Nickel failed to dodge this week’s sector-wide mining sell-off, but with the battery metals and electric vehicle (EV) business model intact it could be the first commodity to recover (reports Tim Treadgold on Small Caps).
Strong demand is one of the reasons to feel confident that nickel will bounce back with the new market of EV batteries adding to the existing major use of the metal in the production of stainless steel.
A second factor supporting most Australian nickel miners is that they’re producing top grade material, which is what EV battery makers want and which attracts a price premium over lower grade material produced in other countries, particularly Indonesia.
Orion Minerals has struck a long-awaited draft $US87 million ($124m) funding deal for its Prieska zinc-copper project in South Africa (reports The West Australian).
The stream funding from Canadian streaming and royalty finance company Triple Flag Precious Metals will be advanced against the delivery of future gold and silver by-product production from the mine.
The funding is conditional on the mine development being fully-funded, finalisation of an executable mine plan and necessary South African regulatory approvals.
Calidus Resources has defied WA’s tight labour market and cost inflation to bring its Warrawoona gold project in the Pilbara into production (reports The West Australian).
The Dave Reeves-led company announced on Friday it had poured first gold from Warrawoona near Marble Bar after delivering the $120 million project on time and budget.
Calidus joins the ranks of Australian gold producers less than five years since the company’s debut on the ASX.
Just weeks out from the ousting of long-time directors Terry Topping and Bruno Seneque, the new team in charge at junior explorer Kairos Minerals has wheeled out some big guns to help run the gold and lithium explorer (reports MiningNews).
Moto Goldmines founder, geologist, and deal-maker Klaus Eckhof has signed on as non-executive chair, while ex-Perseus Mining and Placer Dome geologist Dr Peter Turner will commence as the explorer's A$325,000 per annum managing director later this month.
The new blood has an impressive pedigree that investors will be hoping gives Kairos a shot in the arm.
TNG Ltd (ASX: TNG) has secured a $3.7 million research and development tax rebate as it rapidly advances its wholly-owned Mount Peake vanadium-titanium-iron operation for global markets (reports Small Caps).
The rebate comes under the Australian Government’s tax incentive scheme for any eligible research and development activities relating to TNG’s proprietary TIVAN processing technology.
TNG is advancing an integrated mining, processing and refining operation for its Mount Peake project to produce high-value and high-purity vanadium pentoxide, titanium dioxide and iron oxide materials using its patented TIVAN technology.
The tax rebate adds to the company’s cash position which was $14 million at the end of the March quarter.
March quarter milestones
A soil sampling program by DiscovEx Resources (ASX: DCX) has produced what the company calls an “exceptional” gold target at its recently acquired ground at Edjudina in Western Australia (reports Small Caps).
DiscovEx has added an 80% interest in two tenements to the project, with the previous owner Gateway Mining (ASX: GML) retaining a 20% free carried interest until the decision to mine.
Geochemical sampling at the Spartan prospect identified an anomalous gold trend over 1.3km, with values up to 50 parts per billion.
There were also high tenor returns up to 100ppb (or 0.1 grams per tonne) gold.
The prospective anomaly remains open to the north east.
DiscovEx says additional sampling will continue over coming months and drilling approvals are in progress.
Chalice Mining has highlighted the underground potential of its Julimar project 70km north-east of Perth, with recent drilling at its famed Gonneville polymetallic deposit revealing mineralisation continuing at depth (reports The West Australian).
The company on Monday reported sulphide mineralisation had been extended up to 400m below the limit of the Gonneville resource pit shell, indicating the potential for material growth into a future underground resource category.
Shares in Bellevue Gold firmed after the company expanded its gold inventory ahead of a reserve upgrade, life of mine update and a project optimisation study for its namesake project near Leinster (reports The West Australian).
The Steve Parsons-led company said on Wednesday its mineral resource had grown to 9.8 million tonnes at 9.9 grams per tonne gold for 3.1 million ounces up from 3Moz at 10g/t.
Meanwhile Bellevue’s indicated resource had increased to 4.6Mt at 11.2g/t gold for 1.7Moz from 1.4Moz at 11g/t.