TopTung is feeling confident after drilling confirms thick high grade nickel and copper
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Special report: A successful maiden drilling program provides confidence that the high-grade nickel Alotta project, in Canada, could become a near term low-cost mining and toll milling operation.
Nickel-copper sulphide focused explorer TopTung (ASX:TTW) told investors that every hole of the 9-hole program at Alotta intersected nickel, copper, platinum group elements (PGE), cobalt and silver mineralisation close to surface.
This included significant high-grade massive sulphide mineralised zones up to 3.04 per cent nickel and 4.81 per cent copper.
Drilling at the recently acquired project was design to follow up on 2001 drilling program by a previous owner, which had outlined a near surface nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE mineralised lens.
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The company told investors it was pleased with the economic values of all minerals from Alotta, “giving confidence to the Company’s goal on becoming a mining and low cost toll milling operation” by mining multiple shallow open pits.
The explorer will now undertake a down-hole electromagnetic (DHEM) survey in the search for additional massive sulphide drill targets.
Sulphide nickel: “the silent battery metal”
Nickel is usually found in two main ore types, sulphide or laterite.
Sulphides are much cheaper to turn into battery grade nickel sulphate than nickel laterites and will fetch a premium price – but they are less common.
TopTung calls nickel sulphide the “silent battery metal”.
“There’s not that many nickel sulphide deposits, and the discovery rate for those is quite low,” chairman Dr Leon Pretorius told Stockhead.
Normally nickel sulphides are found at least 100m underground, but Alotta hosts a lot of high-grade deposits close to surface.
TopTung also doesn’t need to build expensive infrastructure to process all of the different commodities.
The company can simply truck mined rock about 200km (3 hour drive) to nearby Sudbury, where established smelters and refineries are built to process ores typically found in the area.
“So our focus and what we need to achieve is very simple – we just need to locate and define a few of these high-grade pods, whether that be through acquisition or exploration, and we’re off to the races,” Dr Pretorius said.
“We don’t need to build a refinery. It’s going to be a very low-cost simple process.”
This special report is brought to you by TopTung.