Helix Resources’ subsidiary Ionick Metals executes option agreement with Jodama to accelerate NSW venture

Helix Resources (ASX:HLX) reports its wholly owned subsidiary Ionick Metals has executed an option agreement with privately held Jodama to accelerate its nickel-cobalt venture in the ‘Greater Cobar’ region of New South Wales. 

The company says this yearlong agreement with Jodama represents the initial phase of a broader strategy of unlocking hidden value for a suite of Ni-Co-platinum group metals (PGM) prospects centred around Ionick’s Homeville nickel-cobalt deposit. 

Helix notes under the agreement Ionick will secure 3 exploration licences (Hillview, Woodlong, and Murrabee) considered prospective for laterite-hosted Ni-Co-PGM mineralisation. 

The company adds it plans to float Ionick on the ASX in the second half of this year in exchange for vendor and performance shares in Ionick, subject to market conditions and regulatory approval. 

Terms of the option include an option fee comprising a $30,000 cash payment and the completion of a $60,000 exploration expenditure on the Jodama tenements. Ionick has the option to extend the agreement for another 12 months and will comprise an additional $40,000 cash payment and a further $120,000 of exploration expenditure.     

Speaking on the Ionick nickel-cobalt strategy, Helix Resources Managing Director Mike Rosenstreich says: “The Helix board considers that there is significant unrealised value in the nickel-cobalt assets that Helix holds, particularly recognising that nickel and cobalt, lie copper, are also critical metals in the electrical energy transition taking place globally. 

We are excited by the asset profile; a high-grade nickel-cobalt laterite resource at Homeville, surrounded by numerous prospects with shallow, thick nickel-cobalt intercepts highlighting the potential to substantially grow the resource base. 

With the Collerina – Homeville area now finally drying out after flooding rains, we look forward to drilling some of these prospects to ‘prove the concept’ of shallow, high-grade easy to define resources. For these types of traditionally ‘capital-intensive’ projects, demonstrating that resource-scale can be addressed is a prime objective with viable process options closely linked to that. The project area appears well served by logistics infrastructure which is a material hurdle holding many similar projects back. 

“This option over the Jodama Licences provides a series of early-stage targets to advanced prospects easily accessible from Homeville and complements Ionick’s existing portfolio…”

This option over the Jodama Licences provides a series of early-stage targets to advanced prospects easily accessible from Homeville and complements Ionick’s existing portfolio very well. 

Helix’s strategy is focused on copper, with numerous targets and prospects to hunt down. The nickel-cobalt exploration is reasonably straight forward in terms of delineating mineralisation with greater attention required on the metallurgical and processing aspects – hence to us it makes sense to split the two commodity groups. Note, there will be synergies and savings between Ionick and Helix’s operations in the area including overlap on many regional scale data sets. 

We look forward to undertaking the initial drilling work and finalising the business plan for ionic in the next few months. This should set us up for the IPO runway in the middle of this year.” 

The company also notes the additional licences under option add ‘drill-ready’ advanced prospects and early-stage targets to Ionick’s portfolio. 

Helix adds the additional licences boast ‘excellent’ potential to define additional mineral resources, with drilling highlights returned from the various tenures including 24m @ 1.01% Ni and 0.06% Co (Sykes prospect); and 25m @ 0.82% Ni and 0.05% Co including 8m @ 1.12% Ni and 0.09% Co (Browder prospect). 

With the option agreement now signed by both parties, Helix Resources announces a 4,500m drilling program has been designed to test advanced prospects and targets for nickel and cobalt in coming months.

Helix Resources is an ASX-listed resources company which is ‘all-in on copper’ exploration in the prolific copper producing region of Cobar, NSW. The company possesses a sizable ground position across 2 tenement groups that are described as ‘largely untested’ despite being located within 50km of ‘significant’ copper producing operations. 

Projects included within Helix’s exploration arsenal include the Collerina Project, Cobar Gold Project, Rochford Copper Trend Project, and the Canbelego joint venture (JV) Project.

Images: Helix Resources 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.