- Airborne magnetic, radiometric survey to kick off at company’s only NT asset
- 6,000 line program to provide data on the Bruce, Box Hole and Edwards Creek prospects
- Bruce Prospect of foremost interest; prospective for lithium, rare earths, and gold
Not long after MetalsGrove (ASX:MGA) identified a massive electromagnetic target underground at its Arunta Project, the company is now chartering helicopters to run a 6,000m airborne magnetic survey overheard.
The main target is the Bruce Prospect, which is up first on the company’s radar for drilling upon the conclusion of the surveys commenced today.
The Bruce Prospect is believed to contain commercial quantities of lithium, rare earths, and gold. It is located in the Central Desert Region and covers over 17,000 hectares. The nearest historical mine is the Harts Range garnet mine some 80km southwest.
Q4 Maiden drilling on the horizon
The company notes aggressive drilling at a target identified last month underneath the Bruce prospect area of interest will commence upon conclusion of the airborne survey.
That magnetic target is believed to be related to lithium pegmatites.
The breakdown of coverage over each of the targets makes clear where MetalsGrove’s priority lies.
Three targets at the Arunta Project will be subject to this round of airborne surveys:
- Bruce Prospect (3,954 line-kilometres)
- Box Hole Prospect (1,147 line-kilometres)
- Edwards Creek Prospect (872 line-kilometres)
Drilling will take place in the fourth quarter of 2022.
“Targeted yet aggressive:” Management
“This survey programme will play an important role towards refining our priority drill targets for our maiden drilling programme,” MetalsGrove MD Sean Sivasamy said.
“Our team has already completed significant work highlighting strong potential at Bruce.”
MetalsGrove is having a busy month so far, with the company flying an airborne survey over its WA Woodie Woodie acreage at the start of August. That project is prospective for manganese, another battery metal alongside lithium.
Isn’t MetalsGrove a lithium explorer?
Yes, it is. But the same reasons driving enthusiasm for copper, nickel, and silver, are also playing out in manganese exploration markets.
Last year, Livewire Markets went so far as to describe manganese as the ‘next hot battery metal.’
Manganese is also a valuable alloy for steelmakers. While pricing for the metal is somewhat opaque, Chinese metal market information provider SMM notes prices at many benchmarks sit above US$2,000 a tonne.
This reflects a tenfold increase for prices since 2014, when a commodities glut caused many operations to be mothballed.
Existing survey data interpreted into a visual image from existing magnetic information at Arunta. The red like that extends beneath the historical Plenty River mine is what MGA has its eye on; the target is believed to be lithium pegmatite.