Broken Hill Exploration Expansion & Cobalt Update
- Three new exploration licences covering a total of 209 km2 have been granted in the Broken Hill district increasing the Company’s exposure to this world-class mineral province.
- The tenements cover under-explored ground with numerous base, precious and industrial mineral prospects.
- Archived drill core from the historical Burtt & Catterson’s Cu–Co prospect has been sampled and is being re-assayed.
- A diversified exploration approach will be adopted for:
– Base Metals (Cu–Pb–Zn–Ni–Co)
– Precious Metals (Au & Ag)
– Industrial Minerals and Non-metallics
- A new era of on-ground exploration will commence at Thackaringa for base and precious metals and to extend known cobalt deposits.
- Numerous polymetallic prospects have been identified ranging from emerging through to advanced.
BPL Managing Director and CEO, Trangie Johnston, said:
“Commencement of a multi-faceted exploration program at Broken Hill highlights the unique character of this great mining region and the high quality targets within our portfolio.
The application of modern exploration technologies gives us fresh eyes with which to thoroughly assess our ground at Thackaringa and also the three new licences granted to us closer to the Broken Hill line of lode.
The fact that this is a multi-play for base and precious metals, including cobalt makes the work even more important for our shareholders.”
|Activity - Base & Precious Metals & Cobalt |
– Aim is to identify strike and dip extensions to nearsurface mineralisation for drill testing
– Prospect-scale geological mapping
– Grid based sampling and rock chip geochemistry
– Anomalous Cobalt
|Broken Hill Project – Portfolio Expansion |
Broken Hill Prospecting Limited (ASX: BPL) has been granted three exploration licences in the Broken Hill district, which significantly increases the Company’s exposure to this world class mineral province.
The tenements cover 209 km2 of under-explored ground with numerous base, precious and industrial mineral prospects.
The three new areas augment the Company’s existing rights to base and precious metals at the Thackaringa Cobalt Project (joint venture with Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd; ASX:COB) and represent a strategic broadening of BPL’s exploration focus in the Broken Hill Region.
Rocks of the Broken Hill Group, which hosts the giant Broken Hill Pb-Zn-Ag orebody comprising 300Mt of ore containing 30Mt Pb, 24Mt Zn, 1B oz Ag and 1M oz Au, are widely distributed across the tenement portfolio with multiple prospects prioritised for further exploration.
Burtt & Catterson’s Cu-Co Prospect (EL 8773 Main Line)
This tenement covers an area of approximately 20 square km and allows exploration for base, precious and industrial minerals (Groups 1, 2 & 5). The southern part is along strike from the world class Broken Hill Line of Lode and covers the historical Burtt & Catterson’s Copper Prospect which was tested by three drill holes in the 1950s, but which has since seen only cursory surface exploration. Numerous other copper occurrences have been identified and local gold anomalies occur in historical surface geochemical sampling.
The historical diamond core from Burtt & Catterson’s is preserved at the Geological Survey of NSW’s E. C. Andrews core facility in Broken Hill. The historically sampled Cu–Co mineralised intervals have been resampled by BPL and submitted to ALS Orange laboratory for assay of a full economic suite of metals including gold. Results are expected within the next month.
Thackaringa Cobalt Project PFS Delivers Strong Results
- Broken Hill Prospecting Limited (ASX: BPL) announced on Wednesday 4 July, 2018 that it had received the Thackaringa Cobalt Project Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) from Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX: COB), Manager of the Thackaringa Joint Venture (TJV) (TJV Manager).
- The positive Study confirms the project is of global significance as a sustainable, low-cost source of high purity cobalt sulphate for the battery revolution. It recommends advancement to a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS).
- The Study places a significant value on BPL’s 2% Net Smelter Royalty (NSR) on cobalt produced at Thackaringa. It is anticipated to deliver approximately A$43 million to A$48 million revenue over the life of mine. BPL is currently evaluating the basis of the royalty and its current market value.
- Strong pricing for all key target commodities is forecast to continue, placing BPL in a position to grow further.
Thackaringa Cobalt Project
- A maiden Probable Ore Reserve of 46.3m tonnes @ 819 ppm cobalt was estimated as part of the PFS.
- A Production Target (Potential Upside Mining Case) of 58.7m tonnes @ 802ppm was also modelled as part of the Study
- Substantial potential to increase resource base and mine life with current Mineral Resource of 72Mt at 852ppm cobalt (Co), 9.3% sulphur (S) & 10% iron (Fe).
Broken Hill Project
- Three new exploration licence applications covering a total of 209 km2 in the Broken Hill district are expected to be awarded shortly.
- The tenements cover under-explored ground with numerous base, precious and industrial mineral prospects. They will significantly increase the Company’s exposure to this world class mineral province.
- The new tenements will augment the Company’s existing rights to base and precious metals at the Thackaringa Cobalt Project where it is actively exploring for Broken Hill style deposits.
Heavy Mineral Sands Project
- Five new exploration licenses (EL006583; EL006584; EL006585; EL006614 & EL6139) with a combined area of 4163km2 were granted in the Murray Basin
- BPL is established as the largest mineral sands tenement holder in the Murray Basin, with holdings of approximately 7,300km².
- Re-processing of geophysical data and in-depth technical data compilation, validation and infill drill program design has commenced on the new tenement areas.
Thackaringa Pre-Feasibility Study Announced
Ore Reserve Estimate and Positive Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) Results for the Thackaringa Cobalt Project
- Cobalt Blue Holdings Limited (Cobalt Blue or Company) has now delivered a PFS study for the Thackaringa Cobalt Project and spent a minimum of A$2.5m to achieve Stage 2 goals under the Thackaringa Joint Venture Agreement.
- Results justify proceeding further towards commercial development of the Thackaringa Cobalt Project. The project will now begin Bankable Feasibility Studies (BFS).
- A maiden Ore Reserve is declared for the Thackaringa Cobalt Project – Probable Ore Reserve of 46.3M tonnes @ 819 ppm cobalt.
The PFS clearly demonstrated the Ore Reserve case for Thackaringa was NPV positive and that the project was economic.
A Production Target (Potential Upside Mining Case) was modelled using sensitivity analysis. The Production Target of 58.7M tonnes @ 802ppm cobalt included the Probable Ore Reserve and a partial component of the Inferred Resource. Production Target outcomes are set out in Table 2.
There is a low level of geological confidence associated with Inferred Mineral Resources and there is no certainty that further exploration work will result in the determination of Indicated Mineral Resources or that the production target itself will be realised.
- Completion of the PFS allows project financing negotiations to begin. A more detailed release on the objectives of the BFS, as well as the company’s exploration plans for the next 12 months will be released in due course. Strong cash balance of A$9.8m as of 1 July 2018.
- Demand for cobalt continues to grow. According to CRU, demand will increase by 7% pa CAGR 2018-2021 supporting a global deficit even after near term African supply has entered the market.
While Cobalt Blue is pleased with the PFS outcomes, there are four key opportunities for investigation in the BFS:
- Optimisation of process plant tailings handling and storage: In the PFS, management of tailings amounted to A$260M over the life of the project, inclusive of capital and operating costs. A review study will be undertaken in Q3 2018 to identify possible cost saving measures.
- Optimisation of metal recoveries: Design criteria used during the PFS was based on batch testwork. Larger scale testing will ccccccbe conducted during the BFS, incorporating recycle streams, which may increase overall metal recoveries.
- Optimisation of average power pricing: The PFS estimated that approximately 22% of the annual site cash costs were related to electrical power consumption from the National Electricity Market. Opportunities exist to consider onsite back-up power supply (larger scale batteries), and process plant operating philosophies, to limit consumption when the National Electricity Market prices reach short-lived peaks – intermittent peak pricing typically last for < 30 minutes.
- Opportunities to extend mine life: Potential to extend the project life by treating ore from inferred inventories from the known resources and from other sources beyond Thackaringa, represent opportunities for Cobalt Blue that would have significantly positive returns on capital if the Thackaringa project is developed.
Cobalt Blue’s Chairman, Rob Biancardi said: “We are pleased to announce the PFS results for the world class Thackaringa Cobalt Project. The PFS demonstrates the potential for COB to become a leading global supplier of cobalt sulphate to the lithium-ion battery industry. The Project will now move into a Bankable Feasibility Study. Further resource work will target a 20-year mine life, as the Production Target case is limited to under 13 years.”
Thackaringa Cobalt Shaping up as a world class deposit
The BPL tenements at Thackaringa, held in joint venture with ASX Listed Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd (ASX:COB) cover near surface, very large cobalt deposits. The project is advancing towards the delivery of a PFS by June 2018, after which time it is expected that the project will move into a full, bankable feasibility study.
Quarterly Report for the quarter ended 30 June 2017
Exceptional Infrastructure supports the Thackaringa Project – the deposits are located beside the main trans-Australian railway, have excellent road access and are only 30 minutes drive from the mining City of Broken Hill (first class mining service industries, technical workforce, housing and community facilities. Excellent power and water supply options will support project development and proximity to Broken Hill will obviate the need for an accommodation camp or FIFO facilities.
Ownership Rights - BPL currently owns 100% of the legal interest in Thackaringa; COB holds 51% beneficial interest and can, on meeting certain milestones, retain that interest and ultimately move to 100% legal and beneficial interest.
To do so, apart from meeting project milestones, COB must also pay $7.5 million to BPL and pay a 2% net smelter return royalty on all cobalt production to BPL. BPL’s announcements provide more details on the ownership structure and joint venture terms.
BPL has an experienced team Board of Directors and Executives who have an impressive track record of mineral discovery and development.
CREAGH O’CONNOR: CHAIRMAN
AM, FAIM, FAICD
Creagh has approximately 40 years experience as a chief executive and board member for a number of public and private companies. During this time he has been involved in managing a number of Australian and international oil, gas and mineral projects.
Creagh is an experienced board member and his most public role was with Cricket Australia as Director for 11 years and Chairman from 2005 to 2008. In addition he was Director of South Australian Cricket Association (SACA), Director of the International Cricket Council, Director of the Kerry Packer Cricket Foundation, Director of Rundle Capital Ltd, Governor of the Bradman memorial fund, Chairman of the Lords Taveners, Trustee of the Les Favell Foundation and Chairman of ACHA Health Ltd.
He is currently a director of A G O’Connor Pty Ltd and chairman of the Maurice de Rohan International Scholarship Fund.
TRANGIE JOHNSTON: MANAGING DIRECTOR
BSC (HONS), MSC, AUSIMM
Trangie Johnston is a geologist with 21 years’ experience in exploration, project development and mining activities. His diversified career spans the private, public, consulting and government sectors, with experience extensively throughout Australia and internationally.
He is currently a director of Cobalt Blue Holdings and has previously held corporate and senior management positions at KBL Mining Limited, MM Mining Limited, Compass Resources Limited and SRK Consulting Pty Ltd.
Trangie is experienced in a diverse range of ore deposit types, commodities and operations and has a sound understanding of geo-scientific, metallurgical and engineering principles. He has previously implemented programs for resource and reserve expansion through maiden discoveries and deposit extensions across the base and precious metals, bulks, energy and rare earth markets.
GEOFFREY HILL: NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
BEC, MBA, FCPA, ASIA, FAICD
Geoff was a director of BPL from 1989 to June 2014, and re-joined the board on 27 August 2015. He has extensive experience in the identification and implementation of mergers and takeovers and has acted for a wide range of corporate clients in Australia and overseas. Mr Hill also has extensive experience in providing corporate advice to mining companies.
He is Chairman of the International Pacific Securities Group. He is Chairman of the ASX Limited, Pacific American Coal Ltd and Asian Property Investments Ltd. He is a previous Chairman of Mount Gibson Iron Ore Limited and a Director of Talisman Gold Mines Limited.
MATTHEW HILL: NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
MBA, AFSL, FFIN, APDT
Matthew has over 20 years experience in financial services and investment banking. He is currently the Chief Executive Officer of New Talisman Gold Mines Limited (formerly Heritage Gold NZ Limited). Matthew is an experienced merchant banker having worked previously at Potter Warburg, Eventures (a joint venture between Newscorp and Softbank), Pitt Capital and Souls Private Equity Limited. Matthew specialises in resource and company listings on the ASX and NZX and acts for a number of multinational clients. Matthew holds a Graduate Diploma in Applied Finance and Master of Business Administration. He is a fellow of the FINSIA and a member of the Australian Institute of Company Directors.
DENIS GELDARD: NON-EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR
Denis has over 40 years technical and operational experience in mineral exploration and project development in Australia and internationally. He has over 20 years experience in the Heavy Mineral Sands Industry with companies such as Western Titanium Ltd, Associated Minerals Consolidated and Iluka Resources.
Denis is a Mining Engineering graduate from the Kalgoorlie School of Mines in Western Australia. He has managed and run a number of junior and mid-tier mining and exploration companies and mining operations over the past 40 years including directorships of a number of Australian listed mining and exploration companies.