Summit doubles down on WA uranium

Looking to capitalise on uranium’s bull run, Summit Minerals (ASX:SUM) has reinstated its Stallion Uranium Project in Western Australia, with fresh exploration work now planned.

While Western Australia is yet to lift its general ban on uranium mining in the state, it seems Summit is hopeful that growing global calls for nuclear energy support could see this ban removed in time for Stallion to come online. 

The company is putting its money where its mouth is, too, with the Summit team now working to expand its project organically through exploration and mergers and acquisitions. 

Stallion hosts an inferred resource — estimated by previous owner Manhattan Corporation (ASX:MHC) back in 2017 — of 9.9 million tonnes @ 150 parts per million (ppm) triuranium octoxide for 3.3 million pounds of uranium. 

Summit owns 196km-square of exploration tenements in the Stallion area, and the company says it’s working to restate the project’s uranium resource.

As it stands, only 4 uranium projects have been given state approval in Western Australia to progress through to mining — all of which received approval under the state’s previous Liberal National Government before the Labor Party’s election in 2017. 

Among these is Deep Yellow’s (ASX:DYL) Mulga Rock Project, which lies just 55km away from the Stallion Project. 

While the WA government has made no indications that it plans to lift its uranium mining ban, industry groups and voters alike are showing increasing support for nuclear energy and, subsequently, uranium mining. 

For example, a Minerals Council of Australia poll in September 2023 found that 49% of respondents supported uranium mining as opposed to just 16% who were against it. 

This prompted the industry body to urge the WA government to reconsider its uranium ban. 

For Summit, the company has begun planning a new exploration campaign for uranium at Stallion, although the company says in tandem with this work, it will continue to progress towards a maiden Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for rare earth elements in the project area. 

Meanwhile, as part of the company’s portfolio review, Summit says a recent prospecting program at its Castor Project in the James Bay region of Canada not only confirmed the presence of lithium pegmatites but also identified several anomalous copper-gold-bearing targets.

The best gold results from the sampling work included 7.31 grams per tonne (g/t) gold with 1.99% iron and elevated copper in a 10cm-wide quartz vein with trace malachite. 

Lithium results include 54 parts per million (ppm) Li2O in a biotite-rich gneissic metamorphic rock.

However, Summit says these results do not necessarily indicate the presence of a lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatite system in the area, although given the new gold findings, future work at Castor could focus on the potential copper-gold system in the region. 

In any case, Summit has made the call to pause work on its Castor project until further notice, particularly in light of the current ‘poor lithium market’ and low lithium prices. 

Finally, Summit has also paused work on its Ahmed Antimony Project in Morrocco following the results of a recent field reconnaissance program across the area.

The company says the results of this program found that the antimony mineralisation in the area is mostly contained to the southern block of the project, mainly occurs as the sulphide stibnite, is ‘generally thin’, and is poddy by nature.

As it continues to review and assess its portfolio of projects, Summit says it is advancing commercial discussions on ‘various value-accreditive opportunities’. 

Write to Joshua Smith at Mining.com.au

Images: Summit Minerals and WA Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade
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Written By Joshua Smith
Joshua Smith has years of experience in the media sector, having worked as a markets reporter, features writer, and editor since completing a Communications and Journalism degree and a Creative Writing degree. Josh is an avid board game fan and a self-professed coffee snob.