Tivan greenlights Speewah fluorite resource expansion

Critical minerals explorer Tivan (ASX:TVN) has started planning an expansion of its Speewah Fluorite Project Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) following an independent resource review by SRK Consulting. 

The $94.42 million market capitalisation company first flagged that it had signed on SRK for the resource review back in early February, and with the review now complete, the two parties have agreed to progress with a resource update.

This will include exploring opportunities for resource expansion outside of the existing resource envelope.

According to Tivan, SRK’s review found that there were no ‘fatal flaws’ with the prior resource estimate for the Speewah project, but there remains the potential for a ‘small to modest amount of additional mineral resource tonnage’ from depth extensions, peripheral veins, and the Western Zone. 

In tandem with the resource update work, Tivan is working with SRK to evaluate the development of an exploration target for the Speewah fluorite project in support of planning resource extension drilling. 

SRK says it could develop this exploration target in conjunction with the mineral resource update, but Tivan has yet to make a formal determination regarding the exploration target. 

In any case, Tivan has started gearing up for a resource extension drilling program currently scheduled for the September quarter of 2023. The program will target fluorite mineralisation along-strike and at depth below the existing resource, as well as some known fluorite-hosting veins outside of the resource area.

All this comes as Tivan progresses with a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) for the project, which is expected to be completed by June 2024 and will include the planned initial April resource update. 

Looking ahead, the company is then planning to publish another resource update following the receipt of assays from the third-quarter drilling before delivering a PFS update before the end of the year. 

Tivan Executive Chairman Grant Wilson says the company is confident that it has ‘significant scope’ to expand the Speewah fluorite resources and that its drill program can be designed in a ‘highly capital efficient manner’.

“The results of these works will be integrated into project studies as we proceed, with Tivan, SRK, and Lycopodium working in close collaboration to achieve the optimal project design. 

The Speewah Fluorite Project will take shape through conventional stage gates thereafter, keeping Tivan on track for our production target of late 2026.”

Fluorite is used to produce commercial-grade fluorspar products and fluorine, and it subsequently has industrial applications in steel, aluminium, and chemical manufacturing, as well as lithium-ion batteries, solar cells, and semiconductor manufacturing. 

According to Tivan, the global fluorspar market is forecast to move into a structural deficit from 2025, with the price of acid-grade fluorspar topping historical highs through 2023. 

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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.

Magnetic delivers ‘excellent’ PFS for Lady Julie

Gold developer Magnetic Resources (ASX:MAU) has published a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) for its Lady Julie Project in Western Australia, highlighting a ‘financially robust’ project with a 9-year mine life. 

Over the life of the project, Magnetic is expecting to produce 720,000 ounces of gold, averaging 87,000 ounces per year, according to the new PFS. 

With a pre-tax internal rate of return (IRR) of 85% at a gold price of $2,800 per ounce and increasing to 108% at current spot prices of $3,100 per ounce, Magnetic is forecasting total earnings before interest, tax, depreciation, and amortisation (EBITDA) from Lady Julie of between $982 million and $1.191 billion, depending on gold prices. 

Magnetic says it has reasonable grounds to believe it could finance the project through a combination of debt and equity, with roughly $93.4 million in development capital required for the project to reach production. 

However, the company has yet to launch any formal discussions with potential financiers. When the time comes, Magnetic will explore funding sources including banks, credit funds, export credit agencies, government agencies, and product sales and offtake agreements. 

The company says it will also consider commencing a formal strategic partnership process for alternative funding options. 

According to Magnetic Managing Director George Sakalidis, the ‘excellent’ PFS outcome showcases Lady July as one of the ‘highest-margin’ undeveloped gold projects in Australia. 

“The project’s low-cost profile and strong financial return metrics are primarily driven by the extraordinary near-surface, high-grade nature of the Lady Julie Central and Lady Julie North 4 deposits. This low-cost profile places the project in the bottom half of the cost curve of gold producers in Australia. 

The PFS focuses on mining the indicated and inferred resources of Lady Julie North 4, Lady Julie Central, and Hawks Nest 9. Lady Julie North 4 is by far the largest contributor to the study, producing over 11.5Mt of ore during its operation”

Sakalidis says over the rest of 2024, Magnetic will work to further refine the project’s economics by boosting process recoveries and modifying processing scenarios. 

Further, he says there is potential to further increase production and mine life estimates for Lady Julie from the inclusion of resources drilled since the company’s last update in November 2023. 

With the completion of the PFS, Magnetic Resources will now look to prepare and submit a mining proposal to advance further lease applications and regulatory approvals to allow for mining. 

Images: Magnetic Resources
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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.

Major Impact on new Lake Hope LTL Process 

A new proprietary metallurgical process has been identified for producing high-value High Purity Alumina (HPA) from the lake clays at Impact Minerals’ (ASX:IPT) Lake Hope Project in Western Australia 

The company has uncovered a ‘breakthrough’ alternative HPA metallurgy route at Lake Hope, located 500 km east of Perth, after the use of the new low-temperature leach (LTL) Process. 

The $31.51 million market capitalisation company says the LTL Process has produced HPA at 99.999% purity from the raw lake clay in only a few months of laboratory testwork — one of the fastest times to produce HPA from raw materials reported by ASX-listed companies. 

The LTL Process is a simpler process that may lower the capital and operating costs to produce HPA compared to the Sulphate Process, which has been the focus of testwork to date.

Impact says this result attests to the relatively straightforward nature of the process, which utilises a range of reagents to those used in the Playa One Sulphate Process, which has also recently produced 4N HPA, as reported by Mining.com.au

The company has now started further optimisation studies for the LTL Process and will push forward with our Prefeasibility Study (PFS) using both process routes for the time being to determine the best strategic choice for processing at the project.

Managing Director Dr Mike Jones given Impact can run all these tests in parallel for little extra cost, it is still on course to finish the PFS later this year and continue to look forward towards producing HPA from Lake Hope.

“The LTL Process is simpler than the sulphate process that underpinned our recent Scoping Study and showed that at less than US$4,000 per tonne, Lake Hope may produce HPA at up to 50% cheaper than our peers. 

We think that further work on the LTL Process could result in even lower operating and capital costs, and this would only further enhance the already immersive economics of the project, which has a NPV (net present value) of well over $1 billion.”

Given the potential for chemical and fertiliser products as a valuable by-product from both the sulphate process and the LTL Process, an assessment of the mineral potential of the wider Lake Hope playa system is in progress. 

The PFS is scheduled to be completed in late 2024. Metallurgical testwork is the critical component of the work to be completed for the PFS and is the focus of the forward work program, which will now include batch production from both processes. 

All results are due in the next quarter and will allow a final choice to be made of the process route required for commercial production of HPA. 

The recently released Scoping Study on Lake Hope, which was based on the Sulphate Process, showed that at an operating cost of less than US$4,000 per tonne, Lake Hope could be the lowest-cost producer of HPA globally by a significant margin of up to 50% over Impact’s peers.

Therefore, the company says this margin could be increased should testwork on the new process support these initial results and further demonstrate the potential world-class economics of the Lake Hope project.

Impact Minerals is an explorer which manages ‘extensive’ tenement holdings within Australia. 

The Lake Hope Project sits in Western Australia about 500km east of Perth. Impact can earn an 80% interest in Playa One, which owns the project, by completing the aforementioned PFS.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Impact Minerals
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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.

Sarytogan soon to schedule PFS completion

Sarytogan Graphite (ASX:SGA) has penned in the deadline for a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) at its namesake graphite project in Central Kazakhstan for no later than Q3 2024. 

The $25.85 million market capitalisation company says further reserve definition drilling of the initial mining areas at the Sarytogan Graphite Project is planned for the 2024 field season to fuel the PFS. 

Meanwhile, battery testing is continuing with Sarytogan’s American technology partner following the maiden battery results on Sarytogan uncoated spherical purified graphite (USPG) that delivered ‘superior’ performance to many Chinese synthetic graphites used in lithium-ion batteries. 

The additional activities have been lined up after the company announced today (26 February 2024) it has posted assays from 8 of last year’s geotechnical drillholes, which demonstrates ‘high-grade’ graphite in 92% of all 471.3m drilled. 

Results demonstrate a peak grade of 33.81% total graphite carbon (TGC). 

Sarytogan Graphite Managing Director Sean Gregory says: “These thick, high-grade results, in many cases over the entire length of 60m drillholes drilled into the proposed initial pit walls, highlight the low strip-ratio and exceptionally high-grade mineralisation available at Saryotgan. 

This is another important input to the PFS on track for completion no later than Q3 2024.” 

The Sarytogan Graphite deposit sits in the Karaganda region of Central Kazakhstan about 190km from the industrial city of Karaganda, the fourth largest city in the country. 

Sarytogan Graphite is the sole, 100% owner of the deposit through its wholly owned subsidiary Ushtogan.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Sarytogan Graphite
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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.

Heavy Minerals progressing Port Gregory PFS 

Heavy Minerals (ASX:HVY) is looking to raise $750,000 via a non-underwritten share purchase plan (SPP) to help fund completion of the Port Gregory Project Prefeasibility Study (PFS). 

Proceeds will also be used for permitting for Port Gregory, additional works at the Red Hill Project, and other priority exploration targets, and general working capital. 

The SPP will open 21 February 2024 and is scheduled to close at 5pm (AWST) on 6 March. 

Under the SPP, eligible shareholders will each have the opportunity to apply for up to $30,000 worth of new shares without incurring brokerage or other transaction costs. 

In the event Heavy raises more than the $750,000, the directors in their discretion may decide to scale back or to accept applications that result in the SPP raising more than $750,000. 

Heavy Minerals is an industrial mineral explorer whose projects are prospective for industrial minerals including but not limited to garnet, zircon, rutile, and ilmenite. 

The Port Gregory PFS started early October and is expected to be completed Q2 2024.

In the company’s latest quarterly report released 31 January 2024, Non-Executive Chairman Adam Schofield says with the PFS progressing 2024 looks like a promising year for Heavy.

The company’s initial focus is the Port Gregory and Red Hill Garnet projects in Western Australia, with the Port Gregory project having a JORC 2012 mineral resource of 166 million tonnes @ 4% totally heavy minerals. 

Heavy’s other project is the Inhambane Heavy Mineral Project in Mozambique, which contains ilmenite dominated JORC 2012 inferred mineral resource of 90 million tonnes @ 3% total heavy mineral.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Heavy Minerals
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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.

Brightstar sees glowing Cork Tree Well future

Brightstar Resources (ASX:BTR) has begun early stage talks with regional processing facilities for toll-treating Menzies material as part of a Prefeasibility Study (PFS) for its Cork Tree Well prospect in Western Australia. 

The $28.44 million market capitalisation company says the engagements are in conjunction with ongoing workstreams for the PFS with mining and haulage contractors being contacted for budget pricing. 

Brightstar has also posted multiple ‘high-grade’ hits with visible gold at the Cork Tree Well prospect, as part of its Laverton Gold Project. 

The results, generated from the first 2 diamond holes of an ongoing program, demonstrate gold grades up to 172.41 grams per tonne gold, as well as multiple instances of visible gold in cut core.

According to Brightstar, the results will feed into the ongoing PFS, with metallurgical and geotechnical properties being determined from the program to inform open pit mine design and process plant design criteria.  

Assays for 16 remaining holes are outstanding, but have been prioritised for expedited turn-around. 

Brightstar Resources Managing Director Alex Rovira believes the company has only scratched the surface at the prospect with ‘strong’ potential to build on the existing 303,000 ounce mineral resource.  

“These holes were the first diamond holes drilled at Cork Tree Well by Brightstar, with our understanding of the geological model and mineralisation styles defined by over 28km of previous Brightstar RC drilling being enhanced by the knowledge being gained from this plus 2,000m diamond core program currently in progress.

Due to the high grades returned, several re-assays were completed to cross-check the veracity of the initial result in certain cases, with multiple high-grade re-assays and visible gold supporting a coarse-grained nuggety gold mineralisation model at Delta. 

Importantly, Delta is still open at depth with the deepest hole in the vicinity, SDR126001, returning 31m at 2.12g/t Au highlighting the immense potential for high-grade depth extensions. 

These four diamond holes will form the basis for metallurgical testwork within our Prefeasibility Study which envisages the broader Cork Tree Well project to form the baseload ore feed to our wholly owned processing plant and associated infrastructure located 30km south of Laverton.”

Brightstar Resources is a Perth-based gold explorer and developer which owns the namesake processing plant, a 60-man accommodation camp and non-processing infrastructure about 30km southeast of Laverton and within 60km of its 511,000 ounce gold JORC resource within the Laverton Gold Project.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Brightstar Resources
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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.

Aurora looking to usher in PFS

Explorer and developer Aurora Energy Metals (ASX:1AE) is looking to complete ‘scoping-level’ metallurgical testwork to support a potential Prefeasibility Study (PFS) for its namesake project in Oregon, US. 

Aurora has appointed ALS Metallurgy to complete the testwork program, which will focus on beneficiation and leach testwork, as well as optimisation to enable flowsheet development, design, and costing for an Aurora Project Scoping Study. 

It is Aurora’s belief that the results generated from this work, which are expected in the December quarter, will inform future decision-making pertaining to PFS- and then Definitive Feasibility Study (DFS)-level testwork programs.  

The $12.53 million market capitalisation company reports scrubbing and wet screening have delivered ‘promising’ results, demonstrating the uranium mineralisation at its Aurora Energy Metals Project in Oregon can be upgraded. 

This belief is supported by previous tests, which demonstrated up to 30% of the run-of-mine (ROM) feed could be rejected with only a small loss of uranium, therefore ‘significantly’ improving the efficiency and economics of the leach circuit.  

Commenting on the testwork program, Aurora’s Managing Director, Greg Cochran, says: “We’re looking forward to working with ALS on this very important testwork program which will enable us to design and price various flowsheet options for the Scoping Study. 

The completion of the Scoping Study itself is at the top of our list of priorities so that we can demonstrate the true potential of this large, well-defined uranium deposit

The completion of the Scoping Study itself is at the top of our list of priorities so that we can demonstrate the true potential of this large, well-defined uranium deposit. We also recognise the importance of permitting to further de-risk the Aurora Project, and we are working closely with our environmental consultants to finalise the scope of the Exploration Plan of Operations.”

Aurora Energy Metals is an explorer and developer focused on its wholly owned flagship namesake project in southeast Oregon. 

The project currently boasts the country’s ‘largest’ mineable measured and indicated uranium deposit, which holds a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 107.3 million tonnes at 214 parts per million triuranium octoxide (U3O8) for 50.6 million pounds U3O8. 

Aurora Energy Metals had $3.5 million cash at hand with no debt as of 30 June 2023 following the completion of a $2.7 million placement, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au

Images: Aurora Energy Metals
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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.