Proactiveinvestors Australia Australian Mines Ltd https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au Proactiveinvestors Australia Australian Mines Ltd RSS feed en Mon, 27 May 2019 02:06:12 +1000 http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/tech/rss Genera CMS action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) action@proactiveinvestors.com (Proactiveinvestors) <![CDATA[News - Australian Mines responds to ASX query on price and volume increase ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/220742/australian-mines-responds-to-asx-query-on-price-and-volume-increase-220742.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) received a query from the ASX today related to the company’s shares rising from a low of 1.8 cents on Tuesday, May 21 to a high of 2.5 cents today.

The ASX also noted the significant increase in the volume of AUZ securities traded over the same period.

AUZ responded to the query explaining that it was not aware of any information that had not been released to the market which, if known, could be an explanation for recent trading in the securities of the company.

READ: Australian Mines reflects on productive start to 2019

AUZ has had a busy start to 2019, centred around an updated JORC resource in February 2019 for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland.

With a bankable feasibility study (BFS) valuing the project at $697 million in November 2018, the focus for AUZ is project funding.

READ: Australian Mines reveals new resource at Bell Creek Nickel-Cobalt Project

The company recently revealed a new resource of 25.8 million tonnes grading 0.72% nickel and 0.04% cobalt at its Bell Creek Nickel-Cobalt Project in Queensland.

Bell Creek was acquired as part of the recently completed transaction with Metallica Minerals Ltd (ASX:MLM) along with the Minnamoolka Nickel-Cobalt Project.

Both projects are within trucking distance of the proposed processing plant at the Sconi project.

When combined together, the three projects host 738,359 tonnes of contained nickel and 71,757 tonnes of contained copper.

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Wed, 22 May 2019 15:18:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/220742/australian-mines-responds-to-asx-query-on-price-and-volume-increase-220742.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines reveals new resource at Bell Creek Nickel-Cobalt Project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/219210/australian-mines-reveals-new-resource-at-bell-creek-nickel-cobalt-project-219210.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has revealed a new JORC resource estimate of 25.8 million tonnes grading 0.72% nickel and 0.04% cobalt at its Bell Creek Nickel-Cobalt Project in Queensland.

Bell Creek was acquired as part of the recently completed transaction with Metallica Minerals Ltd (ASX:MLM) along with the Minnamoolka Nickel-Cobalt Project.

Both projects are within trucking distance of the proposed processing plant at the Sconi Nickel-Cobalt-Scandium Project.

When combined together, the three projects host 738,359 tonnes of contained nickel and 71,757 tonnes of contained copper.

READ: Australian Mines reflects on productive start to 2019

AUZ’s managing director Benjamin Bell said: “Since taking 100% ownership of the Sconi Project and completing a bankable feasibility study on Sconi last year, our technical team has been assessing the value of the satellite deposits in the wider tenement package in more detail and in the context of our proposed investment in infrastructure in the region.

“We believe satellite deposits, such as Bell Creek and Minnamoolka, potentially offer currently untapped value to Australian Mines’ shareholders as a secondary project, incrementally adding to our future production footprint in North Queensland.

“Our strategy to evaluate the addition of low-cost satellite mining operations close to Sconi in parallel with our project delivery timeline for the larger Sconi Project has the potential to boost the return on our proposed investment in infrastructure around the Greenvale, Charters Towers and surrounding districts as well as increase overall production and extend the life of operations beyond our already robust economic base case.”

While AUZ’s primary focus has been on the development of the Sconi Project, it recognises the potential incremental value that the Bell Creek and Minnamoolka Projects offer.

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Mon, 29 Apr 2019 11:45:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/219210/australian-mines-reveals-new-resource-at-bell-creek-nickel-cobalt-project-219210.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines reflects on productive start to 2019 ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/219141/australian-mines-reflects-on-productive-start-to-2019-219141.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has had a busy start to 2019, centred around an updated JORC resource in February 2019 for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland.

With a bankable feasibility study (BFS) valuing the project at $697 million in November 2018, the focus for AUZ is project funding.

The company is investigating a range of project funding options including a combination of off-take pre-payments, senior debt funding, royalty and/or streaming options, funding support via the Commonwealth Government’s Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and mezzanine financing.

READ: Australian Mines secures funding and affirms Sconi cobalt-nickel production commitment

AUZ’s managing director Benjamin Bell saidd: “We continued to add value to and progress the Sconi Project during the March quarter.

“As we move to finalise the long-form off-take agreement with SK Innovations and progress financing negotiations for Sconi, we have improved the project’s potential by extending the Life of Mine for the Project through the significant upgrading of the Mineral Resources at the Greenvale and Lucknow deposits.

READ: Australian Mines raises $5 million to advance Australian cobalt projects

“With Sconi now defined as a Prescribed Project by the Queensland Government, we are buoyed by the support of the Government in progressing the Project and delivering jobs and opportunities to the local community on the ground at Greenvale and throughout the Charters Towers local government district and the North Queensland region more broadly.

“On a macro level, it is clear that electric vehicles and renewables will be a major focus of the upcoming Federal election campaign. With Labor declaring a target of 50% electric vehicle sales in Australia by 2030 and the Coalition also indicating it has a target of 25-50% over the same period, this has brought the potential of electric vehicles into sharp focus in Australia.

“Significantly, a number of major automotive manufacturers have been quick to declare that these targets are in line with their existing internal modelling and that many of the leading carmakers are planning to have electric variants of all their vehicles, including SUVs and 4WDs, between now and 2025.”

“As we are planning on producing battery grade nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate from Sconi, we are extremely well placed to capitalise on the expected increase in demand over the coming decade. We have a busy quarter ahead as we progress the Sconi Project.”

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Fri, 26 Apr 2019 10:49:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/219141/australian-mines-reflects-on-productive-start-to-2019-219141.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines secures funding and affirms Sconi cobalt-nickel production commitment ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215962/australian-mines-secures-funding-and-affirms-sconi-cobalt-nickel-production-commitment-215962.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) (OTCMKTS:AMSLF) specialises in exploration and development of mining projects in Australia. It is run by Benjamin Bell, a geologist and geophysicist who has 20 years of experience in the minerals industry.

What does Australian Mines own?

The key asset is the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland, which has been given prescribed project status by the Queensland Government and is expected to generate hundreds of jobs.

This project is at Greenvale where 15,000 tonnes of cobalt and 327,000 tonnes of nickel were mined historically at Greenvale nickel mine and Brolga mine.

Australian Mines captured attention last month with Sconi after upgrading the project resource to more than 75 million tonnes.

The resource upgrade took into account results from an expansion drilling program that delineated consistent high-grade nickel and cobalt zones, with some assays improving on the tenor of past results.

Greenvale nickel deposit is now 24.4 million tonnes in situ, up 63.2% from 14.95 million tonnes, while the adjacent Lucknow deposit is now 14.62 million tonnes, up 94.6% from 7.51 million tonnes.

The improved resource estimate is expected to have a positive effect on the economics of the development.

Sconi has already been dubbed one of the most competitive cobalt-producing nickel operations in the world by commodity research specialist CRU International in an independent nickel and cobalt sulphate market study commissioned by Australian Mines.

The study’s findings were published in February 2019 and forecast the 2025 value-adjusted business costs of Sconi would place it in the first quartile compared to other existing and proposed analogous operations globally, based on the outcomes of the base-case financial modelling in Australian Mines’ November bankable feasibility study (BFS).

The November BFS valued the project at $697 million using a net present value (NPV8) calculated at an 8% discount rate.

The after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) for the 18-year project was 15%, as a 5.2-year payback period was named for a US$974 million total capital expenditure (capex).

Sconi mine construction capex was put at US$31 million, with US$110 million of contingencies.

Its processing plant capex was US$730 million, with US$103 million of non-process capital costs.

South Korean global battery manufacturer SK Innovation Co Ltd (KRX:096770) has a production offtake agreement for all of the expected cobalt and nickel production from the project.

Negotiations are underway for a long-form production offtake contract with the manufacturer set to take all the battery-grade cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate from Sconi.

SK Innovation can take 100% of the battery-grade for seven years and hold onto a more than six-year option.

The parties expect to finalise and execute their offtake agreement this quarter.

SK Innovation did not opt to subscribe to 669 million shares with an exercise price of 12 cents a share within the three-month window it had after the publication of the BFS.

An option exercise would have brought in $80 million this quarter.

Looking at other sources of funding, Australian Mines raised $5 million for Sconi and grabbed the whole Flemington project last year, giving it a possible second feed for Sconi production

Last week the company pulled in $5 million to back development and resource expansion at its Sconi and Flemington projects.

Perth-based Australian Mines also picked up 5.3 hectares of land 10 kilometres from Sconi project in January 2019.

The company is committed to having a predominantly residential workforce at the project, with minimal use of fly-in fly-out workers.

More than 300 ongoing fulltime jobs are expected to be created from its efforts, over a 20-year period.

Australian Mines had a strategy re-set more than two years ago, acquiring Sconi in Queensland and picking up the Flemington Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in New South Wales.

The company took its stake in Flemington to 100% last year on receiving NSW State Government approval in December to acquire the whole Flemington project.

Australian Mines’ subsidiary Norwest Minerals Ltd (ASX:NWM) completed a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange last November.

The spin-out enabled its parent company to focus efforts on Sconi and Flemington while seeing gold and base metals exploration assets at Norwest’s 19 tenements in WA reach their potential.

Australian Mines used $3.7 million cash in the December quarter, including $1 million for exploration and evaluation and $1.4 million for development.

The company had $3 million as it rounded out 2018, soon boosting its coffers with a $1.9 million research and development rebate from the Australian Government.

Australia Mines then raised $5 million through a share placement to sophisticated and institutional investors last month.

The company expects $1.9 million of expected cash outflows for the March quarter and will direct its raised funds to optimising the Sconi BFS and expansion drilling at the Flemington project.

Inflection points

Formalisation of SK Innovation binding term sheet as a production offtake agreement

Economic improvements from Sconi BFS optimisation work and future JORC upgrades

Milestone hits and resource upgrades at Flemington and subsidiary Norwest’s projects

Major investor support through Australian Mines registry

Managing director Benjamin Bell confident of project economics

“This mineral resource update for the Sconi project is a major boost for the company’s development plans, as we head towards our target of first construction activities at Sconi later this year, pending a final investment decision on the project,” managing director Benjamin Bell said last month.

“With an updated mineral resource, Australian Mines is positioned to become a significant cobalt, nickel and scandium supplier through the Sconi project — a project that has already shown to be commercially viable via the November 2018 bankable feasibility study.

“This updated mineral resource is likely to further enhance the economics of the project, and in turn provide additional long-term benefits for our investors and offtake partner.”

 

 

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Thu, 07 Mar 2019 16:25:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215962/australian-mines-secures-funding-and-affirms-sconi-cobalt-nickel-production-commitment-215962.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines raises $5 million to advance Australian cobalt projects ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215369/australian-mines-raises-5-million-to-advance-australian-cobalt-projects-215369.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has raised $5 million through a share placement to sophisticated and institutional investors.

The placement comprised 172,413,793 fully paid ordinary shares issued at 2.9 cents a share.

Funds raised are expected to go towards optimisation of the ongoing bankable feasibility study (BFS) of the company’s Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in northern Queensland.

The proceeds will also be used to complete resource expansion drilling at Australian Mines’ Flemington Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in central New South Wales.

 

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said the fundraising demonstrated the appetite for exposure to the battery materials sector by the investment community continued to be buoyant.

Bell said: “We continue to see positive outlook for battery and technology metals, with independent market analysis forecasting a 15-fold increase in cobalt demand over the next decade”.

Bell also noted the emphasis by both battery manufacturers and auto-makers for ethically-sourced material.

He added: “I am very pleased that sophisticated and institutional investors continue to offer support for Australian Mines’ strategy to become a future global player in the battery chemicals space and recognise the long-term value and potential of our projects.”

READ: Australian Mines continues off-take negotiations with SK Innovation

Sconi’s BFS was released last November and estimated an average annual revenue of $512 million average annual EBITDA of $295 million and a post-tax net present value of $697 million at an 8% discount.

The company is optimising the November BFS to incorporate the larger mineral resource defined in a successful resource expansion drilling program.

Resource drilling at the Flemington project is ongoing and has only tested 1% of its prospective geology to date.

Australian Mines believes there is significant potential to materially expand Flemington’s cobalt resource.

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Tue, 26 Feb 2019 21:11:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215369/australian-mines-raises-5-million-to-advance-australian-cobalt-projects-215369.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines granted trading halt ahead of capital raising ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215097/australian-mines-granted-trading-halt-ahead-of-capital-raising-215097.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has been granted a trading halt by the ASX pending the release of information regarding a capital raising.

Shares in the company will remain halted until the earlier of, either the release of relevant information, or the commencement of trading on Wednesday 27 February 2019.

READ: Australian Mines continues off-take negotiations with SK Innovation

AUZ is continuing negotiations with SK Innovation on the long-form off-take contract for battery-grade cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate.

This sulphate is to be produced from the AUZ’s wholly-owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

 

A considerable resource upgrade at two deposits was recently reported, and the company does plan to expand resources further through drilling later this year.

An optimised Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) is underway, and the project has been awarded Prescribed Project status by the Queensland Government.

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Fri, 22 Feb 2019 17:24:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/215097/australian-mines-granted-trading-halt-ahead-of-capital-raising-215097.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines continues off-take negotiations with SK Innovation ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214995/australian-mines-continues-off-take-negotiations-with-sk-innovation-214995.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) continues negotiations with SK Innovation on the long-form off-take contract for battery-grade cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate.

This sulphate is to be produced from the AUZ’s wholly-owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

As per the original early-2018 term sheet, SK Innovation will purchase 100% of the battery-grade cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate produced from Sconi for 7 years with a +6 year option.

According to the recently released bankable feasibility study (BFS), this equates to revenue of $512 million per year in average annual sales of cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate.

READ: Australian Mines expects to finalise Sconi cobalt-nickel offtake this quarter

Previously, SK Innovation was entitled to a commercial-in-confidence buyer discount on the base price.

Notably, SK Innovation could exercise this price discount option within three months of the release of the BFS, which has now lapsed.

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Thu, 21 Feb 2019 09:46:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214995/australian-mines-continues-off-take-negotiations-with-sk-innovation-214995.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Australian Mines exploration manager updates on Sconi Project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12265/australian-mines-exploration-manager-updates-on-sconi-project-12265.html Mon, 18 Feb 2019 13:56:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/12265/australian-mines-exploration-manager-updates-on-sconi-project-12265.html <![CDATA[News - Australian Mines to negotiate final Sconi cobalt-nickel production take agreement ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214760/australian-mines-to-negotiate-final-sconi-cobalt-nickel-production-take-agreement-214760.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) (OTCMKTS:AMSLF) specialises in exploration and development of mining projects in Australia. It is run by Benjamin Bell, a geologist and geophysicist who has 20 years experience in the minerals industry.

What does Australian Mines own?

The key asset is the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland where Sconi has been given prescribed project status by the Queensland Government and is expected to generate hundreds of jobs.

The Queensland project is at Greenvale where 15,000 tonnes cobalt and 327,000 tonnes nickel were mined historically at Greenvale nickel mine and Brolga mine.

Australian Mines captured attention last week with Sconi after upgrading the project resource to more than 75 million tonnes.

The Sconi resource upgrade took into account results from an expansion drilling program that delineated consistent high-grade nickel and cobalt zones, with some assays improving upon the tenor of past results.

Greenvale nickel deposit is now 24.4 million tonnes in situ, up 63.2% from 14.95 million tonnes, while the adjacent Lucknow deposit is now 14.62 million tonnes, up 94.6% from 7.51 million tonnes.

The improved resource estimate is expected to have a positive effect on the economics of the Sconi development.

Sconi has already been dubbed one of the most competitive cobalt-producing nickel operations in the world by commodity research specialist CRU International in an independent nickel and cobalt sulphate market study commissioned by Australian Mines.

The study’s findings were published last week and forecast the 2025 value-adjusted business costs of Sconi project would place it in the first quartile compared to other existing and proposed analogous operations globally, based on the outcomes of the base-case financial modelling in Australian Mines’ November bankable feasibility study (BFS).

The November BFS valued the project at $697 million using a net present value (NPV8) calculated at an 8% discount rate.

The after-tax internal rate of return (IRR) for the 18-year project was 15%, as a 5.2-year payback period was named for a US$974 million total capital expenditure (capex).

Sconi mine construction capex was put at US$31 million, with US$110 million of contingencies.

Its processing plant capex was US$730 million, with US$103 million of non-process capital costs.

South Korean global battery manufacturer SK Innovation Co Ltd (KRX:096770) has an offtake agreement for all of the expected cobalt and nickel production from the project.

The parties expect to finalise and execute their offtake agreement this quarter.

Australian Mines and SK Innovation’s agreement includes an option, subject to shareholder approval, for the issue of up to 669 million shares with an exercise price of 12 cents a share.

If SK Innovation exercises the option, it could give Australian Mines a cash injection of up to $80 million this quarter.

Australian Mines picked up 5.3 hectares of land 10 kilometres from Sconi project last month.

The company is committed to having a predominantly residential workforce at the project, with minimal use of fly-in fly-out workers.

More than 300 ongoing fulltime jobs are expected to be created from its efforts, over a 20-year period.

Perth-based Australian Mines had a strategy re-set more than two years ago, acquiring Sconi in Queensland and picking up the Flemington Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in New South Wales.

The company received NSW State Government approval in December to acquire the entire Flemington project, validating an August option exercise.

Australian Mines plans to use Flemington as a second source of cobalt, nickel and scandium for production at Sconi.

Australian Mines’ subsidiary Norwest Minerals Ltd (ASX:NWM) completed a listing on the Australian Securities Exchange last November.

The spin-out enabled its parent company to focus efforts on Sconi and Flemington while seeing gold and base metals exploration assets at Norwest’s 19 tenements in WA reach their potential.

Australian Mines used $3.7 million cash in the December quarter, including $1 million for exploration and evaluation and $1.4 million for development.

It used $3.4 million from investing activities and $105,070 from financing activities to end the period with $586,557 cash, a cash balance soon boosted with a $1.9 million research and development rebate from the Australian Government.

The company had $3 million last month, tipping $1.9 million of cash outflows for the March quarter.

Inflection points

Formalisation of SK Innovation binding term sheet as an offtake agreement this quarter

An SK Innovation exercise of its option to take up 669 million shares could trigger an $80 million cash injection this quarter if shareholders agree

Continued upgrades to Sconi resource and economic modelling for Sconi project

Milestones and resource definition work at Flemington and subsidiary Norwest’s projects

Major investor support through Australian Mines registry

Managing director Benjamin Bell confident of project economics

“This mineral resource update for the Sconi project is a major boost for the company’s development plans, as we head towards our target of first construction activities at Sconi later this year, pending a final investment decision on the project,” managing director Benjamin Bell said last Thursday.

“With an updated mineral resource, Australian Mines is positioned to become a significant cobalt, nickel and scandium supplier through the Sconi project — a project that has already shown to be commercially viable via the November 2018 bankable feasibility study.

“This updated mineral resource is likely to further enhance the economics of the project, and in turn provide additional long-term benefits for our investors and offtake partner.”

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell will deliver a presentation at 4.30pm tomorrow on day one of the February 19-21 RIUExplorers Conference 2019 at Esplanade Hotel Fremantle. You can find the company at stand 18, near the barista.

 

 

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Sun, 17 Feb 2019 20:45:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214760/australian-mines-to-negotiate-final-sconi-cobalt-nickel-production-take-agreement-214760.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines upgrades Sconi cobalt-nickel resource to 75+ million tonnes ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214599/australian-mines-upgrades-sconi-cobalt-nickel-resource-to-75-million-tonnes-214599.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has upgraded the total resource for the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland to more than 75 million tonnes.

The results from the recent expansion drilling program have delineated consistent high-grade nickel and cobalt zones across the project area, with some assays from the program exceeding the tenor of results previously returned.

The Greenvale nickel deposit’s in-situ material now stands at 24.40 million tonnes, up 63.2% from 14.95 million tonnes in the previous estimate; and the adjacent Lucknow deposit’s material now stands at 14.62 million tonnes, up 94.6% from 7.51 million tonnes previously.

Sconi project’s combined tonnage and contained metal

Importantly, the new resource estimate is anticipated to result in substantial flow-through benefits to the Sconi Project’s overall development economics.

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said: “This mineral resource update for the Sconi Project is a major boost for the company’s development plans, as we head towards our target of first construction activities at Sconi later this year, pending a final investment decision on the project.

“With an updated mineral resource, Australian Mines is positioned to become a significant cobalt, nickel and scandium supplier through the Sconi Project – a project that has already shown to be commercially viable via the November 2018 bankable feasibility study.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

“This updated mineral resource is likely to further enhance the economics of the project, and in turn provide additional long-term benefits for our investors and off-take partner.

“The fact we have managed to almost double the resource tonnage at the Lucknow Deposit, which will be our initial primary source of cobalt production, and added significant tonnes at the previously-mined Greenvale deposit is testimony to the world-class nature of the Sconi Project, as well as the scale and grade of the mineralisation contained within our broader tenement package.

READ: Australian Mines jumps 21% as Sconi is given Prescribed Project status by Queensland Government

“The Australian Mines team is committed to delivering the Sconi Project and looks forward to continuing a long tradition of large-scale mining in this region of Queensland, along with providing communities and the state with the flow-through benefits of employment and revenue creation.”

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Thu, 14 Feb 2019 13:46:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214599/australian-mines-upgrades-sconi-cobalt-nickel-resource-to-75-million-tonnes-214599.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines has a competitive cobalt-producing nickel project on its hands: CRU ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214402/australian-mines-has-a-competitive-cobalt-producing-nickel-project-on-its-hands-cru-214402.html Australian Mines Ltd’s (ASX:AUZ) Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland has been forecast to be one of the most competitive cobalt-producing nickel operations in the world by an independent nickel and cobalt sulphate market study commissioned by the company.

The market study, undertaken by commodity research specialist CRU International, forecasts that the 2025 value-adjusted business costs of the Sconi Project would place it in the first quartile compared to other existing and proposed analogous operations globally, based on the outcomes of the financial modelling that was released in AUZ’s base case bankable feasibility study (BFS).

2025 nickel sulphate cost curve, nominal USD per tonne of nickel contained

As it currently stands, Sconi is a late-stage, laterite-hosted cobalt-nickel-scandium project with payable metals expected to be produced annually, on average (based on an 18-year mine life), of 8,500 tonnes of cobalt sulphate and 53,300 tonnes of nickel sulphate.

AUZ completed a resource extension drilling program in late 2018 and expects to be in a position to release an updated resource estimate for Sconi in the March quarter, which will feed into an optimised BFS on the project.

READ: Australian Mines jumps 21% as Sconi is given Prescribed Project status by Queensland Government

Due to modelled demand growth for both cobalt and nickel sulphate from the lithium-ion battery industry, on the back of global vehicle fleets transitioning to a greater variety and volume of electric vehicles, the market study found there was a clear need for new supply of these crucial battery chemicals.

Australia is emerging as a strategic new supplier of cobalt (and lithium) given its reputation as a world-class mining and investment jurisdiction as well as its proximity to high volume battery manufacturers in South Korea, Japan and China.

In terms of the prevailing opportunity for future nickel production, the market study described the planned nickel sulphate production additions out to 2023 and identified a 1.3 million tonne unallocated supply gap beyond this to meet demand in 2035.

This clearly necessitates a large number of new projects and expansions to come online.

The study found similar conclusions for cobalt production, where a lack of visibility on new production allocations beyond 2023 should see supply remain tight until at least 2029, when the study expects improving economics of recycling and increased battery scrap to have a significant impact on the supply curve.

2025 pro rata cost curve of cobalt producers, nominal USD per pound of cobalt

AUZ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “We felt it was prudent to get an updated expert view of the medium and long-term market forecasts for nickel and cobalt, and confirm our BFS modelling that pointed to Sconi being a 1st quartile low-cost producer, hence giving Australian Mines a competitive advantage if commodity prices do fluctuate in the medium term.

“CRU International is a respected commodity research firm when it comes to detailed analysis of battery and technology metals in particular, and provided deep insight into the forecast supply, demand and pricing dynamics for cobalt and nickel sulphate products.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

“The market study serves to demonstrate that there will be a very significant opportunity for new nickel sulphate and cobalt sulphate market entrants, including Australian Mines, and the price environment is expected to be very favourable for low-cost producers.

“Sconi is on track for first production in 2021 and CRU International’s modelling of our operating expenditure versus likely competitors based on the base case BFS for Sconi is highly encouraging at a critical time for the project as we work to progress project financing arrangements.

“The characteristics of the Sconi resources, being able to produce a high-value cobalt sulphate product alongside the larger scale nickel sulphate production, places our project firmly at the bottom of the cost curve, which of course translates to greater future profitability and insulates us from potential nickel sulphate price shocks.”

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Tue, 12 Feb 2019 12:47:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/214402/australian-mines-has-a-competitive-cobalt-producing-nickel-project-on-its-hands-cru-214402.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines jumps 21% as Sconi is given Prescribed Project status by Queensland Government ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/213304/australian-mines-jumps-21-as-sconi-is-given-prescribed-project-status-by-queensland-government-213304.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) jumped 21% to an intra-day high of 4.6 cents on news of the Queensland Government declaring Prescribed Project status for the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project.

The declaration will assist the company in streamlining the progress of Sconi through the final stages of regulatory approvals and fast-track its future development.

Recognition of benefits

Prescribed Project status is recognition by the State Government of the intended benefits to local, regional and state economies from the $1.4 billion North Queensland project.

Construction of Sconi will generate 500 jobs, while steady-state operations will provide 300 fulltime employment opportunities for the initial 18-year life of the proposed mining and processing operation.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

Queensland’s independent Coordinator-General recommended that Minister for State Development, Manufacturing, Infrastructure and Planning Cameron Dick declare Sconi a Prescribed Project.

The Minister endorsed this recommendation to provide coordinated assistance to the company as it finalises development approvals for what has been recognised as a significant mining project for Queensland.

READ: Australian Mines purchases 13 acres in regional town near Sconi project

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am delighted that Minister Cameron Dick has formally recognised the regional economic development potential of our Sconi project in regional North Queensland with this decision.

“The announcement from the Minister is a continuation of the positive engagement and support we have received to date from Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk’s Government.

“The declaration of Prescribed Project status for Sconi will provide us with coordinated agency support from the State Government as we move into the final stages of our approvals and development pathway for the project.”

Collecting bags of bulk samples from Sconi.

READ: Australian Mines drills high grade cobalt and nickel at Sconi

Bell said: “We prepared a Bankable Feasibility Study on Sconi with the sincere target of allocating 90% of the ongoing annual operational expenditure to local businesses from the surrounding Charters Towers and Townsville local government areas.

“In total, the study indicated $922 million of the project’s total capital expenditure was anticipated to be spent with Australian businesses, with a preference for North Queensland companies.

“We have also committed to significant upgrades to local infrastructure in the Greenvale region including upgrading the water supply, regional public roads and Greenvale regional airport as well as the construction of an accommodation village and establishment of a 24/7 medical facility.”

Scandium oxide produced in tests of ore from Sconi.

READ: Australian Mines confirms Sconi offtake discussions with SK Innovation are ongoing

The project aims to produce nickel, cobalt and scandium for use in battery manufacturing, electric vehicles and similar high technology applications for export markets.

Two million tonnes of ore per annually will be processed producing an estimated annual average of 8,500 tonnes of cobalt, 53,500 tonnes of nickel sulphate and 77 tonnes of scandium oxide for at least 18 years.

Construction is anticipated to start in 2019, with Australian Mines also set to open a regional office in Townsville, Charters Towers or Greenvale.

Queensland Premier Palaszczuk said: “It’s a very happy new year for North Queensland.

“We’re talking about a project set to create up to 500 jobs during its two-year construction period. And we’ll see more than 300 full-time equivalent jobs for the 18-year operational period.

“I met with the proponents of this project during the trade mission to South Korea last year and I’m pleased this project is progressing because it means jobs for North Queensland.”

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Fri, 25 Jan 2019 13:36:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/213304/australian-mines-jumps-21-as-sconi-is-given-prescribed-project-status-by-queensland-government-213304.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines purchases 13 acres in regional town near Sconi project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/213008/australian-mines-purchases-13-acres-in-regional-town-near-sconi-project-213008.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has reinforced its commitment to developing its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project by purchasing 13 acres of land in the Queensland town of Greenvale.

The freehold land is serviced by grid power and scheme water in Greenvale which is located 10 kilometres from the Sconi Project.

Sconi’s bankable feasibility study (BFS) which was released recently in November 2018 estimated the project would create more than 300 ongoing full-time jobs for over 20 years.

Using a local workforce, minimising fly-in fly-out

Australian Mines remains steadfastly committed to the Sconi Project operating with a  predominantly residential workforce, with minimal use of fly-in fly-out workers.

This acquisition of freehold land in Greenvale marks the first tangible example of the company’s commitment towards achieving this objective.

In addition to the construction of new housing and other community social infrastructure including a medical facility in the town, Australian Mines is committed to investing significant funds towards upgrading the region’s existing public infrastructure.

This infrastructure includes water, sewerage, roads and airport.

READ: Australian Mines drills high grade cobalt and nickel at Sconi

AUZ’s managing director Benjamin Bell said: “Mercedes Benz, Volkswagen, Ford, General Motors … even Porsche, are all in agreement that electric vehicles represent the future for the automotive industry.

“As a result, almost every global car manufacturer is expanding their range of battery-powered vehicles to accommodate this.

“Fundamental to the success of vehicle manufacturers delivering on their electric vehicle strategy is their ability to secure ethnically-sourced, stable long-term supply of battery precursor chemicals – principally cobalt sulphate.

Sconi to be global top-10 cobalt producer

“Once in production, the Sconi Project in North Queensland is expected to be one of the 10 largest producers of cobalt in the world, with expected average annual revenue of more than half a billion dollars for at least the next 18 to 20 years.

“Australian Mines is keen to ensure that not only do we, as a company, capture the full value-add of the Sconi Project by converting our own raw ore to the final battery precursor chemicals of cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate for direct input into EV batteries, but that the local community also directly benefits from the development of this project through secure employment, improved public infrastructure and my personal commitment that at least 90% of every dollar spent by this operation will be spent with businesses from North Queensland.”

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Tue, 22 Jan 2019 11:31:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/213008/australian-mines-purchases-13-acres-in-regional-town-near-sconi-project-213008.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines drills high grade cobalt and nickel at Sconi ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212914/australian-mines-drills-high-grade-cobalt-and-nickel-at-sconi-212914.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has received additional drill results from its extensional program at its 100% owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

The resource expansion drilling program has continued to delineate high-grade cobalt and nickel zones across the project area producing grades rarely seen.

Highlights include the record assay of 3.4% cobalt over one metre and multiple one-metre intersections grading over 1.0% cobalt.

The frequent intersection of cobalt-rich zones grading over 0.5% cobalt suggests that Sconi is living up to its status of an emerging world-class deposit.

The results will be used to estimate an updated JORC resource expected to be released by April 2019.

READ: Australian Mines confirms Sconi offtake discussions with SK Innovation are ongoing

AUZ’s managing director Benjamin Bell said: “With the majority of assays now received from our 2018 drilling campaign to grow the cobalt and nickel resources at Sconi, it is clear that this project has enormous potential to grow beyond the already strong commercial development case highlighted in November’s bankable feasibility study.

“Our technical team successfully evaluated the extensional potential in areas at both the
Greenvale and the nearby Lucknow deposits ahead of the campaign and it is clear from these results that the drilling has the potential to reinforce that modelling in a significant way.

“We believe the deposits at Sconi have a lot more to give in terms of resources, which is clearly reflected in the almost three-and-a-half per cent record cobalt hit returned in these results.

“Our focus now is on incorporating these outstanding results in a re-estimation of the Mineral
Resource for the Sconi Project, which will allow us to undertake what we believe will be a material optimisation review of our development case for Sconi published in the initial BFS on the project.

“I would like to take this opportunity to thank the company’s dedicated and talented technical team who planned and executed this program.”

BFS values project at $697 million

During November 2018, AUZ released a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland, valuing the project at $697 million.

Three open pits would be constructed under the project along with a processing plant with annual ore processing capacity of 2 million tonnes.

Drilling highlights

The drill results significantly expand the mineralised footprint of the Sconi Project beyond its current JORC-compliant Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve.

Highlights included:

• 12 metres at 1.07% cobalt from 1 metre depth;
• 9 metres at 1.02% cobalt from 1 metre depth;
• 10 metres at 0.75% cobalt from 5 metres depth;
• 12 metres at 1.02% nickel from 1 metre depth;
• 13 metres at 1.11% nickel from surface; and
• 16 metres at 1.00% nickel from 2 metres depth.

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Mon, 21 Jan 2019 11:40:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212914/australian-mines-drills-high-grade-cobalt-and-nickel-at-sconi-212914.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines receives $1.9 million R&D rebate ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212545/australian-mines-receives-19-million-rd-rebate-212545.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has received a $1.91 million rebate from the Australian Taxation Office in relation to its research and development (R&D) expenditure in FY2018.

Notably, this rebate is in addition to the $295,765 R&D tax rebate received in October 2018.

This latest rebate relates to continued development work completed at AUZ’s demonstration-size high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) and solvent extraction (SX) plant located in Perth, Western Australia.

This work is in conjunction with Simulus Group’s laboratories.

READ: Australian Mines confirms Sconi offtake discussions with SK Innovation are ongoing

AUZ’s managing director Benjamin Bell said: “The operation of the demonstration plant has continued to play an instrumental role for Australian Mines in our strategy to maximise economic returns from our assets, especially our flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

“Not only has operation of the plant allowed optimisation of the proposed flowsheet for Sconi, the R&D work conducted has also allowed us to explore potential future commercial opportunities for scandium oxide expected to be produced at Sconi.”

R&D is a priority and focus for the company

R&D is a critical component of Australian Mines’ current and future plans as demonstrated by a partnership with United Kingdom-based technology company Metalysis.

This is aimed at supporting research and development around a solid-state process to produce a low-cost yet superior aluminium-scandium alloy for potential use by the automotive and aerospace industries.

In November 2018, AUZ entered its second research partnership to evaluate the use of scandium in next-generation battery storage technology.

The collaboration is with India’s Amrita Centre for Research and Development’s Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies.

It will evaluate the potential of high-capacity scandium-magnesium ternary alloys for next-generation nickel metal hydride batteries and hydrogen storage applications.

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Tue, 15 Jan 2019 12:15:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/212545/australian-mines-receives-19-million-rd-rebate-212545.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines confirms Sconi offtake discussions with SK Innovation are ongoing ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211876/australian-mines-confirms-sconi-offtake-discussions-with-sk-innovation-are-ongoing-211876.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has updated shareholders today revealing both it and SK Innovation remain fully committed to the binding term sheet agreed in February 2018.

The term sheet related to the sale and purchase of 100% of cobalt and nickel sulphate to be produced from AUZ’s Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

Senior personnel from both companies continue to work collaboratively on the drafting of a long-form off-take agreement with the aim of finalising and executing the agreement during the current quarter.

At no time has SK Innovation advised it has any intention other than to execute a final long-form off-take agreement with AUZ as per the tonnages and terms outlined in the binding term sheet.

READ: Australian Mines gets approval for Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project acquisition

AUZ managing director Benjamin Bell said the two parties agreeing to a new deadline of September 2019 for financing without any renegotiation of other terms was evidence of the collaborative relationship and the Korean battery manufacturer’s support of Sconi’s development.

Bell said: “Although we appreciate the extension of the financing condition to September, given the progress we have been making on these negotiations since the bankable feasibility study (BFS) was released, we plan to have the entire project funding package in place during the second quarter of 2019.”

The mutually-agreed financing extension is designed to accommodate the North Australian Infrastructure Facility’s (NAIF) current due diligence and investigation into potentially providing financial support for Sconi.

The extension also provides both SK Innovation and AUZ enough time to finalise financing discussions with the consortium of tier-one lenders which have expressed interest in potentially providing debt funding.

  READ: Australian Mines’ subsidiary Norwest Minerals completes ASX listing

Under the binding off-take agreement executed last year, SK Innovation is entitled to a commercial-in-confidence buyer discount on the base price, provided it subscribes for 669 million AUZ shares within three months of the BFS’ release.

If it elects not to subscribe the off-take agreement will remain in place, but SK Innovation will not be entitled to any discount.

Sconi’s BFS was released on November 20, 2018, so SK Innovation must acquire the shares at a price of 12 cents each on or before February 20, 2019.

Bell continued: “SK Innovation’s ability to acquire an equity stake in Australian Mines remains very much alive and will remain so until at least February 20, 2019.

“In the meantime, both SK Innovation and Australian Mines will continue to work towards achieving our same shared goal of finalising and executing the long-form off-take agreement in the current quarter.”

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

The BFS valued Sconi at about $697 million, comprising three open pits and a processing plant with annual process capacity of 2 million tonnes.

More recently, AUZ received approval from the NSW government for acquiring the Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project from Jervois Mining Ltd (ASX:JRV).

The Flemington project has an existing JORC resource of 2.5 million tonnes at 0.103% cobalt and 403 ppm scandium in the measured category.

The goal is for Flemington to act as a second production source of cobalt, nickel and scandium to AUZ’s flagship Sconi project.

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Wed, 02 Jan 2019 21:27:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211876/australian-mines-confirms-sconi-offtake-discussions-with-sk-innovation-are-ongoing-211876.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines shares halted to address media speculation ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211816/australian-mines-shares-halted-to-address-media-speculation-211816.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has entered a trading halt pending the release of an announcement correcting media speculation regarding the SK Innovations’ binding off-take agreement.

Shares will remain halted until the earlier of either, the release of the announcement, or the commencement of trading on Friday 4 January 2019.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

During November 2018, AUZ released a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland, valuing the project at $697 million.

Three open pits would be constructed under the project along with a processing plant with annual ore processing capacity of 2 million tonnes.

READ: Australian Mines gets approval for Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project acquisition

Most recently, AUZ received the approval from the New South Wales government for acquiring the Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project from Jervois Mining Ltd (ASX:JRV).

The Flemington project has an existing JORC resource of 2.5 million tonnes at 0.103% cobalt and 403 ppm scandium in the measured category.

The goal is for Flemington to act as a second production source of cobalt, nickel and scandium to the flagship Sconi Project.

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Wed, 02 Jan 2019 11:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/211816/australian-mines-shares-halted-to-address-media-speculation-211816.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines gets approval for Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project acquisition ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/210620/australian-mines-gets-approval-for-flemington-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-acquisition-210620.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has received the approval from the New South Wales government for acquiring the Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project from Jervois Mining Ltd (ASX:JRV).

The Department of Planning & Environment, Division of Resources and Geoscience has approved the transfer of exploration licenses EL 7805 and EL 8546 to Flemington Mining Operations Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of AUZ.

AUZ will now pay $3.4 million plus GST for the final tranche of the purchase price.

READ: Australian Mines to acquire cobalt nickel scandium project

The Flemington project has an existing JORC resource of 2.5 million tonnes at 0.103% cobalt and 403 ppm scandium in the measured category.

Drilling at Flemington will commence following the completion of the current 50,000-metre resource expansion drilling program at AUZ’s flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland.

READ: Australian Mines expands Sconi potential with strong nickel-cobalt assays

AUZ managing director Benjamin Bell recently said: “I am very pleased that Australian Mines has progressed its Flemington Project to a point that we are now in a position to complete the acquisition of this highly promising cobalt-nickel-scandium deposit on a 100% basis prior to our next drilling campaign, and before we advance the project towards a pre-feasibility study.

“The Flemington Project is located in New South Wales’ premier location for cobalt mineralisation and shares a tenement boundary with Clean TeQ’s Sunrise deposit, which has been proven to link with Australian Mines’ current mineral resource at Flemington.”

“We remain optimistic about significantly increasing the mineral resource inventory at the project, given that only 1% of the prospective geology at Flemington has been comprehensively evaluated.

“Our early modelling of the cobalt grade, host geology and potential mineral resource tonnage at Flemington has demonstrated significant exploration potential.”

Sconi remains flagship project

Drilling at Flemington will aim to increase the JORC resource and support moving towards the commencement of a pre-feasibility study on the project.

The goal is for Flemington to act as a second production source of cobalt, nickel and scandium to the Sconi Project where a recent bankable feasibility study valued the project at $697 million.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million ]]>
Thu, 06 Dec 2018 12:32:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/210620/australian-mines-gets-approval-for-flemington-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-acquisition-210620.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines’ subsidiary Norwest Minerals completes ASX listing ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/210170/australian-mines-subsidiary-norwest-minerals-completes-asx-listing-210170.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has completed the spin-off and listing of subsidiary Norwest Minerals Ltd (ASX:NWM).

The initial public offering (IPO) comprised 33 million shares at 20 cents each to raise $6.6 million.

Norwest holds Australian Mines’ non-core gold and base metals exploration assets in Western Australia.

Australian Mines is focused on its flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland.

The company anticipates Sconi will become a fully-integrated chemical processing operation capable of delivering battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphate to its Korean-based offtake partner SK Innovation.

Norwest's exploration projects in WA

A definitive feasibility study at Sconi was completed last week, which estimates life-of-mine revenues of about $512 million a year.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

Three open pits would be constructed and a processing plant with annual ore processing capacity of 2 million tonnes.

The project’s net present value is $697 million at an 8% discount rate.

Its after-tax internal rate of return is 15%, with a 5.2-year payback period on a US$974 million total capital expenditure (capex).

Sconi mine’s construction capex is USS$31 million, with US$110 million of contingencies.

Its processing plant capex is US$730 million, with US$103 million of non-process capital costs.

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Wed, 28 Nov 2018 19:49:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/210170/australian-mines-subsidiary-norwest-minerals-completes-asx-listing-210170.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines relocates corporate office to Brisbane ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209795/australian-mines-relocates-corporate-office-to-brisbane-209795.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has relocated its corporate headquarters to Brisbane CBD in Queensland from Perth, Western Australia.

The relocation to Queensland reflects the company’s commitment to developing its 100%-owned Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project located near Greenvale in North Queensland.

AUZ also anticipates opening a regional operational office in the Greenvale-Townsville-Charters Towers area during the coming year.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

A bankable feasibility study (BFS) recently ascribed the project a pre-tax net present value (NPV) of $1.31 billion and post-tax NPV of $697 million.

The BFS modelled an 18-year mine life producing nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphide and scandium oxide from three open pits using a 2 million tonne per annum processing plant.

READ: Australian Mines upbeat about recent BFS at today’s AGM

Speaking at the company’s AGM earlier this week, AUZ’s chairman Michael Ramsden said: “This proposed operation would generate average revenues from production of over half a billion dollars per year with an average annual EBITDA of around $300 million.

“The BFS indicated average cobalt sulphate production of eight and a half thousand tonnes per annum and average nickel sulphate production of fifty-three thousand tonnes per annum.

“Both of these numbers are within the acceptable range of our off-take agreement with Korean-based EV battery manufacturer SK Innovation, who have agreed to take 100% of the cobalt and nickel produced.”

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Fri, 23 Nov 2018 12:57:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209795/australian-mines-relocates-corporate-office-to-brisbane-209795.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines upbeat about recent BFS at today’s AGM ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209633/australian-mines-upbeat-about-recent-bfs-at-todays-agm-209633.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) held its annual general meeting (AGM) for shareholders this morning.

The company used the AGM as an opportunity to touch on the release of its bankable feasibility study (BFS) yesterday for its flagship Sconi Project in North Queensland.

READ: Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million

AUZ’s chairman Michael Ramsden said: “The BFS results were very positive in my opinion and in-line with the board and executive team’s expectations.

“The economic modelling in the study demonstrated the commercial viability of constructing and operating three open pits and a 2 million tonne per annum process plant at Sconi, over an initial project life of 18 years.

“This proposed operation would generate average revenues from production of over half a billion dollars per year with an average annual EBITDA of around $300 million.

“The BFS indicated average cobalt sulphate production of eight and a half thousand tonnes per annum and average nickel sulphate production of fifty-three thousand tonnes per annum.

“Both of these numbers are within the acceptable range of our off-take agreement with Korean-based EV battery manufacturer SK Innovation, who have agreed to take 100% of the cobalt and nickel produced.”

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Wed, 21 Nov 2018 13:08:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209633/australian-mines-upbeat-about-recent-bfs-at-todays-agm-209633.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines BFS values Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project at $697 million ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209521/australian-mines-bfs-values-sconi-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-at-697-million-209521.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ, FRA:MJH, OTCMKTS:AMSLF) has released a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland, valuing the project at $697 million.

The Australian Securities Exchange returned the company’s securities to quotation at 1.42pm market time.

READ: Australian Mines welcomes new CFO from Fortescue

Australian Mines' metrics for the Sconi project at Greenvale in Queensland

Three open pits would be constructed under the project along with a processing plant with annual ore processing capacity of 2 million tonnes.

The Sconi definitive feasibility study estimates life-of-mine revenues of about $512 million a year, with average earnings before interest, tax, depreciation and amortisation (EBITDA) put at $295 million a year.

The project’s net present value (NPV8) is $697 million at an 8% discount rate.

Its after-tax internal rate of return is 15%, with a 5.2-year payback period on a US$974 million total capital expenditure (capex).

Sconi mine’s construction capex is USS$31 million, with US$110 million of contingencies.

Its processing plant capex is US$730 million, with US$103 million of non-process capital costs.

A process diagram for Sconi project

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said, “The Sconi BFS demonstrates robust project and financial metrics.

“Capital costs (are) in line with Australian Mines’ prediction for the processing plant, while production volumes and specifications are within the range sought by our offtake agreement with SK Innovation.

“The project also benefits from strong annual revenues across the life of mine and a relatively short payback period.”

South Korean global battery manufacturer SK Innovation Co Ltd (KRX:096770, KRX:096775) has an offtake agreement for 100% of expected cobalt and nickel production from the Sconi project.

 

The managing director highlighted the timing of the company’s acquisition of the Sconi project after a strategy re-set two years ago when it also picked up the Flemington Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in New South Wales.

Bell said, “Our acquisition timing proved spot-on and now, two years later, we believe the project is well on track to move to the next stage in project funding negotiations.

“I am very pleased to be in a position to release the BFS on the Sconi project and look forward to implementing the next steps on the path towards production of what are increasingly in-demand and essential commodities for the manufacture of lithium-ion batteries used extensively in electric vehicles and energy storage applications.”

READ: Australian Mines subsidiary IPO now closed ahead of ASX debut

A year ago, the company bagged $20 million with an oversubscribed share placement designed to fund it to a final investment decision on Sconi.

The Queensland project is at Greenvale where 15,000 tonnes cobalt and 327,000 tonnes nickel were mined historically at Greenvale Nickel Mine and Brolga mine.

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Tue, 20 Nov 2018 00:00:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209521/australian-mines-bfs-values-sconi-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-at-697-million-209521.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines welcomes new CFO from Fortescue ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209332/australian-mines-welcomes-new-cfo-from-fortescue-209332.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has appointed Marcus Hughes to the position of chief financial officer (CFO).

Hughes has 20 years of experience with listed companies, most recently with iron order producer Fortescue Metals Group Ltd (ASX:FMG), where he spent eight years as finance group manager.

His involvement with project financing and capital raisings will be a valuable addition to the executive team.

READ: Australian Mines’ Sconi scandium oxide verified for phase II scandium alloy development

Australian Mines’ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “We have been systematically building the depth of our executive management team over the past 12 months and I couldn’t be more pleased to secure the services of a Chief Financial Officer of the calibre of Marcus Hughes.

“Marcus’ immediate past experience is an ideal fit for Australian Mines, as we prepare to commence our transition from explorer to project developer following the imminent release of a bankable feasibility study on our Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

Hughes to take on lead role in funding negotiations

“His specific skills in the implementation of project financing and equity raisings will be invaluable as he takes on a lead role finalising negotiations and executing a suitable financing package for the construction of the Sconi Project.

“I look forward to Marcus’ contribution to the executive team at this critical time for the company, including leveraging his experience managing regulatory authority compliance, risk reviews and audits.

“In the medium term, we will also benefit from his expertise in building finance functions through the initial production phase of mining operations, as well as supporting project expansion activities once operations are established.”

READ: Australian Mines subsidiary IPO now closed ahead of ASX debut

Australian Mines’ subsidiary Norwest Minerals Ltd (ASX:NWM) recently closed its initial public offer (IPO), which raised $6.6 million through offering shares at 20 cents.

Norwest holds Australian Mines’ non-core gold and base metals exploration assets in Western Australia.

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Fri, 16 Nov 2018 12:07:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209332/australian-mines-welcomes-new-cfo-from-fortescue-209332.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines subsidiary IPO now closed ahead of ASX debut ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209046/australian-mines-subsidiary-ipo-now-closed-ahead-of-asx-debut-209046.html Australian Mines Ltd’s (ASX:AUZ) subsidiary Norwest Minerals Ltd (ASX:NWM) has closed its initial public offer (IPO).

Norwest holds Australian Mines’ non-core gold and base metals exploration assets in Western Australia.

It expects to finalise the issue and allocation of 33 million shares under the offer in the week commencing 19 November 2018.

Subject to the satisfaction of listing conditions and ASX approval, Norwest is aiming to be admitted to the official list of ASX under the code “NWM” by the end of November 2018.

READ: Australian Mines expands Sconi potential with strong nickel-cobalt assays

Australian Mines is focused on its flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland.

The company anticipates Sconi will become a fully-integrated chemical processing operation capable of delivering battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphate to its Korean-based offtake partner SK Innovation.

READ: Australian Mines’ Sconi scandium oxide verified for phase II scandium alloy development

Most recently, testing showed that the project’s scandium oxide met all the requirements for use in an aluminium-scandium feedstock to support master alloy development.

As a result, Australian Mines moved on to the next stage of its research and development (R&D) project with Metalysis, a UK-headquartered metals and alloys technology company.

The progress is in line with the company’s focus on commercialising scandium oxide, scheduled for production concurrent to cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate from Sconi.

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Tue, 13 Nov 2018 09:51:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/209046/australian-mines-subsidiary-ipo-now-closed-ahead-of-asx-debut-209046.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines’ Sconi scandium oxide verified for phase II scandium alloy development ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208684/australian-mines-sconi-scandium-oxide-verified-for-phase-ii-scandium-alloy-development-208684.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) is moving on to the next stage of its research and development (R&D) project with Metalysis, the U.K.-headquartered metals and alloys technology company.

The progress is in line with AUZ’s focus on commercialising scandium oxide, scheduled for production concurrent to cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate from its Sconi Project in Queensland.

AUZ provided scandium oxide for qualification by Metalysis using ore from Sconi with purity in excess of 99.9% (or 3N).

The oxide has met all chemical and physical requirements to be ideal for use in an aluminium-scandium feedstock to support master alloy development.

Metalysis’ electrolytic technology allows for lower operating costs, energy consumption and operating temperatures as the processing occurs with the metals in a solid state (as opposed to a melting process route).

AUZ’s R&D work in partnership with Metalysis is now moving to phase II.

The work program involves optimising product quality, scaling up test work, and further analyses to determine the alloy’s compositional characteristics and performance.

Phase II will also incorporate customer appraisal of the product and will further investigate demand driven end-user opportunities in relation to 3D printing of magnets.

This high value aluminium-scandium alloy continues to pose excellent launch product potential for Metalysis’ fourth generation industrial plant.

READ: Australian Mines expands Sconi potential with strong nickel-cobalt assays

AUZ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am delighted that we have continued to make progress in our work with Metalysis and explore the potential to unlock additional economic value from scandium oxide to be produced at Sconi.

“By being involved in full end-to-end production this represents an appealing value proposition for our investors as opposed to the more typical mining and shipping ore approach.

“The fact that our scandium oxide product has been verified as meeting the specifications required to produce a master alloy puts us in an extremely strong position in our negotiations with potential scandium oxide off-take partners.”

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Wed, 07 Nov 2018 12:19:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208684/australian-mines-sconi-scandium-oxide-verified-for-phase-ii-scandium-alloy-development-208684.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines expands Sconi potential with strong nickel-cobalt assays ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208457/australian-mines-expands-sconi-potential-with-strong-nickel-cobalt-assays-208457.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has expanded the nickel and cobalt potential of its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland, returning further positive results from ongoing extensional drilling.

The company completed an additional 5,000 metres of drilling at the Greenvale deposit to test newly-identified mineralised zones and further extend Sconi’s cobalt-nickel footprint.

Cobalt-focused drilling at the Lucknow deposit has also been completed, with remaining assays due in the current quarter.

 

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said he was extremely encouraged by the results from extensional drilling across targeted areas within Sconi.

He added: “The results to date are pointing towards an increase in the Sconi project’s mineral resource for both cobalt and nickel.

“Increasing the project’s mineral resource was our clearly articulated goal from the start of this program.”

Scandium oxide produced from Sconi ore

  READ: Australian Mines in research partnership to evaluate scandium use in next-generation batteries, shares surge

Highlighted cobalt intersections include: 15 metres at 0.14% cobalt from 11 metres; 9 metres at 0.3% from 9 metres; and 11 metres at 0.16% from 8 metres.

Nickel intersections include: 10 metres at 1.8% nickel from 29 metres; 20 metres at 1.13% nickel from 36 metres; and 14 metres at 1.03% nickel from 21 metres.

The company considers the initial results from Greenvale and Lucknow demonstrative of extensive mineralisation not reflected in the current mineral resource and point to continued exploration upside.

Bell continued: “We believe we will be in a strong position, come April 2019, to announce a revised mineral resource estimate for Sconi, followed by an optimised bankable feasibility study for the project shortly thereafter.

“Any potential upgrade to the mineral resource estimate for Sconi as a result of the current drilling program would have the flow-through effect of enhancing the proposed mine plan and life for the project as well as delivering overall benefits to any future expansion contemplated.”

READ: Australian Mines’ Sconi project being assessed by government infrastructure fund

The company anticipates Sconi will become a fully-integrated chemical processing operation capable of delivering battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphate to its Korean-based offtake partner SK Innovation.

Designed for direct application at SK Innovation’s global electric vehicle battery manufacturing plants, Sconi’s sulphate products will not need to undergo further processing.

Sconi has a global mineral resource of: measured 17 million tonnes at 0.8% nickel, 0.07% cobalt; indicated 48 million tonnes at 0.58% nickel and 0.07% cobalt; and inferred 24 million tonnes at 0.41% nickel and 0.06% cobalt.

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Sun, 04 Nov 2018 20:38:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208457/australian-mines-expands-sconi-potential-with-strong-nickel-cobalt-assays-208457.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines in research partnership to evaluate scandium use in next-generation batteries, shares surge ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208370/australian-mines-in-research-partnership-to-evaluate-scandium-use-in-next-generation-batteries-shares-surge-208370.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) (OTCMKTS:AMSLF) has secured a research partnership to evaluate the use of scandium in next-generation battery storage technology.

The collaboration is with India’s Amrita Centre for Research and Development’s Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies.

It will evaluate the potential of high-capacity scandium-magnesium ternary alloys for next-generation nickel metal hydride batteries and hydrogen storage applications.

Shares surge almost 26%

Investors responded positively with shares rising almost 26% to 4.9 cents intraday on strong volume of almost 30 million.

The company said the collaboration confirmed that it was a leader in scandium research and followed a partnership with UK-based Metalysis for R&D on a solid-state process to produce aluminium-scandium alloy.

Australian Mines’ managing director Benjamin Bell said, “Our partnership with the Amrita Centre has the potential to make a significant contribution to the scandium-magnesium alloys being considered as a high-performance alternative for the next generation of nickel metal hydride batteries.

“We also recognise the emerging economics around hydrogen as an alternative energy source to fossil fuels and believe metal hydride batteries could provide a storage solution for hydrogen.

“They can be handled without extensive safety precautions, which is especially relevant when considering applications like hybrid and electric-powered trucks and heavy-haulage vehicles.”

READ: Australian Mines assigned ‘spec buy’ recommendation in initial Argonaut research

The Centre of Excellence in Advanced Materials and Green Technologies based out of Tamil Nadu is a cutting-edge research facility operated jointly by the Amrita Centre and Amrita Vishwa Vidyapeetham.

It is a broad multi-disciplinary institution, which has emerged as one of the fastest growing institutions of higher learning in India.

The centre is assessing the potential for scandium-magnesium alloys as a new class of high-capacity ternary alloys to improve energy storage capacity in nickel metal hydride batteries.

READ: Australian Mines receives R&D tax rebate for scandium oxide process flowsheet development

In addition, the research collaboration is assessing the potential for this new class of batteries to be used for storage of hydrogen.

This work aims to provide a practical solution to the increasing demand for technologies that can effectively store large amounts of hydrogen for higher energy use applications in heavy transport.

Bell said, “Under the research agreement, Australian Mines will retain all intellectual property rights generated through the collaboration, regardless of where and by whom the relevant IP is created.

“This would potentially provide lasting value to shareholders from the future commercialisation of the applications subject to the R&D partnership.”

R&D with Metalysis

The R&D work with Metalysis is examining an innovative solid-state process to more efficiently produce aluminium-scandium alloys for use in the automotive manufacturing sector.

Bell added that the company remained committed to delivering additional revenue from the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland through marketing the high-purity scandium oxide.

READ Australian Mines' Sconi project being assessed by government infrastructure fund

“This can be produced at minimal additional cost to the proposed cobalt sulphate and nickel sulphate operation,” he said.

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Fri, 02 Nov 2018 12:11:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/208370/australian-mines-in-research-partnership-to-evaluate-scandium-use-in-next-generation-batteries-shares-surge-208370.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines' Sconi project being assessed by government infrastructure fund ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207026/australian-mines-sconi-project-being-assessed-by-government-infrastructure-fund-207026.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) is being assessed for possible funding by the Commonwealth entity, Northern Australia Infrastructure Facility (NAIF).

NAIF has indicated it will move to assess the potential for providing funding for the 100%-owned Sconi Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project located in Queensland.

The NAIF is a major long-term initiative of the Australian Government and provides access to up to $5 billion of finance.

READ: Australian Mines receives R&D tax rebate for scandium oxide process flowsheet development

Australian Mines’ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am pleased that the NAIF board is considering potential funding support for Sconi, our flagship cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Northern Queensland.

“The project has the potential to provide significant upgrades of existing infrastructure located within the Greenvale region within Northern Queensland and 90% of its ongoing annual operational expenditure is expected to be with local businesses.”

Assessment progressed to due diligence phase

The Sconi project has been under consideration by NAIF for possible financial assistance and has progressed through to the due diligence phase.

This phase follows the successful progression through the enquiry, preliminary assessment, and strategic assessment phases.

The next step for Australian Mines is to provide detailed due diligence materials to NAIF for review and to then submit its formal investment proposal.

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Mon, 15 Oct 2018 11:43:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/207026/australian-mines-sconi-project-being-assessed-by-government-infrastructure-fund-207026.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Australian Mines’ demonstration plant informs future Sconi development ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10828/australian-mines-demonstration-plant-informs-future-sconi-development-10828.html Fri, 12 Oct 2018 10:02:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10828/australian-mines-demonstration-plant-informs-future-sconi-development-10828.html <![CDATA[News - Australian Mines receives R&D tax rebate for scandium oxide process flowsheet development ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/206031/australian-mines-receives-rd-tax-rebate-for-scandium-oxide-process-flowsheet-development-206031.html Australian Mines Limited’s (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) (OTCMKTS:AMSLF) research and development (R&D) work aimed at developing a scandium oxide process flowsheet has seen it receive an R&D tax rebate from the Commonwealth Government.

A $295,765 rebate has been received for the company’s R&D expenditure in the 2016-17 financial year.

The expenditure relates specifically to development work completed at a high-pressure acid leach (HPAL) and solvent extraction (SX) demonstration plant in Perth, in conjunction with Simulus Group’s laboratories.

READ: Australian Mines assigned ‘spec buy’ recommendation in initial Argonaut research

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said, “In addition to representing a small boost to our balance sheet, I believe the Commonwealth Government’s continued incentive program has a real impact on encouraging Australian exploration and mining companies to invest in research and development of benefit to Australia.”

The company developed a demonstration plant to hone the processing flowsheet for ore to be mined from its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in northern Queensland.

It aims to produce nickel sulphate, cobalt sulphate and scandium oxide from the ore.

Breakthrough scandium oxide work

Scandium oxide in particular, given its relative scarcity and the limited processing information available on a worldwide basis, does not have a well-known process flow sheet.

Scandium oxide produced from the Sconi project in Queensland.

The company has used the work conducted to develop a process flowsheet that has produced scandium oxide of purity levels in excess of 99.9%.

READ: Australian Mines boosted by $12 million investment from US fund

Bell said, “The operation of the demonstration plant has played a critical role for Australian Mines as it has enabled optimisation of the extraction process for the bankable feasibility study on the Sconi project.

“The processing tests have significantly improved equipment reliability, recovery and purity levels of the nickel, cobalt and scandium products.”

READ: Australian Mines drill results extend nickel cobalt resource potential

R&D is a critical component of Australian Mines’ current and future plans as demonstrated by a partnership with United Kingdom-based technology company Metalysis.

This is aimed at supporting research and development around a solid-state process to produce a low-cost yet superior aluminium-scandium alloy for potential use by the automotive and aerospace industries.

The R&D tax incentive is a program run by the Australian Commonwealth Government to encourage companies to engage in R&D benefiting Australia, by providing a tax offset for eligible R&D activities.

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Mon, 01 Oct 2018 10:28:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/206031/australian-mines-receives-rd-tax-rebate-for-scandium-oxide-process-flowsheet-development-206031.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines subsidiary Norwest Minerals issues prospectus for IPO ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/205172/australian-mines-subsidiary-norwest-minerals-issues-prospectus-for-ipo-205172.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) (OTCMKTS: AMSLF) subsidiary Norwest Minerals Limited has issued a prospectus for its intended initial public offering (IPO).

The subsidiary holds Australian Mines’ non-core gold and base metals exploration assets in Western Australia.

READ: Australian Mines assigned ‘spec buy’ recommendation in initial Argonaut research

There are 33 million shares being offered in the IPO at 20 cents each to raise $6.6 million with Norwest already receiving for shares totalling $4 million.

This leaves $2.6 million in shares available to the public, which are being offered in priority to Australian Mines shareholders registered at September 18, 2018, with a registered address in Australia.

 

Australian Mines is expected to hold 28.63% of the new entity upon completion of the offer.

The expected official quotation date is October 29, 2018.

Australian Mines’ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am confident the decision to establish Norwest as a separate, independently-managed and focused public company is the best path forward for achieving true market value for our highly prospective gold and base metal exploration projects in Western Australia.”

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Wed, 19 Sep 2018 09:10:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/205172/australian-mines-subsidiary-norwest-minerals-issues-prospectus-for-ipo-205172.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines assigned ‘spec buy’ recommendation in initial Argonaut research ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/204986/australian-mines-assigned-spec-buy-recommendation-in-initial-argonaut-research-204986.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has had Argonaut Securities initiate research coverage with a resulting ‘spec buy’ recommendation placed on the battery metals explorer and developer.

In its inaugural research report, Argonaut said the company had the opportunity to be a globally significant supplier of nickel and cobalt sulphates through its pipeline of projects.

READ: Australian Mines boosted by $12 million investment from US fund

“Although the Sconi BFS is yet to be released, we regard the project as the most advanced of its kind in Australia,” Argonaut stated.

“Sconi has a substantial resource able to support +35 years of operations.

“While upfront CapEx is substantial, the project should generate high margins once ramped up to steady state production,” the report said.

 

Australian Mines’ primary focus is the Sconi Nickel-Cobalt-Scandium Project in Queensland, which it is developing.

Sconi, so named as an acronym of scandium, cobalt and nickel, is an oxide limonite deposit with mineralisation from surface and is adjacent to the town of Greenvale.

The deposit has a resource of 89 million tonnes at 0.58% nickel and 0.06% cobalt and is subject to a bankable feasibility study (BFS), which is due for release this quarter.

READ: Australian Mines to acquire cobalt nickel scandium project

It also holds the Flemington project in NSW, which overlaps the intrusive complex hosting Clean TeQ Holdings Limited’s (CLQ) Sunrise project, and Thackaringa project in South Australia.

Following are extracts from the Argonaut report:

View | Positive

Development ready: Three deposits which make up the Sconi project, namely the previously mined Greenvale, Lucknow and Kokomo, are all on granted MLs.

Greenvale was historically mined as nickel feed for the Yabulu refinery in Townsville. The project has grid power to site and a sealed road for 250 kilometres to the port city of Townsville.

Aerial view of historic shallow open pits at Greenvale now flooded.

The imminent BFS will likely outline a 2.0-2.4 million tonnes per annum plant with two autoclaves to treat limonite ore, producing 15,000 tonnes per annum of nickel and 3,000 tonnes of cobalt in sulphate.

Pending successful financing, the two-year construction phase will commence from H1 2019, with first production in 2021.

Development capex is estimated at about US$750 million before contingencies and operating costs are forecast at less than US$1.00/pound nickel.

Strategic Partnership: In February 2018, AUZ signed a binding offtake agreement with Korean battery manufacturer SK Innovation for 100% of nickel and cobalt sulphate from Sconi.

SK will take up to 60,000 tonnes/annum NiSO4 and 12,000 tonnes CoSO4 for an initial 7-year period with a 6-year extension option.

SK also agreed to collaborate with AUZ for the development of battery-grade materials by validating output from the company’s demonstration plant in Perth.

In addition, SK has an option to acquire 19.9% of AUZ at 12 cents/share ($80 million) within three months of BFS completion.

Pipeline of projects: Flemington is highly analogous to Sconi with an initial resource of 2.7 million tonnes at 0.10% cobalt and 403ppm scandium, covering just 1% of the prospective underlying geology.

The 100%-owned Thackaringa project abuts Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd’s Pyrite Hill and Big Hill cobalt deposits and has a significant cobalt in soil anomaly.

Investment thesis

Long life high margin project: Sconi has a substantial resource able to support +35 years of operations. While upfront capex is substantial, the project should generate high margins once ramped up to steady state production.

Sconi most developed project of its kind in Australia: Argonaut believes Sconi is the most advanced nickel-cobalt project in Australia given its granted ML, binding offtake agreement and imminent BFS.

We also believe the more generic flow sheet, relative to CLQ’s Sunrise project, will result in lower upfront capex and subsequently lower financing risk.

Battery market appeal: AUZ has proved an ability to produce battery-grade nickel and cobalt sulphate products from its demonstration plant located in Perth.

The project has potential to produce up to 3% of global cobalt supply, and its location in Queensland makes it a low sovereign risk alternative to the African (DRC) dominated supply.

Strategic partnership: The company has formed a strategic partnership with SK Innovation, a significant player in the electric vehicle battery market, and is part of SK Global, the 57th largest company globally.

The partnership encompasses 100% of nickel and cobalt offtake with an option for a cornerstone equity investment.

READ: Australian Mines drill results extend nickel cobalt resource potential

Extensive exploration upside: While Sconi already has sufficient resources for a +30-year project, there is significant upside from both resource expansion, particularly at Lucknow and Kokomo, as well as definition of higher grade starter pits. A 50,000-metre drilling program is underway.

Proposed resource extension drilling at the Sconi deposits.

Pipeline of projects: AUZ has a pipeline of Australia cobalt/nickel projects beyond Sconi providing potential to be a globally significant battery mineral producer in a low sovereign risk jurisdiction.

Advanced nickel-cobalt laterite project

We see Clean TeQ Holdings (CLQ) Sunrise project as the nearest nickel-cobalt-scandium analogue, however other cobalt projects on the ASX include Ardea Resource (ARL) Goongarrie project, Barra Resources (BAR)/Conico Ltd (CNJ) 50:50 Mt Thirsty project and Cobalt Blue’s (COB) Thackaringa.

On a comparative basis, Sconi benefits from a granted mining lease, secured offtake, low strip ratios and low capital intensity compared to other HPAL projects.

Long-life high-margin project

An initial pre-feasibility study (PFS) for the Sconi project was completed by Metallica Minerals Limited (ASX:MLM) and released in further detail by AUZ in March 2017.

The study outlines a +20-year project processing 750,000 tonnes/annum with about 90% metal recoveries producing about 5,500 tonnes/annum nickel and about 750 tonnes/annum cobalt, plus scandium.

Upcoming BFS

AUZ is due to release its bankable feasibility study (BFS) in September 2018. The release date was delayed by around three months after sterilisation drilling encountered mineralisation under the proposed site for processing infrastructure, necessitating a change of location.

We expect the study will define a 2.0-2.4 million tonnes/annum plant with two autoclaves, producing 15,000 tonnes/annum nickel in sulphate and 3,000 tonnes/annum cobalt in sulphate (+ scandium oxide) from around 0.80% and 0.11% respective nickel and cobalt feed grades and 90-93% recoveries.

The Thackaringa project near Broken Hill.

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Mon, 17 Sep 2018 15:21:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/204986/australian-mines-assigned-spec-buy-recommendation-in-initial-argonaut-research-204986.html
<![CDATA[Media files - Australian Mines doing 'a phenomenal amount of drilling' for BFS at Sconi ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10473/australian-mines-doing-a-phenomenal-amount-of-drilling-for-bfs-at-sconi-10473.html Fri, 14 Sep 2018 17:10:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/stocktube/10473/australian-mines-doing-a-phenomenal-amount-of-drilling-for-bfs-at-sconi-10473.html <![CDATA[News - Australian Mines drill results extend nickel cobalt resource potential ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/204883/australian-mines-drill-results-extend-nickel-cobalt-resource-potential-204883.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has received positive, near-surface results from its extension drilling program at the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in northern Queensland.

The company has been progressing its 50,000-metre drill program completing the initial 446 holes for 12,241 metres targeting the historical Greenvale mine area.

Highlights from Greenvale include 42 metres at 1.01% nickel from surface and 53 metres at 0.724% nickel from surface.

READ: Australian Mines boosted by $12 million investment from US fund

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said: “The metres drilled in this initial phase equate to a 50% increase in the total metres historically drilled at the Greenvale mine site since 1962 and we expect the current resource model will be updated as a result, demonstrating the true untapped potential of the Greenvale Deposit at Sconi.”

“We are currently reviewing the base-case bankable feasibility study for Sconi and completing a thorough verification process for all capital costs modelled to ensure the project is costed as accurately as possible ahead of a final investment decision.

Optimised BFS expected first half of next year

“We are very pleased with these initial assays and look forward to the full results of the program being available to feed into a fully-optimised version of the BFS in the first half of next year.

50% of assays from Greenvale received

Australian Mines has received 50% of the total assays from the drilling at the Greenvale mine site to date.

Results so far show widths and tenor of early results demonstrating the potential for the existing JORC resource at the Greenvale Deposit to be extended in multiple mineralised zones.

Once all assay data has been received and validated, an updated JORC resource will be estimated.

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Fri, 14 Sep 2018 11:23:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/204883/australian-mines-drill-results-extend-nickel-cobalt-resource-potential-204883.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines boosted by $12 million investment from US fund ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/204590/australian-mines-boosted-by-12-million-investment-from-us-fund-204590.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has boosted its financial position through a $12 million investment agreement with a New York-based fund managed by Bergen Asset Management, LLC.

Bergen Global Opportunity Fund II, LLC will make an initial up-front investment of $4 million, followed by a second investment of $4 million, and, by mutual consent, a third of $4 million.

Interest-free convertible security

Each of these will be by way of an unsecured interest-free convertible security with a 24-month maturity

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said, “I am delighted to have attracted a significant investment in Australian Mines from a firm like Bergen, which has made a number of successful ASX investments over the years, alongside existing shareholders and management.

“The issue of these convertible securities reinforces the significant investment interest we have received out of the United States over the past 12 months.”

Fully funded for work program

Australian Mines remains fully-funded for the planned work program across its project portfolio and through to a final investment decision on its flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland.

READ: Australian Mines to acquire cobalt nickel scandium project

Part proceeds of the convertible securities will also be allocated to completing the acquisition of the Flemington project in New South Wales on a 100% basis.

This acquisition forms part of an option agreement with Jervois Mining Limited (ASX:JRV).

Funds will also be used to complete the upcoming Flemington resource expansion drilling program.

Australian Mines intends Flemington to act as a second production source of cobalt, nickel and scandium to the Sconi project where a bankable feasibility study is nearing completion.

The funds will also allow the company to maintain the operation of its demonstration-scale processing plant in Perth.

Strengthened balance sheet

Bergen’s investment will strengthen Australian Mines’ balance sheet as it progresses through project finance discussions for the development of the Sconi project.

READ: Australian Mines plans RC drilling at priority targets at Marymia

“The investment structure gives a flexible facility and minimises any dilution at current levels for Australian Mines’ shareholders,” Bell said.

“It also allows the flexibility to accelerate progress at our promising Flemington project and greenfields Thackaringa Cobalt Project in NSW in parallel to delivering our development program at Sconi.”

He said that pending a positive BFS and successful funding negotiations, the company planned to begin construction at Sconi in early 2019.

The investor is an investment fund focused on high growth publicly-traded investment opportunities, primarily outside of the United States.

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Tue, 11 Sep 2018 15:41:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/204590/australian-mines-boosted-by-12-million-investment-from-us-fund-204590.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines to acquire cobalt nickel scandium project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/203605/australian-mines-to-acquire-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-203605.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has exercised an option to acquire 100% of the Flemington Cobalt Nickel Scandium Project in New South Wales.

Completion of the sale agreement will occur over the next 20 business days at which time Australian Mines will make the final payment of $3.4 million to Jervois Mining Ltd (ASX:JRV).

READ: Australian Mines to export largest sample of battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphate

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am very pleased that Australian Mines has progressed its Flemington Project to a point that we are now in a position to complete the acquisition of this highly promising cobalt-nickel-scandium deposit on a 100% basis prior to our next drilling campaign, and before we advance the project towards a pre-feasibility study.”

“The Flemington Project is located in New South Wales’ premier location for cobalt mineralisation and shares a tenement boundary with Clean TeQ’s Sunrise deposit, which has been proven to link with Australian Mines’ current Mineral Resource12 at Flemington.”

Resource expansion drilling planned

The existing JORC resource totals 2.5 million tonnes at 0.103% cobalt and 403 ppm scandium in the Measured category and 0.2 million tonnes at 0.076% cobalt and 408 ppm scandium in the Indicated category.

Drilling at Flemington will commence following the completion of the current 50,000-metre resource expansion drilling program at the company’s Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project.

READ: Australian Mines plans RC drilling at priority targets at Marymia

Bell added: “We remain optimistic about significantly increasing the Mineral Resource inventory at the project, given that only 1% of the prospective geology at Flemington has been comprehensively evaluated.

“Our early modelling of the cobalt grade, host geology and potential mineral resource tonnage at Flemington has demonstrated significant exploration potential.”

Sconi remains flagship project

Drilling at Flemington will aim to increase the JORC resource and support moving towards the commencement of a pre-feasibility study on the project.

The goal is for Flemington to act as a second production source of cobalt, nickel and scandium to the flagship Sconi Project in Queensland where a bankable feasibility study is nearing completion.

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Mon, 27 Aug 2018 11:23:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/203605/australian-mines-to-acquire-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-203605.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines plans RC drilling at priority targets at Marymia ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/203434/australian-mines-plans-rc-drilling-at-priority-targets-at-marymia-203434.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) through subsidiary Norwest Minerals is planning to reverse circulation (RC) drill two high-priority targets at the Marymia Project in Western Australia.

The Marymia project is held in joint venture between subsidiary Norwest Minerals and Riedel Resources Ltd (ASX:RIE).

The RC drilling follows a recent 85-hole, 6,192-metre aircore drilling program at Marymia on 400x100 metre grid spacing.

Aircore drilling was designed to evaluate northern extensions to historical gold mineralisation identified at the Dixon prospect.

READ: Australian Mines plans copper-gold drilling at Arunta West project

Norwest’s CEO Charles Schaus said: “Although the recent air-core drilling fell short on gold tenor, it did delineate the Dixon host contact northwards where it appears to coincide with a significant untested magnetic anomaly.

“The air-core results also revealed the necessity to use RC drilling to penetrate the thick transported cover which masks potential bedrock mineralisation across much of the project area.

“The VMS target has all the ingredients required to justify RC drill testing including anomalous in-situ grades in both soils and rock chips as well as a wide sequence of mineralisation in nearby RC drill hole MMRC003.

“These attributes combined with their location at the junction of a major basin-fault contact will make an exciting kick-off drill target once Norwest is listed.’’

Drilling to follow ASX listing

Norwest is planning an IPO this calendar year and plans to drill the two high-priority targets at Marymia prior to the end of the calendar year.

The first target is an untested 400x200 metre magnetic anomaly.

The second target is a soil anomaly area that includes a historical drill hole that intersected copper and zinc.

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Thu, 23 Aug 2018 08:54:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/203434/australian-mines-plans-rc-drilling-at-priority-targets-at-marymia-203434.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines plans copper-gold drilling at Arunta West project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/202336/australian-mines-plans-copper-gold-drilling-at-arunta-west-project-202336.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) has scheduled four diamond drill holes to test an iron oxide copper gold (IOCG) target at its Arunta West project in Western Australia.

The project is being transferred to Australian Mines’ fully-owned subsidiary Norwest Minerals Pty Ltd, which plans to complete an initial public offering by the end of October.

The company has also secured a mineral exploration and land access deed of agreement with the Tjamu Tjamu Aboriginal Corporation, which manages the land covering the project.

READ: Australian Mines zeroes in on high-grade copper and gold targets

The drilling follows collection and processing of detailed gravity and magnetic data, which enabled optimal positioning of holes across the North Dovers target.

Interpretation of the results indicate North Dovers’ geophysical signature resembles that of IOCG mineralisation in the Gawler Craton, potentially comparable to Ernest Henry or Olympic Dam-style mineralisation.

Further early-stage exploration will be conducted over the broader prospect area, including surface geochemistry sampling, to develop additional drill targets.

North Dovers is primarily defined by a strong 1,000 nT (nanotesla) magnetic anomaly covering a roughly 4 by 8-kilometre area and is immediately south of a major crustal structure.

The Olympic Dam deposit also produces a 1,000 nT magnetic anomaly.

READ: Australian Mines secures $5 million for IPO spin out

The Arunta West Copper-Gold Project is around 600 kilometres west of Alice Springs and is between the Pokali mineral occurrences to the west and Independence Group Ltd’s (ASX:IGO) Lake MacKay project to the east.

The project is a joint venture with Jervois Mining Ltd (ASX:JRV) and comprises three tenements covering 345 square kilometres.

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Tue, 07 Aug 2018 01:14:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/202336/australian-mines-plans-copper-gold-drilling-at-arunta-west-project-202336.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines zeroes in on high-grade copper and gold targets ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/202064/australian-mines-zeroes-in-on-high-grade-copper-and-gold-targets-202064.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) has received positive exploration results from two of its Western Australian assets  - the Warriedar Gold Project and the Bali Copper Project.

The projects are currently held or being transferred to Australian Mines’ fully-owned subsidiary Norwest Minerals Pty Ltd.

Bali Copper Project

At the Bali Copper Project, high-grade copper results in rock chips were sampled along a 3-kilometre section of the Bali Shear Zone.

33 samples reported more than 5% copper, 17 samples returned an impressive 10% copper or greater and the best recorded sample assayed 36.8% copper.

The copper grades of all 87 rock chip samples averaged 6.3%.

Warriedar Gold Project

Gold assays from the surface sampling program at the Warriedar Gold Project returned a number of high-grade gold results including rock chips assays up to 28.6 g/t gold.

Reid’s Ridge Gold Mine at the Warriedar Gold Project

The project has a number of drill-ready targets including the historical Reid’s Ridge Gold Mine and the Mount Laws 1.5-kilometre mineralised trend.

A 2,000 metre reverse circulation drill program is planned to target potential gold mineralisation down-dip of previous drill intercepts and other targets at Mount Laws post the proposed IPO of Norwest.

READ: Australian Mines secures $5 million for IPO spin-out ]]>
Thu, 02 Aug 2018 15:15:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/202064/australian-mines-zeroes-in-on-high-grade-copper-and-gold-targets-202064.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines secures $5 million for IPO spin-out ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/201591/australian-mines-secures-5-million-for-ipo-spin-out-201591.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) is making solid progress in spinning out non-core gold and base metals assets in Western Australia into a new entity for an initial public offering (IPO).

The assets have been transferred to Norwest Gold Pty Ltd, which intends to raise $6.6 million in an IPO by the end of October 2018.

Pre-IPO seed funding of $1 million has been secured and a further $4 million has been committed through cornerstone investor agreements for the IPO.

Establishing Norwest best way to extract asset’s value

Australian Mines’ managing director Benjamin Bell said: “I am confident the decision to establish Norwest as a separate, independently-managed and focused public company is the best path forward for achieving true market value for our highly prospective gold and base metal exploration projects in Western Australia, and I am pleased to be providing priority exposure to this investment opportunity for our existing shareholders.

“Australian Mines’ shareholders will continue to benefit from exploration success of Norwest through the significant equity stake that the parent Company will continue to hold in the new entity, and I look forward to seeing the future results from more focused exploration across the Norwest asset portfolio.”

Experienced corporate geologist at the helm

Experienced resources executive, Charles Schaus has been appointed as CEO of Norwest and will lead the IPO process and subsequent ASX listing.

Schaus founded Aurox Resources which was part of a $143 million merger with Atlas Iron Ltd (ASX:AGO) in 2010.

READ: Australian Mines to export largest sample of battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphate

Assuming a successful IPO, Norwest has allocated nearly $3.5 million to aggressively explore its Western Australian asset portfolio.

Drilling will commence immediately following ASX listing with the budget providing for more than 16,500 metres of reverse circulation (RC), air core and diamond drilling in the first year.

This includes the walk-up gold and base metals targets at Warriedar and Marymia which will be drilled prior to the end of this calendar year.

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Thu, 26 Jul 2018 09:25:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/201591/australian-mines-secures-5-million-for-ipo-spin-out-201591.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines to export largest sample of battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphate ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/199912/australian-mines-to-export-largest-sample-of-battery-grade-cobalt-and-nickel-sulphate-199912.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX: AUZ) will deliver the largest known shipment of battery-grade cobalt and nickel sulphates from Australian mined and processed ore.

A shipment of 40 kilograms of nickel sulphate and 4 kilograms of cobalt sulphate is being exported to offtake partner SK Innovation, a Korean-based industrial conglomerate.

The Korean company may use the product directly in its electric vehicle (EV) battery manufacturing process.

Shares up 8%

Shares jumped almost 8% to 9.6 cents in early trade.

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said the company had achieved a couple of significant firsts with the delivery of the samples.

He said it had also reinforced its position as a leader among resources companies looking to participate in Australia’s emerging battery materials sector.

Product exceeds SK Innovation specifications

The samples were produced at Australian Mines’ high-pressure acid leach and solvent extraction demonstration-size processing plant in Perth, Western Australia.

This was done utilising an industry standard processing flow-sheet with the process overseen by Australian Mines’ chief operating officer Tim Maclean.

It is the first time that battery-grade samples of these commodities have been produced without the use of third-party commercial laboratories.

The company achieved better than 98% purity for cobalt and 99% purity for nickel samples through the final crystallisation process at the demonstration plant.

READ: Australian Mines’ study indicates additional cobalt-nickel potential at Sconi project

These grades exceed SK Innovation’s specification for materials to be used directly in its manufacturing process for EV batteries, with the material requiring no additional processing or refinement ahead of its application.

This is another first for an Australian resources company.

Bell said that exceeding specifications for the material mined from Sconi and processed in Perth was an important step in the optimisation process for the project’s bankable feasibility study.

“[It] will also assist in the further advancement of project financing negotiations for the construction of the full-size processing plant in Queensland, which will use a replica processing flow-sheet to the demonstration plant.”

Initial seven-year supply contract

SK Innovation has signed a binding offtake agreement with Australian Mines for 100% of cobalt and nickel sulphate production from the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in North Queensland.

The agreement will run for an initial seven-year contract term and has an additional six-year extension option.

Under the supply agreement, SK Innovation will annually take up to 12,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate and up to 60,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate following a ramp-up period.

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Mon, 02 Jul 2018 13:31:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/199912/australian-mines-to-export-largest-sample-of-battery-grade-cobalt-and-nickel-sulphate-199912.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines’ study indicates additional cobalt-nickel potential at Sconi Project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/199435/australian-mines-study-indicates-additional-cobalt-nickel-potential-at-sconi-project-199435.html Australian Mines Limited’s (ASX:AUZ) (FRA:MJH) review of previous sterilisation drilling across the proposed processing infrastructure sites at Sconi has indicated the presence of high-grade cobalt and nickel.

Sterilisation drilling is undertaken during the pre-development phase of mining and mineral resource programs to ensure there is no mineralisation beneath the sites earmarked for buildings, roads and the like.

Australian Mines is continuing to advance the bankable feasibility study (BFS) of its flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in northern Queensland toward major development milestones in 2018.

Sterilisation drilling review as a part of our Bankable Feasibility Study have indicated that #cobalt and #nickel mineralisation at Sconi may be significantly larger than previously indicated by the PFS and the existing Mineral Resource Statement https://t.co/l1SNaIeIIH $AUZ #AUZ pic.twitter.com/G1arHgM8kV

— Australian Mines Ltd (@AusMines) June 22, 2018

The company has already secured an off-take agreement for the full planned production from Sconi.

The binding agreement with Korean-headquartered industrial conglomerate SK Innovation is for the sale of up to 12,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate per year and up to 60,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year.

Re-evaluating the location of the processing plant

As part of its BFS, Australian Mines has now identified that previous sterilisation drilling intersected similar cobalt-nickel grades to those included in the project’s current mineral resource.

This indicates that the overall footprint of cobalt and nickel mineralisation at Sconi may be significantly larger than previously indicated by both the pre-feasibility study (PFS) and the existing mineral resource.

As a result, the company is presently re-evaluating the location and layout of the full-scale cobalt-nickel-scandium processing plant, and associated non-processing infrastructure.

This is to ensure the final site design enables maximum operational efficiency (and, thus, the lowest possible operating costs for the project) in tandem with optimising the Sconi Project’s life-of mine.

Objective is to maximise and sustain future production

Australian Mines managing director Benjamin Bell said: “Given this operation has the potential to run for several decades once commissioned it is imperative that we invest time at this critical planning stage to ensure the site is set-up to maximise and sustain future production.

“The results from sterilisation drilling at Sconi, along with the anticipated results from the upcoming resource expansion drill program will provide significant data for us to revisit the existing mineral resource estimate and assess potential future conversion of those resources to ore reserves.”

READ: Australian Mines identifies large scale cobalt-in-soil anomalies at Thackaringa

The company is also progressing the Thackaringa Project in New South Wales where it recently identified three zones of elevated levels of cobalt from surface geochemical sampling over Target Area A.

Interestingly, the cobalt content of these three anomalous zones is similar to that observed at surface over Cobalt Blue’s (ASX:COB) Pyrite Hill and Big Hill cobalt deposits.

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Mon, 25 Jun 2018 09:03:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/199435/australian-mines-study-indicates-additional-cobalt-nickel-potential-at-sconi-project-199435.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines identifies large scale cobalt-in-soil anomalies at Thackaringa ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/197779/australian-mines-identifies-large-scale-cobalt-in-soil-anomalies-at-thackaringa-197779.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has identified three zones of elevated levels of cobalt from surface geochemical sampling over Target Area A of its Thackaringa Project in New South Wales.

The cobalt content of these three anomalous zones is similar to that observed at surface over Cobalt Blue’s (ASX:COB) Pyrite Hill and Big Hill cobalt deposits.

Importantly, the elevated cobalt results within one of the anomalous areas appear to be coincident with the geophysical response observed in an electromagnetic survey at the end of 2017 and confirmed by a follow-up survey completed in March 2018.

With the anomalous zones being, in part, buried by a shallow alluvial cover, surface expressions of cobalt mineralisation >15 ppm is considered significant.

Upcoming maiden drilling program

Australian Mines is continuing its soil and surface sampling program at Thackaringa, with the program designed to evaluate the entire tenement package.

As such, the company anticipates further significant results from its geochemical sampling program throughout the coming quarter.

At the completion of the geochemical program, the new areas of elevated cobalt will be the subject of A maiden drilling program at Thackaringa, which will also include the testing of a recently-identified bedrock conductor.

Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland

Australian Mines is also continuing to advance its flagship Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in northern Queensland toward major development milestones in 2018.

Sconi is the only cobalt project in Australia with a 100% off-take agreement already secured for production.

The binding agreement with Korean-headquartered industrial conglomerate SK Innovation is for the sale of up to 12,000 tonnes of cobalt sulphate per year and up to 60,000 tonnes of nickel sulphate per year.

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Tue, 29 May 2018 12:18:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/197779/australian-mines-identifies-large-scale-cobalt-in-soil-anomalies-at-thackaringa-197779.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines bags $20M to accelerate cobalt, nickel projects ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/186760/australian-mines-bags-20m-to-accelerate-cobalt-nickel-projects-186760.html Australian Mines Limited’s (ASX:AUZ) shares are trading circa 29% higher intra-day after securing $20 million via a share placement to international institutional investors, at $0.085 per share.

Significantly, the response for the placement was overwhelming, with the company receiving applications for almost $40 million for what was initially intended to be a $10 million placement.

Institutions that participated in this placement included a fund, which is arguably one of the world’s largest investment managers.

Australian Mines is currently undertaking a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) on its Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project in Queensland, in order to make a final investment decision.

In support of the BFS, the company is continuing trial mining and is also constructing a demonstration-size processing plant.

The plant will be capable of producing commercial-grade samples of cobalt sulphate, nickel sulphate and scandium oxide.

These samples will be used to progress negotiations with potential off-take partners and financiers.

This placement ensures Australian Mines is fully-funded to complete the BFS, increase its trial mining activities, finalise construction the demonstration plant and produce commercial-grade samples.

At the Flemington Cobalt-Scandium-Nickel Project in New South Wales, Australian Mines intends to extend and increase the mineral endowment through a series of drilling campaigns.

The company is also planning to complete a Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) on Flemington by mid-2018.

Australian Mines is receiving significant interest from investors due to increasing global demand for key battery metals including cobalt and nickel.

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Mon, 06 Nov 2017 11:22:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/186760/australian-mines-bags-20m-to-accelerate-cobalt-nickel-projects-186760.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines calls for halt following overseas interest ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/186612/australian-mines-calls-for-halt-following-overseas-interest-186612.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has had a meteoric share rise over the past month, last trading at $0.097, or five times higher than just one month ago.

The valuation hit a high of $0.13.

The company has been granted a trading halt by the ASX this morning, pending details of a share placement to institutional investors in the United Kingdom, Hong Kong and Australia.

READ NOW: Australian Mines' first 15 minutes of trade must be seen to be believed

The halt will remain in place until the opening of trade on Monday 6th November 2017, or earlier if an announcement is made to the market.

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Thu, 02 Nov 2017 10:07:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/186612/australian-mines-calls-for-halt-following-overseas-interest-186612.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines' first 15 minutes of trade must be seen to be believed ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/186452/australian-mines-first-15-minutes-of-trade-must-be-seen-to-be-believed-186452.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has well and truly been a stock on the move recently, but the opening of trade today is something else.

In the first 15 minutes, the company has soared another 42% to $0.125, with 50 million shares changing hands.

Shares were trading at $0.01 a year ago.

The company has this morning responded to an ASX price and volume query, saying it is not aware of any information not released that may explain the trading activity.

It did however provide some commentary:

"The company does note that Canadian broking and investment firm, Canaccord Genuity, released a BUY recommendation on Clean TeQ Holdings (ASX:CLQ) on 29 October 2017.

"The target price for this BUY recommendation was $2.00, which values the Syerston project (having a mineral resource tonnage of 101 million tonnes at an average grade of 0.13% cobalt and 0.59% nickel) at $1.1 billion.

"In comparison, Australian Mines, whose Sconi project has a mineral resource tonnage of 89 million tonnes at an average expected feed grade of 0.11% cobalt and 0.80% nickel, was valued at only $208 million.

"This market capitalisation of $208 million for Australian Mines overlooks the inherent value of the company’s Flemington Cobalt-Scandium-Nickel Project in New South Wales, which is the immediate continuation of Clean TeQ Syerston project."

The company's managing director, Benjamin Bell, is currently in London for meetings with large institutional investment funds.

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Tue, 31 Oct 2017 10:23:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/186452/australian-mines-first-15-minutes-of-trade-must-be-seen-to-be-believed-186452.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines' trading activity raises ASX eyebrows ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/185751/australian-mines-trading-activity-raises-asx-eyebrows-185751.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has been one of the most actively traded stocks on the ASX in recent weeks, and the company has now responded to a price and volume speeding ticket from the exchange.

The company said it was not aware of information not disclosed that could explain the recent trading activity, but did note back to the exchange:

"Australian Mines notes that Macquarie Research, part of Macquarie Bank Limited, recently announced a 12-month price target of $2.10 for Clean TeQ Holding Ltd (ASX:CLQ), which would value their sole mining asset (being the Syerston Project) at $1.2 billion.

"As the company has reported to the market, including most recently on 6 September 2017, Australian Mines’ Sconi Project is similar to Clean TeQ Holding’s Syerston Project including in terms of their resource tonnage, expected cobalt-nickel-scandium feed grade, geology, metallurgy and expected metal recoveries.

"Despite Australian Mines’ Sconi Project and Clean TeQ’s Syerston project being very similar, Australian Mines’ market capitalisation is currently about 10% of Clean TeQ Holdings.

"The significant disparity between Australian Mines and Clean TeQ’s market capitalisation appears to have created an arbitrage situation whereby investors can gain exposure to the cobalt-nickel market via Australian Mines at a material discount to its peers."

Sconi is an advanced cobalt development play in Australia, with all mining approvals in place and a mine life in excess of 20 years.

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Wed, 18 Oct 2017 09:46:00 +1100 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/185751/australian-mines-trading-activity-raises-asx-eyebrows-185751.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines begins geophysical survey at Thackaringa Cobalt Project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/184799/australian-mines-begins-geophysical-survey-at-thackaringa-cobalt-project-184799.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) has commenced a detailed airborne geophysical survey of its Thackaringa cobalt project near Broken Hill in New South Wales.

This will be the first exploration work on this project since its acquisition in February this year.

Australian Mines’ survey has been designed to map the sulphide-bearing geology which hosts the region’s known cobalt mineralisation, from surface down to a depth of 400 metres.

This detailed survey will cover 252 flight-line kilometres at 100 metre line spacing, with the final results due by December.

A drilling campaign and wider surface sampling is also being planned to test the size, grade and potential of the identified prospective cobalt-bearing geology.

Whilst this project offers some significant exploration upside, completing the bankable feasibility study on the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland remains the company’s priority.

The Sconi project is rated one of the most advanced projects of its kind in Australia, with mining approvals in place.

Furthermore, the company is aiming to progress the Flemington cobalt-scandium-nickel project in central New South Wales into the pre-feasibility study (PFS) stage.

Australian Mines’ share price has increased circa 88% since the start of this year, last trading at $0.015.

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Fri, 29 Sep 2017 14:46:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/184799/australian-mines-begins-geophysical-survey-at-thackaringa-cobalt-project-184799.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines gains full ownership of advanced cobalt-nickel-scandium project ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/183492/australian-mines-gains-full-ownership-of-advanced-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-183492.html Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) is acquiring full ownership of the Sconi cobalt-nickel-scandium project in Queensland by signing an agreement with JV partner Metallica Minerals (ASX:MLM).

The Sconi project is rated one of the most advanced projects of its kind in Australia, with mining approvals in place and a bankable feasibility study (BFS) well advanced.

The Sconi Project is similar to Clean TeQ’s (ASX:CLQ) Syerston project in terms of its in-situ resource size & grade, geology, metallurgy and expected metal recoveries.

As at Syerston, scandium production at Sconi is a ‘sweetener’, given that it is produced alongside the cobalt and nickel sulphate products for virtually no additional operating cost.

The consideration for the acquisition is to include $3.5 million in cash and the issue of Australian Mines shares on completion of the BFS and commercial production.

Australian Mines is now positioned to fully own both the Sconi and the Flemington cobalt-nickel-scandium projects.

Having full control of both the projects puts Australian Mines in a good position to continue its already advanced off-take discussions with international battery and vehicle manufacturers.

To shore up the initial interest from end customers, the company has commenced construction of a demonstration-size processing plant to produce samples of cobalt, nickel and scandium products.

Importantly, the company recently raised $3.5 million via a placement at $0.015 per share to assist in the initial cash payment for the Sconi acquisition.

The BFS on Sconi is advancing to schedule and is due for completion by April 2018.

Australian Mines is on track to reach a final investment decision given that it already has a Mining Lease and environmental approvals in place.

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Wed, 06 Sep 2017 10:41:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/183492/australian-mines-gains-full-ownership-of-advanced-cobalt-nickel-scandium-project-183492.html
<![CDATA[News - Australian Mines has acquisition news on the horizon ]]> https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/183336/australian-mines-has-acquisition-news-on-the-horizon-183336.html Australian Mines Ltd (ASX:AUZ) has been granted a trading halt by the ASX this morning, pending details in regards to the acquisition of a project in Queensland.

The company has several interests in Australia, including earning up to a 75% interest in the Sconi Project, located near the historic mining centre of Greenvale in Queensland, from Metallica Minerals Ltd (ASX:MLM).

The halt will remain in place until the opening of trade on Wednesday 6th September 2017, or earlier if an announcement is made to the market.

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Mon, 04 Sep 2017 09:48:00 +1000 https://www.proactiveinvestors.com.au/companies/news/183336/australian-mines-has-acquisition-news-on-the-horizon-183336.html