The maiden diamond drill hole at Catalyst Metals (51%) and Navarre Minerals’ (49%) Lawry prospect, within Victoria’s prolific Bendigo Zone, has delivered a stunning high-grade intercept (reports MiningNews).

The hole, designed to follow-up to significant broad zones of gold mineralisation in earlier reconnaissance aircore drilling, delivered the partners 12.9m at 33.1 grams per tonne gold from 66.4m, including a peak 0.5m at 831gpt. There were three thin zones at depth, including 1m at 2.5gpt from 153m. There could be additional mineralisation, however core loss was noted while drilling through sections of oxidised and broken quartz breccia.

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Analysis from Benchmark Mineral Intelligence has shown the lithium industry needs a massive US$42 billion in investment to meet projected 2030 demand (reports MiningNews).

Benchmark forecasts 2030 demand will increase fourfold to 2.4 million tonnes of lithium carbonate equivalent (LCE), 1.8Mt higher than forecast 2022 production of 600,000t. To meet that demand, Benchmark estimates the industry will need $7 billion of investment each year between now and 2028. "In reality that target has already been missed considering timelines to build new lithium mines," Benchmark managing director Simon Moores tweeted. "Accounting for misfires on new lithium supply, this $42 billion will be closer to $70 billion."

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Plus, Chalice stablemate Minerals 260 hunting for a Julimar of its own.

The junior explorers have been down in the mouth of late as the big switch to risk-off in equity markets takes its toll on their share prices. Given the on-going supportive backdrop of historically high commodity prices, the painful sell-off in the juniors has been something to behold. But among the gloom, the explorers can be relied on to serve up a reminder every now and then that impressive exploration results will win out over broader market weakness each and every time.

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One decent discovery was not enough to totally wash away the negative sentiment that pervaded most sections of the Australian stock market this week, though Galileo Mining’s palladium strike near Norseman in WA went some way to improving the overall mood.

The highly encouraging 33 metre drill hit assaying 2 grams per tonne of three metals (palladium, platinum and gold), plus useful grades of copper and nickel from a depth of 144m triggered a spectacular surge in Galileo’s share price, which rose by 41c (192%) to 62c. News of the find reverberated around the world, fast becoming a talking point at the Mining Indaba conference in Cape Town and sparking interest among stockbrokers in London, from where this week’s edition of Prospector’s Diary is being filed.

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There is a “sense of achievement” that first ore from Mincor’s Kambalda nickel operations has been processed and the company has re-established itself as a producer after a six-year hiatus, the company’s boss says (reports The West Australian).

hiatus, the company’s boss says (reports The West Australian). Mincor announced to the ASX on Monday that BHP Nickel West had started processing ore through the newly refurbished Kambalda Nickel Concentrator last Friday.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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