying to do that than Kambalda?”

Lunnon Metals
Lunnon has hit high grades on the contact of the Kambalda Komatiite and Lunnon Basalt. Pic: Lunnon Metals

East Cooee resource drilling under way

One of the company’s priority targets outside its Foster and Jan mines is East Cooee, a prospect to the north-northwest of Jan consisting of known hanging wall nickel mineralisation that was underexplored when the mines were in WMC hands.

Since drilling began in July, assays from East Cooee have delivered a string of strong nickel grades, with Lunnon also recording a hit of 2m at 5.07% Ni in its first assays from the East Trough target in September.

Subsequent encouraging results at East Cooee have included 1m at 3.15% Ni, 2m at 2.44% Ni and a best hit of 9m (8.7m true width) at 1.66% Ni from 113m, including 1m at 7.44% Ni.

Contractors Blue Spec are now drilling the hanging wall prospect on infill drilling spacing of less than 40m x 40m to support the delivery of an initial Mineral Resource estimate.

East Cooee is just over 300m from a mothballed open cut gold pit mined by Lunnon’s major shareholder Gold Fields, providing a potential access point into a future underground development.

“That’s been a little bit of the surprise package because it’s so shallow and it’s so close to that existing gold open pit,” Ainscough said. “I hadn’t really considered  that we would have the ability so early to have a second centre on top of the resources in the Foster Mine.

“We’ve gone back there with the RC rig and we’re drilling that out probably better than 40m by 40m.

“It’s so shallow we can drill it pretty quickly, we can get that done before Christmas and then as and when we get the results back next year we should be able to put that into a maiden resource.”

Ainscough said the location of the gold mine relative to the shallow East Cooee mineralisation meant it wasn’t out of the question that study work could begin before underground drilling starts at Foster.

Lunnon Metals
East Cooee could be a second centre for Lunnon. Picture: Lunnon Metals

Warren, historical core also delivers the goods

The other areas where Lunnon is seeing success include the Warren channel, an underexplored nickel deposit which currently hosts 211,000 tonnes at 3.1% Ni for 6400t of nickel metal.

Located 1km to the northwest of Foster itself, Lunnon believes it has the potential to mirror that mine with assays from RC drilling up and down plunge of the known resource delivering impressive results.

They included a best hit of 4m at 3.44% Ni from 163m in the channel position at Warren.

“It was seen as part of Foster underground mine (by WMC),” Ainscough said.

“Where they could they tried to drill it from Foster so the drill angles are pretty horrible.

“So I think next year for us with Warren is the ability to try and demonstrate that channel is a channel in its own right and has the ability to be as long and as prospective as Foster main.

“That’s all about resource growth.”

The analysis of historical WMC core is also paying off for Lunnon, with re-assayed samples from the unmined N75C area at Foster delivering 15.75m at 2.76% nickel at an estimated 10.7m true width.

This compared well to WMC’s result for the same hole (CD 54) of 16.52m (11.2m true width) at 3.05% Ni from 268.22m.

In 2022 a deep drilling program is also planned beneath the historical Jan mine and a government-supported hole at the new Kenilworth target is due to be drilled.

“I think we’ve set the groundwork in the last six months of the year to really have a big year in 2022, hopefully leading into a buoyant nickel market,” Ainscough said.

Lunnon Metals
Owned by gold miner Gold Fields at the time, the Foster and Jan mines were among the only former WMC mines to miss the last nickel boom. Pic: Lunnon Metals

Nickel market on the up

Led by former Donegal Resources boss and now Lunnon non-executive director Ian Junk, Lunnon initially moved into the Foster and Jan projects in a joint venture with Gold Fields back in 2014.

Back then nickel was looking on the up, hovering around the US$20,000/t mark before slipping into a long bear market.

But with excitement around the use of nickel in batteries and electric vehicles and shifting supply-demand dynamics, it recently peaked above US$21,000/t, hitting a seven-year high.

Ainscough said being in Kambalda, Lunnon is seeking to outline high grade resources that are not dependent on booming nickel prices, but believes the broader market is looking positive.

“I think there is a natural rhythm to the nickel price and we’re entering into that next cycle, but the whole electric vehicle story, the energy transition, that’s all just a fantastic macro backdrop to the nickel price,” Ainscough said.

“I try not to pontificate too much about the nickel price.

“My firm belief is that wherever it gets to, being in Kambalda and mining at the grades that Kambalda delivers – I won’t say it doesn’t matter what the nickel price is but I’d certainly rather be mining in Kambalda regardless of the nickel price.

“I think there’s a momentum now to the whole electrification of everything that we’ll just see a new floor develop in the nickel price. Where that is, I don’t know.”

Q&A Time

Lunnon’s 2021 highlights

  • Acquiring 100% of the Kambalda Nickel Project.
  • Fully underwritten, oversubscribed, successful $15M IPO.
  • Drill rigs turning within a month from a standing start.
  • HIT NICKEL – confirming WMC historical data.
  • East Cooee shaping as second centre of mineral resource growth.

“Our goal is to replicate the success of those ASX companies that bought assets from WMC before the last nickel boom. Each one of the above milestones is a key step to demonstrating we are on that trajectory and can offer investors a similar growth story leading into the next nickel cycle.”

Where is the nickel market heading?

“LM8 sees the macro setting for nickel as extremely positive; there are generational shifts under way at country, government, city and corporate levels regarding the push to achieve net zero goals that all tie in with the energy transition away from fossil fuels.

“These are all strongly in favour of nickel being an important, sought after and in demand metal.

“Covid-19 has also highlighted the issue of supply chain sovereignty and having nickel assets in one of the world’s best nickel camps in a Tier 1 country offers the sort of sustainable supply chain that governments and downstream businesses will value highly in the future.”

What is the upside for Lunnon and why will it be a good investment in 2022?

“We tell investors if you want to be exposed to nickel in Kambalda (and why wouldn’t you want to be exposed to one of the world’s most famous nickel camps against the backdrop described above?), you really only have two choices on the ASX.

“Mincor, who have done an amazing job of restarting their operations in Kambalda and Widgie with Nickel West planning to open up the Kambalda Concentrator, and Lunnon Metals.

“We are just starting out on the same growth journey as Mincor. Kambalda has three key advantages: The grade is high (often >3%), Nickel West’s concentrator offers a ‘capital light’” restart solution and the nickel assets themselves are renowned for delivering extensional growth year after year.

“We are expecting a big year in 2022 for all of these reasons.”

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with Lunnon Metals, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

 

 

The post Lunnon Metals charts path to success in world-class nickel domain after transformative year appeared first on Stockhead.




Author: Special Report

Continue Reading

Articles

New World Resources’ Antler resource is just the tip as drilling extends mineralisation beyond 680m down-dip

Special Report: The deepest and thickest drill hit to date from the Antler copper project has left little doubt New … Read More
The post New World Resources’…

The deepest and thickest drill hit to date from the Antler copper project has left little doubt New World Resources’ recent maiden resource is just the tip of a large iceberg.

New World Resources (ASX:NWC) delivered a maiden high grade resource of 7.7Mt at 3.9% copper equivalent at the Arizona deposit earlier this month with 74% in the high indicated category, but already has an exploration target to extend it to 10Mt to 12Mt grading 3%-4% copper equivalent.

It had some good news on that front today. ANT70, the deepest hole ever drilled at Antler, struck a rich cocktail of base and precious metals from 575m below surface, 60m down-dip of its previous deepest hole and proving the down-dip extent of the outcropping Antler deposit is more than 680m deep.

New World struck some 43m of copper, zinc, lead, silver and gold mineralisation in ANT70, including:

  • 12.7m at 0.6% Cu, 1.7% Zn, 1.2% Pb, 56.3g/t Ag and 1.24g/t Au from 869m (12.7m at 2% CuEq).
  • 25.5m at 1.8% Cu, 1.8% Zn, 1.0% Pb, 42.9g/t Ag and 0.46g/t Au from 885m (25.4m at 2.6% CuEq); and,
  • 5.3m at 1.2% Cu, 4.0% Zn, 0.3% Pb, 11.6g/t Ag and 0.13g/t Au from 914.6m (5.3m at 2.4% CuEq).

The results bolster NWC’s confidence that it will be able to add tonnes at depth beneath the maiden JORC resource, with mineralisation open at depth over Antler’s entire 500m strike length.

“The standout assay results from ANT70 provide further strong evidence confirming what we have been interpreting for quite a while – that the Antler Deposit is improving with depth,” NWC managing director Mike Haynes said.

“Intersecting the thickest mineralisation ever reported, some 60m down-dip from our previous deepest hole, is a fantastic achievement by our US-based team.

“These results are expected to add more tonnes to an already very impressive maiden JORC Resource at Antler – hence the economics of developing the project are likely to be even better.”

New World Resources
This incredible array of drill hits shows the success NWC has been having at Antler. Pic: New World Resources.

Thicker intersects show potential to add tonnes

Previously the deepest intercepts at Antler were located in hole ANT53, reported to the market back in May.

That contained:

  • 14.3m at 2.3% Cu, 6.8% Zn, 0.3% Pb, 22.4g/t Ag and 0.28g/t Au from 614m (14.3m @ 3.8% CuEq); and,
  • 5m at 2.2% Cu, 2.9% Zn, 0.1% Pb, 10.8g/t Ag and 0.27g/t Au from 639.3m (5m at 2.7% CuEq).

That the new intercepts are an order of magnitude thicker (43.3m over a 50.6m interval) shows Antler is likely to increase substantially in tonnages in this area once the new results are incorporated into a resource estimate.

Assays have also been returned for holes drilled to test geophysical anomalies at the southern end of the Antler deposit, hitting narrow but high grade mineralised pockets of 1.5m at 1.0% Cu, 12.9% Zn, 1.6% Pb, 25.3g/t Ag and 0.09g/t Au from 418.81m (1.5m at 5.2% CuEq) in ANT71, and 0.9m at 1.5% Cu, 9.1% Zn, 1.8% Pb, 26.5g/t Ag and 0.06g/t Au from 415.96m (0.9m @ 4.4% CuEq) in ANT72.

Those results were encouraging given both holes deviated from their planned trajectory.

Further drilling is continuing to test for thicker intervals of the high-grade mineralisation associated with the sizeable CSAMT geophysics anomaly reported in April.

With three rigs still onsite drilling to extend Antler’s resource base, long wait times at assay labs have led to delays reporting results, with 17 holes still to be reported.

However, the company says the mineralisation is readily identifiable in drill core, meaning it can plan new phases of drilling without assay results on hand.

 


 

 

This article was developed in collaboration with New World Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

 

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.

The post New World Resources’ Antler resource is just the tip as drilling extends mineralisation beyond 680m down-dip appeared first on Stockhead.



Author: Special Report

Continue Reading

Trending