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Chalice acquires two 'highly prospective' vanadium-nickel projects

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Chalice Gold Mines Ltd (Chalice) has embarked on a new growth opportunity in the battery metals exploration sector after securing two well located and highly prospective Australian vanadium-nickel exploration projects. The company has successfully applied for a suite of Exploration Licences in the Richmond region of central Queensland and in the Julimar region, located just outside of Perth in Western Australia, giving it a highly prospective entry point into the battery metals exploration space with easily accessible exploration targets.

The Projects will provide Chalice with exposure to the growing demand for battery metals, such as vanadium and nickel, as well as copper, Platinum Group Elements (PGEs) and titanium, opening up a new exploration and growth pathway alongside its existing gold portfolio in the world-class Abitibi Province in Canada, the Tennant Creek region of the Northern Territory and the Bendigo region of Victoria.

The Flinders River Vanadium Project

The Flinders River Vanadium Project is located in central Queensland, approximately 250 km east of Mt Isa and 380 km west of Townsville. The project is strategically located within close proximity to the Flinders Highway and Great Northern Railway that connects to the port of Townsville. The region is highly prospective for sedimentary-hosted vanadium mineralisation, with several globally significant vanadium resources reported by Intermin Resources Ltd and Multicom Resources.

The resources reported by Intermin and Multicom are considered to be some of the world’s largest and occur within 30 km of Chalice’s application permits. Importantly, the vanadium resources reported by Intermin and Multicom share a similar radiometric response with exploration targets seen on the Chalice permits – which is interpreted to be mapping the presence of shale rich Toolebuc formation.

Known vanadium mineralisation within the Toolebuc formation typically occurs near surface within oxidised coarse limestone-rich clay and underlying fine-grained carbonate shales where enrichment of vanadium, along within other metals (molybdenum, nickel and copper), has occurred through sedimentary processes. The advantage of these shale-hosted vanadium deposits include:

  • Simple, shallow mining – potential free dig, open cut mining at very low strip ratios;
  • Low processing cost – potential low-cost removal of the coarse fraction via gravity separation methods and potentially flotation to produce a high grade intermediate feedstock; and
  • Proximity to infrastructure – close access to road and rail infrastructure is highly advantageous. The company expects the applications to be granted in 3Q18, after which it will immediately commence field reconnaissance work. An Aircore drilling programme is currently being planned, which aims to define the lateral continuity and thickness of the Toolebuc formation over the tenement areas. The Aircore programme will involve drilling wide-spaced shallow holes to delineate any potential mineralisation in a low cost and rapid manner.

The Julimar Nickel-Vanadium Project

The Julimar Nickel-Vanadium project is located 80 km northeast of Perth, with excellent access via the Great Northern Highway and established infrastructure nearby.

The Julimar Project is prospective for both magmatic-style Nickel-Copper-Platinum Group Elements (Ni-Cu-PGE) and intrusion related Iron-Vanadium-Titanium (Fe-V-Ti) mineralisation within an interpreted large (26 x 7 km) layered mafic-ultramafic complex. A review of limited historical exploration, along with interpretation of existing geophysical datasets, supports the interpretation of a prospective mafic-ultramafic intrusive geological setting.

The company expects the applications to be granted in 3Q18, after which it plans to carry out field reconnaissance work followed by targeted ground magnetic, gravity and electromagnetic surveys over selected target zones (potential feeder zones) within the greater intrusive complex. Any anomalies generated from the surface geophysical surveys will be the basis for follow-up drill testing.

Chalice’s CEO, Alex Dorsch, said: “The addition of these exciting new vanadium-nickel projects to Chalice’s exploration portfolio provides a low-cost and highly prospective entry point for the company with significant exposure to strengthening vanadium and nickel markets.”

“We look forward to securing the grant of the tenements and getting our field crews on the ground as quickly as possible to commence exploration. Both projects are exceptionally well located with regard to infrastructure and access, and we are confident that, if we are successful in defining areas of significant mineralisation, we will be in a great position to advance these projects rapidly and effectively.”

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Australian mining news