A-Cap Energy starts drilling at Wilconi Nickel Cobalt Project in WA seeking measured resources

A-Cap Energy Limited (ASX:ACB) reports it has launched a 10,000m reverse circulation (RC) drilling program at its Wilconi Nickel Cobalt Project in Western Australia to convert current indicated resources to the measured category.

The company reports that in addition to this, it plans to complete about 2,000m of large-diameter (PQ sized) core holes to contribute to the resource/reserve definition and collect more samples for ongoing metallurgical studies.

New drilling will target the shallowest and highest grade part of the giant orebody to provide additional data for the project’s prefeasibility study (PFS) for the development of a Ni-Co laterite operation to supply critical materials to the global electric vehicle market.

Following a 11,000m RC infill drilling program in 2021 and a 1,490m diamond drilling program in January, A-Cap upgraded Wilconi’s JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) in March 2022, reporting 660,000 tonnes of contained nickel and 46,400t of contained cobalt for the project.

Commenting on the works, A-Cap Chief Executive Officer Andrew Tunks said: “Wilconi has a massive, flat flying, shallow resource which we are committed to delineating and advancing to production readiness given the growing global demand for nickel and cobalt, which are both critical battery minerals.

The new drilling programs will continue earlier work by testing a continuous, shallower, higher grade portion of the Wilconi orebody.

The new drilling programs will continue earlier work by testing a continuous, shallower, higher grade portion of the Wilconi orebody

Results from the company’s current metallurgical testwork are due by the end of July, and together with new data, will serve to determine the best methods of nickel and cobalt extraction and optimise metal recoveries for the various ore types.”

The additional samples collected from the PQ diamond drilling would build on the current metallurgical program.

In June, A-Cap increased its interest in Wilconi from 20% to 55% after fulfilling phase 2 of its second earn-in milestone as part of its Joint Venture with Wiluna Mining (ASX:WMC).

A-Cap’s 11,000m RC drilling program completed in January this year was focused on the shallower, higher-grade portions of the Wilconi resource and permitted 32% of the resource to be upgraded from inferred to indicated categories with 29Mt (indicated) of the total 90Mt resource (indicated and inferred).

A-Cap Energy is focused on the development of critical minerals serving the world’s path to carbon net zero.

Its Wilconi Project, which represents the company’s first nickel-cobalt laterite project interest, is being advanced in response to the significant growth expectation in the supply of battery materials to the OEM automotive and battery industries.

The company aims to establish key strategic and commercial relationships to take advantage of material processing and refinery technologies according to the highest Environmental, Social and Governance (ESG) standards.

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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.