Special report: Carnavale Resources has started drilling at its Kikagati tin project in Uganda at a time when demand for the metal is predicted to take off.

While tin demand remains steady at the moment, the growing battery market and other new disruptive technologies are expected to drive an increase in demand for the commodity.

Boston’s Massachusetts Institute of Technology forecasts that tin will edge out the favoured lithium and cobalt battery metals as the metal most likely to be impacted by new technology.

The technologies that are expected to impact tin demand include autonomous and electric vehicles, advanced robotics, renewable energy, and advanced computing and IT.

Research shows that tin provides cheaper and improved capacity to many alternative battery designs.

The overall volume of batteries required for the electric vehicle industry is expected to drive ongoing demand over the next decade and beyond.

While the tin price has come off its 2018 peak of $US22,100 ($30,497) per tonne, it is still up over 44 per cent since January 2016 and is sitting around $US19,070 per tonne.

London’s BMI Research says the global refined tin market will remain in deficit until 2021 due to declining reserves and mounting regulations.

Tin consumption is predicted to exceed production by 2600 tonnes in 2018, with the deficit expected to rise to 7800 tonnes in 2021.

This is expected to drive the price of tin up to $US22,500 per tonne by 2021.

Carnavale executive chairman Ron Gajewski told Stockhead there aren’t too many high-grade tin deposits around the globe.

The Kikagati project is a large-scale walk-up drill target that has never been previously drill tested.

The drilling target has artisanal surface and shallow underground workings over a strike length of over 2.5km and over widths of up to 200m.

Carnavale says its due diligence confirms that the project represents an exciting large-scale exploration drill target with potential to define a significant tin resource.

The company has started an aggressive 2000m drilling program to test the 2.5km long ridge, targeting beneath the artisanal workings.

By completing the drill program, Carnavale can earn its initial 51 per cent stake in the project.

The company expects to have the program completed in December.

Closing in on cobalt, nickel resource upgrade

Carnavale is also expecting to release a resource upgrade for its Grey Dam cobalt and nickel project near Kalgoorlie in the December quarter.

The company recently confirmed significant high grade — and very shallow – nickel laterite and cobalt mineralisation at Grey Dam.

A comprehensive 5,095m drilling program hit strong nickel and cobalt mineralisation from surface up to up to 44m thick and across a 1.2km by 1km area.

Results included 8m at 1.22 per cent nickel 33m from surface, and 10m at 0.14 per cent cobalt 8m from surface.

Overlapping this high-grade nickel find, is a distinct cobalt-rich domain similarly starting near surface and extending down to about 30m.

A second nickel cobalt target remains untested.

Carnavale believes there is a significant body of shallow laterite nickel and cobalt mineralisation at Grey Dam with further exploration upside.

The company is now evaluating the potential for a shallow, low strip ratio open pit.

Carnavale said the Grey Dam project is also prospective for deeper sulphide-hosted nickel, cobalt and copper mineralisation in fresh bedrock, highlighted by a number of limited deeper historic drilling intersections.

The company is now planning to assess all past exploration data, including geophysics, and is considering possibly undertaking a new geophysical survey before drill testing priority targets.

Carnavale had plenty of cash, with $1.4m in the bank at the end of the September quarter, to cover its exploration ambitions in the final quarter of 2018.


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