No matter where a resources company sits on the development timeline – from greenfields explorer to producing miner – those that align their projects with a long-term vision will see the fruits of their labour.
Core Lithium (ASX: CXO), on track to become Australia’s next lithium producer, is a prime example.
The Adelaide-based company spent years in the lithium-price doldrums as it methodically progressed the Finniss project, on the outskirts of Darwin. This week, Core received the penultimate approval for the second proposed mine at Finniss, BP33, and awarded lithium specialist CSI the Finniss crushing contract.
Emboldened by exploration success at Mt Alexander, St George Mining (ASX: SGQ) has added a fourth WA project, Ajana, to its portfolio while announcing the pathway for its disciplined, high-reward strategy of greenfields exploration for battery minerals.
This methodical approach to shareholder value creation has also been evidenced at BMG Resources (ASX: BMG), which is starting to highlight the golden potential at its Abercromby project near Wiluna, in WA’s northern Goldfields.
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Core said environmental approval of the BP33 underground mine represented completion of the environmental impact assessment process. The final step is to submit a mine management plan, which Core anticipates to lead to final sign-off by the middle of this year.
Core managing director Stephen Biggins said BP33 was an important addition to the Grants open pit.
“BP33 is a higher-grade orebody than Grants, with recent deep drilling supporting the interpretation that BP33 mineralisation is improving with depth,” he said.
Core’s award of the crushing contract to CSI Mining Services, a subsidiary of Mineral Resources (ASX: MIN), seemed a logical choice. CSI is already the largest hard-rock lithium crushing contractor in Australia.
CSI will supply, install and operate a relocatable crushing and screening plant in order to achieve Core’s target 1.2Mtpa production rate. Core said the plant and equipment would mobilise in June.
“CSI Mining Services is delighted to be able to bring our expertise in lithium crushing and processing to a valued new client,” Mike Grey, who runs MinRes’ Mining Services business, said.
St George has delivered strong and persistent exploration success at its Mt Alexander nickel-copper sulphide project in WA’s Goldfields over the past four years but always kept an eye on additional value-adding exploration opportunities. Its fourth project, Ajana, adds to an impressive portfolio.
At Mt Alexander, seismic and EM surveys are planned to commence this month and will be followed by diamond and RC drilling. At the Paterson project in the East Pilbara, an 18-hole diamond drilling program is scheduled to commence in the middle of this month. At Ajana, in the Mid West, drilling of an intrusion prospective for nickel-copper-PGEs will commence once St George gains site access while at Broadview, in the Wheatbelt, an airborne electromagnetic survey is planned ahead of initial drilling.
“We have a clear path to commence high-impact drilling across all four projects,” St George executive chairman John Prineas said.
BMG has been building momentum at the Abercromby gold project and backed up high-grade diamond drilling outcomes from the Capital Prospect with air core results from a program to the south of Capital that generated a new pipeline of greenfields targets.
BMG managing director Bruce McCracken said the coincidence of geochemical and geophysical indicators at the new greenfields targets reinforced the company’s position on Abercromby.
“With large untested distances either side of many of these new gold anomalies, we are encouraged that one or more Capital style deposits could easily be hiding in close proximity,” Mr McCracken said.