Viking on front foot with First Hit follow-up

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) is gearing up to conduct an aircore or reverse circulation drilling program at its First Hit Lithium Project in Western Australia, upon identifying 19 lithium anomalies and 8 priority targets. 

The planned drilling program will be testing the anomalies uncovered, subject to more ‘positive’ results being received. 

Viking Mines, which has a market capitalisation of $11.27 million, conducted a 1,220-hole auger program at First Hit and the results returned 19 lithium anomalies throughout the area and 8 immediate priority targets. 

The 8 priority targets have associated caesium, tantalum, and thallium anomalies which are characteristics of lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) pegmatites known to host spodumene mineralisation. 

Peak lithium assay values of 138 parts per million (ppm) were received, while 95 samples returned values greater than 50ppm. 

Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the company is fully funded for ongoing exploration activity with more than $5 million cash at the end of the December quarter.

“Many of the anomalies are continuous over multiple auger traverses and, in places, are associated with previously identified pegmatite outcrops. These results reaffirm the company’s belief that there is significant potential to discover LCT pegmatites on our tenure. 

With a substantial land package of 493km-square in this growing lithium district, Viking is well placed to add significant value to the company.”

The company reports the anomalies are ‘significant’ in size, with the 3 ‘largest’ anomalies being Heimdall which is 2km by 0.6km, Odin which is 1.2km by 0.9km, and Thor which is 1km by 0.5km. 

At Odin, lithium values are considered to be very ‘significant’, with 16 high tenor values greater than 50ppm and up to a peak of 121ppm lithium. 

The anomaly is open to the southwest, leading on to Viking’s tenure under application. 

The Thor anomaly also had multiple ‘high tenor’ lithium hits up to a ‘high’ peak value of 138ppm and second ‘high’ value of 111ppm, 400m south on the adjacent line. 

Meanwhile, the Loki transported lithium anomaly warrants further investigation, as it is a ‘large’ more than 50ppm lithium anomaly measuring 1.6km by 1.7km with peak value of 74ppm lithium. 

Viking plans to investigate if Loki is caused by a more discrete but ‘higher grade’ target, producing the ‘large’ dispersion halo which has not been effectively sampled by the auger program and lies beneath the interpreted transported cover or an additional source to the east. 

Further, Viking Mines is pursuing prospective tenure around the substantial landholding established on the Mt Ida Fault. 

The total land position stands at 493km-square, with 281km-square granted tenure and 213km-square under application. 

Currently, application E30/570 is progressing through the approvals process, while E30/571 was subject to a ballot on 31 January 2024 in Kalgoorlie. 

As previously reported, Viking Mines secured 2 out of 4 ballots, obtaining additional tenure adjacent to Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM) which has recently divested the lithium rights into a joint venture with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy, and Fertiliser for $26 million. 

The company says recent results from the auger program supports its strategy in exploring for lithium in the prospective district, alongside securing a ‘substantial’ land position. 

Viking Mines is a battery minerals-focused explorer with assets in Western Australia. The company’s assets are considered to be prospective for lithium, gold, and vanadium.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au     

Images: Viking Mines
Author Image
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.

Torque continues turning rigs at New Dawn

Torque Metals (ASX:TOR) is continuing to advance exploration at its New Dawn Lithium Project in Western Australia, upon intersecting thick, continuous pegmatite lodes with spodumene. 

The $30.61 million market capitalisation company’s diamond drilling program is aiming to investigate ‘high-grade’ spodumene areas in hopes of providing ‘crucial’ insights into lode continuity, geometry, structure, and mineralisation. 

Managing Director Cristian Moreno says Torque’s focus remains on advancing exploration at New Dawn, while upholding disciplined capital allocation. 

“I am eager to keep the market updated on our progress as we continue to demonstrate the potential of both New Dawn and the adjacent Paris Gold Project.”

The ongoing diamond drilling will also include collecting samples for metallurgical testwork, which will be carried out by Independent Metallurgical Operations. 

Further, Moreno says Torque recently completed a reverse circulation (RC) drill campaign, and as a result, every hole delivered consistently encountering vertically stacked pegmatites. 

“Further validation comes from the indication of spodumene via Raman analysis and UV light examination. We eagerly await the assay results expected in early March, which will offer crucial insights into lithium grades and potential mineral extensions.

With 17 RC holes awaiting assay results and ongoing diamond drilling, we anticipate announcing positive outcomes later this quarter. We have every confidence the results will validate our geological model.”

Torque completed a 5,000m RC drill campaign aiming to test and extend the company’s maiden exploration target. Thick, continuous pegmatite lodes were intersected with spodumene confirmed by Raman analysis and indicated under UV light remaining open in all directions.

Torque says Raman spectroscopy stands as an analytical method of discerning the intricate molecular architectures and chemical contexts present within organic and inorganic molecules, alongside molecular ions. Through this technique, valuable information regarding molecular structures and their surrounding chemical environments is elucidated, enabling deeper insights into their physical properties.

Raman spectroscopy provides vibrational fingerprints of chemical compounds, enabling their identification via a comparison with reference spectra. Torque notes the assignment of Raman spectra to minerals and, more generally, inorganic phases, is straightforward and unambiguous, if appropriate reference data is accessible.

Meanwhile, Torque has acquired camp facilities at Widgiemooltha in Western Australia, to accommodate up to 18 people. This is expected to provide numerous cost savings and time efficiencies for Torque. 

Torque Metals is an Australian mineral explorer focused on its Penzance exploration camp that covers a 800km-square area and includes 12 wholly owned mining, 4 prospecting, and 26 exploration licences. 

In the New Dawn area multiple pegmatite bodies, primarily found in biotite quartzite and quartz feldspar biotite schist meta-sediments, have been identified. The country rock consists mainly of mafic schist, with chlorite and biotite quartzites likely originating from fine-grained arenaceous and argillaceous sediments. 

Additionally, a quartz-feldspar porphyry dyke forms a low strike ridge along the western boundary of M15/217, with scattered outcrops of feldspar porphyry near the eastern boundary. These pegmatites exhibit massive characteristics, effectively penetrating the host rock as vertically stacked pegmatites. 

As of 31 December 2023, the company had $2.829 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au  

Images: Torque Metals 
Author Image
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.

Widgie Nickel assessing Mt Edwards pegmatite occurrences

Widgie Nickel (ASX:WIN) is conducting an assessment of all pegmatite occurrences within its Mt Edwards Project in Western Australia, upon identifying multiple lithium targets on its tenure. 

The $31.28 million market capitalisation company is undertaking field inspections and sampling across all areas within the project to test the pegmatites for lithium-caesium-tantalum (LCT) affinity and lithium prospectivity. 

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Steve Norregaard says the company has taken its lithium exploration up a notch this year, focusing on additional compelling targets across its tenement package. 

“Our expanded exploration focus for lithium will test potential extensions to our existing lithium resource, test all the known LCT pegmatite trends, and assess all our tenure for significant pegmatite occurrences.”

The company notes there is a long history of intensive gold and nickel exploration in the Widgiemooltha area, which has resulted in many thousands of drillholes and extensive surface mapping over the entire Mt Edwards project area. 

Much of the historical exploration logs and data relating to Mt Edwards are retained onsite. Widgie is conducting a search of all drill logs, sampling and mapping data to uncover pegmatite occurrences. 

At the Faraday and Trainline deposits, Widgie says no systematic exploration for LCT pegmatites has taken place over the covered trend, nor has deeper drilling assessed the down-dip extent of the Faraday-Trainline mineralisation. 

Widgie is currently planning drilling programs to test the covered northern trend and the down dip extension to the known mineralisation. Drilling will start once approvals are in place. 

At the Voyager deposit, Widgie’s existing drilling and field reconnaissance shows the pegmatites remain open to the north and at depth. Limited sampling and drilling have taken place. 

Field mapping and sampling of this area is underway, with the aim to establish the full extent of the mineralised LCT pegmatites leading to thorough drill testing of this area. 

Meanwhile, at the Spargoville pegmatite trend, the company had uncovered extensive pegmatite outcrops. Field teams are mapping and sampling the pegmatite to assess the lithium prospectivity over the entire prospect area. 

Norregaard adds: “The Widgiemooltha tenements lie in a fertile corridor with established lithium resources and mines nearby at Mt Marion, Bald Hill, and Pioneer Dome. The district is a hot target currently and is experiencing intense lithium exploration activity with the recent initial public offer of Kali Metals (ASX:KM1) and exploration by near neighbour Maximus Resources (ASX:MXR) amongst others.”

Widgie’s wholly owned Mt Edwards project covers a 240km-square area and is considered to be ‘highly prospective’ for nickel and new economy metal prospects. 

As of 30 September 2023, the company had $6.082 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest quarterly report.

Write to Aaliyah Rogan at Mining.com.au    

Images: Widgie Nickel
Author Image
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.