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Landore looks to Alpha Zone to increase Junior Lake tonnage

The potential new Alpha Zone deposit discovery at Landore Resources' Junior Lake nickel and copper project is exciting because it could nudge the overall resource towards the 100,000 tonne mark.

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The potential new Alpha Zone deposit discovery at Landore Resources' (LON:LND) Junior Lake nickel and copper project is exciting because it could nudge the overall resource towards the 100,000 tonne mark.

Though not a definitive target, Richard Prickett, chief executive, repeated to Proactive how such a figure would more likely attract a third party buyer and also expand the potential mine life at the polymetallic property in Ontario.

The 32,000 hectare project has seen considerable exploration over the past year as the firm has been honing in on the area identified by geophysics between the B4-7 and VW areas.

Exploration so far has already identified a resource of 33,000 tonnes at the polymetallic B4-7 area, 22,000 tonnes at the mainly nickel VW zone, and a 20,000 tonne 'exploration target' west of B4-7.

In the course of recent drilling, the potential of the Alpha Zone, where high grade platinum (11.5 grams per tonne, or g/t, at best) and palladium (12.85 g/t) was found, was re-affirmed by geologists, explained Prickett.

The firm is now re-analysing and logging over 12,000 metres of previous core taken from the zone in 2012.

"This (Alpha) could be the extra deposit that we're looking for to add to the volume," he said, while also having the advantage of being "free" drilling, so to speak.

"It's like a C$5mln drilling programme - it's going to cost about C$40-C$50,000 so that's brilliant," he said.

The chief executive said while a further resource of up to 20,000 tonnes from this area would "be great", he was keen to point out Alpha was not the only potential target at the property.

"Our real short term target is to identify one area that's going to make that quantum leap," he said.

Prickett also highlighted how the fact the Alpha zone's polymetallic nature made the project's economics less dependent on one single metal price.

"If we can get a higher content of high grade platinum and palladium, it really makes it very, very interesting and I think more appealing to outsiders," he said.

Palladium has been forecast to outperform this year and reach US$900 an ounce in 2016, while platinum, though flat, is also expected to rebound.

Nickel is also expected by many forecasters to head north this year.

So, what of potential future production at the flagship Landore property?

Prickett admits that the plan is for Landore to sell the project on when it has been suitably de-risked and enough tonnage established.

But for now the focus is exploration, not least during this current cold winter weather in Ontario - where pinpoint drilling is made easier.

Results from the first set of core sent off should be received in around three or four weeks' time, while a 3,000 metre diamond drill programme is poised to kick off this month (February).

That will focus on the eastern section of the B4-7 area to explore depth and if high grades of palladium and platinum continue into the Alpha Zone.

Looking ahead to any production scenario, the first thing that would need to happen is to go into a pre-feasibility study, which would probably take about a year, said Prickett.

But as he has previously told Proactive, many of the elements of that pre-feasibility work, such as metallurgical testing, have already taken place so that process could possibly be shortened. Then it would be onto the financing process.

Permitting for the Canadian mining project should not cause any headaches, he said, adding Landore already had a mining lease.

Previously, the firm has said B47 and VW provide for a mine life of around six or seven years.

However, a 10-year operation can be achieved through breaching the 100,000 tonne mark.

Landore shares are trading at 1.25p today, valuing it at about £6.5mln.

Quick facts: Landore Resources Ltd

Price: 26.75 GBX

AIM:LND
Market: AIM
Market Cap: £24.12 m
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Landore boosted by latest Junior Lake results

The CEO of AIM-listed Landore Resources (LON:LND), Richard Prickett, has described as "hugely positive" the discovery of what could be significant deposits of nickel at its Junior Lake project in Ontario, Canada.

on 04/24/2014

4 min read