Battery metals exploration is well and truly alive in WA – even BHP’s chasing nickel
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Who said the battery metals exploration wave was done?
Not the WA cohort; nearly one third of explorers in the latest round of the state’s Exploration Incentive Scheme’s (EIS) Exploration Drilling Program hope to discover battery metals.
As part of the program, 45 companies and prospectors share in $5.12m in grants to encourage innovative drilling in greenfields areas.
Most of the explorers hunting battery metals are looking for nickel, with others seeking lithium, cobalt, rare earth elements (REEs) and graphite.
Battery focused producer, BHP Nickel West, is drilling its Hedgehog nickel prospect — which we know nothing about, except that BHP probably aren’t going after anything small.
Here it is — number 9 — down in the south east part of the state:
According to the AUSGIN Geoscience Portal, BHP applied for a bunch of exploration tenements down there in November last year.
Anyway, punters can jump over here for a closer look.
Also eligible for co-funding are projects targeting traditional metals such as gold – which dominated the round as usual — copper, silver and base metals, a project looking for diamonds and another exploring for petroleum.
Here’s a basic breakdown:
WA Mines and Petroleum minister Bill Johnston says this sharp rise in the popularity of battery metal exploration underscored the importance of the Government’s Future Battery Industry strategy.
“We’re pleased that this round reflects such a varied mix of new-energy and traditional exploration projects,” he says.
“The EIS program has resulted in major discoveries, with more being made each year, all of them increasing the odds of opening new mines and creating jobs.”