Viking closing in on Canegrass Scoping Study

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has flagged direct targets for follow up drilling to improve the current Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia ahead of a planned Scoping Study. 

The $10.25 million market capitalisation company says the targets were uncovered from a pit optimisation study (POS) on the Canegrass MRE, which delivered in excess of double Viking’s stated strategic objective of defining a greater than 30 million tonne (Mt) ‘high-grade’ open pitable resource. 

The resource stands at 61Mt @ 0.81% vanadium pentoxide (V2O5), 35.9% iron (Fe), 7.6% titanium dioxide (TiO2), 714 parts per million (ppm) copper (Cu), 687ppm nickel (Ni), and 177ppm cobalt (Co) at a 0.7% V2O5 cut-off. 

According to Viking, the pit optimisation study input pricing assumptions reflect the current commodity pricing with $8.96 per pound V2O5 and $150 per tonne Fe concentrate, and current industry costs. 

The company seeks to increase the confidence in the MRE by increasing it to the indicated plus category, with an initial focus on the Fold Nose deposit as the in-pit MRE is of sufficient size to assess the potential for a 15 plus year mine life project. 

Optionality remains for further feeds from the Kinks and Kinks South deposits. Industry consultants MEC Mining were retained to complete the POS on Canegrass. 

Up to 6 pit optimisation scenarios were completed, assessing various revenue streams for all aforementioned commodities at different cut-offs to determine the highest value options. 

All 6 pit optimisations proved ‘highly successful’, delivering in-pit mineral resources ranging from 31Mt to 92Mt, indicating the ‘robust’ nature of the project.   

Viking Mines Managing Director and CEO Julian Woodcock says the company took a ‘conservative’ approach when considering the input assumptions for the POS and will move forward with the next stage of investment to carry the project forward.  

“The results of the POS have exceeded my expectations and reaffirmed the company’s belief that there is substantial inherent value within this exceptional vanadium/magnetite project.

The study has delivered and appears robust, even at our most conservative scenario where only revenue from vanadium is assumed. Allowing for additional revenue from the iron, copper, nickel and cobalt further substantially reinforces the project. 

We will now continue to advance the metallurgical studies on the project and commence with evaluation of the pit shells to determine what drilling is required to increase the mineral resource confidence ahead of commencing a Scoping Study.”

Meanwhile, metallurgical testwork is ongoing and will continue with further testwork planned to investigate options for producing a sulphide concentrate to release the value of the copper, cobalt, and nickel within the project. 

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.  

The Canegrass Project sits in the Murchison region of Western Australia, about 620km northeast of Perth. It benefits from 95km-square of exploration tenements.

As of December 2023, Viking had over $5.088 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, according to its latest half yearly report. 

Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au  

Images: Viking Mines
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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.