CANEGRASS BATTERY MINERALS PROJECT
Viking Mines 100% owned subsidiary, Viking Critical Minerals commenced a Farm-In Arrangement (FIA) in December 2022 with Red Hawk Mining (ASX:RHK), formerly called Flinders Mines (ASX: FMS). The FIA allows Viking to earn up to 99% of the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project for $1.25M cash and $4M exploration spend over a 54-month period. As of August 2023, the Company has successfully completed Stage 1 of the Farm-In Agreement and attained a 25% equity stake.
The Project is located in the Murchison region, 620km north-east of Perth, Western Australia and contains a JORC (2012) Inferred Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) of 146Mt at 0.70% V2O5, 31.8% Fe & 6.6% TiO2 (>0.5% V2O5 cut-off). Importantly, a high-grade subset of the MRE has been calculated, totalling 27.5Mt at 0.87% V2O5, 37.3% Fe & 8.0% TiO2 (>0.8% V2O5 cut-off), which provides the basis to commence a Scoping Study for the project.
Mineral Resource Estimate Table (Nov 2023) – Canegrass Battery Minerals Project
Figure 1 – Location of Viking Mines Canegrass Battery Minerals Project and surrounding Vanadium Resources
Substantial Mineral Resource Estimate Update
Resource drilling has proven to be highly successful, with the extensive 7,500m drilling campaign at Canegrass resulting in a 103% increase in the contained Vanadium Pentoxide to 2.2 billion pounds within the total MRE of 146Mt at 0.70% V2O5, 31.8% Fe & 6.6% TiO2. Significantly, a high-grade subset of the MRE contains 27.5Mt at 0.87% V2O5, providing the basis to move forward and commence with a Scoping Study on the Project.
Figure 2 – Map of the Canegrass Project showing the JORC (2012) MRE for each of the deposit areas and the total combined estimate. Note all Resources are Inferred category reported above a 0.5% V2O5 cut-off. Totals may vary due to rounding
2023: 7,500m Drill Campaign
The Company has completed a major drill programme at the Canegrass Battery Minerals Project, comprised of ~44 Reverse Circulation (RC) drillholes, totalling ~7,500m. The drill programme had two main objectives:
- To improve the confidence in the current MRE by drill testing within the existing Inferred (JORC 2012) MRE limits of 79Mt at 0.64% V2O5 to validate and improve the existing geological interpretation.
- To grow the Mineral Resource base through discovery of new Vanadiferous Titanomagnetite (VTM) mineralisation by drill testing targets outside of the limits of the current MRE.
Results from the drilling proved highly successful, with multiple significant intersections throughout the Project area. Details of these results are provided below.
Fold Nose Deposit
17 holes for a total of 2,768 metres have been completed at the Fold Nose target areas during the 2023 drilling campaign. Drilling at the Fold Nose deposit has returned thick high-grade zones of vanadium mineralisation both within and external to the current Mineral MRE limits. In addition, the results correlate with historical drilling, which has occurred since the last MRE update and has not yet been included into the Mineral Resource (Figure 3 orange callouts). Further, mineralisation remains open to the West.
This presents an opportunity to improve the size and quality of the MRE when an update is completed in the 2023 December quarter.
Figure 3 – Map of the Fold Nose Deposit with 2023 MRE limits shown and target areas for further growth of the MRE illustrated.
2023 drilling at the Kinks Deposit has tested the western limits of the MRE (Figure 4), with three holes for 552m drilled 150m further to the West and South of the historical drilling.
This area was focussed on due to the high-grade historical holes indicating potential for thick high-grade intercepts and the opportunity to extend the current MRE to surface, as was indicated from outcrop mapping completed by Viking in December 2022.
Significant thick zones of mineralisation have been intersected in all three holes drilled, confirming the opportunity to extend the Kinks MRE further west and to surface.
The Kinks West block has returned multiple holes all with intersections substantially higher than the average MRE grade of 0.57% V2O5 for the Kinks Deposit. The high frequency of results >0.7% V2O5 and thicknesses up to 45m (not true width) infer that this area has substantial potential to improve on the current MRE average grade.
The Kinks East block was tested with four drillholes for 546m. Results from the drilling did not exceed the companies standard reporting criteria of >6m thickness >0.5% V2O5. However, mineralisation was encountered in the drilling with thin VTM units identified and flanked by lower grade disseminated magnetite mineralisation hosted within gabbro and leucogabbro.
Figure 4 – Map of the Kinks Deposit with 2023 MRE limits shown and target areas for further growth of the MRE illustrated.
Kinks South Target Area
The 2023 drilling programme included 18 holes for 2,892m, testing >1.5km strike of Vanadiferous Titanomagnetite (VTM) horizon identified in outcrop mapping and geophysics.
Assays have confirmed substantial zones of high-grade Vanadium mineralisation hosted in Vanadiferous Titanomagnetite (VTM) at the Kinks South target (Figure 5).
The Kinks South target does not form part of the current MRE and presents a significant opportunity for the Company to grow the mineral resource base, specifically targeting a high- grade component >30Mt >0.9% V2O5.
Viking is anticipating a substantial MRE update with the addition of the Kinks South target resulting in three deposit areas now due to be estimated.
Figure 5 – Map of the Kinks South Deposit with 2023 MRE limits shown and target areas for further growth of the MRE illustrated.
Fold Nose to Kinks South Target Area
The 2023 drilling programme included four holes for 550m at the Fold Nose to Kinks South exploration target area. The objective of the drilling was to demonstrate that the target horizon continues throughout the Project area and ascertain the future potential of the target.
VTM mineralisation was intercepted in 2 holes, confirming the presence of additional mineralisation outside of the limits of the current MRE. These zones will form part of future exploration targets to further define additional Resources at the Canegrass Project.
Figure 6 – Fold Nose Resource area showing drilling completed
Elevated values of Cu, Ni and Co have been intersected, with Cu being the most significant throughout the results received. Copper mineralisation is directly associated with the VTM mineralisation, but also extends below and above the target horizons.
Further work is required to understand the significance of these results and association with the VTM mineralisation, however the Company is encouraged as the presence of these highly anomalous values indicates significant copper is present in the mineralised system and leads to the potential for further enriched zones to be identified.
Whilst not the primary commodity of focus for the Project, if sufficient Cu, Ni and Co reports to the tail in the magnetic concentrate process, a sulphide flotation could potentially be undertaken to recover these additional minerals to the benefit of the Project. This process route is being further investigated by the Company.
Figure 7 – Map of the Canegrass Project area showing selected Cu assay results from Vikings 2023 drilling programmes.