Greenstone’s decision to include overlying and outcropping nickel-manganese mineralisation at the Mt Thirsty project has proven to be a wise one with its resource increased by 146%.

Mt Thirsty (50% Greenstone Resources, 50% Conico Limited) now has an Indicated and Inferred resource of 66.2 million tonnes grading 0.06% cobalt, 0.43% nickel and 0.45% manganese, which is also the second highest cobalt-nickel ratio for similar pre-development projects in Australia.

The project, located just 16km north-northwest of Norseman, Western Australia, is uniquely positioned to produce Precursor Cathode Active Material (pCAM) – a high value product containing cobalt, nickel and manganese.

This product is used in the production of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, which provide the energy storage needed to help decarbonise the global economy.

Greenstone Resources (ASX:GSR) has a Scoping Study underway to leverage the materially larger resource to support a longer life operation as well as the adoption of high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL) and the addition of a cathode precursor plant to produce a pCAM material.

More than just cobalt

“Previously the Mt Thirsty project had principally been viewed as a cobalt only project, with little attention given to the thick and continuous zones of overlying and outcropping nickel-manganese mineralisation,” managing director Chris Hansen said.

“However, following the recent adoption of high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL), and the expected improvements in metal recoveries, the inclusion of this outcropping mineralisation in the Mineral Resource Estimate has the potential to transform the Mt Thirsty project into a long-life and low-cost operation.”

He added that Mt Thirsty is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the fundamental shift in underlying commodity demand driven by the rapid adoption of electric vehicles over the past five years as well as the shift from lower-value intermediary projects such as mixed hydroxide precipitate to higher-value refined products like pCAM.

“With Australia now positioning itself as a battery manufacturing powerhouse, we believe that Mt Thirsty can play a key role in supplying a low-cost, ethical and sustainable source of cobalt and nickel outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Russia, who currently dominate global supply,” Hansen added.

Room to grow and development plans

While the inclusion of the overlying zone of nickel-manganese mineralisation has done wonders for the Mt Thirsty resource, there is still potential for more.

Large areas of the resource remain open at depth while the recent identification of scandium in the most recent drill program has yet to be included in the resource estimate due to lack of data.

With a Scoping Study expected in July, Greenstone plans to use HPAL to extract nickel, cobalt, manganese and scandium from the oxide orebodies to produce a sellable pCAM product.

Mt Thirsty is uniquely positioned to produce pCAM, containing all three of the principal constituents required to produce the preferred 811 nickel-cobalt-manganese pCAM (eight parts nickel, one part cobalt, and one part manganese).

Importantly, the production of pCAM provides the ability to produce a significantly higher value product which typically receives a ~50% pricing premium over standard intermediatory products.

This product is used in the production of cathode materials for lithium-ion batteries, which provide the energy storage needed to help decarbonise the global economy.

The updated Scoping Study is expected to provide the foundation for future studies and a potential ownership consolidation of the Mt Thirsty Joint-Venture with Conico to support a standalone IPO.




This article was developed in collaboration with Greenstone 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.