Graphene Manufacturing gaining global interest

Graphene Manufacturing Group (TSX-V:GMG) continues to see a broad range of applications for a completed GMG Graphene Aluminium Ion Battery (G+AI Battery) utilising its ultra-high power-density and nominal energy density characteristics.

Along with mining giant Rio Tinto (ASX:RIO), GMG says a range of global companies have confidentially expressed interest in working with the company in vertical sectors such as electric vehicles, rail, aviation, personal electronics, energy storage, and diesel engine replacement.

The G+AI Battery is being developed by GMG and the University of Queensland.

GMG, which is a disruptive Australian-based clean-tech company listed on the TSX-V, has identified minimal temperature rise when charging and discharging its battery. The company says this is observed when charging and discharging multiple times at high C rates.

C rate measures the current in a which a battery can be charged or discharged.

Graphene Manufacturing says the temperature of a high-quality lithium-ion battery, produced by a world-leading brand can exceed 60 degrees Celsius when being discharged at the maximum current allowed (4.8 C-rate – an estimated 0.8 A/g on the cathode active material mass).

By comparison, GMG’s G+AI Battery temperature is 29 degrees Celsius when it is discharged at even higher current density (20 C-rate – about 2 A/g on the cathode active mass). The temperatures of both batteries were taken with the room temperature at 23.5 degrees Celsius (+/- 0.5 degrees Celsius).

The company intends to validate with further testing the possibility that its battery may not need thermal management, even at high charge and discharge rates. It says this creates the potential for significant cost reduction at the system level and highly reduced system cost.

GMG’s battery may not need a thermal management system when used in an electric vehicle battery pack or an energy storage system, which the company says will lead to a simpler, more cost effective and higher energy density battery pack.

The company says the elimination of thermal management can potentially reduce the weight of an electric vehicle battery pack by up to 16%.

GMG’s battery also has no combustible volatile organic materials, making it more resilient to the risk of chemical fires, such as those that have occurred with lithium-ion batteries.

GMG produces graphene and hydrogen by cracking methane (natural gas) instead of mining graphite. By using the company’s proprietary process, it can produce high quality, scalable, ‘tuneable’ and no/low contaminant graphene enabling demonstrated cost and environmental improvements in a number of world-scale planet-friendly/clean-tech applications.

Using this low input cost source of graphene, the company is developing value-added products that target the massive energy efficiency and energy storage markets. The company is pursuing additional opportunities for GMG graphene, including developing next-generation batteries, collaborating with world-leading universities in Australia, and investigating the opportunity to enhance the performance of lubricant oil and performance enhanced HVAC-R coating system.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.

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.

Nimy to imminently launch Masson drilling

Nimy Resources (ASX:NIM) is gearing up to start a follow-up reverse circulation (RC) drilling program next week at the Masson prospect, within the Mons Project in Western Australia. 

The $15.33 million market capitalisation company aims to follow-up on the massive sulphide mineralisation intersected late last year at the prospect, as well as test extensions to known and new plates uncovered by recent geophysics. 

Executive Director Luke Hampson says the company is focused on extending its understanding of the massive sulphide mineralisation as Nimy believes initial results are ‘highly significant’ and an ‘excellent’ opportunity to uncover a substantial nickel copper deposit at Masson. 

“We are moving quickly to establish the extent of the massive sulphides hosted within the mafic rock type, within a large electromagnetic anomaly and along the contact zone.”

Finally modelling of fixed-loop electromagnetic (FLEM) and down hole electromagnetic (DHEM) surveys suggest massive sulphide mineralisation is within a ‘large’ EM anomaly. 

Nimy says this indicates the potential for the Masson discovery to be a ‘large’, massive nickel-copper sulphide deposit. 

The holes for drilling will be cased to prepare for additional DHEM surveys designed to capture any extension of the high conductance plates along the FLEM trend, which is open north, south, and below the current plate modelling. 

The Mons project sits at the northern end of the Forrestania nickel belt in Western Australia. 

Nimy Resources is a critical minerals-focused explorer that holds 16 tenements covering a 2,564km-square area within the Archean Murchison Domain of the Youanmi Terrane of the Yilgarn Craton. 

As of 30 September 2023, the company had $1.52 million cash at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

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.

Lithium enhancement: Zinc outside the box

Researchers have found that a special zinc additive enhances the performance of thin lithium metal strips and prevents structural degradation in the quest for scalable production of high-performance anodes for lithium-ion batteries.

A research team led by scientists from Central South University, Changsha, Hunan, China have used the Australian Synchrotron in developing a novel strategy for the scalable production of high-performance, thin, and free-standing lithium anodes for lithium-ion batteries with enhanced cycling stability and electrochemical properties.

The Australian Synchrotron is a major research facility located in Clayton, a technology and innovation hub of southeast Melbourne. It is one of Australia’s most significant pieces of scientific infrastructure.

In 2013, Australia’s Nuclear Science and Technology Organisation (ANSTO) became the new operator of the Australian Synchrotron, which brought together two of the nation’s most significant pieces of scientific infrastructure to advance science outcomes for the nation.

According to ANSTO, the work being undertaken by scientists is to meet the growing demand for high-performance lithium-ion batteries.

ANSTO says solid-state lithium metal has a high energy density and high capacity theoretically, making it an ideal replacement for traditional graphite anodes.

“The team produced thin lithium strips with thicknesses ranging from 5 to 50 micrometres, with better mechanical strength, electrochemical performance and impressive cycling stability compared to untreated lithium strips

In a paper published in Nature Communications, the team reports that a special zinc additive dialkyl dithiophosphate (ZDDP) enhanced the performance of thin lithium metal strips.

ANSTO notes that the research demonstrates that the additive increased hardness at the interface, prevented structural degradation (growth of lithium dendrites), controlled the deposition of lithium during plating/stripping, and the lithium anode could be plated and stripped faster than other materials.

“The team produced thin lithium strips with thicknesses ranging from 5 to 50 micrometres, with better mechanical strength, electrochemical performance and impressive cycling stability compared to untreated lithium strips.”

ANSTO says that a cycle lifetime of up to 2,800 hours was maintained even at a high area capacity. Additionally, a symmetrical cell based on ultrathin lithium strips with 15 micrometres thickness lasted for more than 800 hours.

The study also included a full cell configuration using LiFePO4(LFP) and ZDDP-coated lithium, showing excellent cycling life with over 83.2% capacity retention after 350 cycles. In comparison, a cell without ZDDP degraded rapidly.

The improved electrochemical characteristics of the ZDDP-coated lithium anode were attributed to the creation of a high-strength artificial solid electrolyte interface (SEI) layer with a high affinity for lithium.

Instrument scientist Dr Bernt Johannessen says this was an example of innovative work in the development of ultra-thin lithium, only microns thick that is manufactured for solid-state batteries.

For the study, a zinc-based oil was developed and used during the production process, in which the lithium is rolled out thinner and thinner, similar to how you roll dough through a pasta machine.

Samples were mailed to the synchrotron, and Dr Johannessen undertook the measurements of the lithium anodes using the X-ray absorption spectroscopy beamline, which has proved particularly useful in investigating energy materials and catalysis.

The beamline produced nearly twice the number of publications through 2023 as compared to the previous year.

Beaming with pride

Johannessen adds: “On that note, we owe our user community a debt of gratitude; they are being wonderfully productive and taking full advantage of recent developments, such as fast scanning techniques, at the beamline.”

Dr Zhibin Wu, the second author, was a recipient of the AINSE Postgraduate Research Award recipient and studied under the co-supervision of Dr Bernt Johannessen during his PhD at the University of Wollongong.

A synchrotron is a very large, circular, gigavolt technology about the size of a football field. From outside, the Australian Synchrotron, for example, looks like a roofed football stadium. But on the inside, it’s very different. Instead of grass and seating, there is a vast circular network of interconnecting tunnels and high tech apparatus.

Synchrotrons use electrons to produce intense beams of light more than a million times brighter than the sun. The light is produced when high-energy electrons are forced to travel in a circular orbit inside the synchrotron tunnels by the ‘synchronised’ application of strong magnetic fields.

The electron beam travels just under the speed of light – about 299,792km a second. The intense light they produce is filtered and adjusted to travel into an experimental workstation, where light reveals the innermost, sub-macroscopic secrets of materials, from human tissue to plants to metals and more.

The synchrotron produces X-ray and infrared radiation that is channelled down long pipelines, known as beamlines, into a suite of scientific instruments.

Write to Adam Orlando at Mining.com.au

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Written By Adam Orlando
Mining.com.au Editor-in-Chief Adam Orlando has more than 20 years’ experience in the media having held senior roles at various publications, including as Asia-Pacific Sector Head (Mining) at global newswire Acuris (formerly Mergermarket). Orlando has worked in newsrooms around the world including Hong Kong, Singapore, London, and Sydney.

Leo Lithium returns to ASX amid turbulence

Leo Lithium (ASX:LLL) resumed trading on the Australian Securities Exchange (ASX) today (4 September 2023) following several weeks of voluntary suspension but it has not roared back into action.

Shares in Leo Lithium were down 51.32% to $0.56 as of 12:35pm AEST following news of several ongoing issues at the company’s flagship Goulamina Lithium Project in Mali.

The resumption of trading follows a two-day trading halt from 18 July, followed by a voluntary suspension from 20 July until this morning.

Suspension of DSO

Chief among the hurdles at Goulamina — Leo Lithium’s sole asset — is a directive from Mali’s Ministry of Mines to suspend the direct shipped ore (DSO) component of activities.

As recently as 30 June, Leo Lithium had been targeting 185,000 tonnes per year of DSO exports until spodumene production begins, saying that the haulage process would also help define the optimum handling solution.

Though no clear reason was given for the directive, Leo Lithium says it has submitted information to the Mali government outlining both the DSO operations and the potential benefits to the country from DSO sales. No formal response to the submission has yet been received, but the company was quick to note that mining is continuing in line with the pre-existing plan, although its previous guidance on 2023 and 2024 DSO production and sales had been withdrawn.

Managing Director Siman Hay says: “While Leo Lithium had a preference to bring Goulamina DSO product to market in advance of our expected spodumene concentrate production in the first half of 2024, it is not necessary for a successful project, and we did not consider a DSO opportunity in our feasibility studies.”

Tax issues

Located roughly 150km by road from Mali’s capital city Bamako, the Goulamina Project is held by Leo Lithium through a 50% stake in Mali Lithium BV (MLBV), in which Ganfeng Lithium Group (SHE:002460) holds the remaining 50% interest. MLBV owns Lithium du Mali SA (LMSA), which in turn owns the Goulamina Project.

LMSA’s relationship with the country is governed by an agreement that was transferred to the company when it acquired the project, and which Leo Lithium claims the Mali government has failed to honour. 

Under the agreement, LMSA is exempt from duties and taxes on petroleum products used to generate energy for the extraction, transport and processing of ore. It’s also entitled to a 3-year exemption from import duties and taxes on equipment for the project.

“Since mid-July 2023, the government’s actions have not been consistent with the project’s exemptions from import duties and taxes for the importation of equipment,” the company says in an announcement this morning.

“Leo Lithium did not receive any communication of this change.”

To date, the company has paid US$4 million ($6.2 million) in import duties and taxes, and expects to rack up another US$16.1 million ($24.94 million) this quarter if the issue is not resolved.

As a result, the total estimated exposure for LMSA regarding “unplanned” import duties and taxes amounts to between US$45 million and US$50 million (between $69.71 million and $77.45 million).

Association with Firefinch

There is also some contention over Leo Lithium’s association with Firefinch (ASX:FFX), which owns the Morila Gold Mine in Mali, and from which Leo Lithium was spun-out in early 2022.

“For clarity, Leo Lithium is not considering any future involvement in Morila

“Leo Lithium and Ganfeng have presented information to the Commission” — set up by the Mali Government to handle the issues — “that conclusively shows that Leo Lithium and Ganfeng have no connection with Firefinch (other than Firefinch holding a 17.6% shareholding in Leo Lithium with no board representation), that the Goulamina licence was validly transferred from a Firefinch entity to LMSA, and that Leo Lithium and Ganfeng were not involved with the Morila Gold Mine at any time,” the company says.

“For clarity, Leo Lithium is not considering any future involvement in Morila.”

New mining code

Central to these issues, however, could be a new mining code that was rolled out by Mali’s interim President Assimi Goita last week. Leo Lithium says it has commenced a review of the code and will advise of any impacts.

President Goita overthrew 2 previous presidents in 2020 and 2021 during coups spurred by anger at the handling of an Islamist insurgency, which has only worsened since his junta took power. He has said he will organise elections and restore power to civilians in 2024.

Under the new code, the military-led government will be able to increase its ownership of gold concessions and recoup what it says are major shortfalls in production revenues. That ownership is currently capped at 20%, but will be increased to up to 35%, potentially doubling the sector’s contributions to GDP in the process.

Mali’s Finance Minister Alousseni Sanou said last week that an audit of the mining sector had shown the state was missing 300 billion to 600 billion CFA francs ($768 million to $1.54 billion), which it intends to recover.

It’s not yet known whether the new code will affect existing projects, but a mining ministry official told Reuters recently that it would depend on the implementing decrees, which are yet to be made available.

Cooperation agreement with Ganfeng

But it’s perhaps not all bad news. Leo Lithium finalised a cooperation agreement with Ganfeng on September 3, outlining a range of “long-term strategic benefits”

They include raising the proposed stage two capacity to 500,000 tonnes per year, which would lift overall capacity at Goulamina to 1 million tonnes per year, and evaluating the potential to co-invest in a downstream conversion facility in Europe, or another region within reasonable distance of West Africa.

As such, the original strategic placement agreement will be replaced by an equity investment agreement, underwhich Ganfeng will fund US$137.2 million ($212.16 million) worth of costs at Goulamina in exchange for new shares in MLBV. Ganfeng will then earn up to a 55% stake in MLBV, with Leo Lithium holding the remaining 45% as operator and manager of the joint venture.

Despite the issues, Leo Lithium says construction and mining activities remain on schedule, and that delays due to custom duties are recoverable

The only material change to come from this restructuring is that offtakes for any potential stage three expansion will reflect the new equity positions. That is, Leo Lithium will be entitled to 45% of stage three offtake, as opposed to 50%.

Despite the issues, Leo Lithium says construction and mining activities remain on schedule, and that delays due to custom duties are recoverable.

The project was estimated to be roughly 35% complete at the end of July, but this is expected to accelerate with additional contractors on site over the next few months.

As of June 30, Leo Lithium had $67.1 million in cash, while the Goulamina JV had US$60.5 million ($93.55 million). This is in addition to a US$40 million ($61.85 million) undrawn debt facility, the drawdown of which is expected to begin this month.

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 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 

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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.

Askari uncovers lithium mineralisation at Hillside

Askari Metals (ASX:AS2) has uncovered lithium mineralisation through an initial reconnaissance rock and soil sampling campaign at its Hillside Lithium Project in Western Australia. 

The $17.32 million market capitalisation company plans to target these newly discovered sites through upcoming geochemical soil sampling, trenching, and high-resolution remote sensing data. 

This data will be used to better refine the characteristics of the zone, with results anticipated to generate ‘high-confidence’ drill targets. 

Results from the reconnaissance rock sampling campaign include 350 parts per million (ppm) lithium (Li). Meanwhile, consistent results from 25 soil samples include 76ppm Li. 

Askari reports 3 ‘significant’ mineralised corridors were discovered covering a total strike length of 4.6km. 

Commenting on the program, Askari Metals Vice President of Exploration and Geology Johan Lambrechts says: “This sampling campaign has expanded on initial findings from March 2023, with 3 significant mineralised corridors or zones of lithium mineralisation now identified. 

The results show the zone of lithium mineralisation in Area One covers a strike length of 2.2km, whilst at Area Two and Area Three, the lithium mineralised corridor strikes 800m and 1.6km, respectively. 

Rock and soil samples were collected from a wide area across the project, and these results have identified areas where we can focus our follow up work phases. We are now planning to complete a detailed soil geochemical sampling survey across those 3 major zones of lithium mineralisation.”

The Hillside Lithium Project covers a 65km-square area in the Pilbara region of Western Australia. The project is considered ‘highly prospective’ for lithium-tin-tantalum mineralisation. 

Askari Metals is an explorer and developer focused on its portfolio of ‘high-grade’ battery and precious metal projects across Namibia, Western Australia, the Northern Territory, and New South Wales. 

As of 30 June 2023, the company had $3.453 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

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.

Western Mines confirms Mulga Tank nickel sulphide

Western Mines Group (ASX:WMG) has reported ‘very positive’ aqua regia testwork results from hole MTD026 at its Mulga Tank Project in Western Australia. 

The $28.76 million market capitalisation company says the results indicate that nickel (Ni) is ‘very likely’ predominantly associated with sulphide mineralisation in the area. 

Hole MTD026 returned a four acid result of 130m @ 0.305% Ni, 136 parts per million (ppm) cobalt (Co), 122ppm copper (Cu) from 116m. Meanwhile, the aqua regia result includes 130m @ 0.3% Ni, 132ppm Co, 121ppm Cu from 116m. 

Both results suggest a ‘high’ percentage of nickel in sulphide form versus silicate nickel, with the 130m intersection showing better than 98% similarity in results. 

Western Mines says assuming this mineralisation is laterally continuous, these results demonstrate the potential for the complex to host ‘significant’ volumes of nickel sulphide form within a ‘large’ near-surface, open-pit scenario for the project. 

Commenting on the aqua regia results, Western Mines Group Managing Director Caedmon Marriott says: “This basic comparison testwork has now been completed on 5 holes showing significant intersections of disseminated sulphide mineralisation and attempts to further prove the disseminated nickel mineralisation at Mulga Tank is hosted in potentially recoverable sulphide form — these very positive results clearly demonstrate it likely is. 

the drilling results to date show the potential for the Mulga Tank Complex to host large volumes of nickel in sulphide form

We’re conscious of exploring by economics and deliberately selected shallow intervals found in the top few hundred vertical metres that could be amenable to a large-scale open-pit scenario. Shallow intersections from 4 holes, MTD012, MTD022, MTD023, and MTD026, appear laterally continuous over some 2.3km, though a lot of further drilling is required to confirm this. 

Even considering just these uppermost intersections, the drilling results to date show the potential for the Mulga Tank Complex to host large volumes of nickel in sulphide form. Further infilling drilling is planned to test the continuity, with a potentially very significant shallow nickel sulphide resource there for us to go after.”

Western Mines notes that infill drilling will be required to confirm the lateral extent of the mineralisation uncovered. The feasibility of this will be tested over the next few months. 

Mulga Tank is Western Mine’s flagship project and is located 190km east-northeast of Kalgoorlie in the Duketon Domain of the Burtville Terrane in the Eastern Goldfields province of Western Australia. 

Western Mines is a mineral exploration company focused on uncovering ‘high-value’ gold and nickel sulphide deposits across its ‘highly prospective’ portfolio of assets in Western Australia. 

As of 30 June 2023, the company had $3.272 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

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.

Woomera Mining bolsters ground position in Ravensthorpe Lithium Province

Woomera Mining (ASX:WML) has struck a farm-in and joint venture (JV) agreement to earn a 70% interest in Anax Metals’ (ASX:ANX) Mt Short Project in Western Australia.

Under the agreement, Woomera, which has a $10.51 million market capitalisation, must spend a minimum of $150,000 on the new project within 9 months of signing the agreement, and if Woomera elects to continue with the project, the company will need to pay Anax $50,000 cash. 

Woomera may then earn its 70% interest by spending another $1.5 million over 3 years, and Anax may then elect to contribute or reduce to a 20% interest free carried to a decision to mine. 

If Woomera makes a decision to mine, Anax may contribute its 20% or reduce to a 1.5% royalty.

Commenting on this agreement, Woomera Mining Chairman Ian Gordon says: “This is an exciting opportunity for Woomera to increase its footprint in a proven lithium belt. Furthermore, there are walk-up drill targets which the company will pursue as soon as access is secured.”

This is an exciting opportunity for Woomera to increase its footprint in a proven lithium belt”

The company notes the intended source of the funds for the expenditure under the agreement will initially come from its existing cash reserves. 

Woomera plans to execute access agreements with the various landowners over the next 3 months, after which it will conduct soil sampling across the entire tenement, alongside a reverse circulation (RC) drill program in the area of historical drillholes that intersected ‘significant’ pegmatite. 

The company says these exploration activities will begin towards the end of 2023, once crops have been harvested. 

Woomera Mining is an ASX-listed exploration company. The company is focused on exploring for battery metals and gold in the Yilgarn and Pilbara Cratons of Western Australia, plus the Musgrave Province in South Australia.

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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.