Metal Hawk has launched a diamond drilling program at its Kanowna East project in the West Australian Goldfields region as it looks to chase up a raft of shallow nickel hits struck by a previous explorer. The multi-hole campaign will be steered by JV partner IGO and is aimed at testing the mineralisation of interpreted southern extensions of the nearby Silver Swan nickel sulphide deposit.
ASX-listed Poseidon Nickel’s high-grade Silver Swan mine is about 10km north and takes in a 130,000-tonne resource running a cool 9.6 per cent nickel.
The exploration drive comes after IGO’s decision to pick up a 51 per cent interest in Metal Hawk’s Kanowna East, Emu Lake and Fraser South projects — all in WA’s Goldfield region.
According to Metal Hawk, IGO will foot the bill for the work across the pair’s WA-based assets and could swell its interest in the three projects by 24 per cent with an additional cash injection of $4 million.
Importantly, Metal Hawk will continue to hold a free-carried interest in the deal until a decision to mine and will maintain 100 per cent of the gold rights to Kanowna East and Emu Lake.
Earlier in the year, another explorer, Western Areas completed a maiden RC program at Kanowna East that delivered a suite of shallow nickel strikes along strike of an extensive ultramafic target.
The zone was subsequently probed via a pair of government-funded diamond holes under the State’s Exploration Incentive Scheme. The opening bore struck a 220m patch of nickel-bearing ultramafic rocks from 560m.
The partners’ current campaign will evaluate the ground’s nickel potential along strike and above the 220m zone.
In addition, the pair will run downhole electromagnetic surveys to identify nearby areas of nickel sulphide mineralisation.
It’s great to see exploration drilling continue at Kanowna East under the management of our new JV partner, IGO Limited. The presence of widespread visible nickel sulphides in the first diamond hole drilled at Kanowna earlier this year was highly encouraging, and we look forward to seeing the results of this next-phase of drilling.
The price of nickel has waned to pre-frenzy levels of about US$21,000 per tonne, coming down off historic highs of about US$100,000 per tonne during an unprecedented crisis and vicious short squeeze in March.
Despite a return to normality demand for nickel is still expected to increase, with consultancy group Wood Mackenzie indicating the world could need an additional 1.65 million tonnes of the material between 2026 and 2038.
Recent figures suggest the demand for the commodity stands at about 3 million tonnes this year.
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