Shares increased more than 30% to $0.55 in early afternoon trade.
The flow of news is set to continue with metallurgical testwork results due shortly, centred on Calcine and Leach processing steps.
Drilling demonstrates continuity of mineralisation
Drilling results from the Railway deposit have demonstrated strong continuity of cobalt mineralisation along strike and down dip.
They also boost the potential to significantly enhance upgrading resources to the indicated category from inferred.
Best results are 72 metres at 1,115 ppm cobalt, 10.1% tin and 9.8% iron from 15 metres, and 25 metres at 1,204 ppm cobalt, 9.5% tin and 10.6% iron from 154 metres.
There are 75 holes being drilled in the current program for a total of 13,000 metres.
The results are being compiled into an upgraded resource estimate, which is expected to be released by 1 April 2018.
Drilling will also provide geotechnical information and supply samples for metallurgical testing.
The program at the Railway, Pyrite Hill and Big Hill deposits is 70% complete and is expected to be finished by late December.
Rob Biancardi, chairman, said: “The work continues to add substantially to our geological understanding of Thackaringa, with its significant combined strike length of 4.5 kilometres and widths varying from 25 to 100 metres.”
The testwork forms part of an ongoing prefeasibility study (PFS), which also includes engineering and technical studies.
The process focus is upon a mine to battery supply chain ready product and the PFS is expected by 30 June 2018.
Results continue to justify proceeding further along the pathway towards commercial development of Thackaringa.
Next steps at Thackaringa
The nature and scale of planned further work will be determined following completion of a revised mineral resource estimation.
The company will also deliver a scoping study by the end of March quarter 2018 and complete an aerial geophysical program.
By June 30 the company aims to spend $2.5 million in ground targeting indicated resources of 40 million tonnes and to deliver a preliminary feasibility study.
The Thackaringa site is close to Broken Hill, and is well connected to existing transport routes including the Barrier Highway and the Intercontinental Railway.
Availability of water and power supplies further support positive project economics.