Aeon Metals has launched a new round of drilling at its Walford Creek project in North-West Queensland after a successful campaign mid-year.
Results from an $800,000 drill program over two months confirmed the continuity of a shallow component of the resource close to the Fish River Fault containing excellent grades of copper, zinc and cobalt.
Managing director Hamish Collins said Aeon expected to announce an upgraded resource for the project during October.
“It now stands at 73 million tonnes at 0.40 (per cent) copper, 0.85 (per cent) lead, 0.85 (per cent) zinc, 23.5 grams per tonne silver and 813 ppm cobalt,” he said.
“That resource is over 6km and we’ve just drilled over 700m of that 6km and concentrated in one area estimated to be approximately 600m in length.”
The new program will further test both sides of this high-value zone.
The Walford Creek project was previously held by Nathan Tinkler’s Aston Metals, which went into receivership in 2013.
Aeon Metals acquired Aston Metals the following year, taking on a 3600sq km tenement package in the North West.
“There has been more than 40,000m of drilling up on Walford Creek,” Mr Collins said.
“It was historically discovered and drilled by WMC in the 1980s.
“They were looking for the lead-zinc-silver and subsequent drilling discovered copper on the fault.
“Aeon Metals has been concentrating on drilling into the fault.”
Mr Collins said the company would be carrying out a preliminary economic assessment for a stand-alone operation with its own processing plant.
But it may also be possible to use processing equipment at the Century zinc site, about 100km from Walford Creek, he said.
Mr Collins described the rise in commodity prices during 2016 as promising for the Walford Creek prorject, but noted that they remained quite low.
“So in terms of near term, I’m not quite sure, but long term I’m quite confident the base metal prices will go up – especially zinc and copper,” he said.
“We also have cobalt in our resource. So with the lithium-ion batteries and the cobalt content in those, I’m fairly confident that cobalt prices will improve as well.”
While having a deposit bearing a range of metals might be good in terms of the market and ‘hedging your bets’, Mr Collins said it was no great boon when it came to attracting investment.
“It is harder to get investors to understand, whereas if it’s one commodity it’s easier to understand in terms of price drivers and technical components,” he said.
“So it’s not really an advantage there, no.”
More information on Walford Creek and other Aeon Metals projects at http://www.aeonmetals.com.au/