The acquisition of highly prospective cobalt and scandium projects across Western Australia (WA) and New South Wales (NSW) by Victory Mines Limited (ASX:VIC) had rocketed a week halt share price (traded at $ 0.01 on 7 November 2017) of the VIC stock by ~150% to AUD 0.025 on the day of the announcement (14 November 2017). The increment in the share price was the testimony to the optimistic cobalt and scandium outlook, and both the commodities were ranked as ‘High’ in geological potential by 2018 Australia’s critical minerals share and ranking.
Australia-based exploration company, Victory Mines Limited is engaged in new project acquisition and exploration activities.
VIC holds four highly prospective cobalt tenements with significant leverage to scandium in NSW and WA, owing to the takeover of 100% of Cobalt Prospecting Pty Ltd in 2017. The consideration terms at settlement involved the issue of ~357 million shares at $0.007 per share, plus further ~142.86 million performance shares, nearly 178.57 million quoted options and a 2% net smelter return royalty. Also, $200,000 cash payment to the vendors to be applied against the expenditure costs of establishing and maintaining the project areas.
VIC Cobalt and Scandium Projects in Australia
Projects in New South Wales
Victory Mines has two NSW projects, namely Malamute and Husky, located 150km west of Dubbo, covering 244 hectares.
The promising side of the tenements is already demonstrated by the nearby tenure owned by Australian Mines Limited (ASX:AUZ) and Clean TeQ Holdings Limited (ASX:CLQ), indicating high-grade cobalt and scandium mineralisation. Along with readily accessible infrastructure such as roads and electricity, the tenements also have rail network to transport concentrate to the port of Sydney, thereby reducing the complexity to the commercialisation of the projects.
The tenements are also apt located with no significant population centres close to them and nearby modern towns/cities support in terms of both skilled labour supply, equipment and support services required to enable a project to progress rapidly.
During the quarter ended 30 September 2019, the company launched a 40-hole (2,000m) drill program at both Malamute and Husky to provide tenements’ potential for hosting cobalt and scandium deposits, which is expected to be made available in the market once the program assays results are received.
Husky - Husky is located nearby the deposits of Australian Mines Limited and Platina Resources Limited (ASX:PGM) with similar geology and metal recoveries for cobalt laterite mineralisation. Positive indicator for the Husky tenure is noticed with AUZ’s magnetic anomaly hosted deposit, and traces of doubling cobalt and tripling scandium mineralisation exist after a drilling program and asserting open mineralisation in multiple directions (as per AUZ ASX announcement dated 11 August 2017).
Malamute - Malamute tenure is expected to have similar geological traits as AUZ, CLQ and PGM’s deposits, disclosed by geological mapping, geophysical signature and historic drilling. The exploration licences would require fieldwork to be undertaken in order to perform drilling, surface sampling of lateritic mineralisation and analysis of the drill samples in order to demonstrate the grades and thicknesses encountered within the mineral tenements.
On 2 December 2019, Victory Mines announced that inaugural drilling program at the Malamute project showed exceptional assay results with high grade of aluminium oxide (Al2O3), i.e. 28.2% (MA08: 1m from 17m). This new discovery delivers extreme proposition of high purity alumina (HPA) and prospective values for cobalt up to 935ppm and Rare Earth Metal (REE), i.e. scandium up to 380 ppm as shown below:
With the assay results of average grade of 600ppm cobalt or 200ppm scandium mineralisation, the exploration milestone has been achieved and now performance shares would be converting into ordinary shares and VICOA options (exercisable at $0.02 and expiring on 28 December 2020) for every two shares issued to the shareholders of Cobalt Prospecting.
Projects in Western Australia
The company has two prospective areas for cobalt mineralisation, i.e. Peperill Hill (ELA 29/1024) and Galah Well (ELA ELA29/1023) located approximately 100km west of Leonora, covering 244 hectares.
The tenements are proven for the high prospect of nickel-copper mineralisation, courtesy to satisfactory drilling results of Mt Alexander nickel-copper project of St George Mining Limited and the Sinclair Mine nickel production history of 38kt during 2008-13 by Talisman Mining Limited (ASX:TLM).
The tenements also have apt infrastructure of roads, power lines and rail network to the port of Esperance on the southern coast. There are no significant population centres close to the tenements, where nearby Lenora town supports with labour supply, equipment and other support services.
Galah Well - Galah Well project area in a historic drill highlighted a significant cobalt assay anomaly with the result as 2,430ppm of Co at total depth 2m along with sampled interval of 0-2m. This unusual borehole is located on a geophysical magnetic anomaly, which strikes across the entire project area.
Peperill Hill - Like Galah Well, the adjacent area of Peperill Hill has strong evidence of cobalt mineralisation, showing assay value of 3,120ppm Co with 4-6m sampled interval. Within the tenure, three historical open file vertical boreholes contain: -
- >6m plus intervals of up to 275ppm Co.
- 16m interval with an average of 216ppm Co.
The recent field reconnaissance program for the Galah Well and Peperill Hill projects identified the east-west trending dykes to be prospective for Ni-Cu-Co sulphide mineralisation, based on elevated nickel, copper and chrome. Also, shearing and alteration indicative of orogenic gold systems with elevated Au-Ag-As-Bi-Sb-W were identified to the south of Galah Well.
Further, the company’s geology team is expected to compile publicly available historical data to confirm previous explorations activities to formulate geochemical soils program for both Ni-Cu-Co sulphides along the dyke and orogenic potential recognised at the well.
The commercialisation of above upcoming projects is seemed to be well coupled with the future demand for cobalt coming from electric vehicle (EV) batteries and scandium from lightweight body parts of EVs and airplanes becoming more prevalent.
Stock Price Information – The stock of VIC last traded at $ 0.001 on 20 December 2019, with a market cap of $ 2.96 million.
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