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All about Viking Mines’ (ASX:VKA) battery metals projects in Western Australia

March 28, 2023 11:29 AM AEDT | By Manisha
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Highlights

  • Viking Mines Ltd (ASX:VKA) is one of the prominent players in the battery metals exploration space that is driving ahead with prime focus on critical mineral Vanadium.
  • VKA’s Canegrass Battery Minerals Project in Western Australia has Vanadium as the primary commodity.
  • The project has reported a substantial JORC (2012) Inferred Resource of 79Mt at 0.64% V2O5.
  • The drilling data has highlighted significant potential for nickel, copper and cobalt at the site, which has not previously been estimated into the Resource.
  • With this asset, VKA has made a low-cost entry to a substantial battery minerals project with a large Inferred Resource and earn-in expenditure focused in-ground.

The demand for Vanadium Redox Flow Batteries (VFRB) as an alternate energy storage solution to Lithium -Ion is on a rise. Vanadium has now made it into the lists of Critical Minerals released by the US, EU, Japan and India. Over the recent years, the Australian Government has been providing a strong support for development of critical minerals projects with the AU$2B Critical Minerals Facility.

VRFB demand is strong thanks to sector tail winds and on the back of this many companies are channelizing their resources in developing the projects with Vanadium potential. Viking Mines Ltd (ASX:VKA) is one such battery metals ASX explorer with prime focus on critical mineral Vanadium. The VRFB sector is forecasted to grow by more than 900% by the year 2031, reports Viking Mines.

The company hosts a solid portfolio of two projects, namely the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project and the First Hit Gold Project, both in Western Australia. However, it’s the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project with Vanadium (as Vanadium Pentoxide – V2O5) as the primary commodity that’s gaining Viking’s greater attention of late. The project has reported a substantial JORC (2012) Inferred Mineral Resource of 79Mt at 0.64% V2O5. Also, nickel, copper and cobalt have been reported within the drilling data, which has not previously been estimated into the Mineral Resource and will be assessed and investigated by Viking for its potential.

Let’s dig deeper into the details of the battery minerals project!


Data source: Company update

Based 620km NE of Perth, 60km from Township of Mt Magnet with sealed airstrip and regular commercial flights and Bitumen road to within 22km of the mineral resources, Viking’s Canegrass Battery Minerals Project seems to be in the right jurisdiction. Also, it’s situated 338km to Tenindewa rail head, on route to Geraldton, and 419km to established Port at Geraldton, which is used to export iron ore & mineral sands.

There is Farm-In Arrangement for Viking to obtain 99% for AU$4 million exploration spend and AU$1.25M cash payments over 4 years. Also, there is a mechanism for acquisition of the remaining 1% for future production payments.

With this asset, Viking has made a low-cost entry to a substantial battery minerals project with a large Inferred Resource and earn-in expenditure focused in-ground. 95km2 tenements host the most prospective horizon of the host Layered Igneous Intrusion. Also, the company believes that here is significant upside potential for extensive mineral resource growth with only ~20% of the prospective mineralised horizon explored.

Data source: Company update

Canegrass’ Substantial Mineral Resource Base with two key deposits

Fold Nose

MINERAL RESOURCE EXTENSION

  • Viking field visit confirmed outcropping VTM mineralisation continuing north outside current mineral resource limits.
  • More than doubles current modelled strike length to >1,350m from 550m.
  • Rock chip sampling confirms presence of >1.0% V2O5.
  • Immediate opportunity to grow mineral resource to the north.
  • Southern & Western extensions not yet evaluated.

EXPLORATION TARGET

  • Magnetic geophysics indicates VTM mineralisation continuing under cover.
  • Additional +1,600m of prospective horizon with no outcrop for sampling and no drilling.
  • Opportunity for further shallow high grade VTM extensions.

Kinks

MINERAL RESOURCE EXTENSION

  • Viking field visit confirmed outcropping VTM mineralisation continuing south outside current mineral resource limits.
  • Extensive rock chip sampling confirms presence of >1.0% V2O5 outside of mineral resource area.
  • Immediate opportunity to grow mineral resource to the south.
  • Northern extensions not yet evaluated.

EXPLORATION UPSIDE

  • Substantial exploration upside along trend to the southwest.
  • Wide, high-grade hits>1.0% V2O5 in historical drilling data from outcrop.
  • Mineralisation projects downdip to Flinders drillhole FCRC0030 with 66m at 0.74% V2O5, inc. 16m at 1.02% V2O5.
  • High priority target for >1.0% V2O5

Canegrass’ Ni, Cu, Co Potential

The battery minerals project with existing Vanadium, Iron (as magnetite) and Titanium Mineral Resource holds potential for battery metals (Ni, Cu, Co) and precious metals (PGE’s & Au).

Historical DH Results include:

  • Kinks Mineral Resource - CGRC0010; 40m at 793ppm Ni, 801ppm Cu & 185ppm Co.
  • Fold Nose Mineral Resource – FCRC0010; 40m at 650ppm Ni, 661ppm Cu & 209ppm Co.
  • Kinks South target – FCRC0030; 66m at 731ppm Ni, 980ppm Cu & 202ppm Co.
  • Kinks South Target – CGD01; 21.6m at 549ppm Ni and 1021ppm Cu (Co not assayed).

Future opportunities

Vikings can conduct analysis for nickel, copper, and cobalt in future exploration programmes, estimate metals into the mineral resource model and conduct metallurgical testwork to study recovery of these metals into a sulphide concentrate.


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