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Andover grows to almost 100,000t of battery metals as Azure posts maiden Ridgeline nickel resource

Special Report: The Andover nickel project continues to grow larger for Azure Minerals and its joint venture partner the Creasy … Read More
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The Andover nickel project continues to grow larger for Azure Minerals and its joint venture partner the Creasy Group, with a new resource estimate taking its endowment to almost 100,000t of contained metal.

Emerging at the right time, as metals like the nickel, copper and cobalt found at Andover in WA’s north see demand skyrocket for use in electric vehicle batteries, the maiden resource at the Ridgeline deposit demonstrates the massive potential to grow and develop the project further.

The Ridgeline prospect has delivered a resource estimate, based on 58 diamond drill holes and over 33,000m of drilling data, of 1.3Mt at 1.11% nickel, 0.46% copper and 0.05% cobalt for 14,700t of nickel metal, 6100t of copper and 640t of cobalt.

Combined with the initial Andover resource released last year, Azure’s (ASX:AZS) 60% owned project 35km south-east of Karratha in the West Pilbara now boasts 6Mt at 1.11% Ni, 0.47% Cu and 0.05% Co for 66,400t nickel, 27,800t copper and 3100t cobalt at a 0.5% cutoff.

Just a reminder, the deepest drill hole at Ridgeline was Azure’s best, meaning there is plenty more growth potential there.

Also important, 0.4t at 1.51% nickel equivalent is a high enough confidence to be regarded as indicated, taking Azure and Creasy’s global indicated resource tonnes to 4.2Mt at 1.16% Ni, 0.47% Cu and 0.05% Co at a 1.51% NiEq grade or 48,700t of nickel, 19,900t copper and 2300t cobalt.

That means as much as 70% of the total resource is of a high enough confidence to be converted into reserves at the right commodity price.

And nickel prices are very sturdy indeed right now, with LME grade nickel fetching more than US$27,000/t.

And now, a word from Tony Rovira

“I am pleased to present the Ridgeline Mineral Resource Estimate which is a great result and demonstrates that there continues to be excellent potential to significantly expand the resource base of the Andover Nickel Project through ongoing exploration success,” Azure managing director Tony Rovira said.

“With the final and deepest drill hole at Ridgeline returning the best mineralised intersection to date (14.5m @ 2.26% Nickel – ASX: 23 November 2022), I am confident that we can grow this resource even further.”

Azure has a number of prospects across the Andover JV. Pic: Supplied (AZS)

Blind to surface

Just as significant to the prospects of finding more nickel at Andover, the Ridgeline discovery was blind to surface, pointing to more potential discoveries of a similar nature hidden by surface cover.

“It is a credit to our exploration team that, after just over two years, we are in the position to be able to release a second robust Mineral Resource Estimate for Andover,” Rovira said.

“Ridgeline is blind to surface, which increased the challenge of identifying and defining the mineralisation.

“Given the technical understanding and knowledge that our team has built up through systematic exploration of the project area, I am confident that the team can deliver more discoveries.

“Azure is in an excellent position to continue to explore and realise the nickel potential of the Andover Project and I look forward to providing further updates as we progress.”

Not only does Andover boast nickel, copper and cobalt resources now in excess of 97,000t of base metals, it is also becoming a hotbed for lithium exploration.

Notably, Azure secured an investment of up to $20m from Chilean lithium giant SQM in January.

The major will take a strategic 19.99% stake in Azure in exchange for the cash investment and receive offtake rights to a quarter of the lithium product it produces in future.

Hopes are already high for Andover’s lithium potential, with samples grading as high as 4.87% Li2O taken from pegmatite outcrops in the area ahead of Q1 drilling.




This article was developed in collaboration with Azure Minerals (ASX:AZS), 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 Andover grows to almost 100,000t of battery metals as Azure posts maiden Ridgeline nickel resource appeared first on Stockhead.

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