Resources Top 5: What is FMG drilling next door to Wildcat’s lithium project?
Here are the biggest small cap resources winners in morning trade, Monday May 22.
ADD has picked up a “geologically significant” tenement – where old drilling hit 8.4m @1.14% nickel sulphides — at its flagship Kabanga Jirani project in Tanzania.
Despite its small size, the newly granted 3.74sqkm Luhuma Central tenement contains a coincident magnetic and gravity anomaly in addition to the abovementioned drillhole undertaken by BHP in the ’90s.
Gravity surveys calculate the density of subsurface rock. The info can help geologists build 3D geological models and visualise geological structures – hopefully mineralised — deep within the Earth’s crust.
It will be a high priority for drilling, which is currently underway across the project area.
“Adavale has from the outset applied for its licences on geological merit rather than nearology alone,” ADD chair Grant Pierce says.
“The company recognised Luhuma Central as a coveted area, being within favourable lithologies and with demonstrable nickel sulphide mineralisation.
“It will play a key role in our broader exploration success. The granting of Luhuma Central is opportune timing as Adavale has recently recommenced drilling, being a ~5,000m program and Luhuma Central will definitely feature in this program.”
Kabanga Jirani neighbours the government-owned Kabanga project in Tanzania — one of the largest undeveloped nickel sulphide projects in the world.
Major miners Glencore and Barrick previously spent hundreds of millions on exploration and predevelopment at Kabanga, which was put in mothballs when nickel prices took a dive.
By any measure Kabanga is a monster. It contains 58Mt of resources at an average nickel grade of 2.62%, up to an even higher equivalent of 3.14% when copper and cobalt credits are included.
It is now part owned by BHP (ASX:BHP). Development of a 30-year, 65,000tpa nieq operation is underway, with first production anticipated in 2025.
The 2022 IPO will hit the ground running at the newly acquired Salt Wells lithium-borate project in Nevada, US, with a targeted maiden drilling program to kick off in the second half of 2H 2023.
OSM will assume the project farm-in from 5E Advanced Materials (ASX:5EA), which has been exploring the project on and (mostly) off since 2018 with private vendor Great Basin Resources.
Under the deal, OSM will assume 5E’s obligations and acquire an 80% interest in Salt Wells. 5E is currently focussed on the 5E Boron Americas Complex in southern California.
“In the context of the opportunity to be a part of the transition to new clean energy economies, the acquisition of the Salt Wells lithium-borate project offers a tremendous prospect for all Osmond shareholders,” OSM exec Andrew Shearer says.
“Not only is the project located in Nevada, which is considered one of the most attractive mining jurisdictions in the world, but the deal terms allow us to direct all our expenditure into exploration.
“We now plan to move quickly into assessing existing exploration results, which will shape an exploration plan, with the target to commence on ground activities and a maiden drilling program in the second half of CY2023.”
The $6m capped stock is down 16% year-to-date.
It had $3.627m in the bank at the end of March and will raise an additional $2.3m to fund initial exploration at the project.
WC8 has been on roll since acquiring the historical Tabba Tabba tantalum mine and lithium-tantalum project in the Pilbara last week.
The stock actually started running before the acquisition was announced, which attracted a ‘please explain’ from the ASX.
It is now up 140% since the start of the month, and 190% year-to-date. FMG doing some lithium resource drilling next door has also helped along the share price:
Anyone know what $FMG has found next to $WC8.ax?
— smallcaps_asx (@SmallCaps_asx) May 22, 2023
Tabba Tabba includes a bunch of mining leases – important if you want to get into production quickly — large areas of outcropping pegmatites, and a high-grade 318,000t at 950ppm Ta2O5 tantalum deposit.
The project, briefly explored by Pilbara Minerals (ASX:PLS) in 2015, was historically a tanty asset so assays for lithium are limited.
However, there are some nice hits like 8m at 1.42% Li2O from 4m for WC8 to follow up.
The deal will cost WC8 up to 250m shares worth $17.25m at current prices, which makes vendor GAM a major shareholder in WC8.
“Tabba Tabba is a proven LCT pegmatite system that was within Pancontinental’s tantalum portfolio in the 1980s, along with Pilgangoora (Pilbara Minerals), Wodgina (Mineral Resources) and Yinnetharra (Delta Lithium),” WC8 exec Matthew Banks says.
“Our technical team believes there is significant exploration upside at Tabba Tabba, it is located within granted mining leases and we have approval for a 200-hole drill program.
“On deal completion we will welcome a range of major shareholders to the company and look forward to following through with discovery-focussed drill programs earmarked for 2023.”
There are also various net smelter royalties payable to GAM should the project enter production.
WC8 had $4.9m in the bank at the end of March.
(Up on no news)
This Mark Creasy backed explorer has four projects near WA’s gold heartland of Kalgoorlie: Menzies, Goongarrie, Credo and Zuleika.
Drilling is planned for the June quarter at Zuleika, which sits along the same regional structures which have produced +20Moz over the last 30 years.
Drilling is also planned for Menzies next quarter.
Meanwhile, court costs and damages are being sought following ZAG’s wholly successful legal action against Vango Mining (since subsumed by junior miner Catalyst Metals (ASX:CYL)) in which it was awarded 4.1% ownership of the K2 Project.
$13m capped ZAG is down 15% year to date. It had $2.1m in the bank at the end of March
WSR has been bouncing around on volume since hitting “multiple thick pegmatites” up to 44m thick in maiden drilling at the newly acquired Olga Rocks lithium-gold project, near Southern Cross in WA.
Traditionally a gold project, historical drilling at Olga was never assayed for lithium, despite its proximity to the Covalent Lithium’s emerging 380,000tpa Mt Holland project.
This 14-hole, 1400m program was design to test whether the multiple pegmatite/felsic intersections logged by previous explorers contained lithium.
The maiden drilling program successfully intersected pegmatites in 8 of the 14 drill holes, the thickest continuous pegmatite being 44m from just 17m depth.
On hole was drilled to validate old gold hits, including 8m @ 4.54g/t Au, 8m @ 4.69g/t Au, and 3m @ 10.6g/t Au.
Assays are expected in four weeks.
Meanwhile, WSR have begun detailed investigations into the pegmatite potential of the larger tenement package.
“Contingent on favourable assays, our geologists will commence planning a second phase of RC drilling to establish strike and depth potential of any mineralised pegmatites and LCT-potential of newly identified pegmatites,” it says.
“Additional studies including mapping and rock-chip sampling have commenced to advance gold exploration both in the southern tenure, and the BIF (Banded Iron Formation) to the north of recent drilling, where several historical shafts and workings exist.”
The $5m capped minnow had $1.2m in the bank at the end of March.