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
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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.”
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.