NickelSearch is located within Western Australia's Battery Belt
NickelSearch's Carlingup project in Western Australia is located near some of the giants in the battery materials sector.
NickelSearch [ASX:NIS] is a dedicated nickel sulphide and lithium explorer.
The Carlingup project has an existing mineral resource base totalling 155kt contained nickel and is strategically located in the same greenstone corridor as IGO’s Forrestania nickel mining complex, and only 10km from Allkem’s Mt Cattlin Lithium Mine. Duncan refers to the corridor as Western Australia's Battery Belt.
NickelSearch is emaphasising its lithum endowment, which is advantaged by the other lithium mines in the region. NickelSearch has favourable host rocks for lithium and nickel sulphides.
Transcription is edited for clarity.
Kitco Mining: Tell us a bit about the company focus.
Duncan: We're focused right now on our lithium potential, so we have identified spodumene within our tenements and we’re now just completely focused on understanding the lithium better and understanding the areas of interest across the tenement package that could have lithium, so it's going to keep us busy.
Kitco Mining: It's an interesting project because you have nickel sulphides and you also have the lithium. How does that work?
Duncan: They do appear together. They aren't in the same stones necessarily, but they are alongside each other and you'll often see nickel companies with lithium as well. We were focused entirely on our nickel sulphide and then when Allkem, who runs Mount Cattlin mine, which is about 10 k’s from us, they started flagging the need for third-party feed, we thought let's have a look at our soil sampling and see if there's any indicators for lithium and there was. So we followed it up and we were able to identify spodumene on the tenements which is a great start for us.
Kitco Mining: You’re in a good location. There's a lot of operations around you, correct?
Duncan: That's right, we have Allkem’s Mount Cattlin, they’re 10 kms to the west, we have First Quantum’s Ravensthorpe, which is 5 kms to the east, now they're nickel laterite, we’re nickel sulphide, so relevant to that we're in the same greenstone corridor as IGO's Forrestania. You’ll see that IGO's also looking at their lithium potential within Forrestania, so again you get that theme of nickel sulphide and lithium.
Kitco Mining: What’s the program over the next 12 months?
Duncan: We’re very much focused on drill readiness, so our immediate focus is in the quarry which is where we identified the spodumene, and we need to get into the quarry pit to have a look at the rocks there, so the quarry pit needs to be drained in order for us to do that, and then we’re working hard to get that drill ready because we know that drilling into this spodumene is what's going to give us the best information.
Then we’re mapping and rock chip sampling the outcropping that surrounds the quarry, and again getting that drill ready. Then across our tenement package we've got 28 areas of interest that we've identified and that's just from a first pass. So, we're going to be visiting each of those areas of interest, mapping, rock chip sampling, soil sampling plus some stream sediment sampling just to get a better understanding of the breadth of the lithium potential across the tenement package. It’s going to keep us extremely busy. The main focus is to get drilling.