The company’s shares were last trading about 45% higher intra-day on Friday, at $0.665.
The project has one of the world’ largest cobalt resources of 805 million tonnes at 0.05% cobalt and 0.7% nickel, containing 380,000 tonnes cobalt and 5.6 million tonnes nickel.
Initial drilling will be undertaken on specific areas to confirm continuity and provide samples for the PFS. The drilling will focus on the Black Range and Kalpini areas near Kalgoorlie.
A four to six week drilling program is expected to commence in March, with Ardea initially targeting the high-grade portions of the deposit, known as the KNP Cobalt Zone.
The focus of Ardea’s evaluation during 2017 will be to optimise a metallurgical flow-sheet for the KNP Cobalt Zone.
A “low capex” concept is the starting basis of current studies with the scoping model targeting up to 2 million tonnes per annum or ore production grading 0.15% cobalt and 1% nickel.
The budget for the current work program is $1 million.
The company has planned three lines each comprising eight drill holes at Black Range for a total of 24 reverse circulation drill holes, in March 2017.
Ardea listed on the ASX earlier this month, after raising about $5.1 million from an initial public offer at $0.20 per share.
The company is focused on the cobalt potential within its Kalgoorlie Nickel Project and the open-pit mining potential of its Lewis Ponds zinc-gold deposit in New South Wales.