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Great Boulder Resources plans next steps for copper-nickel-cobalt portfolio

Snapshot

It has assets in WA’s Yamarna-Mt Venn region near future Gold Fields' mine Gruyere.

Results from Zermatt, Cortina and ML 13 will be analysed to plan a new drill campaign

Quick facts: Great Boulder Resources Ltd

Price: 0.041 AUD

ASX:GBR
Market: ASX
Market Cap: $5.47 m
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  • The company is seeking a new corporate leader with nickel and copper exploration strengths
  • Great Boulder’s Yamarna copper-nickel-cobalt assets are the Mt Venn and Yamarna projects, which includes Eastern Mafic
  • Next steps at Yamarna include planning another drilling campaign

What does Great Boulder Resources do?

Great Boulder Resources Ltd (ASX:GBR) is an exploration company with Western Australian gold assets and an emerging focus on nickel and copper projects.

The Western Australian company is undergoing a period of leadership change with managing director Stefan Murphy to depart on May 3, 2019, to head up British Marine (Britmar) and Britmar (Aus) Pty Ltd subsidiary Nathan River Resources as it seeks to reopen Roper Bar iron ore mine in the Northern Territory.

Great Boulder non-executive chairman Greg Hall is due to take up an interim CEO role on May 3 as the Applecross-based company seeks a new leader with nickel and copper exploration experience.

Murphy is a geologist with 16 years of mining industry experience while Hall is also a geologist who has 45 years of mining and exploration experience.

What does Great Boulder Resources own?

Great Boulder’s copper-nickel-cobalt assets include a number of projects in the Mt Venn-Yamarna region of WA near the northern Goldfields town of Laverton, previously known as British Flag, and Gold Road Resources Ltd’s (ASX:GOR) future gold mine Gruyere.

The company groups its Mt Venn and Yamarna (Eastern Mafic) projects as the Yamarna copper-nickel-cobalt assets.

Great Boulder has a number of other assets in the Goldfields region of WA and last year took an option over the Mt Carlon project, 60 kilometres south of Mt Venn, from Gold Road.

The Great Boulder neighbour is developing its Gruyere Gold Project as Australia’s next major gold mine with a high-profile joint venture partner, Gold Fields Limited (NYSE:GFI) (JSE:GFI).

Gruyere’s roll-out is expected to help improve road, power and water infrastructure in the area.

Like Gold Road, Great Boulder has taken a partnering approach to project advancement, holding the Mt Venn project 130 kilometres east of Laverton in the Eastern Goldfields district with a JV partner.

Great Boulder has a 75% majority interest in Mt Venn project under the JV agreement, while partner Eastern Goldfields Mining Company Pty Ltd (EGMC) holds a 25% stake.

The parties contribute to project expenditure at a percentage that reflects their stakes.

Mt Venn features six granted exploration licences and one granted prospecting licence.

The Mt Venn JV has identified extensive copper-nickel-cobalt mineralisation at Mt Venn over several kilometres.

This includes multiple lenses of copper-dominant near-surface mineralisation which may make the project suitable for open pit mining.

A simplified flowsheet for Mt Venn metallurgical test work was designed and advanced through metallurgical testing, demonstrating that copper sulphide concentrate and cobalt-nickel sulphate products could be produced for the battery metals markets.

A complementary project to Mt Venn for Great Boulder in the area is Yamarna.

Great Boulder has drilled Yamarna project and found new zones of sulphide mineralisation in Eastern Mafic complex, as reported earlier this week.

Eastern Mafic is a very large mafic intrusion just 7 kilometres from Mt Venn that is associated with the same magmatic event.

The drilling was co-funded by the Western Australian Government under its Department of Mines, Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS)-managed Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) program and took in 2,117 metres and included reverse circulation (RC) and diamond drill holes.

Highlighted results included 4.5 metres grading 0.2% copper, 0.3% nickel from 85 metres; 8 metres grading 0.3% copper, 0.1% nickel from 28 metres; and 3.1 metres grading 0.5% copper, 0.1% nickel from 554 metres.

The company had tested extensions to known sulphide mineralisation at Zermatt, Cortina and ML 13 and discrete EM and geochemical anomalies as potential feeder structures on the western side of the main intrusion, the Western Anomaly.

Next steps for Great Boulder include collating assay and geophysical data to plan the next phase of RC and diamond drilling into newly-defined EM conductors at Eastern Mafic.

The company’s gold assets include Tarmoola Gold Project near Leonora in WA, which features a 2-kilometre high-grade gold trend, and Jundee Gold Project, 10-kilometres along strike from Jundee gold mine.

What is Great Boulder Resources’ reporting schedule?

Great Boulder reports its annual results to shareholders on a financial year basis, last filing its annual results in September 2018.

The company produces half-yearly reports, last reporting half-year results in March 2019.

Great Boulder’s next quarterly activities and cashflow report is expected by the end of April 2019.

Inflection points

  • MD/CEO appointment and resulting milestones

  • Commencement and results from Eastern Mafic conductor drilling

  • Development of Mt Venn-Yamarna region and Goldfields areas with emergence of Gruyere

  • Copper, nickel, cobalt and gold sector pricing dynamics and sentiments

Outgoing managing director Stefan Murphy highlights battery metals suitability

“The latest [metallurgical test work] results demonstrate a robust, reliable flowsheet developed in the preliminary metallurgical program can produce readily marketable copper and nickel-cobalt sulphide concentrates,” managing director Stefan Murphy wrote on behalf of the board in last month’s December half-year report for 2018.

“High overall copper recovery of more than 90% [was] achieved in the flotation and leach circuit to produce a more than 20% saleable copper sulphide concentrate.

“Exceptionally high-value nickel-cobalt sulphide concentrate [was] produced grading 26% nickel and 9% cobalt, suitable for use in the battery and electric vehicle markets.

“Overall nickel and cobalt recoveries approaching 80% in a combined nickel-cobalt sulphide product [was] demonstrated in these initial trials.”

 

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