Base Metals: Neometals adds nickel to its bulging project portfolio
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From advanced vanadium-titanium projects, an Indian lithium refinery joint venture, to battery recycling — Neometals’ (ASX:NMT) projects are about as diverse as it gets. You can now add WA nickel to that list.
The newly acquired Munda mining lease forms part of Neometals’ Mt Edwards project, which sits in a historically prolific nickel sulphide producing region near Kalgoorlie.
Today Neometals announced an updated resource for Munda – 320,000 tonnes at 2.23 per cent nickel for 7,140 tonnes of contained metal.
The updated Munda resource estimate “showcases a respectable nickel grade”, the company says, and bolsters Mt Edwards resources by about 5.8 per cent to over 130,400 contained nickel tonnes.
Neometals says there’s plenty of exploration upside on this large landholding — more than 50 historical targets remain untested — but that’s a great start.
Between 2006 and 2008, former owner Consolidated Nickel had an army of geologists working on nickel exploration in the region.
Everything stopped immediately in 2008 when the nickel price plummeted and, since then, little serious exploration has been undertaken, Neometals says.
The company has made “a concerted effort” in the last 12 months to re-establish a historic exploration database of +9,700 drill holes and 36,000 soil samples.
“Consolidated Nickel had up to 38 geologists exploring for nickel on the Mt Edwards tenements and surrounding region prior to the global financial crisis,” Neometals says.
“While the regional prospectivity has not changed, much of the knowledge was lost creating a significant opportunity for Neometals.
“Future work at Munda will include diamond core drilling and sampling to firm up understanding of the specific gravity and mineralogy, which will likely increase confidence and enable an upgrade in the mineral resource classification and pave the way for mining studies.”
Neometals has a history of success when it comes to big projects. By bringing on cashed up project partners, Neometals was able to develop the Mt Marion mine in WA into the world’s #2 largest spodumene producer.
The company got about ~$200m when it sold out of Mt Marion on an initial outlay of about $3m. Returns don’t get much better than that.
Now, Neometals is all cashed up with about $113m in the bank (plus about $8m in investments) to take on its next set of challenges.
READ MORE about Neometals:
Carawine Resources (ASX:CWX) will team up with $26.5 billion market cap miner Fortescue Metals (ASX:FMG) to explore Carawine’s eastern Paterson project tenements in WA.
Fortescue has the right to earn up to a 75 per cent interest by spending $6m all up under the deal, which follows Carawine’s recent farm-in and JV agreement with $32 billion market cap Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO) in October.
There’s now the potential for up to $11.5m to be spent on exploration at the Paterson project under both agreements. Carawine – which is up 21 per cent over the past year – received a 4 per cent bump in morning trade.