Helix Resources (ASX:HLX) is getting ready to spin-off its New South Wales nickel-cobalt play into a new special-purpose vehicle dubbed Ionick Metals amid a management shift.
Speaking to Mining.com.au on the sidelines of the International Mining and Resources Conference (IMARC) on day 2 (1 November 2023), Helix Executive Technical Director Kylie Prendergast says the spin-off follows a consolidation of its nickel-cobalt projects, including the Homeville Nickel-Cobalt deposit, which currently holds an 18 million tonne (Mt) @ 0.9% nickel and 0.06% cobalt Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE).
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“We have a nickel-cobalt play; probably, if you benchmark it, it is one of the better nickel laterite projects, with quite high-grade nickel of just over a per cent. We have consolidated a whole suite of these nickel-cobalt projects, and we’re looking to put them into a new vehicle called Ionick Metals, and you will see more about that in a couple of months,” Prendergast says.
“The project is the old Homeville, which has an existing resource, and there is also a suite of other projects and a lot of exploration scale associated with that resource.”
Prendergast tells this news service that the company is also pursuing potential drilling on its gold projects in conjunction with planning of early-stage work on a new licence just north of ground held by Aeris Resources (ASX:AIS).
“We are not just about copper; we are also about gold projects, which do fall into our portfolio. We are actually evaluating a couple of gold projects at the moment and hopefully we can get to a drill stage on those as well.
We have also picked up a new licence just to the north of Aeris’s ground, so we look to start early-stage work on that.”
The Executive Technical Director adds that exploration will be at the forefront of the company’s plans to close off 2023 and begin 2024.
“We have a very active and proactive team. There are 5 geologsts working and living at the project, so we have no FIFO and we are very busy, with thousands of geochemical samples submitted to the laboratory and waiting for those to come back.
There are always more samples coming. We are defining new prospects and from that information defining new drill targets. So we expect to be drilling on and off every couple of months as we test a new target, and we will either do more work or we will turn that target over and focus on a new one.
“With 30-40 prospects in our portfolio, the real focus is getting the exploration really efficiently testing and turning those targets over”
With 30-40 prospects in our portfolio, the real focus is getting the exploration really efficiently testing and turning those targets over.”
These activities come at a time in which the company is experiencing a management shift, with Managing Director Mike Rosenstreich taking a step back to allow Prendergast to apply her expertise to the upcoming exploration.
“We have gotten to the point now where we have delineated and defined one resource. We have got very prospective structural trends with bits of copper all along them, and we are really now in a technical exploration space,” Prendergast says.
“It makes sense for us to leverage my skillset with the team and really try to drive that exploration.”
More recently, Helix announced the preparation of structural interpretation of the Black Range prospect to guide future drilling, as reported on 25 October.
Helix Resources is ‘all-in on copper’ exploration within the prolific copper-producing region of Cobar, New South Wales, to generate new copper targets on its ‘large’ and ‘underexplored’ ground position.
Helix Resources had $4.214 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: Helix Resources