A 17,000m combined RC and diamond drill program is being planned to convert Wilconi resources to indicated and measured categories.

Hits of up to 19m of 1.11% nickel and 0.08% cobalt from 26m, 9m at 1.17% nickel and 0.06% cobalt from 57m, and 10m at 1.53% nickel and 0.05% cobalt from 39m have been received as plans for a new 17,000m infill drilling gets underway.

A-Cap Energy (ASX:ACB) said the three-month, 31-hole diamond drilling program, which wrapped up in January, represents a key component of the Wiconi pre-feasibility study (PFS) currently in the works.

Most holes were drilled at a 60-degree angle towards the west in order to detect any steep structures that focus deeper weathering, producing thicker mineralisation in the lateritic profile.

Next on the list: converting resources to indicated and measured

A-Cap Energy chairman Jiandong He said the upcoming combined RC and diamond drilling program will set out to convert resources to indicated and measured categories as the company seeks to supply critical materials to the global electric vehicle market, which is experiencing accelerating sales led by China and Europe.

“The primary batteries of choice for Western manufacturers are nickel, manganese and cobalt due to their high energy density,” he said.

“Our earlier metallurgical studies demonstrated the project can deliver high recoveries of both nickel and cobalt, and we look forward to more good news from this upcoming work.”

The Wilconi Project is a farm-in joint-venture project with Wiluna Mining Corporation Limited (ASX:WMC), with A-Cap earning 75% equity in the project under the terms outlined back in December 2018.

Metallurgical test work on the move

These drill results follow-on from an RC drill program undertaken in 2021, which clearly defined a particular rock unit (olivine rich ultramafic) underlying better grades in the laterite.

This unit can be traced over much of the 20km of strike of the broad ultramafic package.

Drilling the laterite above this unit mostly intersected >1% nickel with associated zones of thicker (+30m) mineralisation identified in the RC drilling that represent “keels” in the lateritic profile.

Metallurgical test work is underway to determine the best methods of nickel and cobalt extraction and optimise metal recoveries for the various ore types.

Ongoing PFS work

  • Hydrogeological studies including baseline surface and ground water studies
  • Subterranean fauna studies
  • Cultural heritage surveys
  • Design and geotechnical assessment of constructed landforms including waste dumps, open cuts and tailings storage facilities
  • Soil, waste rock and tailings characterisation studies; and
  • Noise and greenhouse gases assessment




This article was developed in collaboration with A-Cap Energy, 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.