exploration

Multi-listed Australian Mines has announced further near-surface results from its Mineral Resource extension drilling 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 with impressive grades rarely seen.

The record assay of 3.4% cobalt over an individual metre in hole LKM1217 is an obvious highlight from Sconi Resource expansion drilling, as is the repetition of intersections across the project area that grade in excess of 1.0% cobalt.

With such impressive (>1%) cobalt grades returned for the Sconi drill program, it is easy to overlook the fact that the apparent industry-accepted definition of “high grade” when referring to non-Africa projects 0.1% cobalt (or one-tenth the grade that Australian Mines’ technical team is intersecting at Sconi).

That Australian Mines’ Resource expansion drilling appears to frequently intersect cobalt-rich zones that grade higher than 0.5% cobalt suggests that the Sconi Cobalt-Nickel-Scandium Project is continuing to live up to its status as a world-class deposit.

In addition to the high-grade nature of the latest drill results, Australian Mines’ technical team is also highly encouraged by the consistency of these cobalt and nickel intersections between drill holes, as it suggests that a material upgrade in the Sconi Project’s Mining Resource may be possible.

As a result, Australian Mines has engaged a leading independent resource consultant group to immediately commence a re-estimation of the Sconi Mineral Resource, with the updated Resource statement expected to be announced by April 2019.

Naturally, any increase of the cobalt grade in a revised Mineral Resource Re-estimation stemming from this recently completed drill program may have a positive impact on the economics of an operation at Sconi, which has already been shown to be commercially-viable as demonstrated by the Bankable Feasibility Study released on 20 November 2018.

Australian Mines MD, Benjamin Bell, comments:

“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.