Viking reaps rewards of fruitful Q4 2023 

Viking Mines (ASX:VKA) has identified areas for further growth in 2024 following a December 2023 quarter dedicated to levelling up its Canegrass Battery Minerals and First Hit Lithium and Gold projects in Western Australia. 

On 20 November last year, Mining.com.au reported the $13.32 million market capitalisation company had delivered a JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) increase of 103% for Canegrass, which now contains 2.2 billion pounds of critical mineral vanadium pentoxide (V2O5).

Industry consultants MEC Mining completed the MRE update and was the product of an ‘extensive’ exploration program undertaken by Viking after acquiring the project in November 2022.   

With the extensive drilling completed by Viking and the completion of the MRE, areas for growth have been identified at each of the three deposit areas, Viking notes in its latest quarterly report. 

The company says this provides further upside opportunity to both increase the tonnes and grade of the ‘high-grade’ subset of the total MRE. 

With further drilling in these areas, the company remains optimistic that the total ‘high-grade’ subset will grow and exceed the company’s target of >30Mt and commensurate growth of the total MRE >0.5% V2O5 cut-off will likely occur as a byproduct of this work. 

The total inferred MRE for the project now sits at 146 million tonnes @ 0.7% V2O5, 31.8% iron (Fe), and 6.6% titanium oxide (TiO2) at a greater than 0.5% V2O5 cutoff. 

Viking engaged Bureau Veritas around the same time to undertake stage two metallurgical testwork in hopes of producing vanadium pentoxide flakes from samples obtained from reverse circulation (RC) drilling completed in mid 2023.  

Recoveries from the metallurgical testwork were posted up to 54.6%, demonstrating limited sensitivity to grind size. 

Viking notes in its quarterly report the tonnage has increased substantially, with improvements in grade for all the target commodities. Further, the grade of the deleterious elements has decreased, which the company says results in a higher quality ore more amenable to processing to produce a magnetic concentrate.

Meanwhile, at the First Hit Lithium and Gold Project, Viking purchased a strategic tenement on the Mt Ida Fault zone, which brought the total granted land package in a ‘prospective’ lithium district to 291km-squared, as reported by this news service. 

The company flagged mapped pegmatites occur throughout the new tenement, with historical rock chip sampling confirming ‘highly anomalous’ rare earth element (REE) pegmatite results, including lithium up to 400 parts per million (ppm) and rubidium values up to 3,000ppm. 

Simultaneously, auger drilling was completed at First Hit, with 1,220 samples collected over a 26km strike length of the Ida Fault.

Drill programs to test these areas will be investigated as part of future work programs.

During the quarter Viking also welcomed Michaela Stanton-Cook as new joint Company Secretary, while Bevan Tarrat began his tenure as Non-Executive Director.  

Viking closed the December quarter with $5.1 million in cash at hand. 

Viking Mines is a critical and battery minerals explorer focused on its Western Australian assets. 

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

First Hit lies west of Menzies within Western Australia’s Goldfields.

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.