Q1 lays out foundations for Astute’s forthcoming programs

Astute Metals (ASX:ASE) says work conducted during Q1 2024 has laid the foundations for two forthcoming programs at the Red Mountain and Georgina Basin projects. 

As this news service previously reported, a maiden drill program is scheduled to begin in early May this year at the Red Mountain project in Nevada, US, with 10 drill sites permitted. 

The $22.17 million market capitalisation company will conduct a 1,500m reverse circulation (RC) drilling program, designed to test for lithium clay mineralisation in the subsurface environment over a more than 5km strike length. 

Drilling is subject to ground conditions encountered and rock types intersected during the program. 

During the March quarter, Astute also initiated proceedings against a competitor who had claimed the rights to a “Contested Area” at Red Mountain, with the aim of confirming ownership of that area. 

Astute has engaged in a preliminary dispute with the counterparty and aims to expedite these proceedings to achieve a satisfactory resolution. 

Meanwhile at the Leichhardt East target, the company is planning to begin a drill program at the Georgina Basin Project in the Northern Territory, during June/July 2024, as previously reported

The initial hole will provide proof-of-concept that the novel geophysical modelling approach conducted by Astute is effective at identifying high-density targets under cover. 

Once confirmed, further drillholes will be designed and permitted for the Banks and Leichhardt West prospects. 

During Q1 2024, Astute uncovered three “compelling” anomalies using advanced geophysical modelling at the Leichhardt East, West, and Banks targets. 

The high-ranking Leichhardt East target has strong iron-oxide-copper-gold characteristics as a high-density anomaly between regional faults and nearby copper-uranium-bismuth-silver anomalism intersected in drilling. 

Meanwhile, in the quarterly report released today (29 April 2024), Astute also reveals a “positive” Scoping Study was completed at the Governor Broome Mineral Sands Project in Western Australia, which highlighted the project’s value. 

As previously reported, Astute outlined it will actively consider options including sourcing project funding, investigating potential joint venture partners, and review sale options and likely buyers for the asset, upon completing the study. 

Governor Broome contains 36% measured mineral resources, 60% indicated, and 4% inferred over the life of the project. 

Through the Scoping Study, it is estimated the project’s capital costs will be $91 million, with an average annual revenue of $125 million, and an average annual operating cost of $83 million. 

Astute also reports the project is estimated to have a pre-tax net present value (at 10% discount rate) of $139 million. The project payback period is anticipated to be two years. 

Astute Metals is a critical and battery metals explorer with assets in Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and Nevada, US. 

As of 31 March 2024, the company had $1.644 million in cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report. 

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au   

Images: Astute Metals 
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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.