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InterMet Resources transitions into nickel sulphide play; south of Rox Resources’ Mt Fisher project

This is a transformative transaction for InterMet. Rox’s Mt Fisher and InterMet’s Calypso Project are 230 kilometres apart and located in slightly different greenstone belts. However, the rocks are of the same type, same age and in the same nickel rich region. There are nickel sulphides present at the Calypso Project.  Is there the presence of massive sulphides?  Only time and further exploration will tell. 

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InterMet Resources Ltd (ASX: ITT) is an Australian based exploration company that is re-structuring its management team and share structure to fund development of the Calypso Nickel Sulphide Project in Western Australia.


RECENT DEVELOPMENTS

InterMet has signed a six month option over highly prospective West Australian Nickel Sulphide Project located at the southern end of the prolific Agnew-Wiluna Nickel Belt which hosts several word class nickel mines.

- Previous gold exploration drilling by BHP Billiton (ASX:BHP) intersected shallow disseminated sulphides in ultramafic rocks, including 2m at 0.43% Ni and 85ppm Cu.
- Disseminated sulphides coincident with two aeromagnetic anomalies that provide immediate exploration targets.
- Due diligence to commence immediately, with intention to conduct confirmatory drill program.
- Balance sheet strengthened with ~$2.4m debt forgiveness and $500,000 capital raising.

The Agnew-Wiluna Nickel Belt is a prolific nickel sulphide province hosting world class deposits including: Mt Keith (BHP Billiton: 335Mt at 0.516% Ni), Perseverance Pit, Honeymoon Well (MMC Norilsk Nickel: 189Mt at 0.69% Ni) and Cosmos Deeps (Xstrata: 60Mt at 0.813% Ni).


BACKGROUND

The Calypso Project is a highly prospective and early stage nickel project that is located at the southern end of the highly prolific Agnew-Wiluna Nickel Belt.

Nickel discoveries within this belt continue to attract great market interest with Rox Resources (ASX: RXL) recently escalating in price from $0.015 to $0.10, on reports of a significant and high grade nickel find at Fisher East.

Early nickel data from the Calypso Project compares very favorably with early data from Fisher East. This should provide solid market interest in the funding and drilling of the large Zeus and Argo anomalies at the Calypso Project.

ASX Ticker Code: ITT.
Share Price: $0.03.
Currently Issued Shares: 58.0M shares / 100.5M shares following placement.
Current Market Cap: $1.45M.
Cash: $0.5M following placement.



ANALYSIS - INTERMET RESTRUCTURE

InterMet Resources listed on the ASX in 2006 with Hillgrove Resources Ltd (ASX: HGO) as its largest shareholder. Hillgrove is a mid-sized copper producer with annualised revenues that exceed $100M, and no longer views an investment in InterMet as a core investment.

Hillgrove has sold the majority of its interest in InterMet, forgiven debt of $2.4M, and fully supports the re-structure of the board, and entry into nickel exploration. Hillgrove will retain 10.8M shares to capture future upside from any nickel discovery at the Calypso Project.  


NEW BOARD AND MANAGEMENT TEAM FOR InterMet Resources

The Hon. Dean Brown AO, Russell Middleton and Ron Belz have all retired from the Board of InterMet Resources.

The new Board now includes:

Andrew Richards will serve as a Director and is a geologist with thirty years of experience in the mining industry, seven years of which involved a senior role in Resource Project Finance within a banking environment.  He has worked in Australia, Asia and South America, providing consultancy services, mineral asset valuations, Independent Expert Reports and managed several listed and unlisted companies. Prior experience includes the role as Chief Geologist at the New Celebration and Telfer Gold Mines in Western Australia.

Barnaby Egerton-Warburton will serve as a Director and has over twenty years of investment banking and international trading experience. He has held positions with investment banks in Perth, Sydney, New York and Hong Kong including JPMorgan, BNP Equities (New York) and Prudential Securities (New York).

Director & Company Secretary: Scott Mison will serve as a Director and Company Secretary. He holds a Bachelor of Business degree, is a Member of the Institute of Chartered Accountants in Australia and Chartered Secretaries Australia, and has over fourteen years of experience in finance and corporate compliance in the mining and oil and gas sector. He is currently a director of ASX and AIM listed Jupiter Energy Limited.


SHAREHOLDING AND FUNDING RESTRUCTURE

Hillgrove Resources Ltd was a majority shareholder that owned 45.7M shares or 84.5% of the issued capital. Hillgrove has agreed with the terms of the restructure, and on 18/01/23 sold 32.0M shares at $0.01, retaining 10.8M shares for an 18.7% interest.
 
The most recent September quarterly reported outgoings of $78,000, cash of $12,000, and outstanding debt of $2.4M to Hillgrove Resources. The Company operated at a minimum level pending the finalization of the restructuring agreement.

Hillgrove have agreed to forgive an outstanding debt of $2.4M that will help strengthen the InterMet Resources balance sheet.

Cygnet Capital has been retained to complete a two tranche funding that will issue 50.0M shares at $0.01, to raise a total of $500,000 and include one free option for every two new shares. The first tranche has been completed, and raised $75,000 from an issue of 7.5M shares at $0.01. Shareholder approval is required for the second tranche of the share placement and free attaching options.

The number of issued securities following the second tranche of the placement will be 100.5M shares and 34.4M options, and cash in the treasury will be approximately $500,000.


USE OF FUNDS

The Company has prepared a budget for the $500,000 funding that includes:

- Initial option payment for Calypso of $50,000.
- Aircore drilling $145,000.
- RC drilling $50,000.
- Down-hole EM survey $10,000.
- Working capital $50,000.
- Review of additional projects $70,000.
- Review of existing InterMet tenements $75,000, and offer expenses of $50,000.


CALYPSO NICKEL PROJECT - OPTION FOR 80% INTEREST

InterMet has executed a binding option agreement with Rossiter Minerals Ltd for a non-refundable consideration of $50,000 that was executed on the 21st of January 2013.

This option provides InterMet with an exclusive term of six months to evaluate and purchase an 80% interest in the Calypso Nickel Project.

Final settlement terms include the issuance of post consolidation shares that equate to 55.0M pre-consolidation shares to the vendor; and completion of a $100,000 drilling program at the Calypso Project.

The Calypso Project is made up of one exploration license EL37/1120 that covers approximately 40km². The project is located in Western Australia, and is approximately 200km north of Kalgoorlie and 27km southeast of Leonora.

Calypso Project is located 230 kilometres south of Rox’s Mt Fisher project. Calypso is easily accessible by road from Kalgoorlie and Leonora and which runs through historic gold rush country found at Kookynie and Malcolm, proximate to mining infrastructure and services.

The Calypso exploration license straddles the Keith Kilkenny Fault Line at the southern end of a trend line that contains the Agnew-Wiluna Nickel Belt, which hosts world class nickel sulphide deposits, along with a number of smaller nickel resources.

These include Mount Keith with 335Mt at 0.516% Nickel (Ni), Perseverance, Honeymoon Well with 189Mt at 0.69% Ni, and Cosmos Deeps with 60Mt at 0.813% Ni.



 
HISTORICAL EXPLORATION

The new management team at InterMet has reviewed historical gold exploration efforts that were undertaken by BHP Minerals Ltd during the 1980’s. BHP reported the presence of disseminated nickel sulphides encountered in ultramafic rocks from shallow drilling.

However, only negligible follow up was undertaken due to the over-riding focus on gold targets.

BHP identified two intense and discrete aeromagnetic anomalies named Zeus and Argo that are both approximately 1 km in length, and located within the central part of the Calypso Project tenement area.

A line of three historic and shallow aircore drill holes were completed by BHP across the Zeus anomaly and encountered significant nickel mineralisation in two of these holes;MR381 and MR382.

These holes were situated 50m apart, but only MR382 was assayed returning 16m at 0.2% Ni and 61ppm Cu from a depth of 42m, and included a much higher 2m at 0.43% Ni and 85ppm Cu.

Historic analytical work confirmed the presence of disseminated nickel sulphides within serpentinised peridotite. End of drill hole petrological studies identified that the sulphides were hosted by a serpentinised olivine cumulate and were primarily magmatic or volcanic in origin.

The sulphide species that were identified by BHP included pyrrhotite and chalcopyrite, as well as possible pentlandite or nickel sulphide.

A line of historic aircore drilling across the Argo anomaly encountered talc-carbonate ultramafic rocks which were never assayed for nickel or copper despite possible disseminated nickel sulphide textures being recorded, and this represents a second major target zone at Calypso.

InterMet will commence their due diligence effort at the Calypso Project with the drilling of two holes that “twin” the historic MR381 and 382 drill holes to evaluate the presence of sulphide nickel mineralisation and the surrounding geological setting.

A technical review will follow, and will attempt to pinpoint potential zones that may carry enriched and concentrated volumes of nickel sulphides within the lava flows identified at the Calypso Project. 

The Calypso Project looks to have highly prospective nickel sulphide potential, with past reconnaissance-style single-line aircore traverses identifying both prospective ultramafic lithologies and primary sulphides.

Follow up drilling at the Zeus and Argo magnetic anomalies will identify and test footwall contact positions and map geochemical trends.

The geophysical expression and geological setting of Zeus and Argos are similar to the Kingfisher nickel deposit which is outside of the Calypso Project area and located 18km to the west.

The deposit is characterised by a similar magnetic anomaly to Zeus and Argos and hosts historic nickel-copper sulphide mineralisation in ultramafic rocks.

Massive and disseminated sulphide mineralisation at Kingfisher was identified within serpentinite at the base of a layered intrusion, and an historic drill intercept of 0.91m grading 2.05% Ni and 1.46% Cu confirms the potential for widespread nickel mineralisation throughout and within the project area.


OPTION EXERCISE – RECOMPLIANCE REQUIREMENT

If InterMet exercises the option to acquire 80% of the Calypso Project, this will be deemed as a change of focus for the company and as such InterMet will be required to comply with Chapters 1 and 2 of the ASX Listing Rules, including raising capital through the issue of a prospectus, as if InterMet were applying for admission to the official list of ASX (as required by ASX Listing Rule 11.1.3).

The exercise of the option will require shareholder approval, and it is likely the stock will be suspended from trading the day prior to the shareholders meeting to approve the acquisition. In order to comply with Chapters 1 and 2 of the ASX Listing Rules, InterMet’s securities will require a reconstruction of the existing share capital and new capital will be raised at 20c.

If and when InterMet chooses to exercise the option, the market will be fully informed regarding proposed timetable and all conditions required to settle the acquisition.


ANALYSIS

Historic data from the Calypso Project is extremely encouraging as it confirms the presence of prospective ultramafic host rocks, nickel sulphides in shallow drilling and nickel sulphides associated with and within the signature area of an intense aeromagnetic anomaly.

Already InterMet’s Calypso Project has ticked a number of boxes:

- CONFIRMED: Presence of prospective ultramafic host rock (olivine cumulate).
- CONFIRMED: Disseminated nickel sulphide present in RAB drilling.
- CONFIRMED: Disseminated nickel sulphide coincidental with aeromag anomalies.
- CONFIRMED: Location within a major, nickeliferous regional structure; the Keith Kilkenny Lineament.

 
NEXT STEPS:

- Aircore geochemical drilling program
- RC Drilling Program
- Down-hole EM surveying


PEER COMPARISON

Both Rox Resources Limited (ASX:RXL) and Sirius Resources Limited (ASX:SIR) have recently experienced rapid valuation growth following the identification of semi-massive and massive sulphides at their Western Australian Nickel Projects.

In summary:



Should InterMet identify semi-massive and massive sulphides at the Calypso Project, Rox and Sirius provide the most valid peer comparisons.

Rox underwent a recent 500% increase in market capitalization in recent months after it intersected high grade and persistent nickel values at Fisher East.

The Zeus and Argo magnetic targets at the Calypso Project have a combined strike length of approximately 2,000m and compare favorably with the magnetic anomaly at Fisher East that is known as Camelwood, which carries high grade nickel sulphide values and has a defined strike length of at least 300m. 

Early stage RAB scout drilling at Camelwood discovered nickel in one hole that reported 12m at 12%Ni at shallow depth, and mirrors a similar historic “nickel hit” completed by BHP at Zeus that reported 16m at 0.2% Ni; reinforcing the high nickel prospectivity at the Calypso Project.

Rox Resources – Market Capitalisation $31M (29 January 2013)

During 2011, Rox completed a Versatile Time Domain Electro-Magnetic (VTEM) survey which identified an EM conductor at its Mt Fisher Nickel Project approximately 450km north of Kalgoorlie.

In October 2012, Rox completed RAB drilling over the EM conductor and detected anomalous nickel containing gossanous chips of weathered sulphide material in the host ultramafic.

In December 2012, Rox announced that reverse circulation drilling had discovered disseminated and semi-massive nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Mt Fisher Nickel Project. Preliminary scans indicate an approximate nickel grade of 1%-2% and up to 5% in hole MFEC005.

Sirius Resources – Market Capitalisation $471M (29 January 2013)

In April 2012, SIR announced that processing of the recently completed electromagnetic (EM) survey at the company’s Fraser Range Nickel Project confirmed the presence of several EM conductors.

In July 2012, SIR announced that it had discovered Ni and Cu sulphide mineralisation in the first reverse circulation drill holes at the first EM conductor to be tested at the Fraser Range Nickel Project.

Intersections include 4m at 3.8% Ni and 1.42% Cu. The RC Drilling results followed reconnaissance drilling in May which indicated zones of Ni-Cu enrichment in bedrock and confirmed an extensive zone of near surface Ni-Cu-Co enrichment. Key intersections included 8m at 1.06% Ni and 0.12 % Cu.


SUMMARY & CONCLUSION

Rox’s Mt Fisher and InterMet’s Calypso Project are 230 kilometres apart and located in slightly different greenstone belts. However, the rocks are of the same type, same age and in the same nickel rich region. There are nickel sulphides present at the Calypso Project.  Is there the presence of massive sulphides?  Only time and further exploration will tell. 

Against, that InterMet carries a pre-placement valuation of just $1.45M, whereas Rox Resources now carries a market valuation of $33.1M. 

These are very early days for the project.  It carries high risk/high return parameters.  Should InterMet identify semi-massive and massive sulphides at the Calypso Project, then InterMet could have a share price in the range of $0.06 - $0.16.

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