Viking Mines lands First Hit in WA expansion

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has expanded its First Hit Lithium Gold project in Western Australia by an extra 32.8km-square after winning two of four ballots held with its tenement application E30/571. 

The $12.3 million market capitalisation company says the additional land sits to the west of its existing tenure, bringing the total land package in what is a prospective lithium district to 493km-square (granted and under application).

The new tenure also sits adjacent to Ora Banda Mining (ASX:OBM), which has recently divested the lithium rights into a joint venture with Wesfarmers Chemicals, Energy & Fertilisers for $26 million.  

Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) Julian Woodcock says the company will move forward with data consolidation to “identify high priority areas of interest ahead of the tenements moving to grant”.

“The tenements are to the west of our existing tenure, and are strategically located on the well-endowed Ida Dault, which is highly prospective for lithium and is directly south of the Delta Lithium (ASX:DLI) Mt Ida Project.” 

Viking reports the land has been secured following an ‘extensive’ auger drilling program undertaken over greater than 55km-square of First Hit. However, assays have been delayed due to a backlog at the laboratory caused by the holiday break.

Woodcock says: “The delay in receiving the auger assays from First Hit is frustrating for our team and shareholders, however we appreciate the efforts in the lab progressing through the backlog of assays accumulated over the holiday period. I look forward to reporting on results this month.”

The First Hit Project sits west of Menzies in the Western Australia Goldfields. The company is growing and consolidating the land position in this recognised lithium district.

Viking also announced today (2 February 2024) stage two metallurgical testwork is ongoing at its Canegrass Battery Minerals Project with results from bulk concentrate expected this month ahead of the next step in testwork to produce vanadium oxide (V2O5) flake. 

Preliminary pit optimisation on the updated Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at Canegrass is expected to be completed before the end of the March quarter, says Woodcock.

The Canegrass Project currently holds an MRE of 146 million tonnes (Mt) at 0.7% V2O5, 31.8% iron (Fe) and 6.6% titanium oxide (TiO2) with a ‘high-grade’ subset of 27.5Mt at 0.87% V2O5, 37.3% Fe and 8% TiO2 in the Murchison Region of Western Australia.     

The pit optimisation study will identify what portion of this resource provides positive economic returns using the input economic and technical assumptions. This will allow the company to prioritise future drilling campaigns for the purpose of improving the resource confidence, which is required ahead of moving to a Scoping Study.

Meanwhile, Sarah Wilson has resigned as Company Secretary effective from today. Viking expresses its gratitude to Wilson for her contribution to the business and wishes her well in her future endeavours. The company confirms that existing Joint Company Secretary Michaela Stanton-Cook will continue as Company Secretary. 

As of 30 December 2023, Viking Mines had $5.089 million cash and cash equivalents at hand, 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.