The strategically significant Mt Thirsty cobalt and nickel deposit could grow even further ahead of a potential IPO to consolidate and develop the Greenstone Resources and Conico joint venture with assay results 100m east of the main orebody demonstrating the outstanding growth potential of the battery metals suite.

Greenstone Resources (ASX:GSR) has hit cobalt, nickel and manganese grades in excess of the current resource of 66.2Mt at 0.06% Co, 0.43% Ni and 0.45% Mn at the project, 16km north-northeast of Norseman in WA’s famously endowed Eastern Goldfields region.

The results of five shallow RC pre-collars, most of which struck high grade mineralisation virtually at surface has also revealed the rich scandium metal contained at Mt Thirsty through multi-element assay analysis.

Priced at a whopping $1.36 million per tonne, scandium is a lightweight metal used in aerospace, defence, hydrogen fuel cells and electronics brought to the limelight with Rio Tinto’s recent purchase of the Platina project in New South Wales from under the radar junior explorer Platina Resources for ~$21 million.

It all bodes well for Greenstone and Conico (ASX:CNJ) ahead of the release of a scoping study in July on the Mt Thirsty development.

Downstream focus

The companies are looking at whether the economics stack up to not only develop a high pressure acid leach project but also head downstream into the production of pre-cursor active material for battery makers.

Not currently done onshore in Australia, the Mt Thirsty orebody has virtually the ideal mix and concentration of metals to convert to an 8-1-1 nickel-cobalt-manganese cathode, an energy dense cathode used in the lithium ion batteries in long range, high quality electric vehicles.

“These latest results continue to highlight the prospectivity of the Mt Thirsty project to provide a low-cost, ethical and sustainable source of cobalt and nickel outside of the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Russia,” Greenstone MD Chris Hansen said.

“Of importance, is that the majority of these results remain outside of the recent resource update and present an opportunity for further resource growth and mine life extensions.

“Importantly the Mt Thirsty project is uniquely positioned to support the continued decarbonisation of our economy, not only containing cobalt and nickel, but also hosting manganese and scandium, allowing the project to potentially produce a high-value pCAM product containing Co, Ni and Mn sourced from the Mt Thirsty deposit.

“We are very much entering a transformational phase for the Mt Thirsty project with metallurgical studies progressing on track that will feed into a Scoping Study currently underway, with reporting expected to be finalised in July. We look forward to keeping shareholders updated on a regular basis as we continue to unlock the true potential of the Mt Thirsty project.”

Let’s check in on those results again 

As noted before, the new drill hits came from the Phase-1 campaign, where a combination of RC and diamond drilling was used to extend holes to 350m, way below historic aircore drilling concealing large areas beneath and adjacent to the existing resource.

The latest results largely sit outside the current resource envelope, about 100m to the east, highlighting the growth potential lateral of the Mt Thirsty deposit.

Results from the upper of three mineralised zones in the eastern licence area include:

  • MTRC005D: 48m at 0.08% Co, 0.44% Ni, 0.13% Mn & 47.6g/t Sc from 2m, including:
    • 6m at 0.14% Co, 0.62% Ni, 0.85% Mn & 57.4/t Sc from 5m
  • MTRC006D: 72m at 0.05% Co, 0.44% Ni, 0.47% Mn & 38.8g/t Sc from 3m, including:
    • 26m at 0.11% Co, 0.59% Ni, 1.06% Mn & 28.2g/t Sc from 47m
  • MTRC007D: 29m at 0.09% Co, 0.62% Ni, 0.73% Mn & 33.2g/t Sc from 0.0 metres, including:
  • 13m at 0.15% Co, 0.62% Ni, 1.36% Mn & 34.1g/t Sc from 6m; and,
  • MTRC010D: 38m at 0.05% Co, 0.43% Ni, 0.34% Mn & 48.8g/t Sc from 3m, including:
  • 6m at 0.09% Co, 0.51% Ni, 0.99% Mn & 50.1g/t Sc from 3m.

Study on track

A 50-50 JV between Greenstone and Conico located right next door to Galileo Mining’s (ASX:GAL) Callisto PGE discovery and own Norseman cobalt and nickel deposit, Mt Thirsty is on track for the July release of a scoping study.

Met test work is ongoing with the help of consultants from nickel processing experts Simulus, working on the study alongside respected contractor WSP Australia, which worked on the resource estimate upgrade that increased the JORC 2012 resource at Mt Thirsty by over 145% in April.

Comparable HPAL projects typically deliver recoveries of around 90% and 92% for cobalt and nickel respectively, while pCAM typically receives a premium of ~50% over intermediate products like MHP and MSP.




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.