Viking on front foot with First Hit follow-up

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) is gearing up to conduct an aircore or reverse circulation drilling program at its First Hit Lithium Project in Western Australia, upon identifying 19 lithium anomalies and 8 priority targets. 

The planned drilling program will be testing the anomalies uncovered, subject to more ‘positive’ results being received. 

Viking Mines, which has a market capitalisation of $11.27 million, conducted a 1,220-hole auger program at First Hit and the results returned 19 lithium anomalies throughout the area and 8 immediate priority targets. 

The 8 priority targets have associated caesium, tantalum, and thallium anomalies which are characteristics of lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites known to host spodumene mineralisation. 

Peak lithium assay values of 138 parts per million (ppm) were received, while 95 samples returned values greater than 50ppm. 

Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the company is fully funded for ongoing exploration activity with more than $5 million cash at the end of the December quarter.

“Many of the anomalies are continuous over multiple auger traverses and, in places, are associated with previously identified pegmatite outcrops. These results reaffirm the company’s belief that there is significant potential to discover LCT pegmatites on our tenure. 

With a substantial land package of 493km-square in this growing lithium district, Viking is well placed to add significant value to the company.”

The company reports the anomalies are ‘significant’ in size, with the 3 ‘largest’ anomalies being Heimdall which is 2km by 0.6km, Odin which is 1.2km by 0.9km, and Thor which is 1km by 0.5km. 

At Odin, lithium values are considered to be very ‘significant’, with 16 high tenor values greater than 50ppm and up to a peak of 121ppm lithium. 

The anomaly is open to the southwest, leading on to Viking’s tenure under application. 

The Thor anomaly also had multiple ‘high tenor’ lithium hits up to a ‘high’ peak value of 138ppm and second ‘high’ value of 111ppm, 400m south on the adjacent line. 

Meanwhile, the Loki transported lithium anomaly warrants further investigation, as it is a ‘large’ more than 50ppm lithium anomaly measuring 1.6km by 1.7km with peak value of 74ppm lithium. 

Viking plans to investigate if Loki is caused by a more discrete but ‘higher grade’ target, producing the ‘large’ dispersion halo which has not been effectively sampled by the auger program and lies beneath the interpreted transported cover or an additional source to the east. 

Further, Viking Mines is pursuing prospective tenure around the substantial landholding established on the Mt Ida Fault. 

The total land position stands at 493km-square, with 281km-square granted tenure and 213km-square under application. 

Currently, application E30/570 is progressing through the approvals process, while E30/571 was subject to a ballot on 31 January 2024 in Kalgoorlie. 

As previously reported, Viking Mines secured 2 out of 4 ballots, obtaining additional tenure adjacent to Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM) which has recently divested the lithium rights into a joint venture with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy, and Fertiliser for $26 million. 

The company says recent results from the auger program supports its strategy in exploring for lithium in the prospective district, alongside securing a ‘substantial’ land position. 

Viking Mines is a battery minerals-focused explorer with assets in Western Australia. The company’s assets are considered to be prospective for lithium, gold, and vanadium.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au     

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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.

Viking Mines embarks on overseas alliance expedition

Vanadium explorer Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) is actively engaging with battery manufacturers, including a US-based company, to discuss potential collaboration and synergies. 

Speaking to Mining.com.au, Managing Director Julian Woodcock says these early stage talks form part of Viking’s proactive strategy to better understand the whole vanadium battery supply chain. 

“The potential opportunity for Viking is twofold. Firstly to be aware of the market and where we see the battery going. But secondly, if there is an opportunity for Viking to get into a collaborative partnership with a supplier that makes these batteries overseas, but wants to break into the Australian market, that would dovetail well with our project as a potential future source of local vanadium and electrolyte.

It’s to our benefit. If there is an increased uptake in vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFB) and an awareness of them, it will drive the demand for the technology and subsequently the commodity. This increase in demand will be beneficial for Viking and our shareholders because there’ll be a greater awareness of the huge value of the project that we’ve got.

If we get to the point that we’re producing vanadium pentoxide, it’s not particularly difficult or capital intensive to take it the next step and produce electrolyte, which would then feed into batteries. We could be a supplier of electrolyte, and we could even be licensed and involved with looking at bringing these batteries in to Australia and brining the full benefit of the downstream value chain to our shareholders..

The MD tells this news service that generating awareness of the commodity will be beneficial for Viking to shine a spotlight on the “huge value of the project that we’ve got”.

When asked about the capabilities of VRFBs, Woodcock explains they are “workhorses”, meaning larger batteries when compared to its lithium-ion counterpart, albeit more suited to storing ‘large’ volumes of energy and releasing into the grid when it’s required.

On 17 November 2023, Viking began stage two metallurgical testwork at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia in hopes of producing a vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) flake. 

Recoveries from the testwork were posted up to 54.6%, demonstrating limited sensitivity to grind size.

Viking Mines is a critical and battery minerals explorer focused on its Western Australian assets. 

The company is growing and consolidating the land position in this recognised lithium district. The total land position stands at 493km-square, with 281km-square granted tenure and 213km-square under application. Application E30/570 is going through the approvals process whilst E30/571 was subject to a ballot on 31 January in Kalgoorlie. 

Viking was successful in 2 of the 4 ballots, securing additional tenure adjacent to Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM) which has recently divested the Lithium rights into a JV with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers for $26 million. The company has been advised by the lab, that due to an unforeseen backlog of results over the holiday period, the First Hit Auger results have been delayed until February. 

The company completed an extensive auger drill program and collected 1,220 samples over a 26km strike length of the Ida Fault which tests more than 55k-square of tenure.

The company’s Canegrass Project sits in the Murchison region about 620km northeast of Perth and can be accessed via roads from the nearby township of Mt Magnet to within 22km of existing resources. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Viking Mines has a vanadium story to tell

Asked if there’s anything in particular he’d like investors — anyone, really — to understand about Viking Mines (ASX:VKA), Managing Director Julian Woodcock doesn’t hesitate.

“I think we really don’t get significant recognition for the value of vanadium. It’s a commodity that’s not well understood,” he says.

“When I go to presentations and meetings with brokers and investors, there’s usually about a third of my slide deck about: What is vanadium? What’s it used for? What’s the outlook for it? Some people, you ask them: Do you know much about vanadium? They say: I don’t even know what it is.”

About 80% of the vanadium produced globally — most of which comes from China, Russia and South Africa — is used to make metal alloys for high-strength steel production. More obscure applications include the production of ceramics and electronics, textile dyes, fertilisers, synthetic rubber, welding, and other alloys used in nuclear engineering and superconductors.

But in the age of electrification, vanadium’s role in the global economy appears to be shifting. With expanding sources of renewable energy comes the question: How, exactly, do we store it for later use? That burden currently falls largely on lithium-ion batteries, which got a jump on the market thanks partly to the billions of US government dollars pumped into Tesla’s ‘gigafactories’, which have been producing the batteries at relatively low cost.

But compared to the lithium-ion variety, vanadium redox flow batteries (VRFBs) present an alternative widely thought to be safer, cheaper in the long-run, and, with proper maintenance, technically capable of lasting forever — a vast improvement over the 2- or 3-year lifespan lithium-ion batteries are typically limited to.

The catch, however, is that vanadium is currently more expensive to extract than lithium, meaning a key factor in manifesting the world’s VRFB dreams is jacking up supply chains. It’s a weakness in the global economy not lost on Woodcock and the team at Viking Mines, which is positioning itself to help fill the gap.

Canegrass Battery Minerals Project

Central to Viking’s operations is a 25% stake in the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia, which the company has now secured as part of a farm-in agreement with Red Hawk Mining (ASX:RHK) in December 2022.

“We have sole management rights and discretion on activity,” Woodcock says.

“Essentially, through the farm-in arrangement, we ultimately have a pathway to 100% ownership of the project. The farm-in takes us to 99% and then for the last 1%, there’s a future series of production payments if the project ever goes operational, where we get that last 1%. Red Hawk has been very supportive of our work and collaborative when we’ve needed some assistance or information from them, but essentially we’re leading.”

Located 620km north-east of Perth near Mt Magnet in Western Australia, the Canegrass Project was the subject of a 7,500m reverse circulation drilling program in 2023 focusing on the Kinks, Kinks South and Fold Nose deposits, which — prior to the farm-in agreement and excluding Kinks South — hosted a collective JORC-compliant resource in 2017 measuring 79 million tonnes at 0.64% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), 29.7% iron (Fe), and 6% titanium dioxide (TiO2).

With the recent drilling and the subsequent inclusion of Kinks South, Viking announced in November 2023 it had grown the resource by a whopping 103% to 146 million tonnes at 0.7% V2O5, 31.8% Fe, and 6.6% TiO2 — equivalent to some 1.1 billion pounds of contained V2O5. That estimate includes a higher-grade subset measuring 27.5 million tonnes at 0.87% V2O5, 37.3% Fe, and 8% TiO2.

“At this stage, our strategy is not about growing the resource further,” Woodcock explains.

We’ve done a good enough broad sweep across the whole area that we now want to focus on the richest part in order to be able to determine where there could be mineable resources

“I’ve said this for quite a long time — we’ve always been looking for a high-grade subset of the resource, around 30 million tonnes, which, on the basis of a 2-million-tonnes-per-year operation, would deliver about 15 years of mine life. We’ve done a good enough broad sweep across the whole area that we now want to focus on the richest part in order to be able to determine where there could be mineable resources.”

The intention, eventually, is to move into a Scoping Study stage. But Viking needs to better understand the resource — much of which sits in the inferred category — before that can happen. 

It was with such a milestone in mind that Viking launched a pit optimisation study, which it said will help identify what portion of the resource will provide positive returns based on project economics such as mining, processing and logistical costs. The findings will then assist in prioritising future drilling campaigns to elevate the company’s overall confidence in the resource.

A second-stage metallurgical testwork program is also underway after previous sighter testwork in 2023 produced concentrate up to 1.41% V2O5 and 58% Fe. The goal, Viking says, is to produce V2O5 flake and maintain the iron-titanium residue at marketable levels to add further value to the Canegrass Project. Results from the bulk concentrate sample are expected this month and throughout the March and June quarters.

But despite Viking’s clear focus on the potential of vanadium, Woodcock isn’t putting all his eggs in one basket.

First Hit Lithium and Gold Project

Second to Canegrass is the First Hit Lithium and Gold Project, which Viking acquired in November 2020. Located along the Ida and Zuleika shear zones in the Eastern Goldfields region of Western Australia, the project has been intermittently expanded over the years, most recently at the start of February when Viking won a ballot process to secure an additional 32km-square of tenure, taking the total land package to roughly 493km-square.

Prior to its closure in 2002, when gold prices hovered at a pitiable US$320 per ounce, an underground gold mine at the First Hit Project produced roughly 30,000 ounces at an average grade of 7.7 grams per tonne (g/t) gold. Little modern exploration has been carried out on the tenure since then, which Viking says presents a compelling opportunity to test near-mine extensions and regional targets for both gold and lithium.

“Late last year, we recognised the lithium prospectivity across the ground. We completed an initial first-pass auger drilling program in late November, early December, and submitted samples which we’re currently waiting for assays for,” Woodcock says.

Viking’s recognition of the lithium potential was sparked partly by Delta Lithium’s (ASX:DLI) success at its Mt Ida Project to the north of First Hit, which — according to an October 2023 announcement — hosts a mineral resource measuring 14.6 million tonnes at 1.2% lithium oxide (Li2O).

A review of historic soil sampling work has also had an impact.

“We identified these 50 parts per million (ppm) anomalies, which are high enough levels to be looking to follow up, considering it’s just soils,” Woodcock adds.

“That’s the reason we said: Okay, we’ll do this big auger program to try and identify some more anomalies that then will lead on to doing more field work. We’ll look at undertaking geological mapping to see if we can identify anything outcropping, rock chip sampling, or — in the case that we don’t see anything at surface because of cover — we’ll probably look to undertake some aircore drilling. That strategy is evolving and dependent on the results that we’re due to get imminently.”

‘We’ve still got $5 million in the bank’

Unique to Viking Mines is the way it’s funding all this.

“We haven’t raised any capital since 2021,” Woodcock says.

“That’s really been a fortuitous outcome of an asset the company had way before I got involved, in Ghana. The previous board sold a gold project there for US$10 million. The acquirers of that project basically didn’t pay and we chased them through the courts over the last eight years. Over the last few years we’ve received periodic payments as part of that process. So that’s been funding all of our activity. In April, it’ll be three years since we last raised and we’ve still got A$5 million in the bank at the end of the December quarter.”

Woodcock also noted Viking’s strong shareholder base, which he says recognises the long-term economic potential of the company’s assets over the coming years.

“They’re not in for a quick flip — buy stock now, sell in six months. We’ve got some substantial shareholders that have bought on the basis of the appreciating outlook for these commodities.”

The road ahead

Though Viking is not actively pursuing further project acquisitions, few options are off the table. Not married to any one commodity, Woodcock and the board “routinely” assess projects with resources showing strength in the market.

“I’d like to think we’d maybe bring another transaction into the company within the next 12 months, whether it be a mature, advanced project or an earlier-stage project,” he says.

“Again, it depends on the opportunity that we review. I think bringing another substantial project in would be a benefit. We’d probably be looking at reaching our limits there in terms of capacity. That said, the company and the board are supportive of growing. And if we get the right projects and we can get the share price appreciation and we can raise the money to fund it, we’re happy to plough forward on that basis.”

“I’d like to think we’d maybe bring another transaction into the company within the next 12 months, whether it be a mature, advanced project or an earlier-stage project

But some things are beyond the company’s field of control. What would be a substantial boon, Woodcock says, is a lift in vanadium prices over the next 6 or 12 months.

“The vanadium price” — currently around US$5.80 per pound of V2O5 — “is down at a bit of a low. This time 12 months ago it was double the price it is now. So a kind of reappreciation of the requirement for vanadium would see that uplift, which would put strength to our Canegrass Project.”

Such a scenario goes hand in hand with the measure of demand, which seems to be gaining traction.

In early February this year, British-owned energy company Pacific Green Australia made headlines for its plan to build a huge 1-gigawatt, 30-hectare grid-scale battery park — set to be one of Australia’s largest — in Portland, Victoria. Only a week earlier, Origin Energy (ASX:ORG) landed approval to build a 300-megawatt battery at its Mortlake Power Station in the same region.

Though significant, experts say the installations will barely scratch the surface of Australia’s energy storage needs.

“We’ve done various studies on this,” Bruce Mountain, head of the Victoria Energy Policy Centre at Victoria University, said in an interview with the ABC.

“Absolutely enormous amounts of storage are needed once you get to 90% wind and solar, as a proportion of your energy mix. There are other massive battery developments much closer to Melbourne. But we will need in the order of 100s to 1000s more to fully decarbonise energy supply, just in Victoria.”

For companies with a significant interest in the vanadium sector, it’s a sizeable opportunity. How much of that opportunity a player like Viking Mines might be able to net for itself is, of course, what Woodcock and his team are looking to figure out.

Write to Oliver Gray at Mining.com.au

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Written By Oliver Gray
Originally from Perth, Oliver has a keen interest long-form journalism. He has written for a number of publications and was most recently Contributing Editor of The Market Herald’s opinion section, Art of the Essay.

Viking Mines lands First Hit in WA expansion

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has expanded its First Hit Lithium Gold project in Western Australia by an extra 32.8km-square after winning two of four ballots held with its tenement application E30/571. 

The $12.3 million market capitalisation company says the additional land sits to the west of its existing tenure, bringing the total land package in what is a prospective lithium district to 493km-square (granted and under application).

The new tenure also sits adjacent to Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM), which has recently divested the lithium rights into a joint venture with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers for $26 million.  

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the company will move forward with data consolidation to “identify high priority areas of interest ahead of the tenements moving to grant”.

“The tenements are to the west of our existing tenure, and are strategically located on the well-endowed Ida Dault, which is highly prospective for lithium and is directly south of the Delta Lithium (ASX:DLI) Mt Ida Project.” 

Viking reports the land has been secured following an ‘extensive’ auger drilling program undertaken over greater than 55km-square of First Hit. However, assays have been delayed due to a backlog at the laboratory caused by the holiday break.

Woodcock says: “The delay in receiving the auger assays from First Hit is frustrating for our team and shareholders, however we appreciate the efforts in the lab progressing through the backlog of assays accumulated over the holiday period. I look forward to reporting on results this month.”

The First Hit Project sits west of Menzies in the Western Australia Goldfields. The company is growing and consolidating the land position in this recognised lithium district.

Viking also announced today (2 February 2024) stage two metallurgical testwork is ongoing at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project with results from bulk concentrate expected this month ahead of the next step in testwork to produce vanadium oxide (V2O5) flake. 

Preliminary pit optimisation on the updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at Canegrass is expected to be completed before the end of the March quarter, says Woodcock.

The Canegrass Project currently holds an MRE of 146 million tonnes (Mt) at 0.7% V2O5, 31.8% iron (Fe) and 6.6% titanium oxide (TiO2) with a ‘high-grade’ subset of 27.5Mt at 0.87% V2O5, 37.3% Fe and 8% TiO2 in the Murchison Region of Western Australia.     

The pit optimisation study will identify what portion of this resource provides positive economic returns using the input economic and technical assumptions. This will allow the company to prioritise future drilling campaigns for the purpose of improving the resource confidence, which is required ahead of moving to a Scoping Study.

Meanwhile, Sarah Wilson has resigned as Company Secretary effective from today. Viking expresses its gratitude to Wilson for her contribution to the business and wishes her well in her future endeavours. The company confirms that existing Joint Company Secretary Michaela Stanton-Cook will continue as Company Secretary. 

As of 30 December 2023, Viking Mines had $5.089 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

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Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Viking reaps rewards of fruitful Q4 2023 

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has identified areas for further growth in 2024 following a December 2023 quarter dedicated to levelling up its Canegrass Battery Minerals and First Hit Lithium and Gold projects in Western Australia. 

On 20 November last year, Mining.com.au reported the $13.32 million market capitalisation company had delivered a JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) increase of 103% for Canegrass, which now contains 2.2 billion pounds of critical mineral vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).

Industry consultants MEC Mining completed the MRE update and was the product of an ‘extensive’ exploration program undertaken by Viking after acquiring the project in November 2022.   

With the extensive drilling completed by Viking and the completion of the MRE, areas for growth have been identified at each of the three deposit areas, Viking notes in its latest quarterly report. 

The company says this provides further upside opportunity to both increase the tonnes and grade of the ‘high-grade’ subset of the total MRE. 

With further drilling in these areas, the company remains optimistic that the total ‘high-grade’ subset will grow and exceed the company’s target of >30Mt and commensurate growth of the total MRE >0.5% V2O5 cut-off will likely occur as a byproduct of this work. 

The total inferred MRE for the project now sits at 146 million tonnes @ 0.7% V2O5, 31.8% iron (Fe), and 6.6% titanium oxide (TiO2) at a greater than 0.5% V2O5 cutoff. 

Viking engaged Bureau Veritas around the same time to undertake stage two metallurgical testwork in hopes of producing vanadium pentoxide flakes from samples obtained from reverse circulation (RC) drilling completed in mid 2023.  

Recoveries from the metallurgical testwork were posted up to 54.6%, demonstrating limited sensitivity to grind size. 

Viking notes in its quarterly report the tonnage has increased substantially, with improvements in grade for all the target commodities. Further, the grade of the deleterious elements has decreased, which the company says results in a higher quality ore more amenable to processing to produce a magnetic concentrate.

Meanwhile, at the First Hit Lithium and Gold Project, Viking purchased a strategic tenement on the Mt Ida Fault zone, which brought the total granted land package in a ‘prospective’ lithium district to 291km-squared, as reported by this news service. 

The company flagged mapped pegmatites occur throughout the new tenement, with historical rock chip sampling confirming ‘highly anomalous’ rare earth element (REE) pegmatite results, including lithium up to 400 parts per million (ppm) and rubidium values up to 3,000ppm. 

Simultaneously, auger drilling was completed at First Hit, with 1,220 samples collected over a 26km strike length of the Ida Fault.

Drill programs to test these areas will be investigated as part of future work programs.

During the quarter Viking also welcomed Michaela Stanton-Cook as new joint Company Secretary, while Bevan Tarrat began his tenure as Non-Executive Director.  

Viking closed the December quarter with $5.1 million in cash at hand. 

Viking Mines is a critical and battery minerals explorer focused on its Western Australian assets. 

The company’s Canegrass Project sits in the Murchison region about 620km northeast of Perth and can be accessed via roads from the nearby township of Mt Magnet to within 22km of existing resources. 

First Hit lies west of Menzies within Western Australia’s Goldfields.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Viking Mines grows tenure at Mt Ida Fault

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has increased its land position and purchased strategic tenements on the Mt Ida Fault zone, bringing the total granted land package in the ‘prospective’ lithium district to 291km-square.

Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the tenements are strategically located on the ‘well-endowed’ Ida Fault, which is directly south of Delta Lithium’s Mt Ida Project. 

Viking is actively pursuing prospective tenure around the substantial landholding already established on the Mt Ida Fault. As part of this strategy, the company has purchased a 95% interest to all minerals in tenement E30/505. 

The tenement is located immediately to the west of Viking’s current tenure and complements the existing land package. Viking has pegged additional tenements to the east and west. E30/570 is going through the approvals process while E30/571 is subject to a ballot with 3 other parties, the date of which is yet to be announced by the Western Australian government. 

The total land package including applications stands at more than 535km-square. The tenement is surrounded by tenements held by Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM) which has recently divested the Lithium rights into a JV with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers for $26 million.

Meanwhile, Viking now aims to uncover ‘high-quality’ targets for follow-up exploration through its current auger drilling program conducted at its First Hit Lithium and Gold Project in Western Australia. 

The $11.27 million market capitalisation company is aiming to complete the current 1,200-hole auger drilling program and collect samples by the end of November, as well as submit samples for multi-element analysis to the laboratory. 

Viking expects to receive these sample results in the March quarter 2024. 

These results are anticipated to play a ‘crucial’ role in shaping the direction of follow-up exploration activities. 

Upon receiving the assay date, Viking will evaluate the results and uncover anomalous areas for follow-up field work. This will include field mapping, rock chip sampling, and infill auger/soil sampling. 

Woodcock says drilling will assess a 26km strike length covering more than 55km-square of tenure by collecting auger samples, which acts as a first pass test of the project’s lithium and gold potential. 

The collection of new samples across the remainder of the tenure has the potential to both grow the size of the current anomaly and define new targets

“Less than 14% of the area being tested by this program has seen previous sampling for lithium, yet multiple anomalies more than 50 parts per million (ppm) have been defined in this limited data set. 

The collection of new samples across the remainder of the tenure has the potential to both grow the size of the current anomaly and define new targets.”

Viking Mines is a critical and battery minerals explorer focused on its Western Australian assets. The First Hit project lies west of Menzies in Western Australia’s Goldfields. 

As of 30 September 2023, the company had $5.6 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au 

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Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.

Viking increases Canegrass MRE by 103%

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has increased the contained vanadium pentoxide by 103% to 2.2 billion pounds within the total Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 146Mt at 0.70% V2O5, 31.8% Fe, and 6.6% TiO2 at its Canegrass Project in Western Australia.

Viking Mines, which has a $11.27 million market capitalisation, reports a ‘high-grade’ subset of the JORC 2012 MRE — which stands at 27.5Mt @ 0.87% V2O5, 37.3% Fe, and 8% TiO2 at a greater than 0.8% V2O5 cut-off — provides the basis to begin a Scoping Study to assess project options. 

The company notes the opportunity to produce a direct shipping iron ore concentrate from the project with credits for vanadium content will be investigated as it moves forward with preliminary Scoping Study activities.

Further, drilling completed by the company in parallel with the completion of the MRE has highlighted areas of further growth within each of the Kinks, Kinks South, and Fold Nose deposits, providing further upside opportunity to both increase the tonnes and grade of the ‘high-grade’ subset of the total MRE. 

Viking believes further drilling in these areas will grow the subset MRE beyond its target of greater than 30Mt and will commensurate growth of the total MRE cut-off. 

The company states the ‘thick’ zones of ‘high-grade’ mineralisation of greater than 0.8% V2O5 begin from surface and indicate the potential for a low strip-ratio mining operation. 

Meanwhile, the growth at Canegrass also comprises a maiden estimate for copper, nickel, and cobalt, which sits at 146Mt @ 0.066% copper (Cu), 0.062% nickel (Ni), and 0.016% cobalt (Co) at a greater than 0.5% V2O5 cut-off. 

The total metal content of this resource stands at 97,000 tonnes of copper, 90,000 tonnes of nickel, and 23,000 tonnes of cobalt. 

The company confirms metallurgical testwork is planned to assess the process options for these additional valuable metals. Results from the testwork are expected to be applied to the ‘high-grade’ subset of the MRE to define a potential greater than 16Mt concentrate at a grade of greater than 60% iron. 

Viking adds that second-stage metallurgical testwork is now underway to produce a vanadium pentoxide flake and demonstrate a saleable product for offtake discussions.

The company also notes it will seek to engage with potential offtake partners and begin discussions on the marketing of Canegrass concentrate.  

The updated MRE was completed by industry consultants MEC Mining.  

Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the updated MRE provides the company with the opportunity to produce a magnetite concentrate suitable for direct shipping. 

“Combined with the first estimates for copper, nickel, and cobalt, this provides additional optionality for Viking to assess multiple pathways to release the huge inherent value in this large multi-commodity resource.” 

“this provides additional optionality for Viking to assess multiple pathways to release the huge inherent value in this large multi-commodity resource”

The company’s Canegrass Project sits in the Murchison region about 620km northeast of Perth and can be accessed via sealed roads from the nearby township of Mt Magnet to within 22km of existing resources. 

Viking Mines had $5.578 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 September 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

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Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Viking eyes MRE update for Canegrass

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has moved forward with stage two metallurgical testwork at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia while it undertakes a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) upgrade. 

The $12.3 million market capitalisation company has employed ALS Metallurgy to undertake the stage two fieldwork on 29 samples obtained from a recent 7,500m drilling program at the project. 

Samples were obtained from the main intercept of drillhole VCRC0026, which was completed as part of the recent 7,500m drilling program and returned 29m @ 0.8% vanadium oxide, 36.6 iron, and 8.8% titanium dioxide from 138m. 

Viking confirms stage two testwork has been designed to assess the metallurgical properties on areas assessed by the recent drilling, with a two-stage process planned.  

The company notes this work represents ‘a critical next step’ as it continues to focus on the optimisation of processes to produce a bulk concentrate that can be refined to produce a vanadium pentoxide flake.  

The recent 7,500m drilling program at Canegrass infilled and extended the main mineralised zones and assessed new target areas. The company notes mineralised zones were expanded and infill drilling confirmed the continuity of mineralisation, warranting the MRE update. 

Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says through this metallurgical work the company will seek to continue its momentum and build on previously completed testwork to take the project forward.

The company’s Canegrass Project sits in the Murchison region about 620km northeast of Perth and can be accessed via sealed roads from the nearby township of Mt Magnet to within 22km of existing resources. 

Viking Mines had $5.578 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 September 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Viking Mines
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Viking begins Canegrass MRE update expansion

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has appointed consultants from MEC Mining to undertake an updated JORC Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia. 

Viking, which has a $10.76 million market capitalisation, says updated MREs will be completed for the Fold Nose and Kinks deposits, while a ‘highly anticipated’ maiden MRE will be completed for the Kinks South target area.

The updated MREs are scheduled for completion during the December quarter.  

These planned MREs follow an ‘extensive’ 7,500m reverse circulation (RC) drill program that focused on extending and growing the already ‘substantial’ MRE of 79 million tonnes (Mt) at 0.64% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) for both Fold Nose and Kinks. 

Key results from this drilling work include hole VCRC0027 with 42m @ 0.74% V2O5 from 79m, including 17m @ 0.8% V2O5 from 83m and 8m @ 0.99% V2O5 from 108m from Fold Nose; and hole VCRC0021 with 40m @ 0.75% V2O5 from 202m including 27m @ 0.83% V2O5 from 203m from Kinks. 

Meanwhile, drilling at the Kinks South target returned vanadium grades of up to 0.98%. 

Kinks South does not form part of the current inferred JORC 2012 MRE for the Canegrass project and, as such, presents a ‘substantial’ opportunity to grow Viking’s mineral resource base. 

The company notes Fold Nose will be extended to surface in the north, south, and west from the current MRE limits as proven by drilling. 

At Kinks, drilling delineated a ‘high-grade’ component ‘substantially’ higher than the current Kinks MRE average grade of 0.57% V2O5 and extended mineralisation to surface. 

Both of these achievements are expected to improve the quality of the MRE.  

Addressing the MRE update, Viking Mines Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says: “We are extremely pleased to have engaged MEC Mining to complete the updated MRE for the Canegrass Project, which is tracking on schedule to be released in the December quarter. 

The high-grade results received from our 7,500m drill program reaffirm our belief that there is significant potential to define a high-grade component at the project

The high-grade results received from our 7,500m drill program reaffirm our belief that there is significant potential to define a high-grade component at the project. 

The inclusion of the Kinks South Target will deliver additional mineralisation to the Global MRE inventory and, crucially, is expected to provide high-grade material based on the grades observed in the drilling. 

Combining this with the growth anticipated at Fold Nose and the delineation of a high-grade zone at Kinks, I am excited by the prospects of delivering a high-grade subset of the MRE towards our target of >30Mt >0.9% V2O5.” 

Viking Mines is a diversified explorer with assets in Western Australia and Ghana. The company’s Canegrass project is located in the Murchison region of Western Australia, about 620km northeast of Perth. 

Viking Mines had $4.132 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 June 2023, and the company received an additional $3.3 million through a settlement payment to its Ghanaian subsidiary in September. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Viking Mines
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

Viking confirms further Canegrass VTM mineralisation

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has received the final assay results from recent drilling, which confirmed the discovery of further vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) mineralisation within the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia. 

The $9.22 million market capitalisation company drilled 8 target areas focused on extending and growing the ‘substantial’ inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 79 million tonnes (Mt) @ 0.64% vanadium oxide (V2O5) estimated at the Fold Nose and Kinks deposit. 

Drilling at both target areas have returned newly discovered zones of vanadium mineralisation in an area never before drilled. 

Viking Mines reports results recorded include drillhole VCRC0045 with 7m @ 0.60% V2O5 (>0.5%) from 63m, and 14m @ 0.63% V2O5 (>0.8%) from 122m; and drillhole VCRC0044 with 12m @ 0.68% V2O5 (>0.5%) from 60m. 

These results confirm the hypothesis that VTM mineralisation continues between the MRE’s at both prospects and demonstrates the opportunity to grow the resource base with further drilling.

 

This first pass wide spaced drilling in this previously undrilled area between the MRE’s at Fold Nose and Kinks demonstrates that the target VTM horizon continues throughout the project

Commenting on the results, Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says: “This first pass wide spaced drilling in this previously undrilled area between the MRE’s at Fold Nose and Kinks demonstrates that the target VTM horizon continues throughout the project. 

This provides additional optionality for Viking to further grow the resource as we continue to advance this asset and progress to the next stage of the Canegrass Project by incorporation the recent drill program results into an updated MRE later this year.”

Viking Mines is a diversified exploration company, with assets in Western Australia and Ghana. The Canegrass Project is located in the Murchison region, 620km northeast of Perth, Western Australia. 

As of 30 June 2023, the company had $4.13 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au     

Images: Viking Mines
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.

Viking Mines hits vanadium, Miramar Resources confirms copper: Mining Minute September 4

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has intercepted thick zones of vanadium at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia’s Murchison region. Also in today’s Mining Minute, Miramar Resources (ASX:M2R) has confirmed the presence of bedrock copper sulphide mineralisation at its Whaleshark Project in the Ashburton region of WA.

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Written By Carolyn Rebeiro
Joining Mining.com.au from the West Coast, finance presenter Carolyn began her journalism degree in Townsville and developed a passion for mining news after a FIFO stint in WA's Goldfields.

Viking Mines confirms ‘high-grade’ zones at Fold Nose

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has confirmed ‘high-grade’ vanadium zone hosted in vanadiferous titanomagnetite (VTM) within the Fold Nose deposit in Western Australia from recent assay results. 

Drilling at the Fold Nose Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) target area has returned thick ‘high-grade’ zones of vanadium mineralisation both within and external to the current MRE limits. 

The $9.22 million market capitalisation company reports ‘significant’ intercepts include drillhole VCRC0027 with 42m @ 0.74% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) from 79m, including 17m @ 0.80% V2O5 from 83m and 8m @ 0.99% V2O5 from 108m. 

Commenting on the drill results, Viking Mines Chief Executive Officer (CEO) and Managing Director Julian Woodcock says: “The drilling results for the Fold Nose deposit confirms thick high-grade zones of vanadium within the deposit and importantly confirm extensions to the already modelled mineralisation. 

The consistent thick high-grade results seen within the current limits of the MRE support the high-grade nature of the mineralisation and will support the MRE update planned for the December quarter. 

Importantly, the drilling has demonstrated that mineralisation continues to the north and west of the current model limits, providing opportunity to extend the MRE into these previously un-modelled areas.”

Viking reports assays appear to correlate with historical drilling, which has occurred since the last MRE update and has not yet been included into the mineral resource.

The company says this presents an opportunity to improve the size and quality of the MRE, once an update is completed later this year, including the results previously reported for the Kinks and Kinks South areas. 

Drilling comprised of 8 target areas focused on extending and growing the ‘substantial’ inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 79 million tonnes (Mt) @ 0.64% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) estimated at the Fold Nose and Kinks deposits. 

Results are still to be reported for 4 of the 45 holes drilled as part of the 7,500m program completed by Viking. 

The company is continuing to make ‘rapid’ advancements at the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project. Viking plans to complete a QAQC (quality assurance/quality control) evaluation and conduct initial interpretation and assessment of assay results for the remaining 4 holes to be reported. 

In addition, Viking plans to engage an external contractor to undertake geological modelling and MRE using the results from the recent drilling, alongside incorporating estimates of nickel, copper, and cobalt into the MRE to assess the potential of these battery minerals at the project. 

The Canegrass Project is located in the Murchison region of Western Australia. The project benefits from 95km-square of exploration tenements with very limited follow up exploration targeting the growth potential of vanadium pentoxide. 

Viking Mines is an ASX-listed explorer, with ‘high-grade’ gold and vanadium projects in Western Australia. As of 30 June 2023, the company had $4.13 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au 

Images: Viking Mines
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Written By Aaliyah Rogan
Relocated from the East Coast in New Zealand to Queensland Australia, Aaliyah is a fervent journalist who has a passion for storytelling. When Aaliyah isn’t writing stories, she is either spending time with friends and family or down at the beach.

‘Hopeful’ of ‘Substantial Grades’ From Canegrass: MD Julian Woodcock

Viking Mines (ASX: VKA) has wrapped up a drilling program at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia’s Murchison region. Six-thousand metres was planned but this was extended to over 7000-metres given what the company saw in the ground. Assays are pending, but Managing Director and CEO Julian Woodcock says the company sees ‘serious appreciation in the value of the company’ considering the results to date are comparable to ‘notable’ vanadium companies nearby.

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Written By Carolyn Rebeiro
Joining Mining.com.au from the West Coast, finance presenter Carolyn began her journalism degree in Townsville and developed a passion for mining news after a FIFO stint in WA's Goldfields.

Viking Mines strike new ‘thick’ magnetite zones at Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in WA

Critical minerals explorer Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has intersected ‘thick’, massive magnetite zones from recent reverse circulation (RC) drilling at the Fold Nose target area within its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia. 

The company, which has a $12.30 million market capitalisation, says these zones were encountered in many drillholes and are supported by magnetic susceptibility measurements taken on drill samples. 

Viking reports drilling at Fold Nose has demonstrated multiple and consistent thick zones of massive magnetite, which is the known host to vanadium mineralisation at Canegrass. 

Meanwhile, drilling at the Fold Nose South and North Extension targets has intersected variable magnetite horizons, confirming the geology continues into these areas from the Fold Nose deposit.  

Up to 7,000m of drilling was conducted across 8 target areas and was designed to extend and grow the already ‘substantial’ Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 79 million tonnes (Mt) at 0.64% vanadium (V2O5) estimated at the Fold Nose and Kinks deposits.  

Key results include hole VCRC0026 with 3 zones totalling 53m of ‘strongly’ magnetic horizons containing 3 bands totalling 34m of logged massive magnetite; and hole VCRC0027 with 4 zones totalling 71m of strongly magnetic horizons containing 4 bands totalling 52m of logged massive magnetite. 

With the 7,000m drill program now complete, Viking Mines announces all samples have been despatched to a laboratory, with results of the program expected to be received in late July to August. 

Following the return of results, Viking will engage an external contractor to undertake geological modelling and mineral resource estimation using these recent results. 

Commenting on the results, Viking Mines Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says: “The drilling at Fold Nose has confirmed for the presence of thick magnetite zones within the limits of the Resource at Fold Nose. Encouragingly, we have also intersected magnetite outside of the current resource limits at the Fold Nose South & North Extension targets, giving us the potential to extend the resource into these areas. 

These newly drilled holes are infilling and expanding off the current MRE and provide the opportunity for Viking to grow the resource”

These newly drilled holes are infilling and expanding off the current MRE and provide the opportunity for Viking to grow the resource. We look forward to receiving the assays in the coming weeks and working towards our objective of defining a high-grade component to the resource at Canegrass to deliver >30Mt >0.9% V2O5.” 

Viking Mines is an explorer working to identify strategically positioned base and precious metal assets. The company’s Canegrass Project is located about 620km northeast of Perth in the Murchison region of Western Australia and boasts access via sealed roads from the nearby township of Mt Magnet. 

Viking Mines had $3.35 million cash at hand as of 31 March 2023, as stated in its latest quarterly release. However, this was increased to $4.35 million following a payment received in Ghana subsequent to the quarter end.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Viking Mines Ltd
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.

BHP Hits Annual Production Records Despite ‘Operational Challenges’: Mining Minute July 20

Mining giant BHP (ASX:BHP) achieved its production guidance for all of its major commodities over the 2023 financial year, despite challenges over the period including two fatalities and impacts from Tropical Cyclone Ilsa in Western Australia. Also in today’s Mining Minute, UK inflation cools and news from Viking Mines (ASX:VKA).

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Written By Carolyn Rebeiro
Joining Mining.com.au from the West Coast, finance presenter Carolyn began her journalism degree in Townsville and developed a passion for mining news after a FIFO stint in WA's Goldfields.

Viking Mines completes latest drilling at Canegrass Vanadium Project in WA

Critical minerals explorer Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has completed a 7,000m reverse circulation (RC) drilling program to grow the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at its Canegrass Vanadium Project in Western Australia. 

The $12.3 million market capitalisation company says the drilling comprised 44 RC holes and focused on targeting extensions, growth, and the discovery of new ‘high-grade’ mineral resources outside of the current 79 million tonne (Mt) @ 0.64% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5) mineral resource.

Assays are expected to be received by the end of July. 

Viking reports drilling also tested 5 exploration targets outside of the current MRE in order to assess the potential of the 8km VTM horizon, as well as previous ‘high-grade’ hits, which include hole VCRC0006 with 17m @ 0.98% V2O5, including 12m @ 1.06% V2O5. 

This hole was completed in March at the Kinks South prospect. 

With assays expected by the end of July, Viking Mines announces it continues to make ‘rapid advancements’ at the project, with further activities including the completion of logging of drill chips and an assessment of target areas tested. 

Other future activities include assessing results from a preliminary sighter metallurgical testwork program once received, as well as an update of the geological model following the return of all analysis results.  

Commenting on the results, Viking Mines Managing Director & Chief Executive Officer Julian Woodcock says: “This is the first substantial drill campaign to be completed at the project in more than a decade, comprising 44 drill holes totalling 7,000m. 

The focus of this drilling programme is to extend and grow the current Mineral Resource, while also assessing the potential of the >8km strike length of VTM mineralisation, specifically targeting a high-grade component >30Mt >0.9% V2O5. 

The focus of this drilling programme is to extend and grow the current Mineral Resource”

We have already received positive indications ahead of assay results, specifically at the Kinks South target area, with multiple thick zones of magnetite intersected. I look forward to updating the market with initial results later this month.”

Viking Mines is a critical minerals explorer focused on uncovering strategically positioned base and precious metal assets. 

The company’s Canegrass Battery Minerals Project is located in the Murchison region of Western Australia, about 620km northeast of Perth, and currently hosts an inferred MRE of 79Mt @ 0.64% V2O5, 29.7% iron and 6% titanium oxide (TiO2). 

Viking Mines had $3.35 million cash at hand on 31 March, which increased to $4.35 million following the receipt of funds from Ghana subsequent to the quarter’s end, as stated in its latest quarterly report released on 28 April 2023.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Viking Mines Ltd
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Written By Adam Drought
Born and raised in the UK, Adam is a sports fanatic with an interest in Rugby League and UFC/MMA. When not training in Muay Thai and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu, Adam attends Griffith University where he is completing his final year of a Communication & Journalism degree.