QUEENSLAND PROJECTS WITHIN ENRICHED VANADIUM MINERALISED ZONE
- Pre-acquisition due diligence on Vanadium Mining’s (VanMin) four Queensland projects – Sharptooth, Spike, Cera and Petrie – confirms they are all within an enriched vanadium mineralised zone, with significant exploration upside
- Within each project area are significant, outcropping and below surface, occurrences of the Toolebuc Formation, which is an oil shale highly prospective for vanadium mineralisation and secondary oil-bearing potential
- This finding has been substantiated through:
- Reviewing historic geochemical and drill-hole data; and
- Evaluating exploration undertaken by peers Intermin Resources (ASX: IRC) and Liontown Resources (ASX: LTR) which are close to the Sharptooth project and within the Toolebuc Formation
- Notably, IRC’s JORC (2012) compliant total resource is 2,579Mt @ 0.32% V2O51 while LTR’s maiden inferred resource is 83.7Mt @ 0.30% V2O52
- There are circa 170 air-core drill-holes, averaging 30m depth, across the north-south trending Spike, Cera and Petrie projects (completed 2010) which have a combined 150km strike length with widespread elevated V2O5 assay results
- Notably, the Cera project has numerous intercepts exhibiting elevated assay results up to 0.58% V2O5
- Assessing the Queensland projects holistically, the geology team believes there is adequate historic drilling and sampling data to potentially geologically model a JORC (2012) compliant inferred resource
- This is a key positive at this early stage of the due diligence review, as it materially de-risks the four Queensland projects
Hardey Resources Executive Chairman, Terence Clee commented: “The early due diligence findings are highly encouraging, particularly the confirmed prevalence of the Toolebuc Formation across the projects. More significantly, the Board is delighted with the prospect of being able to model a JORC compliant inferred vanadium pentoxide resource, as this materially de-risks this Queensland projects.”
Hardey Resources Limited’s (ASX: HDY) (“HDY” or “the Company”) Board is pleased to present the preliminary findings from the geology team on VanMin’s four Queensland projects.
ENRICHED VANADIUM MINERALISED ZONE
Toolebuc Formation the key
The commonality with the four Queensland projects – Sharptooth, Spike, Cera and Petrie – is outcropping and below surface occurrences of the Toolebuc Formation. In geological terminology, this is an oil shale that is prospective for vanadium mineralisation. Notably, the Toolebuc Formation has a shallow, favourable dip and occurs from surface to 5m below. Typically, the Toolebuc Formation’s thickness below surface averages 12m but this can reach 25m in places.
Historic surface sampling and drill-hole assay results within the region confirm vanadium mineralisation is apparent within the Toolebuc Formation. Moreover, peers IRC and LTR have confirmed resources along strike that align with the Sharptooth project (Figure 1).
Illustrating the extent of mineralisation, IRC have reported a JORC (2012) compliant total resource for the Richmond project of 2,579Mt @ 0.32% V2O5 (0.29% cut-off)1, while LTR announced a maiden inferred resource of 83.7Mt @ 0.30% V2O5 (0.29% cut-off)2. The Sharptooth project has five historical drill-holes with V2O5 assay values up to 0.32%, which exceeds LTR’s average grade but is in line IRC’s reading
Between 2008 -13, over 170 air-core drill-holes were completed within the Spike, Cera and Petrie projects to an average depth of 30m. The geology team have reviewed the drill-holes within the tenure and reported grades up to 0.5% V2O5. The future focus will be to expand the area of historic drill-hole interpretation to extrapolate the data across the projects, which have a strike length of 150km, with the aim of defining an exploration target (Figure 2).
SRK TEAM IDENTIFY NUMEROUS STOCKPILES AND UNTAPPED MINERALISATION
- Teams from SRK Consulting and Condor Prospecting moved quickly to commence the inaugural site visit to Nelly Vanadium Mine in Argentina, as part of the Board’s strategy to fast-track pre-acquisition due diligence
- Initial observations are more stockpiles discovered then expected, partially unmined veins within historic workings and significant exploration upside determined by mineralised vein outcropping away from historic workings
- Key initial findings, other than a comprehensive survey of the entire project area and taking numerous photos, included:
- Discovery of nine stockpiles around the main open pit which are readily accessible and can be easily processed as a potential direct shipping ore product, if bulk sampling and metallurgy results are positive
- Portions of mineralised veins up to 1.5m wide left untouched from historic mining operations within the open pit and shafts
- Possible extension to the main open pit vein evidenced by surface outcropping circa 250m to the south-west, with no visible legacy workings apparent, that exhibits the same mineralisation
- Numerous examples from across the project area that highlight vanadium mineralisation prevalence at surface
- Over the balance of the site visit, the teams will focus on geologically mapping the project area, ascertaining the extent of unexploited mineralised veins and quantifying the cumulative size of ore within the legacy stockpiles
Hardey Resources Executive Chairman, Terence Clee commented: “Without question, SRK Consulting and Condor Prospecting have moved rapidly to mobilise their teams to Nelly Vanadium Mine to progress preliminary due diligence. Having reviewed the initial findings, the Board is highly encouraged to have confirmation the stockpiles are readily accessible and visible evidence of unexploited mineralisation. The Board looks forward to receiving further newsflow from site as it materialises.”
Hardey Resources Limited’s (ASX: HDY) (“HDY” or “the Company”) Board has received a brief report from SRK Consulting and Condor Prospecting that highlight key initial findings from the field trip.
NELLY VANADIUM MINE SITE VISIT UNDERWAY
The teams from SRK Consulting and Condor Prospecting set an aggressive agenda for the initial phase of the site visit at Nelly Vanadium Mine, which was mostly achieved. They set out to take numerous photos of the historic workings/stockpiles, processing plant, mineralised veins and surface samples then augment these with detailed commentary.
A précis of the key findings follows:
To provide context, the initial focus of the visit was performed on the region which extends south-west from the road that passes through the project area (Figure 1). Presite checks comprised reviewing regional geology, verifying accessibility and availability of power/water to the project area.
- Initial observations highlighted there are four shafts within the open pit and at least nine adjacent stockpiles. The team took preliminary measurements of the workings and stockpiles (which can be utilised to determine the potential volume of ore available for a direct shipping ore product).
- The mineralisation observed in the open pit vein and rocks in the stockpiles was consistent with hematite, pyrite, copper and black minerals.
- There was a portion of the mineralised vein untouched by historic mining operations which is 1.5m wide and on the north wall of the main open pit. Notably, it extends for 30m and ranges in height from 1m to up to 2.5m.
- About 200m to the south-west of the main open pit, a small dig (2m x 2m x 0.5m) was identified over an extension of the mineralised vein. Notably, there were clasts of quartz with veinings and breccia portions surrounding this small working area.
- A further 50-70 to the south-west of this small working area, another vein outcropping (with no workings) was identified. It carried significant hematite and oxides, with the same style of mineralisation as the other veins within the project area.
- The team observed the ruins of the historic production plant including pits, furnace oven, ditches, living quarters and administrative offices. Interestingly, next to the plant was some oxidised material (2m x 4m x 0.5m) that requires analysis on the next field trip.
Quarterly Activities Report Quarter Ended 30 June 2018
- Acquisition of the high-grade historic Nelly Vanadium Mine in South America
- Acquisition of six highly prospective vanadium projects in Queensland and the Northern Territory
- Drilling and modelling planned for Lloyds Copper Mine
- Appointment of director Mr Robert McCauley
- Shift in corporate focus to capitalise on rising demand in renewable battery sector
The Board of Hardey Resources Limited (Hardey or the Company) (ASX: HDY) provides the following commentary and Appendix 5B for the Quarter ended 30 June 2018.
Nelly Vanadium Mine
Reflecting a shift in the Board’s strategic focus, tailored to capitalise on growing demand from the renewable battery sector, Hardey’s geology team are now conducting final due diligence on Nelly Vanadium Mine (NVM) in San Luis province, Argentina. Subsequent to the period close, on 3 July 2018, Hardey was granted a 40-day option to proceed with acquiring NVM (refer Corporate section below for details). The identification of this opportunity and initial due diligence on the project was conducted by Hardey’s geology team with the vital assistance of its consultants during the quarter. This added significant unexpected corporate costs during the quarter, as the Board needed to be agile in responding to and seizing this valuable opportunity.
The due diligence team comprises two geology firms in Argentina and Australia that will work collaboratively with global mining & engineering group, SRK Consulting. The team will focus on confirming the veracity of legacy information, particularly metallurgy and mining processes.1 Further, an NVM site visit is planned to follow up on historic studies that imply there is significant exploration upside for vanadium and other economic minerals including lead, zinc, copper, gold and silver.
NVM was actively mined – open pit and galleries – between 1949-57 and produced vanadium pentoxide from an onsite processing facility. Within the 53-hectare project area, there are several vanadium-rich polymetallic sheeted vein systems, aligned NorthEast to South-West, over a mineralised strike zone that is up to 0.9-1.0Km in length and a vein width of up to 5.5m wide. However, only one vein was partially-exploited which left most of the deposit intact.2
Notably, a focus area for the geology team during the due diligence review is determining the extent of the deposit and the potential exploration upside. Indeed, early due diligence has already identified several highly mineralised stockpiles around the historic processing facility and open pit that could readily be utilised as a direct shipping ore vanadium product.
Historical sampling and assay results throughout the historical workings produced grades from the partially mined vein that ranged up to 1.9% V2O5 with a sample length weighted grade average of 0.82% V2O5 in the open pit and underground workings. 2
NVM has ready access to mains power and water supplies, while nearby towns can provide supporting services and a skilled labour pool. Further, the transportation infrastructure from the mine to key ports is more than adequate with well-formed gravel tracks, a sealed highway, and rail network in place.
The regional geology around NVM, which is located 170km from the capital of San Luis province (Figure 1), generally is dominated by Precambrian to Cambrian metamorphic rocks, with granitic intrusions of variable dimensions. This is a lead-vanadium mining district with many historic mines that documented their Pb-V production. The regional target mineral is vanadinite, a lead chloro-vanadate, that is by weight 73.1% Pb and 10.8% V. At NVM, vanadinite occurs within quartz mineralised veins.2
GLOBAL MINING CONSULTANCY APPOINTED TO REVIEW NELLY VANADIUM MINE
- SRK Consulting, which has a global footprint, has been appointed to undertake a geological review of Nelly Vanadium Mine as part of the expedited due diligence process
- Working in tandem with HDY’s experienced local geologists – Condor Prospecting (“Condor”) – in Argentina, SRK Consulting’s terms of reference comprise the following:
- Site visit to: 1) view mineralised veins and, if feasible, determine extent of unexploited mineralisation and dimensions; 2) assess historic stockpiles around the open-pit, workings and processing plant; 3) geologically map the tenure to update earlier work
- Review of all available historic public and private information including studies, maps, sections, assays, QAQC procedures and geological models
- Based on the site visit and reconciling findings with historic studies, assess qualitatively and quantitatively the potential exploration upside for vanadium, gold, silver, copper, zinc, lead, molybdenum and bismuth1
- Produce regular updates and a final report, with appropriate recommendations, within four weeks that can aid the Company’s aim of estimating a mineral resource to the JORC (2012) code
- On receipt of SRK’s final report, the Board anticipates due diligence on Nelly Vanadium Mine should be mostly complete, enabling steps to be put in motion to reopen the mine as soon as practical
Hardey Resources Executive Chairman, Terence Clee commented: “We are delighted to have secured SRK Consulting’s services to conduct an expedited geological review of Nelly Vanadium Mine in Argentina. Working closely with our experienced in-country geology team from Condor Prospecting, the Board looks forward to receiving regular updates as due diligence moves in to top gear over the next four weeks.”
Hardey Resources Limited’s (ASX: HDY) (“HDY” or “the Company”) Board is pleased that it has been able to have two experienced groups progress the due diligence work on the Nelly Vanadium Mine in Argentina.
One of the key positives with SRK Consulting is it has a global footprint, which includes an office in Buenos Aires with an experienced team of geologists. In general, for mining projects, SRK Consulting undertakes services from exploration through feasibility, mine planning, and production to mine closure for most of the world’s major explorers and miners.
A key asset is the seamless integration of its global services, which has made SRK Consulting a leading international practitioner for due diligence and feasibility studies – these are core competencies and key contributors to the business mix.
Condor is an established technical mining consultancy business based in Mendoza, Argentina, with an experienced team of geologists that have undertaken work for international resources funds and publicly-listed groups in Australia/Canada. Typical client assignments Condor undertakes comprise data management, due diligence, exploration, tenure management, EIA processes and desktop studies.
Further, Condor’s team have considerable experience liaising with regional mining departments and an extensive network among third party mining service providers. They are the ideal local partner, with the necessary expertise and experience in Argentina, to support SRK Consulting as they expedite due diligence on Nelly Vanadium Mine.
Terms of reference
Working collaboratively but with SRK Consulting taking the lead, the Board has requested a final report with recommendations within four weeks, with relatively broad terms of reference covering the following key issues:
- Assess the mineralised veins (Figure 1) identified in earlier studies1 and, if practical, determine the dimensions, extent of unexploited mineralisation.
TERENCE A CLEE
Terence Clee holds combined B Com and LLB degrees. He commenced his career as an accountant at KPMG working in corporate audit and corporate tax. Terence co-founded Hemsley Lawyers alongside lawyers from Allens Arthur Robinson and Blake Dawson (now Accurst) and was responsible for the business development and strategic growth of the practice. Terence has experience in the start up and small cap space having advised technology start ups and junior miners on commercialisation, cross border transactions and R & D.
Non Executive Director
Mr McCauley has held senior Board and Management positions in ASX Listed Companies including Commissioners Gold Ltd now Gold Mountain Ltd (ASX:GMN) and has extensive experience in capital raisings, IPO’s, finance, media, corporate advice and acquisitions. Robert was also nominated in 2011 as an industry representative on the ASX equity market review panel reporting to ASIC. Robert holds a BSc degree and is a Member of the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (Aust.UK). He is also a Registered Surveyor, Licensed Surveyor WA and a Chartered Land & Minerals Surveyor. Robert has over 35 years of experience and involvement in infrastructure development including Boddington Gold Mine WA – now Newmont Mining Corporation; North West Shelf Natural Gas Project and the Monasavu Hydro Electric Scheme, Fiji - World Bank Project. Mr McCauley brings to the Board his broad knowledge of corporate and technical skills including assisting the Company to identify and analyse future M&A opportunities.
Non Executive Director
Mr Armstrong has extensive corporate experience in listed companies specializing in the small to medium market cap sector. Mr Armstrong provides the board with a well rounded finance background in strategic advice, merger & acquisitions and capital raising.