23/12/2020 - 16:31

Neometals builds WA nickel resource

23/12/2020 - 16:31

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Neometals has continued to build its inventory of resources at its Mt Edwards nickel project in WA, with a recent review and upgrade of the Zabel deposit estimating it to now contain some 351,000 tonnes of ore grading at 1.9 per cent nickel. The revision of the Zabel deposit brings the global resource across the project area to a solid 8.74 million tonnes at 1.7 per cent nickel.

Diamond drilling near Kambalda in Western Australia. Credit: File

Neometals has continued to build its inventory of resources at the Mt Edwards nickel project in WA, with a recent review and upgrade of the Zabel deposit estimating it to now contain some 351,000 tonnes of ore at a respectable grade of 1.9 per cent nickel. The revision of the Zabel deposit brings the global resource across the project area to a solid 8.74 million tonnes at 1.7 per cent nickel.

The company’s re-estimation of the Zabel resource forms part of an ongoing evaluation of the project which kicked off in the middle of last year. Drill testing of the deposit has continued to return high-grade intercepts of nickel with better results from resource drilling including 11m at 2.6 per cent nickel, hosting an impressive 4m at 6.3 per cent nickel from 108m down-hole.

Zabel has been largely untouched since 2007, with Neometals recent exploration and development work resulting in a reinterpretation of the geology and mineralisation of the deposit and the identification of a swag of new off-hole conductors which now require drill testing. The company is currently designing a wider drill program to test the extents of the Zabel ore system and a wealth of new targets across the entirety of the Mt Edwards ultramafic trend.

Neometal’s Mt Edward nickel project is located just 35km southwest of the famed Kambalda nickel mining centre in the Eastern Goldfields of Western Australia. The company’s tenure covers over 300 square kilometres of the polymetallic terrane and extends along  more than 50km of strike, occupying a strategic position on the nickel-rich Widgiemooltha Dome.

The company acquired the Mt Edwards project in 2018 and immediate set about a program of regional exploration across its new tenure, searching for both nickel and lithium mineralisation. With the nickel price reaching for 5-year highs and trading at a very healthy US$16,500 per tonne, Neometals has begun to shift the spotlight to its wealth of established, high-grade nickel sulphide deposits at Mt Edwards where it is looking to cast a critical eye over the potential economics of the ore systems.

Recent advances at the project area have included a compilation of the historical mining and exploration datasets and the detailed geological modelling of the ore systems, in addition to infill and extensional drilling. The Mt Edwards project hosts eleven separate deposits spread across 16km of strike. The most recent resource upgrades have come from the 132N and Zabel deposits and the global resource inventory for the project now tips the scales at a hefty 147,000 tonnes of contained nickel.

Interestingly, the Mt Edward tenure lies along strike from Mincor’s developing Wannaway and Cassini nickel deposits. It is also a mere 20km south of BHP’s Nickel Concentrator, potentially representing a rapid pathway to production for the multi-metal explorer and developer.

Neometals is currently planning an enhanced development program across the project area which is likely to include infill reverse circulation and diamond drilling, geological modelling, metallurgical test work and mining studies, all of which may form the basis for a future feasibility study. 

With the nickel price continuing to sky-rocket, having risen more than 50 per cent since March this year, Neometals is compiling a comprehensive inventory of high-grade nickel sulphide resources at Mt Edward’s.

The company will likely take a second look at the potential economics for the development of the project as it looks to join the illustrious ranks of the WA nickel producers in 2021.

 

Is your ASX-listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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