Viking increases Canegrass MRE by 103%

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has increased the contained vanadium pentoxide by 103% to 2.2 billion pounds within the total Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 146Mt at 0.70% V2O5, 31.8% Fe, and 6.6% TiO2 at its Canegrass Project in Western Australia.

Viking Mines, which has a $11.27 million market capitalisation, reports a ‘high-grade’ subset of the JORC 2012 MRE — which stands at 27.5Mt @ 0.87% V2O5, 37.3% Fe, and 8% TiO2 at a greater than 0.8% V2O5 cut-off — provides the basis to begin a Scoping Study to assess project options. 

The company notes the opportunity to produce a direct shipping iron ore concentrate from the project with credits for vanadium content will be investigated as it moves forward with preliminary Scoping Study activities.

Further, drilling completed by the company in parallel with the completion of the MRE has highlighted areas of further growth within each of the Kinks, Kinks South, and Fold Nose deposits, providing further upside opportunity to both increase the tonnes and grade of the ‘high-grade’ subset of the total MRE. 

Viking believes further drilling in these areas will grow the subset MRE beyond its target of greater than 30Mt and will commensurate growth of the total MRE cut-off. 

The company states the ‘thick’ zones of ‘high-grade’ mineralisation of greater than 0.8% V2O5 begin from surface and indicate the potential for a low strip-ratio mining operation. 

Meanwhile, the growth at Canegrass also comprises a maiden estimate for copper, nickel, and cobalt, which sits at 146Mt @ 0.066% copper (Cu), 0.062% nickel (Ni), and 0.016% cobalt (Co) at a greater than 0.5% V2O5 cut-off. 

The total metal content of this resource stands at 97,000 tonnes of copper, 90,000 tonnes of nickel, and 23,000 tonnes of cobalt. 

The company confirms metallurgical testwork is planned to assess the process options for these additional valuable metals. Results from the testwork are expected to be applied to the ‘high-grade’ subset of the MRE to define a potential greater than 16Mt concentrate at a grade of greater than 60% iron. 

Viking adds that second-stage metallurgical testwork is now underway to produce a vanadium pentoxide flake and demonstrate a saleable product for offtake discussions.

The company also notes it will seek to engage with potential offtake partners and begin discussions on the marketing of Canegrass concentrate.  

The updated MRE was completed by industry consultants MEC Mining.  

Viking Mines Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the updated MRE provides the company with the opportunity to produce a magnetite concentrate suitable for direct shipping. 

“Combined with the first estimates for copper, nickel, and cobalt, this provides additional optionality for Viking to assess multiple pathways to release the huge inherent value in this large multi-commodity resource.” 

“this provides additional optionality for Viking to assess multiple pathways to release the huge inherent value in this large multi-commodity resource”

The company’s Canegrass Project sits in the Murchison region about 620km northeast of Perth and can be accessed via sealed roads from the nearby township of Mt Magnet to within 22km of existing resources. 

Viking Mines had $5.578 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 September 2023, according to its latest quarterly 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.