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Published by Paydirt Media, 2018-02-19 03:12:34


February 2018 VOLUME 1. ISSUE 257 $11.95


front and back cover
supplied seperately

Warburton powers on

• New listings… investors warm to IPOs
• Skills & recruitment… the squeeze re-emerges
• Southern states spotlight… Tasmania and Victoria struggle for recognition

ISSN 1445-3436

9 771445 343007


With rediscovered confidence in the mining industry, investors are aiding the rise in
recruitment activity on a national scale.
2018 will see a steady need for candidates within the mining industry. Due to high
demand and the expansion of existing or new mine sites, there will be a shortage of
skilled workers available and in some cases, this is already prevalent.
Another factor adding to the skill shortage is the lack of nearby candidates. This stems
from uncertainty of the mining industry in previous years which caused workers to find
alternative jobs in different industries closer to home. Many of these workers are now
happy to stay where they are for a better work-life balance even with reduced wages.
As the mining industry continues to grow and flourish the biggest challenge for
employers will be attracting candidates that have the skills and experience sought.
Skills in demand
Skills and roles in demand differ by state. In Western Australia HD Fitters are in demand
due to increased production which has resulted in maintenance requirements for mobile
plant equipment. Underground Engineers are also required for gold mines and the
opening of new mines. Maintenance Planners are highly sought due to work activity as
well as high turnover due to promotions into engineering or management roles.
In Queensland there is a need for Dragline Operators, due to the arrival of new Draglines
on multiple sites in the Bowen Basin. There is only a small number of Dragline Operators
within the state and with Dragline rates being low in many companies, available
candidates are opting for roles that offer a higher rate.
In South Australia, New South Wales and Victoria, Mechanical Fitters and Boilermakers
continue to be in demand as a result of local developments. Electricians are also highly
sought in these states. Those candidates with a Flameproof Ticket are the most in
New South Wales is expected to see a surge in recruitment of white collar professionals
within the industry.
For more, visit
Contact Hays Resources & Mining at
[email protected]
or 08 9226 5766.


PAYDIRT (ISSN 1445-3436) 20 NEWS 20
Published by The rejuvenation of the commodity sector 22
Paydirt Media Pty Ltd. is complete with mineral sands prices on
A.C.N. 063 985 133 an upward trajectory. The positive senti-
ment and outlook for mineral sands has
Head Office: encouraged Iluka Resources to go ahead
Suite 9, 1297 Hay St, West Perth with the Cataby project in Western Aus-
Western Australia 6005 tralia, while Base Resources is wiping off
P.O. Box 1589, West Perth debt and expanding its portfolio in Africa.
Western Australia 6872 Michael Washbourne reports
Phone: (+61 8) 9321 0355
Facsimile: (+61 8) 9321 0426 22 COVER
[email protected] The participation rate of women in mining is increasing but the industry is still lagging
other sectors. Sharon Warburton, who sits
on the boards of Fortescue Metals Group
and Gold Road Resources, is an inspira-
Editorial: tion for females looking to carve a career in
Editor: Dominic Piper mining. Juggling full-time board positions,
Deputy editor: Mark Andrews volunteering roles and motherhood is no
Journalist: Michael Washbourne easy task, but as Warburton explains, it
Photography: Picture This is doable. Mark Andrews sat down with
Art director: Marian Noonan Warburton to see what a day in the life of a
Contributors: full-time non-executive director looks like
Keith Goode (Sydney), Brendan Ryan
(Johannesburg), Ross Louthean 36 IPO CLASS OF 2017
Almost 30 new resources floats joined
Advertising: the ASX in 2017, with more expected to
Advertising manager: Richa Fuller join the party this year. Gold was popular
Subscriptions: Mitchelle Matambo among the IPO Class of 2017, while watch-
Phone: (+61 8) 9321 0355 ful ASX investors now have a smattering
Facsimile: (+61 8) 9321 0426 of new cobalt and lithium plays to consider.
Paydirt provides a snapshot on the fresh
Pre-press and printing: faced ASX-listed companies looking to
Vanguard Press 26 John St, make an impression in 2018
Northbridge WA 6003
Member of:

Paydirt Media 56 SOUTHERN STATES
Executive chairman: Bill Repard Kirkland Lake Gold has put Victoria’s
Finance manager: Giovanny Jefferson resources sector back on the map. The
Accounts/administration: company is targeting a production rate of
Heather Melling 400,000 ozpa gold from the Fosterville
mine, near Bendigo, by 2021. As there is
Conferences: Melita Fogarty, general positivity in the mining sector at
Namukale Nakazwe-Msiska, the moment, Kirkland’s success in Victoria
may spur other companies to revisit some
Christine Oelschlaeger of the missed opportunities within the State

Member of: 36

Registered by Australia Post PP 643938/0071.
No pages or articles in this publication may be
reproduced in any form without the consent of
the publisher. This includes photographs either
taken by Paydirt Media staff or provided by other

Here’s to 2018 and the
return of optimism

Following a number of false dawns “We’ve been trying to get the industry more involved in show-
over the last five years, the Aus- ing the positive side because there is this public perception

tralian mining industry enters 2018 that mining is all about poor environmental housekeeping, poor

with a fully-fledged sense of opti- sustainability and just unpleasant work, which couldn’t be fur-

mism. ther from the truth,” Spearing told my colleague Michael Wash-

Share prices are finally follow- bourne.

ing commodity prices and moving The challenge facing mining is one of public image. Millennials

upwards. Companies are becom- show far greater concern with a broader “purpose” to their ca-

ing more emboldened by the depth of the rally; as evidenced reers so resources sector employers need to emphasise the in-

by the number of junior company capital raisings and IPOs wit- dustry’s role in society, rather than just individual job prospects.

nessed in the latter part of 2017. According to Deloitte’s Millennials Survey 2017, 59% of those

At the big end of town, Rio Tinto Ltd and BHP Ltd’s latest millennials surveyed believed multinational businesses made a

results underlined their eagerness to cash in on higher than ex- positive impact on challenges facing them such as economic

pected iron ore prices throughout 2017 with both groups posting and social progress, conflict, inequality, corruption, etc. How-

higher production numbers from the Pilbara. ever, some 74% of respondents believed such organisations had

“The intrigue over the next 12 months will come as we find the potential to make a positive impact.
out whether the optimism is justified or misplaced. At this stage, This gap is where miners must focus if they are to attract em-

almost everybody agrees ployees from younger genera-

2018 is set to be a good year Those within industry tions. They must prosecute an
for mining equities with com- know this is far from reality argument which highlights min-
panies focused on traditional ing’s ability to provide social,

metals such as copper, nickel, but industry needs to work as well as economic, develop-
zinc and gold set to join those with education institutions and ment opportunities around the
in battery metals (lithium, co- world for there are few sectors

balt and graphite among them) government to promote mining’s which can boast such claims.
who enjoyed a strong 2017. image as an innovative, dynamic The challenge of appealing

However, within weeks of to millennials’ sense of “pur-

the new year starting, tremors contributor to 21st Century Australia pose” is one facing all em-
were already being felt in some to the next generation of students. ployers. Even the British Army
quarters. has changed its recruitment
strategy; developing a cam-
An announcement by lithium

producer SQM that the Chil- paign based around various

ean Government would allow it to quadruple lithium brines pro- questions about diversity of genders, sexualities, ethnicities and

duction in the country led to concerns among investors that the faiths in the forces.

Australian lithium boom was about to burst, sending shares in It is a far cry from recruitment marketing when I was their key

the ASX’s leading lithium players such as Galaxy Resources demographic. Then, Armed Forces adverts were all the same;

Ltd, Orocobre Ltd and Pilbara Minerals Ltd sharply down. basically a sergeant-major type in fatigues and a moustache,

It highlights the precarious nature of any boom period. If there holding a big gun and shouting at the cinema screen about “be-

is a battery minerals correction in 2018, the question will be ing the best”.

whether investment dollars flow out of the mining sector alto- The British Army’s campaign has drawn criticism from the

gether or into the traditional metals. usual quarters but speaks to the same reality being faced by

There is no greater indicator of the mining sector’s return to miners; millennials (and beyond them Generation Z) view min-

health than the raising of the “skills shortage” dilemma and the ing as a labour-intensive career, non-aligned with their modern,

stories in our skills and recruitment feature highlight how difficult high-tech lifestyles.

it is becoming to hire good employees. Those within industry know this is far from reality but indus-

Much of the pressure on recruitment is part of the usual boom- try needs to work with education institutions and government to

bust cycle but in the professional space in particular, there is a promote mining’s image as an innovative, dynamic contributor to

worrying trend emerging. 21st Century Australia to the next generation of students.

The big challenge is attracting younger professionals, not be- If it fails, WASM and other mining schools will become merely

cause they are leaving the sector but because Australia is sim- part of Australian nostalgia rather than the breeding ground for

ply not producing enough mining-related graduates. high-class professionals and wealth-creators they have been for

As people such as Jake Klein, Peter Bradford and West Aus- so long.

tralian School of Mines (WASM) professor Sam Spearing points

out on pages 32-33, mining schools are shrinking around the

country. There is genuine concern that prospective students

find the industry unattractive, lacking in dynamism and innova-

tion and unaligned with 21st Century values. [email protected] @DominicPiper



Tietto time

Despite the number of new resources Abujar is 30km from the major regional city of Daloa in central Côte d’Ivoire
listings on the ASX increasing last
year, satisfying compliance measures Less than 5% of the land package at with Burkina Faso, Mali and Ghana and
required to complete an IPO is not easy. aside from having a 10% standard inter-
Abujar has been explored and Tietto est, they offer a tax holiday for the first
“IPOs are much harder to get away five years of production. They are really
today than they were five years ago. It’s hopes to complete 30,000m of RC and making an effort to develop their gold
more onerous and the barriers to entry mining industry,” Harper said.
are a lot harder,” Blackwood Capital di- diamond drilling this year.
rector Francis Harper said. “Côte d’Ivoire has about one third of
Funds raised during the IPO should the greenstone belt in West Africa, but
Harper, the former chairman of West has remained under-explored because
African Resources Ltd, was sharing his see Tietto through the next two years, of the political turmoil in the past. We
thoughts with Paydirt upon the debut of will look to acquire more ground as we
Côte d’Ivoire-focused Tietto Minerals Ltd Harper said. go because it is seriously under-explored
on the ASX. due to the civil strike.”
Ausdrill Ltd was a major supporter of
Harper’s Blackwood Capital was the While being an ASX-newcomer, Tietto
lead manager of the $6 million Tietto the IPO, with Tietto having the ability to is far from an overnight success in Côte
float, which ended its first day of trading d’Ivoire, thanks largely to managing di-
up over 20% at 24.5c/share, with a mar- convert $1.3 million worth of drilling into rector Caigen Wang, Harper said.
ket cap of $38 million.
equity for the services provider. “It has been seven years in the mak-
The positive start provided some re- ing,” Harper told Paydirt.
ward for Tietto which had hoped to list “Having Ausdrill on board meant it was
sometime last year. With Liberia in its sights, Tietto was es-
like raising $7.3 million, so we should tablished in 2010 before Wang ventured
Nevertheless, with gold at a healthy into Côte d’Ivoire at a time when others
$US1,326/oz and investors back on have two very strong years out of the were exiting.
board with the precious metal, it is an op-
portune time in the market for a company money we raised and we plan to put all of “When Caigen went to Côte d’Ivoire
like Tietto, which has something to show from Liberia and then the gold prices
from the onset. it into the ground,” Harper said. collapsed in 2013/14 he was the only
guy with money and everyone else was
Within less than two years of acquisi- As investment appetite sitting on their hands. Caigen was the
tion and from a mere 13,000m of drilling, only one around active and managed to
Tietto has defined a resource of 10.4mt returns to the West African forge some good contacts in country. He
@ 2.1 g/t gold for 703,600oz at the Abu- turned up at the right time after the civil
jar project. gold space, demand for strike and landed some good ground,
which holds us in good stead now.”
Abujar, comprising three contiguous drillers and other services
tenements over an area of 1,114sq km, – Mark Andrews
is Tietto’s flagship in the West African are starting to increase.
region where it also has gold prospects
– Dube South and Cestos – in eastern Therefore, to spare costs,
Liberia, near the border of Côte d’Ivoire.
Tietto will purchase a dia-
The company plans to conduct ex-
ploration campaigns at mond rig and will conduct
Dube South and Cestos
this year, however, drilling drilling of that nature on its
down-dip of the resource
and concentrating on the own.
dilation zone at Abujar is
the immediate objective. With Côte d’Ivoire host

Harper, who is non-ex- to gold heavies such as
ecutive chairman of Tietto,
said an initial 6,000m RC Randgold Resources Ltd
programme would be con-
ducted to kick-start 2018, Caigen Wang (Tongon, 320,000 ozpa)
as the company aimed to and Endeavour Mining
expand resources along
strike and at depth. Corp (Ity and Agbaou

The company has 70km combined production of 280,000 ozpa),
of strike to explore, with the existing re-
source defined within 3km of that strike. there is access to services and skills

“The resource is only to a depth of equipped for the gold sector, while gov-
180m depth at the moment, with some
open pits going to 400m,” Harper said. ernment support is also forthcoming.

“Côte d’Ivoire is sensibly competing



It’s all in a tablet

Anew data collection application dated data they have on their tablet,”
could allow underground crews
to eliminate the hours of endless Bunting said.
paperwork and inaccurate data.
The system also provides advan-
Developed by Advanced Mining
Systems (AMPS) in combination tages for maintenance teams with
with Scope Systems, LiveMine al-
lows operators to complete shift operators prompted to log operating
plods and reports using a spe-
cially-tailored tablet app, ensuring hours of equipment at the start of
greater accuracy and convenience
as well as allowing for swift inter- each shift.
pretation of real-time data.
“The feedback we have received
AMPS business manager Alicia
Bunting said the new application has been exceptional, particularly
would eliminate many of the data
entry problems inherent in end-of- from maintenance departments who
shift reporting which can be beset with
missing or incorrectly entered data. are usually waiting 24-48 hours for

“A lot of mining companies overesti- pre-start information,” Bunting said.
mate the accuracy of their data, in a lot
of cases it is actually atrocious,” Bunting The app has four modules – pro-
told Paydirt. “We are continually fixing
clients’ databases. When working with a duction drilling, development drilling,
client we regularly look at the data with
them and management says: ‘this isn’t A new tablet app will enable underground operators haulage and loading – but AMPS is
what happened’ but the problem is there to log end-of-shift reporting more accurately now seeking client feedback on oth-
er applicable areas such as stockpile

is no accountability for incorrectly input- management and explosives manage-

ted data, LiveMine solves this. With its ment.

data validation and naming conventions, Productivity improvements are also

data entry errors are eliminated.” likely to flow from LiveMine’s implemen-

The LiveMine app has been built with tation with the system providing time-

the individual operator in mind, with its stamped data for haulage.

layout designed to bold and easy to op- “LiveMine allows you to track data on

erate underground. The information can ore from the drill-hole to its arrival at

be uploaded at the end-of-shift or in real- the mill and you can track contractors’

time using wifi networks. costs,” Bunting said. “All of the haulage

“Some of the new data is time-stamped so companies can

mines have 4G un- get time-in-motion data which isn’t usu-

derground and this ally available without undertaking expen-

application works sive project studies.”

incredibly well in The easy entry system should also

those situations,” relieve pressure on engineering depart-

Bunting said. “Be- ments.

cause operators “Every company in the underground

can load data in space is short of engineers at the mo-

real time, by the ment,” Bunting said. “If you can optimise

time they get to the what you have got, you could allevi-

hut, everything has ate a lot of pain. Some sites are two or

been uploaded and three engineers down at the moment

the shift boss’s re- but LiveMine allows shift bosses that

port is done imme- half hour at the end of the shift to people

diately.” manage rather than sift through data.”

The app also al- Bunting said AMPS was in negotiations

lows mine plans to to trial and implement LiveMine with sev-

be viewed as an in- eral of the large underground contractors

teractive 3D model, as well as some of the large underground

allowing users a gold miners.

better understand- “Sites we are discussing are located

ing of mine design. here in WA as well as Africa and Europe,”

“Often, mines can she said. “The feedback we have been

end up with two drill receiving since launching at the Under-

plans because the ground Operators’ Conference last year

geologists’ opin- has been very positive. The underground

ions have changed mining industry is realising the gains in

over the course of productivity that can be achieved through

a shift but having effective data management and stream-

plans uploaded into lining their data management systems.”

LiveMine means – Dominic Piper
operators are rely-

ing solely on the up-



Froneman readies to clean up
another fine mess

Assuming Neal “Pacman” Froneman after the disastrous tenure of former blast methods.
succeeds with the all-share offer by chief executive Brad Mills about whom There was a very good reason for that;

his group Sibanye-Stillwater Ltd to take more later in this column. Farmer took conventional mining did not work on the

over Lonmin plc then the curtain will final- the “radical” steps of relocating top man- narrow and erratically dipping platinum

ly wind down on a mining company which agement and the Lonmin head office to reefs. You need wide, predictable and

has one of the most unfortunate histories Johannesburg. gently dipping orebodies for success-

in the South African mining business. Back to Tiny Rowland. I finally met him ful mechanised mining. Otherwise the

I have been referring to Lonmin for in 1993 when he brought German busi- grade goes to hell and costs soar be-

years as “the weakest link” in the South nessman Dieter Bock to South Africa and cause of waste dilution.

African platinum sector but the group’s – for reasons best known to Rowland – Mills was adamant mechanisation

issues go way back to the days when decided to hold a press conference. was the only way to go and he set about

it was the mining division of the former That conference is forever burnt into changing mining layouts and plans on

Lonrho plc which in turn was created out my memory. At the time, Rowland was key Lonmin shafts. He was dubbed “a

of the former LONndon and RHOdesian involved in yet another corporate battle mechanisation zealot” by his staff and

Mining and Land Company. and he had enlisted Bock to help him out. he actually agreed with that description

My first encounter with Lonrho/Lonmin The way he introduced Bock to us was when I put it to him during a financial re-

was in 1982 when I became mining edi- almost Biblical in nature. Rowland did not sults press conference.

tor of the former Rand Daily Mail. Lonrho use the phrase from Matthew 3:17 but he When it became clear Mills would not

was then being run by the late “Tiny” may as well have: “This is my beloved back down, a number of top managers
“Rowland – the man once described by son in whom I am well pleased”.
left the group rather than hang about

former UK Prime Minister Ed- for the inevitable disaster they

ward Heath as “the unaccep- For decades, Lonmin was saw coming. One of them, Mike
table face of capitalism”. Schmidt, is now the chief execu-

Rowland shunned the South run by a bunch of Brits tive of Patrice Motsepe’s highly
African press, an attitude based in London deciding how successful ARM diversified min-
which has prevailed in Lon- ing group.

min’s corporate culture to this a uniquely South African mining Mills eventually “resigned” in
day. During the 1980s, 90s enterprise should operate and 2008 and the group spent the
dictating accordingly to the
and early 2000s – as mining next five or so years trying to sort
editor on the Rand Daily Mail out the mining mess that he had
followed by stints as mining created which sent Lonmin’s op-

correspondent on the Finan- “minions” in South Africa. If erating costs sky-high.
cial Mail and Finance Week ever a business could be termed I am running out of space but…
– I could readily get the chief
there followed the takeover bid

executives of Impala Platinum “colonial” it was Lonmin. by Xstrata – which dodged a bul-
Ltd and Anglo American Plati- let in not following through – and

num plc on the phone. the disaster at Marikana where

I could not get through to 34 rioting workers and commu-

senior management at Lonmin. I in- Bock, it seemed, was going to save nity members were shot by police.

stead had to call their London-based PR Rowland’s hide at Lonrho. Of course, it The ramifications from that are still

man – a character by the name of An- did not work out that way because Bock rumbling away in the form of long-run-

thony Cardew – who always told me “no subsequently stabbed Rowland in the ning opposition to Lonmin from local

comment” in that plummy British accent back and kicked him off the board in communities and organised labour. And

which can infuriate South Africans prob- October that year. Rowland died a bitter let’s not forget the hostile attitude of the

ably as much as it does Australians. I man in July 1998. I spoke to him several Department of Mineral Resources.

gathered that Cardew spent most of his times during the last few years of his life. Froneman has already thrown down

time in the Reform Club on Pall Mall. He was always keen for an opportunity to the gauntlet, warning that the takeover

Which goes to the heart of the matter “slag off” Bock and the Lonrho that had deal may not go ahead if Lonmin’s op-

in my opinion. For decades, Lonmin was spurned him. erations are negatively affected by any

run by a bunch of Brits based in London Fast forward to 2004 and the appoint- of this. That would inevitably lead to the

deciding how a uniquely South African ment of former BHP Billiton executive demise of what’s left of the world’s third

mining enterprise should operate and Brad Mills as chief executive. Mills be- largest producer of platinum.

dictating accordingly to the “minions” in lieved in mechanisation and he set about Brendan Ryan is a Johannesburg-based

South Africa. If ever a business could be introducing it on Lonmin’s mines which – mining writer

termed “colonial” it was Lonmin. like all the other South African deep-level

That only changed when Ian Farmer platinum mines – were mined conven-

was appointed chief executive in 2008 tionally using labour-intensive drill-and-



BCI lands Buckland partner

Mardi is considered one of the last remaining large-scale, undeveloped salt projects in Australia

Having spent the better part of last year project into Iron Ore Holdings in late for a company of BCI’s size and balance
rounding off its diversification strat- 2012, almost two years before that com- sheet to develop the project on a stan-

egy, BCI Minerals Ltd was not going to pany was taken over by BC Iron. He suc- dalone basis,” Vorster told Paydirt.

waste any time pottering around once the ceeded Morgan Ball as managing direc- “We don’t want to be another junior

clock ticked over into 2018. tor of the latter in mid-2016. company over-promoting a large project

January was only 10 days old when “The potential capital cost of multiple that we don’t have the ability to fund our-

BCI (formerly BC Iron) announced it had mines in the Buckland project, plus the selves. So bringing in Sinosteel and the

“entered into a potentially lucrative part- Cape Preston East port, is just too large MoU is just the first step in our approach.
nership with the Australian arm of “They are very large, they are in

Sinosteel Group Corp Ltd, one of the top 20 state-owned enterprises

China’s largest and most influen- We don’t want to be in China and they’re very influen-
tial state-owned enterprises, over another junior company tial in the mining, trading and en-
its Buckland iron ore project in the gineering circles. Those are all ar-

West Pilbara. over-promoting a large project eas that will be very important for
The wide-ranging MoU – albeit that we don’t have the ability us going forward; to have partners
with that expertise but also, most
non-binding at this stage – pro-

vides a framework for Sinosteel to to fund ourselves. importantly, partners with strong
assist BCI with potential marketing financial capability to help us fund

and off-take opportunities, provi- the project.”

sion of engineering services and Drilling was ongoing at the Ku-

funding and JV structures at not mina deposit at the time of print

just the proposed mine site but ahead of a scheduled resource

also its associated infrastructure, update next month. A study as-

including a new port. sessing the viability of integrating

The 20 mtpa multi-commodity, Kumina with the existing Bunga-

multi-user port at Cape Preston roo South resources is also con-

East would export 15 mtpa of tinuing and will be completed by

iron ore from Buckland, as well mid-year.

as 3 mtpa of salt from BCI’s near- That study will also look to

by Mardi project. upgrade the base case develop-

BCI managing director Alwyn ment plans for Buckland from 8

Vorster always knew a cashed- mtpa to 15 mtpa over 15 years.

up development partner would “In the newer iron ore world

be required to get Buckland off with bigger discounts, which I

the ground. BCI has signed a non-binding MoU with Sinosteel to assist feel [shows] there’s an element

Vorster vended the Buckland with the development of the Buckland iron ore project of a structural change at least, we


need to be prepared that the

pricing structures will remain

similar for the next decade,”

Vorster said.

“The 8 mtpa for 15 years

case just doesn’t work in

terms of margins on the pro-

ject. So, the key milestone in

the short term, over the next

3-5 months, is to prove up

additional tonnes for Buck-

land so that it becomes a 15

mtpa for 15 years business


“Once that business case

is in place, it will be easier

for us to convert the MoU to

a binding JV agreement and

so on.”

Vorster said his company

was also looking at Sinos-

teel as a potential buyer of An artist’s impression of the 20 mtpa multi-commodity, multi-user port facility BCI is proposing to build
the Buckland ore and not
just a marketing agent, with at Cape Preston East

the Chinese firm expected to use its ex- of some concern to us junior companies BCI’s involvement in the Carnegie pot-

tensive network in Asia to help find other because we all have 57-58% iron ores. ash project – a JV with Kalium Lakes Ltd

customers. “You will have heard the debate – has presented “massive technical syn-

Buckland has emerged as the lead whether this is cyclic or structural, I think ergies” with Mardi, according to Vorster,

project in BCI’s new-look portfolio that there’s probably elements of both. So, I due to the similarities between pond de-

now boasts potash, salt, gold and base prefer to look at it from a conservative signs and salt extraction methods.

metals assets. However, iron ore will still point of view and prepare our BCI busi- A scoping study on Carnegie, 220km

remain the company’s main game, par- ness cases on a need to make money, north-east of Wiluna, is due in April and

ticularly with BCI also benefiting from its even with higher discounts remaining.” BCI, which holds 15% and its looking to

interest in the Iron Valley mine operated BCI will look to advance Buckland in acquire up to 50%, has been encour-

by Mineral Resources Ltd. parallel with the Mardi salt project, about aged by the latest auger sampling results

BCI’s interest in the operation yielded 100km south of Dampier. A PFS on Mar- of grades of up to 4,790 mg/L, equivalent

the company $18 million EBITDA for di is due for completion next quarter. to a SoP grade of 10,674 mg/L.

FY2017. Last year’s scoping study found a Several senior members of the Kalium

“That was an excellent result for us, 3-3.5 mtpa operation could be devel- Lakes team are former Iron Ore Holdings

particularly in the context of some critics oped at Mardi for an estimated capex of employees who worked under Vorster

who over the years, sometimes maybe $225-255 million, with operating costs earlier this decade, a catalyst to the for-

tongue in cheek, were saying to me that of $19-21/t FOB to return a margin of mation of the JV early last year.

we would never receive a cent from the roughly $26-28/t. Other key metrics from “We rate the management team of

original transaction in 2012,” Vorster the study include a pre-tax NPV of $290- Kalium Lakes very highly and we are ab-

said. 380 million, pre-tax IRR of 25-27% and solutely loving the synergies and the IP

“The results in the last year certainly annual EBITDA of $80-100 million. they’ve developed on their Beyondie pro-

have proven that it could be a very valu- Rio Tinto Ltd dominates the salt indus- ject, which they are transferring directly

able asset for BCI in the future. I can’t try in Australia, but Vorster is confident over to Carnegie,” Vorster said. “In turn,

emphasise enough how much we admire there is enough room in the market for a there’s lots of synergies with us being

the operational efficiency they [Mineral junior such as BCI. involved in Carnegie that we’re transfer-

Resources] have achieved at Iron Valley. “The barriers to entry into the salt ring to our Mardi salt project.”

We have a strong working relationship.” game are very high and the main bar- Vorster said his company would at-

While iron ore prices remained rela- rier to entry is geography,” Vorster said. tempt to finalise the ownership structures

tively stable in 2017, Vorster is not mak- “Mardi in the experts’ opinion is one of of both Buckland and Mardi in 2018.

ing any bold predictions about where the the last – if not the last – opportunities for “We believe the market will only really

key steel-making ingredient is headed the development of a large-scale evapo- place significant value against those two

this year and beyond. rative salt production system because assets if there is certainty around the

“The headline 62% iron price contin- we’re right on the Pilbara coast. monetisation pathway,” he said.

ued to outperform the expectations of all “We see great potential for a jun- Various exploration activities are also

the bearish market commentators and ior matching up with a larger, say Chi- planned for BCI’s gold and base metals

every time they talk the iron ore price nese, partner to break into that industry. targets at Marble Bar, Black Hills and

down it bounces back and then some,” There’s 50-60 mtpa growth forecast in Peak Hill.

he said. the next decade in that chemical, chloral- – Michael Washbourne
“On the other hand, however, it’s fair to kali industry for salt and we see 3 mtpa

say the discounts for anything lower than from a junior like BCI as being very fea-

62% iron remain quite wide and that is sible.”



Kin lines up Leonora

Initial production from the LGP will be from near-surface oxide and traditional ores from three open pits

Alate gold rally and finalisation of a Kin is proving to be a place people want the right fit at the right time for Kin.
credit facility to allow pre-production to be as the wheels of the next mining “We have pretty much ticked all the
capital works at the Leonora gold project boom set in motion.
(LGP) to proceed made for a barnstorm- boxes in terms of getting the company to
ing finish to 2017 for Kin Mining NL. In January, Kin made a key appoint- have a clear path to cash flow by having
ment with former senior geologist at the processing plant in place. The sec-
Earlier in the year, Kin won the Best Northern Star Resources Ltd and Bar- ond thing is how do we grow the com-
Emerging Company Award at Diggers rick Gold Corp Glenn Grayson selected pany? In order to do that, we are focusing
& Dealers, due recognition for the Don to drive an aggressive 100,000m drilling on a very aggressive exploration pro-
Harper-led outfit on its way to joining the programme, starting in Q1, at the Car- gramme targeting 100,000m of drilling,”
throng of gold producers in Western Aus- dinia mining centre. Harper told Paydirt.
Grayson’s track record of increasing “We are going to do this in parallel
With the company growing in stature, life-of-mine gold resources means he is with constructing the processing plant
and drilling over the course of the next
The Lawlers processing plant was purchased from Gold Fields for $2.5 million 12 months. When you have a process-
ing plant you have the ability to monetise
exploration success, so if we find more
gold at higher grade we have the ability
to take those ounces to the processing
plant and make money.”

The 800,000 tpa Lawlers processing
plant – being acquired from Gold Fields
Ltd for $2.5 million – is being relocated
to and upgraded at the Cardinia mining
centre in preparation for the expected
start of production in the second half of

Locking down the $35 million credit fa-
cility with Sprott Private Resource Lend-
ing has paved the way for pre-production
activities to start.

A DFS completed on the LGP in Octo-
ber outlined a project delivering 55,000
ozpa gold with peak production of 62,000


Kin plans to drill 100,000m across the Cardinia mining centre in 2018

ozpa from current reserves of 373,000oz @ 1.8 g/t from 14m; 1m @ 6.5 g/t from grade and can build the high grade we

@ 1.5 g/t. 14m and 1m @ 9.5 g/t – received from are finding at Cardinia,” Harper said.

Based on current assumptions, a the latter. “We have two high-grade systems –

seven-year mine life exists at the LGP “We wouldn’t be so bold or confident Bruno Lewis and Hanna – both of which

for life-of-mine revenue of $596.1 million in delivering something in that order of are 3km-long and now showing explora-

and operating cash flows of $167.9 mil- 0.5 g/t but we have already hit the high- tion success with high grades close to

lion at AISC of $1,038/oz. Payback of the surface.

$35 million pre-production capital costs “The hallmarks are showing that we

is estimated to take 11 months. have the potential to increase the head

By the time pre-production payback grade into the mill; that is why we are

is completed, the scope of the LGP may dedicating 100,000m next year to it.”

have changed on the back of exploration Few targets within the Cardinia min-

success. Late last year, Kin raised $10 ing centre have been drilled deeper than

million to achieve such success. 100m and with encouraging results from

“We are looking at targeting an in- testing beneath historic workings, inves-

crease in grade,” Harper said. tors have a glimpse of the exploration up-

“We believe that if we can increase side in Kin’s package.

head grade into the mill to 2 g/t, from “The investor will have the best of both

there every 0.5 g/t increase in head grade worlds and we should see a significant

translates to an additional 23,000oz rerating of the company as we have

gold. That is how we see an increase in shown a pathway to cash flow. We are at

productivity and more cash flow without the very early stages, but we have set the

spending any more money because we foundations to date,” Harper said.

have done that already.” Don Harper “Also, for an investor, one of the key

Confidence is growing that Kin things is that we only have 175.4

can fulfil its ambitions of increas- LGP by the numbers million shares on issue; that is a

ing the head grade and resource DFS October 2017 very tightly held stock. If you can
and reserves, with positive re- put your company into production

sults from a RC scout drilling pro- Resources: 1.023 moz gold with less than 250 million shares

gramme at regional targets around Capital cost (total): $41.4 million on issue then you are a very rare
Cardinia. Operating cash surplus (undiscounted): $167.9 million company.
NPV operating cash surplus (8%): $107.4 million
First-time drilling at regional “Investors will experience the
prospects Nevertire and Triangle capital growth and with a cash

has intersected high-grade miner- Processing rate: 1.5 mtpa (max) producing asset, when the time

alisation beneath historical work- Total recovered gold production: 372,000oz is right down the track we will
ings with maiden results – 7m @ Revenue: $596 million definitely be looking at a dividend
16.3 g/t gold from 60m, including AISC: $1,038/oz strategy.”
1m @ 103 g/t; 7m @ 1.4 g/t from IRR: 77%
14m, including 1m @ 6.3 g/t; 6m – Mark Andrews



SA explorers look for
climate change relief

South Australia’s junior explorers are Anderson said the bring it to a 1 moz
hoping an accommodating wind
blows in from the west and revitalises company’s refusal to gold equivalent re-
their ailing industry this year.
“batten down the hatch- source; that will get
SA’s junior sector experienced as big
a fall as any in the country during the re- es” during the downturn the market interest
cent mining downturn, but with the West
Australian junior sector experiencing a had attracted criticism going again.”
more welcoming market climate in 2017,
Adelaide-based juniors are hoping con- but he believes it has Minotaur has al-
ditions travel east in 2018.
left the company in an ways been opportun-
The State has always been highly re-
garded for is prospective geology, partic- enviable position as the istic when it comes
ularly for large copper orebodies, but the
abundance of transported cover means mood begins to turn. to acquiring projects
exploration is often difficult and expen-
sive. And, while 2017 saw gold, copper, “We received a lot of and Belperio believes
lithium and cobalt explorers in WA en-
joy strong support for close-to-surface, criticism for keeping the the downturn has left
walk-up targets, SA explorers still found
it difficult to entice investors to their more team together during open opportunities in
technically challenging stories.
the downturn but it al- SA.
“SA has not yet picked up exploration-
wise as quickly as the rest of the coun- lowed us to do a lot of John Anderson “There is good
try,” Investigator Resources Ltd manag- greenfields ground
ing director John Anderson told Paydirt. thinking in that fallow
“There are logical reasons; it is green-
fields country and heavily reliant on the period,” Anderson said. available because a
junior sector, which hasn’t received much
market support in recent years. But, SA “We used the time to prove up our targets lot of companies dropped ground when
is still hot for copper prospectivity, it is
just underdone and needs some con- at Nankivel and Maslins so we are now they couldn’t get support for them,” he
fidence to come back into the sector to
fuel exploration.” well-positioned for further growth.” said.

Minotaur Exploration Nankivel will be the first to attract drill- Industry majors flirted with SA devel-
Ltd technical director
Tony Belperio said de- ing attention in 2018, with Investigator opments during the last boom and An-
spite the company hav-
ing a three-state profile, planning to test the Trojan IP target early derson believes they will return in the
SA remained “a highly
desirable destination”. on. current cycle.

“Minotaur is looking in “We will drill Nankivel in 2018. There “The majors are looking around for
three states for copper-
gold and SA is still fa- is no doubt it is a porphyry – that Trojan new greenfields projects and SA is a
voured for the potential
for elephants, but it is still target is sitting in just the right spot – it good destination,” he said. “We are quite
hard, expensive work for
explorers,” he said. is just whether it has a copper core. We happy that if Nankivel works out to be

Investigator and Mino- will drill down 250m in the hope of hitting good, a big company will come in. And
taur are among the few
companies to remain active in SA during the top of the anomaly. If it’s a goer, we at Maslins, we have interest from majors
the downturn.
expect the majors to come knocking.” already.”
Investigator has balanced develop-
ment work at its Paris silver project with It is a similar situation at Maslins where Belperio is more circumspect.
earlier-stage exploration at its Nankivel
porphyry prospect and Maslins IOCG Investigator is contributing to a magneto- “The interest from majors hasn’t come
telluric survey being undertaken by the yet, the market will likely move first,” he

Geological Survey of said.

SA to ensure there Neither Anderson nor Belperio expect-

is sufficient detailing ed mining to be an issue in the upcom-

around the gravity ing state election (scheduled for March)

anomaly. but both lamented the affect the election

“In the first-pass would have on the ongoing Mining Act

magnotelluric work review.

we interpreted a deep “The Mining Act review is now caught

feature plume head- up in the election cycle which is frustrat-

ing towards Maslins,” ing but most politicians recognise the

Anderson said. “It importance of mining to the State,” An-

needs more detailed derson said.

work to see if it comes Belperio hoped that a government

up under Maslins. So, from either side of politics would address

Tony Belperio without spending too the most pressing issue for explorers;
much, we will be able
land access.

to say whether it is a “Land access – farming, native title,

next generation IOCG or not.” heritage, etc – continues to bedevil the

Investigator is also planning to release industry,” he said. “In other states, the

a PFS in mid-2018 for its 42 moz Paris situation is getting better, but in SA it is

silver project. getting worse. It is a crazy situation.”

“We have started drilling around Paris – Dominic Piper

in order to build up the resource,” Ander-

son said. “Another 28 moz silver would



1 - 2 May 2018

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BHP, Oz lead SA rebound

Where moribund at the start of last Oz plans to lift underground mining rates at Prominent Hill from 2.5 mtpa to 3.5-4 mtpa
year, South Australia’s resources
prospects are suddenly reinvigorated at SA miners still face. said. “The people who run it have a
the beginning of 2018. Oz chief executive Andrew Cole told vested interest in the project so getting
involved in design and commissioning –
The SA resources industry slump was Paydirt Carrapateena’s development for the cost of getting each of them on
perhaps greater than any other in Aus- was coming at the right time for the com- early – develops a culture of ownership
tralia following the end of the last min- pany, SA and the global copper industry. in the team.”
ing boom. Having ridden the wave of
the commodity super-cycle to become “We started pushing Carrapateena a Cole said the company had also begun
the second largest focus for resources few years ago because we recognised thinking about training programmes as it
investment in the country, SA was sent there was a dearth of copper supply aims to realise its local-first employment
crashing by the ensuing bust in 2012. Ex- looming,” he said. “People are saying strategy.
ploration and development expenditure now is a good time to be buying and de-
in the State was choked and as BHP Ltd veloping copper projects but I think the “We will look to draw employees firstly
walked away from its massive Olympic best time to become involved was a cou- from the Upper Spencer Gulf region with
Dam expansion plans and Oz Minerals ple of years ago.” SA as the second priority,” he said. “Part
Ltd continued to struggle to find ways of our agreement with the Traditional
to makes its large, but remote, Carra- Oz has been far from rash in its devel- Owners includes employment and we
pateena copper project work, services opment of Carrapateena, redrawing its need to start thinking about those train-
companies found future prospects extin- vision for the project several times. ing programmes now to ensure people
guished. are ready to work.”
The latest, definitive, iteration will see
More than five years on, the State’s sub-level caving employed to produce Innovation will also be a key ingredient
industry is beginning to witness the first the requisite amount of ore needed to fill to Carrapateena’s success. Oz plans to
glimmers of a fresh beginning. the 4.25 mtpa processing plant. have electrification throughout the mine
and its fleet and will pursue the highest
In November, BHP announced it would Cole said construction, which started levels of automation in Australian base
press ahead with a revised expansion of in the September 2017 quarter, was go- metals mining.
Olympic Dam, BFX, which will eventually ing well and was on track for commis-
see capacity increased to 330,000 tpa sioning to start in Q4 2019. “While we are gradually introducing
copper. electrification into our Prominent Hill
“The decline is 3.5km in, the primary mine, at Carrapateena it will be built into
“As we move into the Southern Mine ventilation is in, the camp installation has the design,” Cole said. “Sub-level caving
Area we expect to see the copper grade been started, the airstrip is being built [the mining method to be used at Carra-
increase to 3% by FY2023, which we be- and we have ordered the long lead time pateena] is better than stoping for electri-
lieve would coincide with a structural def- items for the mill for which engineering fication and automation.”
icit in the copper market,” BHP Olympic and design are halfway completed. “
Dam asset president Jacqui McGill said. Cole believes the widespread adop-
Despite still being more than 18 months tion of new technology and data capture
“If approved, the BFX option could lift out from commissioning, Oz has chosen will bring tremendous benefits to the re-
production capacity to 330,000 tpa and to put its operations team into place now source industry and is pushing Oz’s op-
move Olympic Dam into the first quar- to ensure consistency throughout con- erational philosophy to prioritise its use.
tile of the cost curve, which is where we struction.
strive to be with all our assets at BHP. “It is about collecting the data and in-
Any investment however, must compete “It is important to get the operating cul- terpreting it to make our people and our
for capital against all other options, in- ture right, it is important that you own it
cluding returns to shareholders.” so they have been involved early,” Cole

The announcement is a shot-in-the-
arm for SA’s resources sector, handing
service providers incentive to return to
the State. BHP already has 1,600 con-
tractors on site at Olympic Dam as it
undertakes the largest smelter mainte-
nance project in the operation’s history.

Providing further impetus for the sec-
tor is Oz Minerals’ progress at Carrapa-
teena, where construction activity began
last year.

With its 79mt @ 1.8% copper, 0.7 g/t
gold and 8.5 g/t silver reserve, Carra-
pateena is the kind of discovery which
makes SA’s geology so enticing. Howev-
er, its location – 500m below the surface
and 160km from Port Augusta – is also
representative of the logistical challenge


The Tjati decline at Carrapateena was opened last year, signifying the start of construction

organisation more efficient,” he said. “If “It is a great project and the updated finding more projects with similar dynam-
you can get real-time coverage of equip- scoping study confirmed the potential it ics to West Musgrave.
ment performance you can then predict has got,” Cole said.
and optimise mine planning and the en- “Most value is created when you take
tire circuit.” The study, released on November 14, a project through from an idea to an op-
identified the potential to build a 10 mtpa, eration rather than just transferring value
The resource sector has been slower eight-year operation at Nebo-Babel, pro- around the industry,” he said. “So, we are
than many others to adopt “big data” and ducing 20-25,000 tpa nickel, 25-30,000 looking for more projects like that one
Oz has taken its lead from outside the tpa copper and 700-1,000 tpa cobalt for where we can take it through develop-
industry. a capex of $730-800 million. ment.”

“There are a lot of mining companies Oz has chosen to manage the PFS In late December, Oz entered into an
beginning to do interesting things but we and will earn 51% of the asset by spend- earn-in agreement with Red Metal Ltd
learn mostly from other sectors which ing $20 million over the next 18 months. over the junior’s Punt Hill IOCG project,
are already doing it, rather than other 50km south of Carrapateena.
miners.” “It needs to be 10-12 mtpa to underpin
the capex needed and but there are still a “Similar deals can work with Oz fund-
Oz’s commitment to Carrapateena and lot of resource not in the study. But we’re ing and leading the project but the junior
its expansion of Prominent Hill – under- looking at a base case of a 20-year mine retaining some ownership as we take it
ground rates are set to increase from 2.5 life,” Cole said. “There is a lot of work to through construction and development.
mtpa to 3.5-4 mtpa in coming years – re- be done but the next few years will show We are looking for more of them.”
flects the company’s bullish outlook for there is a lot more upside to come.”
copper. The company has received criti- And, despite the slowdown of the
cism in the past for remaining steadfastly Cole said the company was keen on State’s resources sector, SA will remain
committed to the red metal but Cole be- Oz’s major focus in that pursuit.
lieves the rest of the world is starting to Andrew Cole
catch up with Oz’s stance. “SA’s copper grades are among the
highest in the world,” Cole said. “Com-
“I think people’s sentiment is getting pared to porphyries in Latin America, the
more bullish, especially for base metals. quality of resource is excellent but the
The irony is that the supply/demand dy- challenge in SA is the cover.”
namic hasn’t changed since we first iden-
tified the opportunity four or five years With a state election looming, could
ago we are just getting closer to the pe- sovereign risk become an issue for Oz?
riod when copper supply can’t keep up
with demand.” “All sides of SA politics are pro-re-
sources and they all say the same things
That sentiment explains why Oz has so we don’t expect sovereign risk to
thrown its weight behind the Nebo-Babel change,” Cole said. “Resources is very
nickel-copper project in the remote West important to the State and everyone in it.
Musgrave province of Western Australia.
A former BHP Ltd asset, Nebo-Babel is “When we speak to foreign sharehold-
held in JV between Oz and junior explor- ers, sovereign risk doesn’t even come
er Cassini Resources Ltd. up in discussions. That speaks well for
South Australia.”

– Dominic Piper



Hexagon fully backs McIntosh

Testing of large flake graphite from the Hexagon believes it has special graphite material at McIntosh
McIntosh project has confirmed that it
can be concentrated to an ultra-high pu- market structure issue around graphite statements about the technical aspects
rity through a simple, low-cost process, concentrate, but we are seeing lithium of our product.”
according to Hexagon Resources Ltd. and cobalt prices push up not necessar-
ily from a market manipulation stockpil- Having just started to dip his toe into
Refined concentrate grades of 99.99% ing reason.” the graphite game, Rosenstreich is studi-
weight graphite were achieved via a pro- ously working through product develop-
prietary thermal purification technique Rosenstreich said lithium and cobalt’s ment opportunities by conducting a suite
conducted by Hexagon’s US-based tech- status as tradeable commodities made of test work.
nology partner NAmLabs. these markets easier to understand than
the segregated graphite space. “The first part of 2018 will see Hexa-
It was reported that McIntosh material gon carry on with some second stage
is “easily purified” as the impurities were “Graphite is more like a product, so we processing test work to help shape the
on the surface of the flake rather than are trying to be as systematic as pos- flow sheet,” Rosenstreich said.
trapped inside. sible in unpicking our opportunities and
differentiating ourselves in the market,” “We did a large float component there,
Hexagon managing director Mike Rosenstreich said. we want to preserve and sell that at a pre-
Rosenstreich told Paydirt the results mium. Our original flow sheet that came
were further verification of the potential “In terms of overcoming that lack of out in our May 2017 PFS completely ig-
revealed in earlier test work conducted knowledge or lack of familiarity with an nored all that. So, really the downstream
on material from McIntosh in the East industry that is resurgent or used in appli- test work has an important role feeding
Kimberley region of Western Australia. cation or technologies, our holding hands back into how we design stage one.”
with NAmLabs in US has been terrific;
“Essentially, we are proving that what they truly do have very long experience The sale of a non-core investment late
was a pretty ordinary product aimed at in the graphite and advanced materials last year delivered $1 million into Hexa-
the lithium-ion battery anode market is and battery materials spaces. That gives gon’s coffers and will see the company
now turning into a diverse range of prod- me confidence when I step out and make funded for further test work in the first
ucts; premium products at premium pric- part of 2018.
es,” he said. Mike Rosenstreich
In the meantime, Rosenstreich will be
Test work continues to give Hexagon on the front foot presenting McIntosh ma-
confidence its single bulk concentrate terial to potential off-takers.
from McIntosh is useable beyond the
lithium-ion battery market and into the “Now that we have set a platform for
higher-priced expandable graphite sec- the quality of our material across a range
tor and other large flake markets, includ- of attributes, I’d like to think that we are
ing the advanced technical applications in a position to close on some off-take
sector. agreements,” he said.

The market has taken some notice of “I think it is important to say that un-
the breakthroughs Hexagon is making, like lithium and cobalt or perhaps lead
however, the noise experienced in the and zinc, there’s a real courtship process
graphite sector during 2011 has dissi- involved in getting an [graphite] off-take.
pated and the task of promoting stories While some people can be dismissive
such as the one unfolding at McIntosh is of a MoU, I’d be hopeful of being able to
subsequently harder. sign some MoUs to start the courtship
While there is appreciation the time
Rosenstreich spends educating inves- – Mark Andrews
tors on the relevance of graphite and the
broader market metrics, there is still a
knowledge gap to be overcome, particu-
larly now that the limelight is firmly on the
importance of lithium and cobalt in the
battery sector.

“Graphite had sometime in the sun in
2011/12, and now it is back in the shad-
ow of lithium and cobalt. I think people
appreciate that we are making an effort
to get around and educate people on
graphite and how important it is and in
terms of trying to specifically standout
from our peers, I think test results like we
have produced achieve that,” Rosenstre-
ich said.

“2011 was a bit of an aberration for
graphite because of stockpiling or the



14 -15 March – Pan Pacific Perth


graphite cobalt


lithium rare earths

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POZ hunts ‘missing’ diamonds

POZ Minerals Ltd is using modern that are lighting up are quite startling
geophysics to locate the “miss-
ing diamonds” from its Blina dia- and we’re really excited about sam-
mond project in the Kimberley.
pling them.”
Blina, 120km west of Derby, has
passed through many hands over POZ holds four granted mining
the years, with the likes of De Beers,
Diamond Ventures Exploration Pty leases with two Native Title agree-
Ltd and Kimberley Diamonds Ltd all
having varying degrees of success ments for Blina, having negotiated
at the project.
terms with the Warrwa Combined
One of the key drawcards for ex-
plorers is the quality, clarity and col- and Bunuba groups prior to Christ-
our of the fancy yellow diamonds on
offer, as well as the large quantity mas.
of alluvial stones spread over the
tenements. “Because we’ve now got granted

However, few companies have mining licences, as soon as we
sustained long-term success at
the project because the diamonds find one or two samples that come
widely thought to be there are yet to be
located. together at high grade, we can go

POZ chairman Jim Richards wants straight into mining,” Richards said.
to change that and believes the latest
geophysics tools will help his company “It’s just a shallow alluvial opera-
better define targets which can then be
unlocked through bulk sampling and trial tion, very simple mining and recov-
ery of the shallow alluvial material.
“Modern geophysics is considerably
better than it was 10 years ago and I The mining is very straight forward;
think that’s helped the explorers quite a
bit,” Richards told Paydirt. “I’ve always A fancy yellow diamond it’s the geology which is key to un-
felt the latest generation diamond discov-
eries in Australia would be driven more locking this.”
by geophysics and geomorphological
models than they used to be by mineral- we’re looking for and could even lead to Trial mining equipment was being pur-
ogical and geological models.
us very, very quickly becoming a produc- chased or contracted at the time of print,
“The project is one of the very few con-
sistent sources of fancy yellow diamonds er,” he said. which will enable POZ to hit the ground
in the world, so that’s why people keep
coming back. If you can unlock the geo- “The only way to really test these tar- running once the wet season concludes
logical conundrum of the alluvial channel
there, then there is a mighty prize await- gets is to bulk sample them. Even drilling at the end of March.
ing you in terms of grade and potentially
tonnage, too.” doesn’t work particularly well because POZ has set an exploration target of

Historic grades for bulk samples within the alluvial material is the same as the 1.6-4.1 mct grading 2.3-4.1ct/cu m for
the alluvial channels at Blina range from
4-10.5ct per 100cu m. Diamonds within bedrock material and it’s virtually impos- Blina, with the upper end of that estimate
the channels are also usually quite shal-
low, within an average depth of 2-8m. sible to tell them apart in RAB drilling.” equating to a project valuation of more

POZ is targeting a series of high- Richards said three key milestones than $2 billion, based on current stone
grade trap sites at the project which new
ground-penetrating radar (GPR) geo- had helped Blina emerge from sleeper valuations.
physics have been able to successfully
define, unlike previous explorers. project in his company’s portfolio at the “You can potentially have some mas-

Richards said his company would start of last year to flagship asset for sive, massive paybacks if you can strike
sample the “very best and most prospec-
tive” of the anomalous targets. 2018. some of that kind of pay dirt,” Richards

“We intend to bulk sample and trial An extensive review of $30 million said. “In very, very quick time you can
mine these areas in 2018 and we think
that will give us some of the answers worth of historical data initially opened make huge amounts of money and that’s

up a number of prospective targets, with why POZ Minerals is in alluvial dia-

the company then using GPR geophys- monds.”

ics to pinpoint nine high-grade targets – Michael Washbourne
within the Terrace 5 paleochannel.

“Targets from the GPR survey actu-

ally correlate with the historical data, so

we’ve got quite a high degree of confi-

dence about it,” Richards said. “This lat-

est GPR data is repeatable, it ties in nice-

ly with the original data. The new targets

POZ Minerals Ltd is set to become the largest shareholder in proposed new float Ac-
celerate Resources Ltd.

Accelerate is due to list on the ASX this month, having acquired POZ’s Mt Monger
and Bulgera gold projects in Western Australia via a conditional sale agreement for an

POZ director Grant Mooney will be non-executive chairman of Accelerate, with Yaxi
Zhan (managing director), Andrew Haythorpe (executive director) and Terry Topping
(non-executive director) filling the other board positions.

“We’re going to have a significant core shareholding in what I think will be a very well
managed company with good connections into China for fundraising,” POZ chairman
Jim Richards said.

Accelerate will also have the Comet and Pilbara gold projects in WA, as well as the
Mt Read cobalt project in Tasmania, in its portfolio.


DRC out of the blue

Democratic Republic of Con- alongside copper, of which
go is considering more than
doubling royalties on cobalt, a DRC is Africa’s leading pro-
key ingredient in lithium-ion
batteries, under a new mining ducer. The royalty on base
code nearing parliamentary ap-
proval, Mines Minister Martin metals would increase to
Kabwelulu said.
3.5% under the revised code.
Nearly two-thirds of the
world’s cobalt comes from Mining companies op-
DRC. Demand for the metal
has surged due to expected erating in DRC, including
growth in the electric vehicle
sector, causing the price on Glencore and Randgold Re-
the LME to triple over the last
two years. sources Ltd, argue that the

A proposed revision to DRC’s proposed code, which would
2002 mining code, which was
approved by parliament’s lower also increase certain taxes
house late in 2017 and is now
being considered by the upper cham- and the State’s share in new
ber, would increase royalties across the
board and impose a 5% royalty on “stra- projects, would make invest-
tegic metals”.
ments in the sector unprofit-
Kabwelulu told Reuters in a text mes-
sage that the Government would con- able.

But the Government says

the proposed rates are lower

than in competitor nations
DRC is considering doubling royalties on cobalt such as neighbouring Zam-

bia and that the measure is

sider designating cobalt a strategic metal essential to boosting meagre public rev-

once the law had passed. He did not re- enues.

ply to a follow-up question asking how – Aaron Ross, Reuters
that determination would be made.

Under the existing code, cobalt is

charged a 2% royalty as a base metal


Past and present Conference
Proceedings and CD-Roms

are available for sale

For details or to download an
order form visit

Phone (+61) 8 9321 0355 or
email [email protected]

Jointly organised by:

Keith Yates & Associates Pty Ltd



Sentiment high in sands game

Iluka is on the cusp of restarting its Jacinth-Ambrosia operation in South Australia

Astrong finish to 2017 has those in the posed new mine will produce about Iluka was poised to make an an-
mineral sands game primed for a big 200,000 tpa synthetic rutile, 50,000 tpa nouncement about the official restart of

year ahead. zircon and 30,000 tpa rutile over an 8.5- mining activities at Jacinth-Ambrosia at

With forecast increases in zircon year mine life. the time of print, having put the operation

and rutile prices for at least the first six Key financial estimates include a NPV on care-and-maintenance in April 2016.

months of 2018, the imminent restart of of $390 million, IRR of 36% and payback It comes as forecasters predict further

Iluka Resources Ltd’s Jacinth-Ambrosia within two years. tightening of the zircon market over the

operation in South Australia appears well Pre-execute contracts have been next 12 months following lower than an-

timed. awarded and tendering for the balance of ticipated supply last year.

Iluka’s confidence in the market also construction contracts is reportedly well Rutile prices jumped 7.5% during the

extends to its decision to approve de- advanced. December quarter and are tipped to

velopment of the Cataby project, about “The project ensures that our custom- break the $US800/t barrier this quarter.

150km north of Perth. ers will have continuity of synthetic rutile However, ilmenite prices softened to-

Board approval for Cataby was granted supply and also delivers significant eco- wards the end of the last quarter and

upon Iluka securing take-or-pay offtake nomic benefits to two separate regions are widely expected to continue tracking

agreements for at least 175,000 tpa of in Western Australia – Dandaragan and sideways for at least the next six months.
“synthetic rutile, about 85% of the com-
Capel,” O’Leary said. Base Resources Ltd benefitted from
pany’s production capacity at the
SR2 kiln in Capel. the strengthening minerals sands

“Iluka has worked closely with The outlook from here prices, including titanium pigment,
customers to secure offtake agree- continues to be positive with record revenue achieved from
ments for a significant proportion and I think that’s reflected its Kwale mine in Kenya during the
of the synthetic rutile production December quarter.

It allowed the Tim Carstens-led

associated with the Cataby pro- in Iluka’s recent decision to company to slash a further $US21
ject,” Iluka managing director Tom million off its net debt, which now

O’Leary said. proceed with Cataby. stands at $US65.6 million, with the
“Entering into these agreements company on track to wipe clear the

serves to underpin returns from remainder by year’s end.

the project and is consistent with Iluka’s “The construction period – with works Kwale’s strong operational perfor-

disciplined approach to the allocation of estimated to cost $250-275 million – will mance also prompted Base to lift its

capital and our objective to create and employ up to 250 workers at its peak. production guidance for zircon (was

deliver shareholder value.” Once in operation, the project will sus- 33,000-28,000t, now 35,000-40,000t)

First production from Cataby is slated tain a workforce of approximately 160 and ilmenite (was 420,000-450,000t,

for Q2 2019. Studies indicate the pro- people.” now 450,000-480,000t).


“The outlook from here velopers such as Diatreme

continues to be positive and Resources Ltd, which last

I think that’s reflected in Ilu- month signed a co-opera-

ka’s recent decision to pro- tion and consulting services

ceed with Cataby,” Carstens agreement with China ENFI

said during Base’s Decem- Engineering Corporation over

ber quarterly conference call the completion of a DFS on

to investors and analysts. the Cyclone zircon project in

While the performance WA’s Eucla Basin.

of Kwale continues to turn ENFI will also assist Dia-

heads, Base’s acquisition of treme in sourcing project

the Toliara Sands project in equity investors and product

Madagascar in late Decem- offtakers, as well as aid the

ber caught a market already company’s ongoing negotia-

in festive mode by surprise. tions for potential project debt

Following a failed bid to funding.

acquire Toliara Sands in “The agreements with

2014, Base finally reached ENFI represent the final push

an agreement with World Ti- forward for our Cyclone pro-

tane Holdings Ltd to acquire ject, with the potential for first

an initial 85% interest, with production by the end of the

an option over the remaining decade in an environment of

15% of the asset exercisable rising prices and constrained

as the project advances to supply,” Diatreme chief exec-

mine development. utive Neil McIntyre said.

“Over the last few years “We now have the right

we’ve made no secret of the technical partner in place to

fact that we’ve been looking deliver the right project at the

for the right project to apply right time, securing increased

our capability to,” Carstens value for our loyal sharehold-

said. ers.”

“We looked at 44 unde- Tanzania-focused Stran-

veloped minerals sands as- dline Resources Ltd also

sets around the world, but took a major step towards

quite simply we kept coming bringing its Fungoni mineral
Base reported record revenue from its Kwale minerals sands sands project into operation
back to this one as the best mine in Kenya for the December quarter last month when it secured
undeveloped asset that was

available. a binding offtake agreement

“It took 18 months of coaxing and “There’s no question it’s a transforma- with China’s Hainan Wensheng High-

engagement to get ourselves to where tional acquisition for Base,” he said. Tech Materials Co Ltd for 100% of the

we’ve got to, but we’ve got the right asset “We’ve now positioned ourselves quite planned zircon-monazite production.

and we’re absolutely delighted about it.” differently as more than a single asset Based on the pricing formulae con-

Base raised $96 million last month to company across multiple jurisdictions.” tained in the agreement, zircon and mon-

fund the $US75 million initial considera- Confidence in the mineral sands sec- azite is expected to generate over 62% of

tion for Toliara Sands. tor beyond 2018 is shared by junior de- Fungoni’s total revenue. Off-take agree-

A concept study on the project will be- ments for the remaining chloride ilmenite

gin in the coming months, followed by a and rutile products are well advanced,

PFS and then a DFS. A decision to mine according to the company.

is tentatively slated for the second half of Strandline managing director Luke

next year, with one eye on first produc- Graham said locking down an off-take

tion by mid-2021 when a supply deficit deal with China’s largest integrated min-

in sulphate ilmenite opens up, Carstens eral sands processor was a “significant

said. milestone” for Fungoni.

“We’re re-thinking some aspects of it “The agreement provides a strong en-

and plugging some gaps in some other dorsement of the Fungoni project and the

areas,” Carstens said. premium quality of the zircon and mona-

“We’re not having to start from scratch, zite which will be produced over the life of

but we do need to make sure that we end the mine,” Graham said.

up with a project that has the Base stamp “Importantly, it also paves the way for

on it because we’re going to be operating Strandline to finalise project funding, en-

it for a bloody long time.” suring the Company remains on track to

Carstens boldly declared his company unlock the substantial value of what is

“could be operating in Madagascar for the first in its pipeline of exciting and pro-

60 years” due to the abundance of re- spective mineral sands assets.”

sources at Toliara Sands, coupled with a Tim Carstens – Michael Washbourne
stable regulatory regime in country.



Out of the

Breeding a deeper pool of female candidates in mining is a common goal the industry should be aim-
ing for but while the benefits a diverse workforce can deliver in the areas of safety, productivity and
efficiency are well known, the foresight in correcting the gender imbalance is seriously lacking.

BHP Ltd, the world’s largest miner, has Sharon Warburton told Paydirt. “As you mums, sisters or aunties are also the

set itself a target of achieving gender would expect we are watching what BHP people alongside us today who need just

balance at all levels of the company by and others are doing in this space and as much support, guidance and coach-

2025, ultimately changing conventions we should all share good ideas and sup- ing and we all have a role to play in doing

in an industry long-considered to be a port each other on this journey. We have that. I often catch myself saying we need

purely male domain. a long way to go and if we can share ide- more support for our daughters, but what

“BHP’s move is the most public in a re- as to make that change happen faster we about our partners, mums, etc? Thinking
cent trend towards greater gender equal- should do it. about that might encourage us to gener-

ity in the mining sector, as the ate change faster.”

industry begins to accept the If you look at the macro Holding non-executive roles
need to shed its male-domi- at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd,

nated image. According to the gender statistics, the rate Gold Road Resources Ltd and
Minerals Council of Australia of female participation across the ASX200 technology company
(MCA), females made up 13% NEXTDC, Warburton is in a

of Australia’s workforce in min- mining industry is in the teens and powerful position to influence
ing in 2017, compared to just one of the lowest [of any sector]. the conversation on women in
9% in 1999. mining.

However, one of Australian Warburton’s rise through the

mining’s most prominent direc- ranks started in a different era,

tors believes the rate of change should “I am concerned that the timeframes when conversations about gender diver-

be increased. for change are too long. We continue to sity and equality in the workforce were

“If you look at the macro gender sta- fall into that mindset where we think we rare. For more than 10 years, she cut a

tistics, the rate of female participation have generations to change and we can crust in strategy and CFO roles, which

across the mining industry is in the teens work on it. The goal is to get change for not only delivered valuable profession-

and one of the lowest [of any sector],” our daughters, but really our partners, al but important cultural experiences


“The goal is to get
change for our
daughters, but really
our partners, mums,
sisters or aunties
are also the people
alongside us today
who need just as much

support, guidance and
coaching and we all
have a role to play in
doing that.

across the world. And while opportuni- In addition to her ASX positions, Sharon Warburton also volunteers for a
ties for women in the resources sector number of organisations, including the Perth’s Children Hospital
are growing, the pathway to the top re-
mains the same as it has always been in “We can really challenge ourselves the resources and construction sectors,
Warburton’s eyes. in how that happens today. This doesn’t I overinvested and then invested some
mean you have to pack up the house and more in understanding operational risk.”
“Whether it is mining or any other in- disappear for a few years to get experi-
dustry, we still need to earn our stripes, ence but whether it is mining, manufac- Warburton’s enthusiasm to contribute
do the hard yards and learn the business turing, is really important more to the companies in which she has
whether that is spending time on site, to understand how that business works, been involved has broadened her skills
at underground operations or on inter- how it ticks and what drives it. It is partic- base beyond that of a typical account-
national projects,” she said. “My view is ularly important to get out on the ground ant, and her name is now at the top of
that on-the-job experience is pivotal; it is to understand the culture. recruiters’ shortlists when it comes to
what I have done to learn and grow and Australia’s best possible non-executive
I strongly encourage everyone else to do “I took every opportunity I could. In directors.

Following Nev Power’s retirement from Fortescue, Elizabeth Gaines has taken over as chief executive with
Julie Shuttleworth (pictured) appointed deputy chief executive



Fortescue Metals Group Ltd has been included in the inaugural 2018 Bloomberg
Gender-Equality Index (GEI).

Bloomberg’s GEI measures gender equality across gender equality across internal
company statistics, employee policies, external community support and engagement,
and gender-conscious product offerings.

The Bloomberg GEI follows on from the New York outfits Financial Services Gender
Equality Index (BFGEI) launched in 2016, with last year’s index including 52 firms head-
quartered in 17 countries and regions.

The 2018 sector-neutral GEI covered 24 countries and regions, including firms head-
quartered in Belgium, Chile, Greece, Ireland, Italy, Singapore and Taiwan for the first

Over 100 companies from a variety of sectors, including communications, consumer
staples, energy, financials, materials and technology, were represented in the index.

The companies included in the GEI were commended for their efforts to create work
environments that supported gender equality across a diverse range of industries, by
Bloomberg chairman Peter T. Grauer.

In total there was 104 companies in the index, with Fortescue among the likes of Bank
of America, BNP Paribas, L’Oreal, Estée Lauder, DuPont, National Australia Bank and
QBE Insurance.

“Their leadership sets an important example that will help all organisations innovate
and navigate the growing demand for diverse and inclusive workplaces,” Grauer said.

Highlights from the inaugural Bloomberg GEI:
• 2018 GEI members have a 26.2% representation on boards, compared to an average
of 12.7% in the ESG universe of coverage
• Women in GEI member firms hold 26% of senior leadership positions, 19% of execu-
tive officer roles, and earned 46% of promotions in 2016
• The percentage of executive level positions held by women in GEI member firms
increased 33.5% from fiscal year 2014 to 2016
• 67% of members evaluate all advertising and marketing content for gender biases
prior to publication
• 65% of members are signatories to or members of organisations advocating for gen-
der equality

Operating outside her comfort zone is where Warburton thrives

While Warburton’s “roll-up the sleeves ton is prepared for no two days being the I have never thought for a second that
and get your hands dirty” attitude is an same and knows there is no blueprint for being a stay-at-home full-time mum [was
admirable quality, she admits to having making it work. the best fit for me]. I entirely respect all
got the work/life balance wrong at one those that do, there is no right answer
stage. “With a bit of space I am a better par- because what works for Chloe and what
ent,” Warburton says. “The number one works for us together, I can guarantee
“Certainly there were times in my ca- focus is on my health and well-being and
reer where I ticked every box of being a
workaholic,” she said. [But], I think when Nev Power has been an inspiration for many at Fortescue, including Warburton
Chloe [her daughter] arrived and not hav-
ing planned for it, but ending up in the
situation I did on my own, meant going
into an extreme of resetting priorities,”
Warburton said.

“I really had to try and focus on making
it work. I realised that when I wasn’t well
or healthy or peaceful or balanced – and
it was through this phase my fitness rou-
tines were out of whack – how powerful
my own well-being is and the influence
on my family and friends. It took that ex-
treme to realise it and that is why I like
sharing my experiences.”

Through opening up about her own
situation, Warburton brings to the fore
some of the barriers women face when
giving consideration to a career in the
mining sector.

Managing a blossoming career with
being a mum to Chloe means Warbur-


will be different for every other family and community, flying the flag for the mining tralia’s mining workforce.
parent.” industry. It is not just my role, it is not just Workplace flexibility, paid paren-
our role here; everybody in our industry
Warburton’s ability to strike a produc- needs to do more.” tal schemes and specific programmes
tive work/life balance amid the huge de- aimed at encouraging women into mining
mands of being a full-time non-executive From individual companies to industry have been successful, but statistics such
director have seen her recognised as a bodies, there has been a concerted ef- as those from the MCA reveal that further
champion for women in business. fort to boost female participation in Aus- strides are needed.

Accolades such as NAB Women’s As the weight of work suggests, there is little time for Sharon Warburton to stand
Agenda Mentor of the Year 2015, finalist back and admire her achievements. But, no matter how uncomfortable she is shar-
for Westpac AFR 100 Women of Influ- ing her story with big audiences, Warburton understands her high profile positions as a
ence 2015 and the WA Telstra Business non-executive director at Fortescue Metals Group Ltd, Gold Road Resources Ltd and
Woman of the Year 2014 award reflect ASX200 technology company NEXTDC Ltd mean she carries the important tag of role
Warburton’s impact and profile in the model in the business sector.
male-dominated playgrounds of mining,
infrastructure and construction. Fortescue and Gold Road are standouts in their respective fields and with growth of
30% a year, NEXTDC is a company thriving, leaving Warburton feeling “blessed” by
Such awards bring Warburton into the her career.
public eye. While it is an uncomfortable
environment for her, she accepts it as a Her ambitions, supported by many “wonderful” sponsors and mentors, led her into
necessity to enhance her skills and pro- divisions of the male-dominated infrastructure, resources and construction sectors not
vide examples for the people looking up typically pursued by accountants.
to her.
While she can’t emphasise enough the importance of hard work and on-the-job expe-
“Many of our emerging leaders, partic- rience to get ahead in the mining sector, tapping into networks and mentors are invalu-
ularly our emerging female leaders, will able tools for people and an area the industry could do better in promoting, according
tell me of the inspiration I have provided to Warburton.
them. I am delighted to see many of my
peers provide good role models to our “I think we can do better as an industry in the informal mentoring space and create a
industry, but we need to do more,” War- culture where people can feel like they can do that. I think we do that well at Fortescue
burton said at the WA Mining Club in late and certainly Nev [Power] does that,” Warburton said.
Power is a leader admired by Warburton. She values observing Power’s day-to-day
“We heard [Evolution Mining Ltd chair- business interactions, along with the shared casual chats, extremely highly.
man] Jake Klein recently talk about the
growing role of activism, the rise of tech- And, while there are official mentoring programmes for people in the mining industry
nology companies and the challenges to take advantage of, Warburton said it was important for people to open their periph-
we have of attracting people to our in- eral vision to other opportunities.
dustry. We need to do more, all of us,
we need to be out in the schools and the “That intangible thing is so powerful and if we can get those informal relationships
happening across the industry, not just in your own company but with people you meet
within the industry, it is incredibly powerful,” she said.



Women made up 13% of Australia’s workforce in the mining sector in 2017

Backed by BHP and Downer EDI, the In FY2017, 1,000 more women joined than we have in the past 10,” BHP chief
MCA has been awarding scholarships for BHP, an increase of 2.9% in female rep- executive Andrew Mackenzie said last
Exceptional Women in Mining to attend resentation from the corresponding pe- year.
the company director’s course at the riod in 2006.
Australian Institute of Company Direc- “Gender balance is a challenge for
tors which has supported 15 women to Females now make up more than 20% all industries but if a mining company
complete the course since 2011. of BHP’s workforce, with females in lead- like ours can achieve this progress I am
ership positions across the entire busi- hopeful what can be achieved through-
BHP’s involvement is an extension of ness amounting to 18%. out society more broadly. We do not have
its own ambition to redress the gender a silver bullet, but we will step up to the
imbalance at all levels globally by 2025. “We have made more progress to- challenge.”
wards gender diversity in the last year
As the world’s largest mining company,
With a background as a chartered accountant, Warburton engaged in other areas of the the line-in-the-sand move to balance the
mining, infrastructure and construction sectors to progress in her career gender equation is a long time coming,
but a welcome one nonetheless.

Across the Pilbara at Fortescue, fe-
male board representation is as profound
as ever and resembles the company’s
desire to entertain and accept change to
improve all areas of its business.

Following Nev Power’s retirement, Eliz-
abeth Gaines was elected Fortescue’s
new chief executive with Julie Shuttle-
worth appointed deputy chief executive.

Fortescue, where Warburton is cur-
rently co-deputy chair, takes great pride
in its culture of continual change from
boardroom to mine site where it strives
to be industry leading.

“At Fortescue, we announced a move
to a core team, core leadership teams
which Elizabeth will lead a core team of
four people; two female and two male
and they will all play an incredibly power-
ful role,” she said.


“They are very visible

and leading the way in a

global mining sense and I

would be delighted if that

visibility encouraged other

organisations to consider

female leaders for really

big roles in our industry.

We know they are out

there, we know they can do

all those roles. That is re-

ally exciting, I think the cul-

ture will continue to grow

and change.”

Arguably, Warburton

is experiencing a career

high-point and is taking

the surplus of good energy

into making a big splash in

the various volunteer roles

fulfilled such as with the

Perth Children’s Hospital

Foundation and the Gold

Industry Group.

In addition, Warburton is

chairman of the Northern Greater female participation rates are being achieved in traditionally male roles, such as truck driving
Australia Infrastructure Fa-

cility, director and member,

finance and risk committee of Western saw her accomplish $2 billion worth of inspiration for emerging female leaders,

Power, member of the takeovers panel corporate financings for three compa- particularly in the mining sector.

and accepted the appointment by the nies, take the lead in the recruitment pro- “The book is pretty full at the moment,”

Australian Minister for Foreign Affairs cess for three chief executives and two she said. “2018 is shaping up as a year of

Hon Julie Bishop as the first business chief financial officers, and also set up a consolidation in my many roles, but in the

champion for the New Colombo Plan to $5 billion organisation from scratch. medium term I will continue to grow into

promote the value of regional study to Throw in 61 board and 45 committee my board career and in the mining and

students’ career prospects and in foster- meetings, 24 board briefings, 28 site vis- resources sector, I would love for that to

ing business engagement with the New its, 27 professional development training continue to be part of my portfolio.”

Colombo Plan. sessions, 15,000 board pages to review – Mark Andrews
Therefore, 2018 looks just as hectic for and over 20,000 media articles to scan

Warburton as the last 12 months which and it is plain to see why Warburton is an

Sharon Warburton leads a busy life, but a crucial ingredient in her success is the abil-
ity to maintain an even keel of health and wellbeing. For Warburton, swimming is an
outlet turned to for fitness and enjoyment. While many in the mining sector would em-
pathise with Warburton’s packed schedule, exercise can be difficult to squeeze in. How-
ever, Warburton says it is essential to keep health and wellbeing as a priority, whether
through exercise or any other means.

Below are some quick exercise routines for time-poor people in the mining sector, as
recommended by fitness expert Jayde Brown.

20 minute gym workout 20 minute home workout each squat before jumping to increase
Warm up 2 mins Warm up 2 minutes intensity)
Fast treadmill walk Leg swings 1 minute plank hold (add alternating leg
Workout 15 mins Arm circles raises to increase intensity)
10 x barbell squat & press 30 seconds jog on the spot Repeat
10 x seated row Workout 15 minutes Cool down 3 minutes
10 x crunches 10 x walking lunges (add an extra dip Stretch
1 minute treadmill sprint each step to increase intensity)
1 minute rest then repeat 15 x triceps dips
10 x lat pull down 20 x ab toe touches
10 x push-ups 20 x burpees
10 x burpee to step up (five each leg) 1 minute rest then repeat
1 minute rest then repeat 15 x push-ups
Cool down 3 minutes 20 x squat jumps (add an extra half dip



Dancing with the right partner

Amulti-billion dollar company teaming
with a junior explorer to build a gold
mine in remote Western Australia seems

like feel-good story.

And, in the instance of Gold Road Re-

sources Ltd and Gold Fields Ltd combin-

ing as equals in the Gruyere gold project,

it is.

Gold Road’s ability to shape Gruyere

into a world-class 6 moz gold project

in the Yamarna greenstone belt meant

when it came to securing finance to build

the $532 million mine, there was endless

interested parties knocking on the door.

However, as Gold Road managing di-

rector Ian Murray explained to Paydirt, it

was more than the cash Gold Fields had

which impressed most.

“Their cultures, values and behaviours

are what we expect at Gruyere, both

companies are aligned there and the

way to implement that is in the way we

recruit,” Murray said. Gold Road managing director Ian Murray at the Gruyere JV with

Gold Fields Australia’s management Gold Fields Australia chief executive Stuart Mathews

group vow to increase female participa-

tion in its workforce, with about 30% of dustry continued to make moves in the diversity,” Murray said.

the senior leadership team at its former right direction on the diversity front and “What [Gold Road] has benefitted from

Darlot mine women, also spoke to the Gold Road was certainly on board. at board level is having diversity – not

type of company Gold Road wanted to “At board level and within our leader- just from a gender perspective – but with

be aligned with. ship team we have a number of females people from different backgrounds com-

The benefits of a diverse management who are good role models for people ing in, which collectively means there is

team at Darlot was a strong emphasis on coming through the organisation. Obvi- more wisdom available to us and you end

safety and wellbeing, with the positive ously, you want to make sure you are up with optimal decision making.

culture created empowering more wom- recruiting the best people for your com- “We made the point when we were

en to stand up and share their thoughts pany and to do that you have to have an looking for a field assistant to write the

and views on site. open mind to look for the best people, advertisement in a way which encour-

Murray said the global resources in- meaning you have to take into account aged female applicants, not just males,

While the team at Gold Road Resources Ltd has been acknowledged for its feats at and we actually employed a female
Gruyere since discovery in 2013, cloud and telecommunications solutions com- which has worked very well.”
pany CorpCloud Pty Ltd also deserves recognition.
Diversity on the workforce isn’t sim-
The remoteness of Gruyere means logistics and communications were bound to be ply a gender conversation and given the
a challenge, however, CorpCloud’s “textbook example of pioneering” has enabled ef- global nature of the mining sector, great-
ficient connectivity at the mine, about 1,100km from Perth. er attempts are being made by compa-
nies to create an inclusive culture within
CorpCloud’s telecommunications at Gruyere are estimated to work four times faster their organisations.
than the NBN, which has proved to be a great enabler for people on site.
In respect to Gruyere, which is some
“What workers really want is their home environment wherever they are,” CorpCloud 1,100km from Perth and in an area of WA
chief executive Jonathan Matthews told Paydirt. bereft of mining activity, the JV can take
the lead in providing opportunities for the
“That basically means they need their wifi, high-speed connectivity to do exactly what indigenous people and potentially shape
they would do at home and that is exactly what you need to provide them when they generations to come within nearby com-
are away.” munities.

The issues faced by FIFO workers are known and the ability for companies to provide It is the first time the Yilka people, of
technology solutions for their employees to make them feel more connected to their which there is an estimated 600 spread
home environment is as important as ever and is something of an expectation now, from Yamarna to Mandurah, have en-
Matthews said. gaged with the private sector and late
last year eight people – either Yilka or
“Connectivity is everything on site,” he said. “It makes a huge difference. I was chat- connected to Yilka people – were em-
ting to a guy on site who previously had to change his uni subjects and degree simply ployed at the Gruyere village.
because the internet was so slow. The transformation when we completely upgraded
the wifi infrastructure was that, in essence, he was able to do a full uni degree at night. I As construction ramps up and the
think we’re coming to the stage now where absolutely everything on site becomes con- mine starts operating later this year/early
nected, from assets to every single vehicle operating.”


2019, more opportunities for Yilka Production from Gruyere is on track for later this year
people are expected.
through his leadership team and there- construction phase through to the mining
Recently, Downer EDI Ltd was fore flow onto the people around him,” and engineering guys coming and deliv-
selected as the mining services Murray said. ering the positive behaviours we expect.
provider at Gruyere and awarded We want any bad behaviours identified
a five-year, $400 million contract at “The beauty of starting a new opera- and rooted out at an early stage.”
the project. tion is having zero tolerance, making
sure people that join you are aware that – Mark Andrews
Competition for the Gruyere this is the way to operate right from the
contract was high, with Downer’s
“comprehensive community en-
gagement plan, which will include
local employment and business
opportunities, and procurement
sourcing from local businesses”
impressing the JV.

Downer will engage a workforce
of 170 people at the peak of activi-
ties, with the construction of mining
infrastructure starting in the March
quarter and mining in the Decem-
ber quarter.

First gold at Gruyere is expect-
ed later this year/early 2019, with
Gruyere general manager of op-
erations Steve Price chosen to see the
start of the 270,000 ozpa gold project

“Steve’s views are in-line with that of
both Gold Road and Gold Fields and he
is the guy that will recruit around him.
He will ensure those values permeate



It’s time for a pay correction

BDO’s latest edition of the Explorer and “comparable companies” however Firstly, most companies in their an-
Quarterly Cash Update highlighted
a 16% increase in total exploration ex- not many exploration and junior pro- nual financial statements’ remuneration
penditure, marking the largest exhibited
increase in a single quarter since March ducers actually disclose their incentive report state that NEDs are appropriately
policy positions. Our research indicates and fairly compensated for the time and
In addition, the proportion of explorers
with a net investment in capital expendi- very few employ the expertise of industry effort required to fulfil their obligations.
ture increased from 39% to 41%, show-
ing that exploration companies are not remuneration experts, raising the ques- The definition of “effort” however, can
only exploring but also pursuing invest-
ment opportunities to increase the scale tion: “Is best practice anecdotal based on be subjective and is often attributed to
of operations.
the limited information available on what performance, whereas “time” is a quan-
Given the buoyancy in the market, it
would not be unreasonable to see some other companies are doing?” tifiable element which can be measured.
marked increases in the levels of pay for
board and executive management in ex- This could be the reason why the re- In this regard, many small cap NEDs will
plorer and mid-cap producers. However,
a comparison of the results of the Min- muneration practices of many juniors are testify that not all of the time they dedi-
ing and Metals section of the BDO Top
900 Board and Executive Remuneration just that, “practice”. cate to companies they serve are formal-
Practices Report for 2017 and 2018 (to
be released March 2018), shows that BDO recently engaged with a prospec- ly recorded. The risk of delayed or incor-
median annual board fees for board
members were flat: tive client (NED) which had issued the rect advice can impact upon a small-cap

Annual board chairman fees relating to same performance-based equity to the company’s solvency and sustainability.
companies with a market capitalisation
of $25-125 million and $125-600 million board and executive management in As such, time attributed to travel, late
was $60,000 and $86,000 respectively,
while annual non-executive director order to ensure goal congruency in line night calls, urgent emails demanding im-
(NED) fees relating to companies with a
market capitalisation of $25-125 million with market practice. The annual board mediate action and the like, remains un-
and $125-600 million was $60,000 and
$86,000 respectively. fees were inconsequential in order to at- documented. While these activities are

It’s also pertinent to mention that de- tract and retain the right calibre of per- critical for a NED to perform the required
spite exploration expenditure showing
signs of recovery from the lows exhibited son. The prospective client highlighted obligations to the company, the time as-
in mid-2016, administration expenditure
(which includes remuneration), continues that investors had to understand that jun- pect can be difficult to quantify, highlight-
to lag behind. It can be argued that this
reflects a conscious effort by exploration iors operated differently to the bigger end ing the misalignment of pay and actual
companies to invest more of their cash
into the ground, which in turn should fa- of town, as junior company NEDs were time expended.
cilitate value creation and ultimately ben-
efit shareholders. very much involved in operational issues In many instances, NEDs are not being

While this cautious outlook is com- given the size of the business as com- appropriately remunerated, which can be
mendable, good governance and com-
mercial sense dictates that a competitive pared to more mature businesses. One attributed to affordability.
level of pay is critical to attract and retain
the best staff, ensuring that the affairs of of the issues with this scenario was the BDO’s approach determines an annual
the company are in safe and
capable hands. company was seeking NEDs to perform fixed fee cognisance of the individual,

This does not necessarily the role of executive directors. role, company and market, based on
mean that NEDs should be
paid more but rather, should With the increased exploration spend our extensive database and consulting
be paid in line with the “mar-
ket” and be commensurate across the industry, exploration compa- engagements in the sector. The annual
with their skills and the re-
quirements of the business. nies are actively increasing their efforts cash component, in addition to equity, is

Most annual reports make to look to equity capital markets as a used to bridge the difference of the short-
reference to “best practice”
source of financing. One of the first things fall between the cash component and the

investors look at before meeting with any total fee. The equity component of the

company, is the remuneration section in package does not increase the fee above

the annual report. It is part of the court- that of the market, but aligns it to market

ship to present a credible, defensible and based on the time, responsibilities and

sustainable remuneration approach, en- calibre of the incumbent; i.e. it is issued

suring investors have confidence in the in lieu of cash fees and contains no per-

potential “partnership” with the investee formance conditions. The approach sup-

company. ports NEDs in building their shareholding

How then, should companies pay in the companies they serve.

NEDs competitively, while still maintain- This type of responsible remuneration

ing investor confidence in their remu- management is supported by investors

neration policies? It is a question of un- as it mitigates the risk of directors leav-

derstanding “what” to pay (the amount), ing on account of inadequate pay. In ad-

“how” to pay it (the award), and the “rea- dition, it allows companies to employ the

son” (the outcome) for paying it. right calibre of individual required for the

business. Investors are not

Allan Feinberg is a thought averse to a company paying
leader in remuneration, pub- “top dollar” for their NEDs if
lished writer and is co-author the rationale and reasoning
of the Remuneration and Re- for doing so has been consid-
ward Series. He has worked ered, is defensible and can
across many organisations be substantiated.

and sectors that include min-

ing and metals, construction

and engineering and utilities.



Good nick the key

Poor health and well-being Western Australia are not attracting the potentially look at marketing the
is costing people a chance mass migration of interstate or overseas industry again.”
at lucrative opportunities in workers either, however, there will be a
the mining sector, according tipping point, Kent said. The industry has done well
to leading recruitment agency during the downturn to display
HAYS. “Until wages go up, there is not a lot initiative in reducing costs and
doing [former mining workers] them out boosting productivity and effi-
“One of the really basic things of the residential lifestyle in a capital city. ciencies across operations.
people aren’t doing is keeping There are a number of contributing fac-
themselves in a good, clean, tors, but ultimately production numbers Kent said with C1 costs, par-
healthy state,” HAYS national are at levels never seen before, the in- ticularly for the blue-chips, at re-
mining director Chris Kent told dustry might be a little bit more efficient, markably low levels, there was
Paydirt. but it is still unprecedented times,” he the possibility of loosening the
said. belt buckle to lure skilled people
“Obesity in the mining work- back into the mining sector.
force is a real issue. A lot of “Companies can therefore consider
the gear and equipment have bringing in talent at a lesser level than “I suspect they have a little
weight limits. It sounds trivial what’s required and put the onus back bit of wriggle room to accom-
but it is a genuine issue and a on miners to up-skill and train up to the modate wage growth without
lot of candidates do struggle to necessary level. Training is going to be becoming unproductive or un-
pass medicals because they really important for the broader industry profitable,” Kent said.
don’t keep themselves in good itself, while lobbyists and the like could
nick. A lot of the roles, while “With these skills shortages
they are remote and trade-related, they Chris Kent emerging, wage growth should
are not particularly active.”
start to follow this year. We
Greater attention has been paid by have had a lot of skills shortages start to
mining companies to the health and well- emerge and the natural progression from
being of their workforce, particularly with there should be wage growth. I would
issues faced by FIFO workers becoming expect to see some of those areas men-
more prevalent. tioned start to increase salary and there-
fore increase the number of permanent
Therefore, rosters are now equally workers as well.
as important as pay rates in attracting
skilled people to drive the next mining “I think some of the majors won’t have
boom. the luxury of being able to offer people
purely casual work because they won’t
“When you start to see multiple com- actually attract anyone so they will need
modities pick up at the same time it starts to look to secure some of their best talent
to mean there is a bit more competition on a permanent basis, which will push
for talent, pressure on wages. Probably wages as well; wage growth on an hourly
18 months ago when it first started to pick rate and the increase in prevalence of
up there were a lot of active job seekers, permanent opportunities are trends to
where now it is getting a little tighter and look for over the next 12 months.”
more difficult to find people. We have to
really turn all the stones over to try and – Mark Andrews
find people,” Kent said.
With blue skies appearing in the mining sector there is a skills shortage looming.
“We think rosters will play a big part According to the HAYS Job Report for January to June 2018, while there are opportu-
and it may see some big players recon- nities emerging, enticing workers back into the mining sector will be a challenge for the
sider rosters. Also, some flexibility in year ahead. Below are some areas of demand for skilled people in Australia’s leading
rosters and job shares to entice workers resources states of Western Australia, Queensland and South Australia.
who have commitments at home might
also be a factor,” Kent said. WA QLD SA
HD fitters Diesel fitters Mechanical fitters
The biggest areas of demand for skills Dump truck operators Dragline operators Boilermaker welders
in mining at the moment are in mobile Exploration geologists Excavator operators Trades assistants
plant maintenance trades and operators, Underground engineers Underground jumbo
exploration geologists plus technical Maintenance lanners operators
engineers and managers who were lost Boilermakers
when the sector busted. Electricians
CNC machinists
It is a shallow pool for recruiters looking Mechanical fitters
to attract such skills back to the sector.
As projects were built and the commod-
ity crunch came, jobs dried up forcing
people to seek employment outside the
resources sector.

Powerhouse mining states such as



Boom recruits needed

Crunch-time is nearing for companies matching candidates with companies amazing CFO. There is only the right one
to recruit the best available talent in
the mining sector. and vice-versa, however, simply cherry for your organisation and its contextual

Increased activity on the ASX and a picking from within this can often prove needs,” she said.
flourishing IPO space means the quality
of personnel from field to boardroom is to be costly. “Appointing the wrong person at an
quickly being drained.
Vermey said companies needed to executive level is not only painful, it has
And, following recent volatility in the
market, mining industry people are sav- clearly define the role to be filled and ex- significant financial implications. The av-
vier about which opportunities to pursue.
pand their search for the right fit beyond erage cost of a miss-hire at this level is
“High-level professionals know it is
much harder today to create a profit- their own networks. estimated as high as 27 times their sal-
able mining company and apply a
much higher level of caution and “They need to look for the best in the ary.”
scepticism when considering po-
sitions,” Abbi Vermey, director at market, not the best person they know. Ill-judged hiring decisions can have
search firm Acacia International,
told Paydirt. Companies need to recognise there is no devastating consequences for a mining

“Just as a company completes such thing as a universally great MD or company, particularly when played out
its due diligence on candidates,
so do the [candidates] on the com- in the public eye, yet some com-
pany. They assess the people in-
volved, not only on the board and panies still enter the recruitment
employees of the company but
who the shareholders and inves- process unprepared.
tors are. They look into the techni-
cal details of the project in incred- It is common for top level ex-
ible depth and they want actual
specifics of the actual position and ecutives to be head-hunted and
its deliverables.”
as the mining cycle improves,
Acacia International predomi-
nantly services the small to mid- the demand for standout candi-
cap resources companies on the
ASX; spaces where reputations dates is also on the up.
are well known.
“The preferred candidate
This can be an advantage when
in our most recent executive

search campaigns has had mul-

tiple offers on the table, which

is a steep change from where

we were a year ago. These in-

dividuals, particularly the young

technically qualified mining pro-

fessional with corporate expe-

rience, will be in high demand

as more companies continue

to IPO and/or acquire new pro-

jects,” Vermey said.

Vermey said there was real

appetite from boards to hire

Abbi Vermey young, first-time managing di-


rectors based on the assumption they’ll

join “hungry and driven”.

Therefore, when it comes to remunera-

tion the shift in demographic preference

is putting downward pressure on some of

the more seasoned managing directors’


“The market is proving much more

critical of large salary packages and they

instead want to see performance-based

remuneration. What we are seeing isn’t

necessarily asking for more, but for the

top talent who know they bring true val-

ue and who understand the market, it is

about designing remuneration packages

with large potential upside if they can de-

liver on the outcomes of the role,” Ver-

mey said.

Employee compensation right through

the mining sector will remain generous,

however, pay is not necessary the top

priority for jobseekers.

“Compensation is a much lower [prior-

ity] than what you’d expect for more sen-

ior careered professionals. People love

to be part of a story, particularly in min-

ing where they love to build things and

take on new challenges. They often take

a more holistic view of what they want to Lachlan Spicer

achieve in their career and compensa-

tion is just one part of it, and whilst it’s tion from all parts of the world and can- social media presence and this can’t be

important, it’s rarely the number one driv- didates can’t afford to be passive, they ignored. In 2018 there is very little priva-

er,” Globe 24-7 chief executive Lachlan need to be proactive to help them stand cy and often there is no context to what

Spicer told Paydirt. out,” Spicer said. appears on social media platforms,” he

“There are quite a few people who “As a technical person in the sector, I’d said.

have been sitting on the sidelines and also be looking at cross-commodity op- “That context gets lost and there is no

as they re-enter the workforce, they portunities and looking to enhance skills chance for explanations. People have to

can expect to see lower base salaries in commodities such as vanadium, lithi- get their digital footprints in order, wheth-

“but complimented with renewed and um, cobalt and the like.” er it is Facebook, Linkedin; personal ac-

refocused short term incentive counts must be maintained and

programmes. Employers have you have to consider how you

restructured compensation pro- Appointing the wrong want to be viewed in the market.”
grammes over the past couple of person at an executive Vermey agreed with Spicer
years to be more aligned towards
and said social media platforms

a performance-based approach level is not only painful, it has were just as important for those
where both parties share in the at executive level to maintain.
success of the company’s per- significant financial implications.
“We are living in a very trans-

formance.” The average cost of a miss-hire parent world; we are in a small
The upswing in market senti- industry,” she said. “Honesty
at this level is estimated as high is always the best policy when
ment inevitably means a loom-

ing skills shortage in the mining as 27 times their salary. it comes to questions asked of
sector and companies will need your experience, or reasons you

to compete hard to attract the de- left an organisation. Too often

sired work-base. than not, executives advise us

However, this does not mean candi- Brushing up on new age commodities on information we know from our con-

dates can expect opportunities to be de- that are driving the battery market and tacts and networks isn’t entirely true. In

livered on a silver platter. coming to realise the influence social the same vein, social media is starting

“There is still a massive amount of media can have on your profile, particu- to play an increased role, particularly in

people applying for jobs. A polished CV larly as companies are starting to place the small to mid-cap market. Take time

remains a minimum requirement for can- greater emphasis on culture and diver- to review your presence on platforms like

didates and when applying for a role, a sity in the workplace, should be dutifully LinkedIn and Twitter particularly, and en-

simple thing like a phone call to the re- considered by candidates aspiring for sure they reflect positively on your can-

cruiter asking some insightful questions careers in mining, Spicer said. didacy.”

about the role and company also helps “It is not just about what a candidate – Mark Andrews
candidates stand out. There is easily says in their CV or what their references

100-plus people applying for one posi- say, companies easily see a candidate’s



Educators on point

Educational institutions have responded to a looming skills shortage in the mining industry

Australia’s leading education institu- mining engineers in 2018 and enrolment globally competitive pricing.”
tions have jumped on the front foot to
ensure the mining sector’s looming skills in mining engineering at the University of Klein’s concerns were echoed by In-
shortage is not as marked as some are
predicting. New South Wales in 2017 was also just dependence Group NL managing direc-

Job cuts during the recent downturn eight, its lowest level in 40 years. tor Peter Bradford, a qualified metallur-
had a negative impact on enrolments
for specialist professions such “We also need governments to invest gist, who pointed to the huge differential
as engineers and metallurgists,
prompting some of the indus- in infrastructure in regional Australia and between current second-year (60) and
try’s leading figures to express
their concerns. to provide access to reliable power at fourth-year (230) enrolments in mining

Speaking at his company’s engineering degrees across
AGM in November, Evolution
Mining Ltd chairman Jake Klein Australia.
urged his peers to come up with
ideas to make mining attractive “That’s a lot of pain coming
for a younger generation.
for the industry,” Bradford said.
“We need to compete with the
allure of the likes of Facebook “Mining is just as sexy as Goog-
and Google to attract and re-
tain the best and brightest talent le or Facebook; let’s take that
back to our industry,” Klein said.
message to high schools. Let’s
“It should be of great concern
that The University of Western think about how we can use in-
Australia is forecasting only
eight students will graduate as novation to get our sexy back.”

WA School of Mines direc-

tor Prof Sam Spearing said the

Curtin University-backed institu-

tion has been concerned about

the situation for some time.

“The approximate situation is

there is going to be a reasona-

ble number graduating this year,

it’s going to plummet next year

Incentives are being offered to boost the and just continue going down,”

number of skilled graduates Spearing told Paydirt.


“I think by about 2020 we’re going to South Metropolitan TAFE recently opened an expanded training facility
have well less than 100 graduating, down at its Munster campus
from over 200 at the moment across
Australia.” for young professionals with mining and ers at the ready, with the second stage
geotechnical engineering qualifications. of an expanded training facility recently
However, the declining number of opening at South Metropolitan TAFE in
graduates may not be as barren as per- Spearing said attracting young peo- Munster.
ceived by some. ple into the mining game was also about
showing how diverse the roles can be. Already home to the Australian Cen-
UWA, which is ranked seventh in the tre for Energy and Process Training
world for its mining engineering course, “We don’t just have surface and under- (ACEPT), the campus houses a state-of-
has noted an uptick in enrolments for ground mining; there’s a lot of aspects of the-art training facility which aligns itself
2018 after experiencing a “dip” in student mine operation, mine planning, drilling with industry practice and the working
intakes during the downturn. and blasting and logistics,” he said. demands of the mining, chemical pro-
cessing and oil and gas industries.
Murdoch University also reported an “It’s a very broad and interesting field
uplift in enrolments in both the under- and I think people who get into the mining Two new buildings on the campus con-
graduate chemical engineering and post- industry can very quickly find a niche that tain specialist labs for electrical engineer-
graduate extractive metallurgy courses actually interests them and they will often ing, CAD computers and mechatronics,
last year. stick with it. If you don’t like an aspect of as well as simulation spaces such as a
the mining, you can certainly find some- process plant control room.
WASM, UWA and Murdoch are among thing else because it is so broad-based.”
those implementing new initiatives in a South Metropolitan TAFE managing
bid to boost enrolments in mining-related The lure of work and life in the big city director Terry Durant said one of the
degrees. is also hurting the industry, with many school’s key focuses was developing
country kids seemingly not keen to follow technical skills in process plant opera-
Spearing said Kalgoorlie-based in their parents’ footsteps, according to tions, along with automation and calibra-
WASM was working with high schools in Spearing. tion.
the region and holding regular education
seminars designed to change “negative” “I think it’s actually very unfortunate “These skills are especially important
perceptions about the mining industry. that we get very few, for example, Gold- now that the sector has moved beyond
fields kids coming through the WASM the construction phase and is increasing
“We’ve been trying to get the industry programme and I think some of that its focus on automated operations,” Du-
more involved in showing the positive is due to the fact we haven’t focused rant said.
side because there is this public percep- enough on it,” he said.
tion that mining is all about poor environ- “Students who complete the Certifi-
mental housekeeping, poor sustainability “We have often assumed that because cate II in Process Operations transition
and just unpleasant work, which couldn’t their parents or guardians are in the min- into the sector easily. Companies are
be further from the truth,” he said. ing industry, they will be able to talk to continually looking for employees with
them about it but what we’re finding is resources experience as process opera-
“The mining industry has changed very that when they come back from work tors, combined with the necessary be-
dramatically and is now going more and they tend to talk about other things. havioural skills.
more high-tech, big data, less manual
work and a lot more skills-based, but we “We’re beginning to engage more with “While companies often prefer candi-
just can’t attract the right people into the the schools, bringing students through dates with resources experience, South
industry in anything, never mind in ter- our chemistry labs and talking to them Metropolitan TAFE also offers training for
tiary education to do degrees. The cream about the opportunities at WASM. We’ve people wishing to enter the mining and
of the crop just isn’t coming through to got a lot further to go, but I think we are oil gas industries from other sectors.”
any of the occupations.” making progress.”
– Michael Washbourne
WASM held two camps in Kalgoorlie TAFE WA is another institution with a
last semester, one for 33 girls aged 15- potential number of future mine work-
16 and one for eight indigenous students
from the Clontarf Academy, to encour-
age equality and gender diversity in en-

In an effort to boost engineering enrol-
ments, UWA is offering early placements
for Year 12 students with predicted
ATAR scores of 92 and above, as well as
$25,000 scholarships for eligible candi-

UWA’s new multi-million dollar EZONE
infrastructure hub, backed by BHP Ltd
and Woodside Energy Ltd, is expected
to be up and running by early 2020 and
will offer a “revolutionary new teaching,
learning, research and engagement
space” for future students.

The University of Queensland – in col-
laboration with the Queensland Resourc-
es Council – recently began offering its
students work placement opportunities in
response to forecast increased demand


2017 IPOs

All systems go
for IPOs

Miners and explorers will look back on there appears to be no end to the interest Jupiter non-executive chairman Brain
2017 with fondness given prevailing in battery minerals such as cobalt and Gilbertson is accustomed to big deals,
positive winds for the sector and there is lithium. having led the first primary listing of an
no surer sign of the improved appetite of Indian company on the LSE – Vedanta
investors than a willingness to back fresh- “There are a fair few [IPOs] in the bar- Resources plc – in the second largest
faced mining stocks. rel and it looks like a fairly welcoming IPO on the London exchange in 2003,
market; the gold price remaining robust while his stint as chief executive of BHP
It was a remarkable turnaround in for- always helps,” Widdup said. Billiton Ltd holds him in good stead to pull
tunes for mining companies listing on the all the necessary strings when required.
ASX in 2017, with almost 30 companies “There is so much lead time on an IPO,
hitting the bourse, collectively raising so if you start preparing it now you really Widdup said he expected IPOs to fare
$170 million. don’t know what conditions you will be well for the best part of 2018, but was un-
launching into. But, if you are just putting sure about the timing of Jupiter’s ambi-
While those numbers are some way off the crosses on the T’s and dots on the I’s, tions.
the 2007 highs, which saw an unrivalled you will be rubbing your hands together.
134 new listings on the ASX, the class of So, for those in the barrel it looks tre- “I don’t think we are far enough down
2017 IPOs was much greater than in the mendous. It will also encourage people the track for that yet and on 2017 num-
previous two years. to look for IPO deals as well.” bers that would drain the entire IPO li-
quidity at once and I suspect it is prob-
In 2016, nine genuine resources IPOs One company hoping to capitalise on ably a little early in the cycle for that,” he
listed for a total of $55 million raised a refreshed investment community is said.
compared with just two IPOs in 2015 at- South Africa-focused manganese pro-
tracting a grand total of $5 million. ducer Jupiter Mines Ltd, which is looking A successful IPO would potentially see
to re-list on the ASX after a three-year Jupiter hit the bourse as a $1 billion entity
“There was a lot more liquidity [in 2017] hiatus. attracting a “different breed of investors”
than I would have expected,” Lion Se- than the ones typically supportive of an
lection Group Ltd’s Hedley Widdup told Hartleys Ltd, Foster Stockbroking Pty ASX junior explorer, Widdup said.
Paydirt. Ltd and Aitken Murray Capital Partners
have been engaged to organise Jupiter’s “So, you might find it doesn’t have too
“That pool is getting bigger and in- return to the ASX, via a reported IPO of much of an impact on the market,” he
creasing more and more rapidly than I $150 million. said. “
would have thought, so it really bodes
well for 2018 for people wanting to raise Upcoming ASX floats in 2018 “Big deals such as these can some-
money in mining, particularly for those times bring about a bit of toffee behav-
fresh companies coming through.” Accelerate Resources Ltd (ASX: AX8) iour. I don’t think it will be the case with
this one, it will probably be more of a
At the time of print, there were a hand- Black Cat Syndicate Ltd (ASX:BC8) case of the liquidity needing to be there
ful of companies at the starting gate, with before it comes along.”
conditions in the mining sector just as Blackearth Minerals NL (ASX: BEM)
conducive to new floats as they were last Investors will know what to expect from
year. Podium Minerals Ltd (ASX: POD) Jupiter, which reported a $33 million
share in profits from the 3 mtpa Tshipi
Gold continues to perform strongly, as Raptor Resources Ltd (ASX: RPL) manganese mine, South Africa, for the
do the likes of zinc, nickel and tin, while


half-year ended in December. Cygnus Gold Ltd (ASX:CY5)
This is in contrast to the typical explo-
Cygnus Gold Ltd was one of the first new resources listing on the ASX this year.
ration-focused IPOs synonymous with Backed by Gold Road Resources Ltd and major cornerstone investors Resource
the ASX. Capital Fund VI L.P and Southern Cross Capital, Cygnus plans to unlock the gold po-
tential in Western Australia’s Wheatbelt region.
Further growth in the grassroots IPO With companies tending to focus on WA’s Goldfields, the Wheatbelt has been devoid
sector this year will reflect the continu- of gold exploration and Cygnus believes it has secured a highly prospective package in
ation of an upward trajectory in market the south-west of the Yilgarn Craton.
conditions and investor enthusiasm to Cygnus’ priority is the Stanley project, where drilling was scheduled to start soon
back the unknowns after listing.
Cygnus is led by non-executive chairman Michael Bohm, James Merrillees (man-
“We watch IPO volumes because for aging director), Simon Jackson (non-executive director), Amanda Buckingham (non-
someone to invest in an IPO there is no executive director) and Oliver Kreuzer (non-executive director).
track record to speak of. The prospectus In all, Cygnus has seven gold projects in the Wheatbelt, with clearance to start drill-
that comes out doesn’t really tell you very ing the high-grade Bottleneck prospect and others at the Stanley project immediately.
much, it tells you everything that ASIC
wants to know, but it is not very useful BDO reported the single biggest quar- companies planning transactions for the
for investors wanting to understand a bit terly increase in exploration expenditure March 2018 quarter. Barring a shock in
more about the project and the people since 2014 was achieved for September equity capital markets, we expect a posi-
and everything else,” Widdup said. quarter 2017, with a 16% increase – $338 tive start to calendar 2018,” BDO, part-
million to $393 million – being spent by ner, Adam Myers said.
“If you are faced with an IPO or some- ASX explorers.
thing similar where you can assess it “The number of ASX listed explora-
online by yourself, in a weak market you At the time BDO was compiling the tion companies to lodge Appendix 5Bs
probably buy what exists rather than take report, nine IPOs alone were being con- increased for only the second time since
the risk on them getting the funding and ducted leading into the festive season. the September quarter of 2014. This sup-
everything. However, when the market ports our theory that the number of ex-
improves lots more people are prepared “Traditionally, the December quarter ploration companies exiting the market is
to buy them, so it is a wonderful bellweth- sees a decrease in activity. However, we plateauing and that the resources sector
er to the sector.” have been involved in a number of trans- is entering an upward trajectory.”
actions during the quarter and anticipate
If BDO’s report on the cash position of a more robust December compared – Mark Andrews
Australian-listed explorers for the Sep- to recent years. We are also aware of
tember 2017 quarter is any indication,
then prospective explorers and start-ups
can look forward to banking on further
positive sentiment in the sector in 2018.

Investors found heart for new ASX exploration floats in 2017

2017 IPOs

AIC Resources Ltd (ASX: A1C) Share price range since listing: [email protected]; Web: www.bryah.
Comment: With Centamin plc founder Address: Level 3, 24 Outram St, West Key personnel: Neil Marston (managing
Josef El-Raghy and Tanami Gold NL di- Perth WA 6005 Tel: +61 89425 5217; director)
rector Brett Montgomery in the key po- Email: admin@blackstoneminerals.
sitions, AIC has plenty of experience to; Web: www.blackstoneminerals. Carawine Resources Ltd
lean on while exploring its Marymia gold (ASX: CWX)
project in the eastern Gascoyne region Key personnel: Scott Williamson (man-
of WA. The project comprises 21 ex- aging director), Andrew Radonjic (direc- Comment: see page 47
ploration licences covering 3,160sq km. tor), Hamish Halliday (chairman) Listing date: December 14
AIC undertook magnetic and airborne IPO amount: $7 million
geophysical surveys at Marymia prior Bryah Resources Ltd (ASX: BYH) Share price range since listing: 20-27c
to listing and plans to spend funds from Address: Level 2, 41-47 Colin St, West
the IPO on a broad-scale topographic Comment: Discovery of the district’s Perth, WA 6005; Tel: +61 8 6555 8777;
imagery survey and soil geochemistry in next significant VMS deposit is the ra- Email: [email protected]; Web:
the first year of operation before spend- tionale behind Bryah Resources’ floating
ing plus-$2 million on drilling in its sec- of a tenement package in its namesake Key personnel: David Boyd (managing
ond year. basin in WA. The Bryah Basin had al- director)
Listing date: December 1 ready revealed riches at DeGrussa and
IPO amount: $10 million Monty prior to the Bryah asset suite be- Cobalt Blue Holdings Ltd
Share price range since listing: ing built and Auris Minerals Ltd’s discov- (ASX: COB)
21c-25c ery of the Wodger prospect early in 2017
Address: 431-435 Roberts Road, Subi- gave the company added impetus dur- Comment: One of the first movers in co-
aco, WA; Tel: +61 8 6269 0110; Email: ing its IPO campaign. Prior to listing, the balt early last year, Cobalt Blue wasted
[email protected]; Web: www. company spent more than $150,000 on no time upgrading the resource at its flying aeromagnetics across its 713.8sq Thackaringa project, about 23km south-
Key personnel: Josef El-Raghy (chair- km land package in the region as it looks west of Broken Hill in New South Wales,
man), Brett Montgomery (managing di- to focus in on discrete VMS orebod- to JORC 2012 reporting standards. A
rector) ies. In late November, UTS Geophysics scoping study which indicated the com-
launched a heli-borne VTEM survey over pany had a “technically and economi-
Alderan Resources Ltd (ASX: AL8) a 300sq km area with results expected cally justifiable” asset on its hands soon
last month. followed, paving the way for immediate
Comment: see page 50 Listing date: October 17 progression to a PFS. At the time of print,
Listing date: June 9 IPO amount: $5 million Cobalt Blue had treated 40kg of concen-
IPO amount: $8.5 million Share price range since listing: trate (out of 100kg) through a calcine
Share price range since listing: 16-25c furnace and 8kg of calcine (out of 80kg)
31c-$2.40 Address: 85 Havelock St, West Perth, through a leach circuit as part of a metal-
Address: Ground Floor, 16 Ord Street, WA 6005; Tel: +61 89321 0001; Email: lurgical test work programme to be fed
West Perth, WA, 6005; Tel: +61 8 9482
0560; Email: info@alderanresources. Bryah Resources has etched out a sizeable chunk of VMS-prospective; Web: www.alderanresources. ground in the Bryah Basin
Key personnel: Nicolaus Heinen (chair-
man), Christopher Wanless (executive di-
rector), Frank Hegner (executive director)

Ardea Resources Ltd (ASX: ARL)

Comment: see page 49
Listing date: February 9
IPO amount: $5.1 million
Share price range since listing:
Address: Suite 2, 45 Ord Street, West
Perth, WA, 6005; Tel: +61 8 6500 9200;
Email: [email protected];
Key personnel: Katina Law (non-exec-
utive chair), Matthew Painter (managing
director), Ian Buchhorn (executive direc-

Blackstone Minerals Ltd

Comment: see page 53
Listing date: January 23
IPO amount: $3.5 million


E2 Metals Ltd (ASX: E2M)

Comment: Few companies have floated

on the back of a New Zealand-based

project in recent years, but E2 was deter-

mined to buck the trend when it arrived

on the bourse in April after successfully

completing an IPO which was more than

three years in the making. However,

since listing the company has focused

mostly on the Mt Hope gold project in

New South Wales while undertaking a

series of community and stakeholder

engagement programmes ahead of the

proposed first drilling campaign at the

Neavesville gold project on New Zea-

land’s North Island. Weather permitting,

drilling at Neavesville was planned for

late last year but the company had not

reported any news on that front at the

Cobalt Blue is one of several new listings banking on an EV revolution time of print. E2 is also planning to follow
up on several high-priority drill targets at

into the PFS, which is due in mid-2018. the wider Küllstedt project. Mt Hope following a successful first cam-
The company reported elemental sul-
phur recoveries from the calcine furnace Listing date: January 20 paign last year which returned a head-
graded 97.5% sulphur with no cobalt IPO amount: $5.2 million
losses, and leach recoveries typically Share price range since listing: line intercept of 5m @ 2.79 g/t gold from
ranging from about 70% to 96% cobalt, 7.5-22.5c
depending on the conditions employed. 58m, including 1m @ 10.55 g/t from 59m.
Cobalt Blue recently topped up its cash Address: 303 Collins St, Melbourne,
balance with $2.5 million from a place- Victoria 3000; Tel: +61 3 9678 9104; Listing date: April 19
ment to enable an additional 500–600kg Email: N/A; Web: www.davenportre- IPO amount: $6 million
of cobalt ore to be tested in the current Share price range since listing: 10-17c
PFS programme. Address: Level 4, 100 Albert Road,
Listing date: February 2 Key personnel: Chris Bain (managing South Melbourne, Victoria, 3205; Tel:
IPO amount: $10 million director), Patrick McManus (chairman) +61 3 9639 7137; Email: info@e2metals.; Web:

Key personnel: Melanie Ley-
din (chair), Simon Peters (man-

aging director)

Share price range since list- First Cobalt Corp (ASX:
ing: 14-89c FCC)
Address: Level 2, 66 Hunter

Street, Sydney, NSW, 2000; Tel: Comment: The TSXV-listed
+61 2 9966 5629; Email: info@ company arrived on the Aus-; Web:
tralian bourse following its
Key personnel: Robert Biancar- merger with Cobalt One in No-
vember. Its sole focus is the
di (independent chairman), Joe
Kaderavek (chief executive) Greater cobalt project in On-
tario, Canada, which has a long

history of cobalt production, an

Davenport Resources (ASX: existing mill and North Ameri-

DAV) ca’s only permitted cobalt refin-

Comment: One of the more ery. The company now controls
unique floats of 2017, Davenport
is building its business on the more than 10,000ha of land in
back of 659sq km of tenure in the
South Harz potash basin in Ger- the district and in December
many. Davenport’s licenses sur-
round five historic mines which raised a further $US25 million
produced 181mt of potash up
until 1989. The company spent for exploration activities.
much of 2017 reviewing the avail-
able historical data which it esti- Listing date: November 30
mates to be worth €100 million by IPO amount: N/A
today’s standards. It has defined Share price range since list-
a resource of 355.7mt @ 16.1% ing: $1.18-1.50
K2O at the Ebeleben project and Address: 885 West Georgia
288mt @ 10-14% K2O at the Street, Vancouver, BC, Can-
Mühlhausen project, both part of
ada, V6C3E8; Tel: +11 1 416
900 3891; Email: info@first-; Web: www.firstco-

Davenport Resources is focused on historical potash Key personnel: Trent Mell
deposits in central Germany (chief executive)


2017 IPOs

Key personnel: Rhod Grivas (non-ex-
ecutive chairman), Tim Putt (executive

director and chief executive)

Kirkland Lake Gold Ltd (ASX: KLA)

Comment: The largest new resources

listing on the ASX in 2017, Kirkland

Lake chose to list CDIs in Australia as a

complement to its North American list-

ings because of its growing interests in

Australia. The company owns the Fos-

terville gold mine near Bendigo in Victo-

ria where it plans to produce upward of

500,000oz gold in 2018. It also controls

the Cosmo gold mine (currently on care-

and-maintenance) in Northern Territory

and has a foothold in the intriguing Pil-

bara conglomerate story thanks to series

of investments in the juniors playing in

that space, including Novo Resources

Corp. Group production of 595,000oz

gold for 2017 helped it reach a market

cap of $US3.4 billion by the end of the

year. With Fosterville’s high-grade Swan

zone (281,000t @ 58.8 g/t for 532,000oz)

set to come on-stream this year, Kirkland

Small-scale mining operations are under way at Freehill Mining’s Yerbas Lake expects production to rise further
Buenas magnetite sands project in Chile in 2018. According to chief executive
Tony Makuch, the company’s ASX listing

Freehill Mining Ltd (ASX: FHS) Golden Mile Resources Ltd (ASX: would reinforce its local credentials.
Comment: The company listed on the G88) “The ASX listing reflects our company’s
long-term commitment to Australia as

ASX following the acquisition of Freehill Comment: see page 52 one of our two core markets and pro-

Investments Pty Ltd and its associated Listing date: June 19 vides existing and potential shareholders

mining assets in Chile, including the Ye- IPO amount: $4.5 million based in the country, including our 470

rbas Buenas magnetite sands project. Share price range since listing: employees, with access to an Australian-

Well-travelled mining executive Frank 12c-$1.28 based trading platform,” he said.

Terranova succeeded Stephen Chaplin Address: 1B/205-207 Johnson St, Fitz- Listing date: November 30

as chairman in December as the com- roy, Victoria, 3065; Tel: +61 3 9191 0135; IPO amount: N/A

pany started ramping up small-scale Email: [email protected]. Share price range since listing:

mining operations at Yerbas Buenas. au; Web: www.goldenmileresources. $21-25

Freehill was expecting to produce more Address: 11-19 Bank Place, Melbourne,

than 15,000t of saleable plus-58% iron

product in December following the suc-

cessful upgrade of the magnet plant and

the implementation of a tertiary crushing

circuit. The company was also seeking

to raise $2.5 million via various convert-

ible note subscription agreements at the

time of print, with an ability to pocket an

additional $US1.25 million, to finalise the

installation of the tertiary crusher, as well

as undertake modifications to the exist-

ing primary and secondary crushers.

Listing date: January 16

IPO amount: $4.02 million

Share price range since listing:


Address: 88 Miller Street, West Mel-

bourne, Victoria, 3003; Tel: +61 3 8602

1700; Email: jfekete@freehillmining.

com; Web:

Key personnel: Frank Terranova (chair- Kirkland executives Tony Makuch and Ian Holland ring the bell on the
man), Paul Davies (finance director),

Juan Enrique Dagach (general manager) company’s first day of ASX trading


Victoria 3000  Tel: +1 416 840 7884; Magmatic listed on the back of acquiring a suite of former Gold Fields
Email: [email protected]; Web: www.kl- exploration projects in New South Wales
Key personnel: Tony Makuch (chief ex- com; Web: www.magmaticresources. increasing three-fold and peaking at 44c/
ecutive), John Landmark (vice president com share in early January. Marquee is yet to
exploration – Australia), Ian Holland (vice Key personnel: David Richardson announce its plans to explore the newest
president, Australian operations) (managing director), David Berrie (non- projects in its portfolio.
executive chairman), Malcolm Norris Listing date: March 15
Lustrum Minerals Ltd (ASX: LRM) (non-executive director) IPO amount: $3.5 million
Share price range since listing:
Comment: Bucking the 2017 trend for Marquee Resources Ltd (ASX: 13-44c
energy metals, Lustrum listed solely fo- MQR) Address: 22 Townshend Road, Subiaco,
cused on the Consuelo coal project in WA, 6008; Tel: +61 8 6380 2470; Email:
the Bowen Basin, Queensland. Consue- Comment: Progress was slow for Mar- [email protected]; Web:
lo consists of three exploration permits quee during its first four months of pub-
in the Bowen Basin and is 30km by road lic life as the company sought approval Key personnel: Mark Ashley (non-exec-
from a rail link to the Port of Gladstone, to drill its Clayton Valley lithium project utive chairman), Charles Thomas (man-
400km to the east. Exploration started in Nevada, USA. Results from that pro- aging director)
in November with a maiden drilling pro- gramme were described by the company
gramme comprising two open percus- as “marginal but geologically significant” Matador Mining Ltd (ASX: MZZ)
sion holes. The target is open-pittable and a review of the project was subse-
coal seams in an area proximal to a num- quently ordered and remains ongoing. Comment: It was a disappointing end to
ber of previously identified shallow coal In the meantime, the company has ac- the year for Matador when geochemical
intersections. quired a suite of cobalt projects – Wer- sampling over the Pyramid Hill project
Listing date: November 15 ner Lake, Werner Lake East/West and in Western Australia’s Gascoyne Junc-
IPO amount: $5 million Skeleton Lake – in Canada. The acqui- tion failed to show any significant levels
Share price range since listing: sitions proved to be a popular decision of mineralisation for lithium, tantalum,
17.5-25c with investors, with the company’s stock tin and tungsten. At the time of print, the
Address: 330 Churchill Ave; Subiaco,
WA 6008; Tel: +61 8 6489 1600; Email: The Oriental gold project, 40km north of Kalgoorlie, failed to deliver the
[email protected]; Web: initial exploration results Matador was hoping for
Key personnel: Loren King (director and
company secretary)

Magmatic Resources Ltd (ASX:

Comment: A busy second half beckoned
for Magmatic after listing a suite of for-
mer Gold Fields Ltd exploration projects
hosted on the East Lachlan copper-gold
belt in New South Wales. Following early
drilling success at the Carlisle Reefs pro-
ject, the company turned its attention to
Brolgan before striking several encour-
aging intercepts at Lady Isle, including
2m @ 1.61 g/t gold from 24m. Five holes
from that campaign ended in gold min-
eralised zones and as a result a 14-hole
RC drilling programme totalling about
1,620m began in January to follow up on
those findings. Magmatic also has a $3
million JV with Japanese government ex-
ploration agency JOGMEC at the Parkes
project, with $1 million to be spent dur-
ing the first 12 months of the agreement.
Results from a drill programme over
the MacGregor’s and Buryan prospects
were pending at the time of print.
Listing date: May 19
IPO amount: $4 million
Share price range since listing:
Address: Level 1, 11 Lucknow Place,
West Perth, WA, 6005; Tel: +61 8 6102
2709; Email: info@magmaticresources.


2017 IPOs

Address: Level 7, 300 Adelaide
Street, Brisbane, Queensland,

4000; Tel: +61 7 3157 4400; Email:
[email protected]; Web:

Key personnel: Rob Neale (chair-
man), Tim Crossley (executive di-

rector), Paul Mulder (managing di-


MetalsTech Ltd (ASX: MTC)

Comment: Having listed with a

suite of lithium and cobalt projects

in Canada, MetalsTech will look

to focus solely on the former from

later this year. The company’s co-

balt assets, including the Bay Lake

project and recently acquired Rusty
The Basilaki copper-gold project is one of several projects in Mayur’s diverse Lake silver-cobalt-nickel mine, will

portfolio of assets in PNG be spun out into a new listed vehi-

company was weighing up whether to Mayur Resources Ltd (ASX: MRL) cle – iCobalt Ltd – via an IPO during
undertake further exploration work at the the first half of 2018. David Riekie was
project. Pyramid Hill could be the second Comment: While still a relative newcom- appointed managing director of iCobalt
project the company parts ways with in- er to public life, Mayur has been focused late last year, with MetalsTech directors
side 12 months having already scrapped in Papua New Guinea and surrounding Russell Moran and Gino D’Anna to join
plans for the Oriental gold project, 40km countries since 2011. Following its im- him on the new board. The spin-out of
north of Kalgoorlie. Matador did have pressive IPO and listing in September, the cobalt assets follows several encour-
some success at the Copper Hills pro- the company has completed a drilling aging results on the lithium side, particu-
ject, 42km south of Meekatharra, when programme at its Port Moresby lime- larly at the Cancet project, near Quebec,
rock chip samples returned grades of stone project, kicked off a maiden cam- including near-surface drill intercepts of
up to 17.2% copper and 2.36 g/t gold. paign at the Basilaki copper-gold project 18m @ 3.14% lithium oxide, 11.46m @
Maiden exploration programmes for the and signed a MOA with the Gulf Provin- 3.23% lithium oxide and 8.15m @ 3.44%
Laverton West and Snake Hill projects cial Government for development of the lithium oxide. Initial metallurgical test
are yet to be finalised. Province’s natural resources under an work on a 5kg outcrop sample from Can-
Listing date: March 8 exclusive licence. Over the coming year, cet has also confirmed high-grade spo-
IPO amount: $3.35 million Mayur plans to use a bulk of the funds dumene in the pegmatite orebody.
Share price range since listing: raised from the IPO to complete a DFS Listing date: February 24
19-35c on its Orokolo Bay industrial sands pro- IPO amount: $4.3 million
Address: Suite 23, 513 Hay Street, Subi- ject and move towards a final investment Share price range since listing:
aco, WA 6008; Tel: +61 8 6143 6710; decision. Mayur also holds a permit to 8.8-40c
Email: [email protected]; export up to 200,000t of material, ena- Address: Unit 1, 44 Denis Street, Subi-
Web: bling the company to begin shipments aco, WA, 6008; Tel: +61 408 408 878 /
Key personnel: Scott Patrizi (executive within 14 months of listing. +61 415 493 993; Email: info@metal-
director), Marat Abzalov (non-executive Listing date: September 21; Web:
director), Patrick Walta (non-executive IPO amount: $15.5 million Key personnel: Russell Moran (execu-
director) Share price range since listing: tive chairman), Gino D’Anna (executive
40c-$1.10 director)

MetalsTech will focus on development of the Cancet lithium project in Canada during 2018, pending the successful
spin-out of its cobalt assets via an IPO


Gold industry veteran Peter Cook is Northern Cobalt has a resource upgrade and a scoping study planned for the
chairing WA-focused explorer Nelson Stanton cobalt project in the Northern Territory on the radar

Resources Listing date: September 22 Nusantara Resources Ltd (ASX:
IPO amount: $4.21 million NUS)
Nelson Resources Ltd (ASX: NES) Share price range since listing:
20-81c Comment: A DFS within 12 months of
Comment: An old-fashioned gold explo- listing is the goal for Nusantara at the
ration IPO, Nelson is backed by Metals Address: 67 Goodwood Road, Wayville, Awak Mas gold project in Indonesia. A
X Ltd and Westgold Resources Ltd and SA, 5034; Tel: +61 402 101 790; Email: bumper IPO of $16.2 million is certain
includes Peter Cook as chairman. The [email protected]; to keep the company funded during the
company’s projects are all in the East- study process, with grid power for the
ern Goldfields, stretching from Socrates Web: project secured within weeks of Nusan-
south-east of Kambalda to Woolshed Key personnel: Michael Schwarz (man- tara arriving on the bourse. Resource
Well between Leonora and Laverton. The aging director), Len Dean (chairman), extensional drilling kicked off soon after
first project to be the subject of drilling is
Yarrie – 170km north-east of Kalgoorlie Duncan Chessell (executive director)
– where historical intercepts include 10m
@ 5.86 g/t gold and 4m @ 9.22 g/t gold. The Nusantara board and management team are hoping to change perceptions
Listing date: December 7 of Indonesia’s resources industry through development of the Awak Mas gold
IPO amount: $5 million project in Sulawesi
Share price range since listing:
Address: Level 11 London House, 216
St Georges Terrace, Perth WA; Tel: +61
8 9481 0389; Email: info@nelsonre-; Web: www.nelsonre-
Key personnel: Adam Schofield (execu-
tive director), Peter Cook (chairman)

Northern Cobalt Ltd (ASX: N27)

Comment: It took just six days after list-
ing for Northern Cobalt to contract a sec-
ond rig for its maiden campaign at the
Stanton cobalt project in the Northern
Territory. Stanton is part of the compa-
ny’s wider Wollogorang project, 870km
south-east of Darwin. Best intercepts to
date include 11m @ 0.29% cobalt from
1m (including 1m @ 2.3% cobalt) and
9m @ 0.34% cobalt from 41m (including
1m @ 2.33% cobalt, 0.45% copper and
1.01% nickel). An upgrade of the existing
inferred resource is due this quarter, with
a scoping study to begin soon after. In
late December, Northern Cobalt added
the Arunta lithium project, 180km north-
east of Alice Springs, to its portfolio. The
company is confident of being able to ex-
plore at Arunta during the NT wet season
when activities at Wollogorang will be


2017 IPOs

and to date has returned a number of en- Directors Jeff Foster and Allan Kelly with the official ASX listing plaque for Riversgold
couraging intercepts, including 14m @ 2
g/t gold from 143m and 17.5m @ 2.7 g/t man Klaus Eckhof has formed his envi- jack does have potential for a high-grade
gold from 88.5m (including 3.9m @ 10.2 able reputation on. Mambasa contains 500,000oz resource.
g/t gold from 102.1m). Previous owners several historical colonial gold work- Listing date: September 28
defined a 1.74 moz resource at the pro- ings and has active artisanal sites over IPO amount: $4.5 million
ject and completed a PFS which demon- 600m strike and 25m in depth. Manag- Share price range since listing:
strated the potential for a 100,000 ozpa ing director Nigel Ferguson told Paydirt 27-60c
mining operation at Awak Mas. Indonesia in December that Okapi was hoping to Address: 7 Ventnor Ave, West Perth,
has not been a happy hunting ground for get a man-portable diamond rig onto the WA 6005; Tel: +61 8 4981 1111; Email:
mining companies in recent years, with property in the early part of 2018. The [email protected]; Web:
the high-profile failures of Intrepid Mines company’s other asset is the Crackerjack
Ltd and Churchill Mining plc still fresh in gold project in WA. While unlikely to yield Key personnel: Nigel Ferguson (man-
investor minds. However, with respected the kind of multimillion ounce deposits aging director), Klaus Eckhoff (chairman)
mining executive Martin Pyle and former Okapi is looking for in DRC, Cracker-
Sandfire Resources NL chief operating Pursuit Minerals Ltd (ASX:
officer Mike Spreadborough at the helm, PUR)
Nusantara looks determined to change
those perceptions. Comment: see page 46
Listing date: August 2 Listing date: August 23
IPO amount: $16.2 million IPO amount: $6 million
Share price range since listing: Share price range since listing:
25-45c 10-32c
Address: Level 2, 175 Flinders Lane, Address: 216 St Georges Tce,
Melbourne, Victoria, 3000; Tel: +61 3 Perth, WA 6000; Tel: +61 8481
9620 0718; Email: info@nusantarare- 0389; Email: N/A; Web: www.; Web: www.nusantarare- Key personnel: Jeremy Read
Key personnel: Martin Pyle (chairman), (managing director)
Mike Spreadborough (managing direc-

Okapi Resources Ltd (ASX: OKR)

Comment: After stalling at the IPO
stage earlier in the year, a rebadged and
renamed Okapi listed in July following
$600,000 of oversubscriptions. The com-
pany’s key asset is the Mambasa gold
project in DRC, a country which chair-

Riversgold Ltd (ASX: RGL)

Comment: Allan Kelly promised
to return to his exploration roots
when he departed Doray Min-
erals Ltd at the end of 2016, so
many eyes were keenly following
his next move. Having teamed
with former Sirius Resources
technical director Jeff Foster,
Kelly packaged together a suite
Klaus Eckhof is back on the DRC gold hunt with Okapi Resources of grassroots exploration pro-


jects from three different countries and Todd River has appointed CSA Global to undertake a conceptual mining study
floated Riversgold towards the back end on the Manbarrum base metals project in the Northern Territory
of last year, with prolific gold producer
Evolution Mining Ltd on board as a 15% maiden drilling on its Quartz Bore pro- Todd River Resources Ltd (ASX:
major shareholder. Drilling of the Yilgani ject. TRT)
project on the company’s Kurnalpi tene- Listing date: November 3
ments, immediately adjacent to Breaker IPO amount: $4.5 million Comment: A spin-out several years in
Resources NL’s Lake Roe discovery, Share price range since listing: the making, Todd River finally made its
was ongoing at the time of print, with ex- 25-48c debut on the ASX in early 2017. With the
tensive regolith gold anomalism already Address: Level 1, 1 Altona St, West Mt Peake vanadium-titanium-iron project
identified over two structural targets. Perth, WA 6005; Tel: +61 86559 1792; rapidly advancing, TNG Ltd revived its
Kelly is most excited, however, about Email: [email protected]. long-standing plans to divest its plethora
getting stuck into the South West Alaska au; Web: of base metals projects in the Northern
project which he held privately for many Key personnel: Bill Oliver (managing Territory into a new vehicle. That suite
years. A short field season will limit the director) of early stage exploration plays included
company’s time on the ground in the US, McArthur River, Stokes Yard, Mt Hardy
but Kelly remains adamant the potential TNT Mines Ltd (ASX: TIN) and Manbarrum, with the latter subject
prize on offer at the end of it all could be to a conceptual mining study by CSA
huge. Riversgold also has several tene- Comment: Tasmania’s forgotten tin Global Pty Ltd. Results from the explo-
ment applications in Cambodia, with the and tungsten potential was the catalyst ration work carried out over some of the
company likely to partner with neighbour for TNT Mines to scrap together an IPO projects since the IPO have been mixed,
Emerald Resources NL for future explo- late last year. The company’s portfolio is however, Todd River could gather mo-
ration work. comprised of the Storey’s Creek, Aber- mentum in 2018 now that former Consoli-
Listing date: October 10 foyle, Royal George and Great Pyramid dated Zinc Ltd boss Will Dix has come on
IPO amount: $6.1 million projects, all located in the north-east of board as the company’s inaugural chief
Share price range since listing: 14-24c the state. Exploration of the mothballed executive. Encouraging results from cur-
Address: Suite 6, 125 Melville Parade, Storey’s Creek mine (historic production rent programmes at McArthur River and
Como, WA, 6152; Tel: +61 8 6500 7375; of 1.1mt @ 1.09% tungsten) is slated to the Walabanba lithium project – both re-
Email: [email protected]; Web: begin this quarter and will likely com- ported in late December – has perhaps mand most of the company’s attention given the company the ideal base from
Key personnel: Roderick Webster during 2018. which to relaunch for the year ahead.
(chairman), Allan Kelly (managing direc- Listing date: November 3 Listing date: April 6
tor), Jeff Foster (non-executive director) IPO amount: $5.5 million IPO amount: $6 million
Share price range since listing: Share price range since listing: 10-27c
Tando Resources (ASX: TNO) 22-30c Address: Level 1, 282 Rokeby Road,
Comment: Listing with three Pilbara Address: Level 7, 1008 Hay Street, Subiaco, WA, 6008; Tel: +61 8 9327
base metals projects, Tando has joined Perth, WA, 6000; Tel: +61 8 9389 2000; 0950; Email: [email protected];
the region’s conglomerate gold rush, Email:[email protected]; Web:
securing an option over prospective ten- Web: Key personnel: Paul Burton (technical
ements in December. Prior to the con- Key personnel: Brett Mitchell (non-ex- director), Will Dix (chief executive), Eddie
glomerate acquisition, the company had ecutive chairman), Michael Jardine (non- Fry (non-executive director)
been active on its base metals ground executive director), Nick Castleden (non-
launching a VTEM survey on Mt Sydney executive director)
and intersecting massive sulphides in

Bill Oliver is back in the managing direc-
tor chair, this time at Tando Resources


2017 IPOs

Pursuit in zinc chase

Jeremy Read is under no illusions that Pursuit managing director Jeremy Read undertaking field work
his new company Pursuit Minerals Ltd on the company’s Paperbark project
will have to move quickly if it is to take
advantage of the opportunity he sees in spective for SEDEX-style zinc miner- grades and will go back to drilling.”
the zinc market. alisation, mineralised intercepts were Paperbark already features a 10mt @
largely low grade (up to 7.61% lead-plus-
“Zinc is all about timing and I think the zinc). Read, however, was far from dis- 2.7% zinc, 0.2% lead and 1 g/t silver at
next 12-24 months will be key regarding couraged. the JB Zone deposit but Read is hopeful
that,” Read told Paydirt. “We have to ad- JE Zone could represent a step-change
vance projects quickly because they are “If we’d jagged intersections first up for the project.
still only exploration projects.” that would be fantastic but it was always
unlikely and instead we have to focus “JE is really quite exciting,” he said.
After generating $6 million from an on setting it up. We have achieved the “You look at those rocks and think this
oversubscribed capital raising, Pursuit technical success we set out to and have could be really quite good and we are
listed in August, having emerged from defined 4-5 times 1% zinc now in a 3km very keen to drill it again.”
shell company Burrabulla Corporation. by 3km area. Next, we have to prove we
Read, previously at the helm of Discov- have an economic deposit. Shareholders will be hoping the re-
ery Metals and Meridian Minerals, said sumption of drilling will reinvigorate the
after two years of looking for suitable “It has given us confidence but next Pursuit share price which has drifted
zinc developments, the listing had come year is delivery time and we must bring from promising early highs.
at a prescient time in the market. a clearly economic drill result to the mar-
ket.” “The market reaction in the short term
“This zinc cycle is stronger-for-longer after listing was very good,” Read said. “It
in my opinion and we believe now the While Bluebush is yet to yield the went from 20c on listing to 30c but then a
time is right to be bringing zinc assets to results hoped for, Paperbark – 25km Hong Kong-based investor sold aggres-
market,” Read said. “We have seen the south-east of Century – has thrown up sively and that the shook confidence of
zinc price strong for a year now and we a few encouraging surprises with drilling the retail investors and we haven’t really
see that continuing. It has been 10 years intersecting 50m of strongly weathered recovered yet, especially as we didn’t de-
since the last zinc bull-run and with the rocks with iron oxides after sulphides liver a clear, no-brainer economic inter-
closures that have occurred we will see and locally abundant sphalerite at the JE section from Bluebush.”
those prices hold firm for a bit longer.” zone prospect.
Zinc stories were in the ascendency in
Read said it had taken a year of nego- “It was only one hole but we got sub- 2017 but Read believes their time is far
tiations to prize Pursuit’s two key assets, stantial zinc and it is very weathered from over.
Bluebush and Paperbark in the Mt Isa which is unusual for the Paperbark sys-
Inlier from Teck Resources Ltd, but with tem,” Read said. “Investor confidence is still coming,” he
both now under its control, Pursuit would said. “There has been a recovery but it
move quickly to form an economic case “Across Mt Isa, you get substantial is skittish and in 2018 it will continue to
for them. weathering but the depth usually sits improve I think.”
above the sulphide system. We think we
“We have a resource on Paperbark but have found a new zinc deposit. So, we – Dominic Piper
need to improve the economics on it,” need to get a good indication of lead-zinc
Read said. “Bluebush has the potential
to be a globally significant zinc deposit.
That will capture real value for our share-
holders but we have to deliver on that.”

It sounds an ambitious target but when
the project is just 70km from the prolific
Century zinc mine, Read knows “nearol-
ogy” is on Pursuit’s side.

The company started a 2,000m drill-
ing programme in September designed
to narrow down the area’s widespread
zinc mineralisation into something with
project characteristics.

“It is Australia’s biggest zinc system,”
Read said. “We are leveraged off the
work of Teck and Anglo American [plc] in
which a massive area of 12km by 10km
at 1% zinc had been defined. We need
to find 50mt @ 10-12% zinc so our 2017
programme tried to define a smaller
space before we launch a detailed pro-
gramme in 2018.”

Early results failed to set the market
alight. Despite intercepting rocks pro-


Warwick, Sheffield, now Carawine

Investors in Sheffield Resources Ltd driven by the rush to peg conglomer-
spin-out Carawine Resources Ltd will
be hoping the company’s board can ate gold-prospective ground. Boyd
pull off a hat-trick of IPO success.
said Carawine’s interest in the region
Carawine hit the bourse on Decem-
ber 14 with a suite of Victorian and ran deeper.
West Australian assets previously held
in mineral sands developer Sheffield. “We started picking up ground in
The new company’s board includes
the inaugural Sheffield team of Will the Pilbara before the recent conglom-
Burbury, Bruce McQuitty, David Arch-
er and David Boyd who have forged erate gold rush, when there was still
a reputation for elevating early-stage
prospects into value-accretive assets. plenty of it available,” he said. “Both

Burbury, McQuitty and Archer Bruce and I worked in the area dur-
scored their first goal with Warwick
Resources Ltd which was acquired ing our Consolidated Minerals days
by Atlas Iron Ltd for $300 million three
years after listing. The trio soon set and I did my university studies in the
up shop again with Sheffield in 2010,
eventually being joined by Boyd. Pilbara, so we have always liked the

Sheffield had the traditional explorer area, particularly for VMS deposits.”
portfolio of mixed-commodity assets
however it soon became apparent that The conglomerate rush has taken
the Thunderbird mineral sands project
near Dampier would take priority. most of the headlines but base met-

Sheffield is now fully focused on Thun- als success has also come around
derbird’s development, meaning its other
projects have lacked investment and at- the Nifty and Telfer mines and there is
tention. The creation of Carawine is de-
signed to rectify that situation. more exploration activity in the region

Boyd will take on Carawine managing David Boyd than at any time since WMC controlled
director duties with Burbury (chairman),
McQuitty and David Archer (non-exec- vast tracts of ground 30 years ago.
utive directors), and Gemma Davies as
company secretary. 33m @ 4.31 g/t gold and 13m @ 10.9 g/t “We will look to build on that good

Boyd told Paydirt Sheffield sharehold- both from surface. work done by WMC in the 80s,” Boyd
ers were willing to back both the man-
agement team and assets once again. The effectiveness of the earlier drilling said.

“The IPO was well oversubscribed; was restricted by limited site preparation On the Oakover project south of Wood-
we opened and closed the book in two
days,” Boyd said. “There was plenty of and the use of large truck-mounted drill ie Woodie, initial attention will be focused
support from Sheffield shareholders with
quite a number of them topping up on rigs and Carawine believes small dia- on the Western Star prospect.
their in-species distribution and I believe
there were others who missed out who mond drill rigs and better drill site prepa- “Western Star will be an early priority
have subsequently bought on market. It
is good to have others agree that these ration will allow for better effective test- because it has some rock chip results but
are good assets being managed by a
good team with a good approach.” ing of the interpreted lode geometry and has never been drilled,” Boyd said.

While much of its portfolio is focused down-plunge extensions. Western Star covers 500m by 500m
on the East Pilbara, first order of explora-
tion business for the new company will be “We will get a diamond drill rig on sur- of Carawine dolomite and Pinjian chert
the Jamieson gold-base metals project in
Victoria due to its advanced status. face and get some holes into it,” Boyd breccia, hosting a number of historic

Jamieson has two drill-ready pros- said. “That earlier work only drilled the workings and exploration costeans.
pects – Hill 800 and Rhyolite Creek –
within its 34sq km exploration licence. oxide blanket and didn’t test the structur- Carawine’s own mapping and rock chip

At Hill 800, New Holland Mining drilled ally controlled mineralised zone under- sampling has identified three main min-
51 RC and six diamond holes in the late
1990s, returning hits, among others, of neath. eralised trends of high-grade copper

“We thought it ideal for a diamond rig mineralisation in breccia and vein stock

to drill fans of holes from a single point al- works in dolomite.

lowing us to confirm the geological mod- Boyd said there were a number of oth-

el and test for down-plunge extensions. er prospects with good historical data but

The existing database is pretty good so no advanced work.

it is almost like a stage three drilling pro- “We will do some ground geophysics

gramme.” to establish if they have any depth po-

Although Hill 800 is advanced, Boyd tential,” he said. “It is low-cost explora-

warned investors shouldn’t expect imme- tion that we can do easily. It will allow us

diate developments. to bring the prospects along and hope-

“Despite the number of holes drilled fully generate some drill targets for next

into it, it is still an exploration project so year’s field season.”

it is not a ‘gimmee’. We are probably an- Like any genuine explorer, Carawine

other one or two more programmes from will continue to keep its eye out.

putting a resource on it.” “We are probably right for now as we

Carawine has committed $3.77 million have the next 6-12 months mapped out

to Jamieson over its first two years of ex- but we’re explorers and are always look-

istence but the company is also keen to ing for opportunities,” Boyd said.

move its Pilbara base metals assets. “The assets are good and it is back to

“They are much earlier stage than what has been successful for us in the

Jamieson so we plan to work the WA pro- past. Start small, make a discovery and

jects in parallel, doing lower cost, early- add value. If we look for anything it will be

stage work,” Boyd said. a few more of those.”

The Pilbara has been the hottest explo- – Dominic Piper
ration destination of the last 12 months


2017 IPOs

Tando moves into Pilbara

Iron ore is no longer the first
thought for companies wanting
to peg prospective mining ground

in Western Australia’s Pilbara.

Thanks to Pilbara Minerals Ltd

leading the charge in the lithium

space and Novo Resources Corp

sparking a conglomerate-hosted

gold rush, a swathe of companies

have played the “nearology” card

and claimed exploration licences

in the Pilbara recently.

Tando Resources Ltd is among

the new faces in the Pilbara, with

an eye for base metals and gold

opportunities at Quartz Bore, Mt

Sydney and Mt Vernon.

The company has been quick

off the mark since listing in No-

vember via a $4.5 million IPO.

Quartz Bore – where potential Tando has a three-pronged attack in the Pilbara

for conglomerate gold-hosted

mineralisation is also being investigated a near-surface high-grade zinc discov- Zinc supply has been stripped from the
ery at Devon Cut – 4m @ 9.64% zinc, market and with little in reserve to satisfy
– has been drilled, with results expected 0.41% lead from 32m at Devon Cut – with global demand, the planets appear to be
a single metre assay within the intercept aligning for Tando to garner some inves-
at the time of print, Tando managing di- returning 21% zinc. tor attention in 2018 as the zinc price
– $US1.57/lb – continues to surge past
rector Bill Oliver told Paydirt. “If you look at some of our neighbours, five-year highs.
we have got Rumble [Braeside] along
“First drill results and preliminary re- strike from Mt Sydney and Quartz Bore “With careful planning, we have put to-
is close to resources at Whim Creek and gether a nice package relatively cheaply
sults of the airborne survey should be out Salt Creek [Venturex] ,” Oliver said. and feel we are in the right place at the
right time,” Oliver said.
towards the end of January. From that, “A combination of Venturex and Rum-
ble isn’t a bad value proposition. There “There is still very little zinc supply com-
the work programme writes itself, so we’ll are very few pure zinc explorers still on ing into the market. The Pilbara is having
the ASX – Pursuit [Minerals Ltd] is anoth- another run and people are starting to
go where the results are best, whichever er one – but there aren’t many explora- remember the Pilbara is more than just
tion companies compared to those guys. iron ore. Our geographic focus, getting
project that is, and work from there,” he We are a long way behind them, but we on the ground quickly and getting results
haven’t done much work yet.” on the board is what we have done. We
said. “We’re looking forward to a busy
5 Year Zinc Spot have drilled and done an
year, we will start it with plenty of infor- airborne survey immedi-
ately post listing, which
mation to work with and with cash in the is what investors want to
see. To develop a project
bank there is plenty of opportunity for us people have to get on the
ground, getting out there
to keep on moving.” with drill rigs and be-
ing systematic about it.
Tando is in the fortuitous position of Equally, investors want
to see people having a
having more advanced plays nearby to go and putting funds into
the ground and develop-
leverage from. ing something.”

Quartz Bore in the – Mark Andrews

West Pilbara is adjacent

to Venturex Resources 1.800

Ltd’s zinc-copper Whim

Creek and Salt Creek 1.600
deposits, while Rumble

Resources Ltd, at Brae-

side, is also considered a 1.400

neighbour. USD/lb

Rumble recently com- 1.200
pleted a maiden recon-

naissance RC drilling

programme consisting 1.000

of 19 holes, which was

the first ever conducted 0.800
along the Braeside base

metals corridor.

With only a small por- 0.600
tion of the targets along Jan13
the 34km strike length Dec13

tested, Rumble reported Zinc prices are moving well beyond five-year highs


Ardea runs hot as PFS looms

Few people predicted Ardea progressed along. We’re real-
Resources Ltd would enjoy
the run it did in 2017. Not even ising more and more now just
managing director Matt Painter.
what we can do with it. The
“It certainly took off a lot
more than we ever expected it scope of the PFS just keeps
to,” Painter told Paydirt.
growing, so we’ve been recruit-
“We haven’t focused too
much on promotion and what ing new people to help us take
have you, but on the back of
the rising cobalt price and the care of that.”
interest in the battery sector,
and us having the deposit that Ardea will be one of the first
we’ve got, we’re certainly being
recognised in the market and major cobalt players to present
that’s pretty exciting.”
actual economics to the mar-
When Heron Resources Ltd
announced it was spinning out ket when the PFS wraps next
its non-core assets in late 2016, the
Lewis Ponds zinc project in New South month. The company has al-
Wales was put forward as the likely flag-
ship asset for Ardea. However, as inves- ready confirmed a financially
tor interest in cobalt began to pique, the
long-standing Kalgoorlie nickel project sound flowsheet for a potential
(KNP) emerged as more than just a wild-
card play. 2 mtpa operation at KNP pro-

Painter was instrumental in turning Ardea is nearing completion of a PFS on the ducing about 2,500 tpa cobalt
KNP – Australia’s largest undeveloped
nickel project – on its head, initiating a Goongarrie nickel-cobalt project and 15,000 tpa nickel.
review of the project’s cobalt content and
pushing back the IPO close date by a If the PFS results come in as
month so the prospectus for the new float
could be recalibrated. passes the Goongarrie South and Big expected, Ardea will launch straight into

It proved to be the right decision as the Four deposits set to underpin the first a DFS with the aim of achieving first pro-
now cobalt-focused Ardea easily pock-
eted the $5.1 million needed to list on the decade of mining operations. duction in 2020.
Work is also continuing on the broader “We’ll do what we can to accelerate
“The IPO process was quite interest-
ing because there was a lot of recogni- development of the KNP Cobalt Zone that timeline,” Painter said. “It will take a
tion around Kalgoorlie on the potential
for cobalt,” Painter said. “Even as the co- (total resource of 64.4mt @ 0.13% cobalt bit of time to get the plant up and run-
balt price was suddenly starting to shift,
people in Kalgoorlie were on the ball. and 0.77% nickel containing 81,000t co- ning, we’re expecting maybe a year to
We were getting questions left, right and
centre during the IPO asking what we balt and 495,000t nickel), including the two years to really get things going, but
were doing about the cobalt in the KNP.
Black Range and Aubils deposits. we’ve seen some projects get up and
“It was something we were already
aware of, but that was certainly a bit of “We started off trying to prove up and going from scratch in just nine months,
a catalyst for us to focus more on the co-
balt within the deposit, and its paid divi- define the cobalt resources because so if we can achieve something similar it
previously everything had been done on would be fantastic.”
Ardea’s traction across its first 10
months on the bourse is enviable, with the basis of a nickel cut-off and nickel With $12-13 million in the bank, Ardea
its stock climbing to as high as $2.20/
share in November as drilling confirmed resources with considerable cobalt cred- appears to have more than enough funds
the strong cobalt-nickel-scandium poten-
tial of KNP. its, but it was our view we needed to go to complete a DFS, particularly with a se-

The company is in the final throes of through and define cobalt resources on ries of loyalty options which, if fully exer-
completing an “advanced level” PFS on
the Goongarrie nickel-cobalt project – the basis of a cobalt cut-off as well,” cised, will tip a further $19.5 million into
part of the overall KNP – which encom-
Painter said. the kitty upon expiry in May.

“It’s basically just snowballed as we’ve Ardea has also floated the idea of pro-

cessing scandium on the back of some

recent impressive drill results, including

8.6m @ 147.7 g/t scandium from 12m,

35m @ 96.1 g/t from 19m and 14m @

105.3 g/t from 15m.

Scandium was not previously assayed

by Heron, but growing market interest for

the metal meant it warranted further at-

tention, Painter said.

“The scandium price is very high at the

moment, coming off a very low base in

terms of volume and users, so should

there be significant uptake of scandium,

which a lot of people are expecting, we’ll

be in a position to take advantage,” he


“In terms of the economics of the pro-

ject, we’re not relying at all on the scan-

dium. It’s just a matter of putting a small

addendum on to the flowsheet of the

plant should we decide to take the scan-

dium out.”

A review of the cobalt content of KNP was the – Michael Washbourne
catalyst for Ardea’s success in 2017


2017 IPOs

Alderan sets the bar even higher

Alderan Resources Ltd dampen the possibility Al-
may have soared above deran was on the cusp of un-

all other newcomers in 2017, masking a major discovery

but chief executive Chris at Frisco, with the results of

Wanless expects his US- the IP survey identifying a

focused company to better new porphyry copper pros-

those feats this year, head- pect, subsequently named

lined by a potential major Perseverance.

discovery at the Frisco cop- Wanless said the Per-

per project in Utah. severance prospect was

“We’re not going to count emerging as the likely main

our chickens before they causative intrusion for the

hatch, there is still a lot of whole Frisco system.

work to do there, but we’ve “We always suspected

only really just scratched the there was either a large por-

surface,” Wanless told Pay- phyry underlying the whole

dirt. system or multiple porphy-

“We certainly think 2018 is Expect plenty of drill holes to be punched into the Frisco project in 2018 ries, and Perseverance cer-

going to be even better than tainly has that in terms of its

2017. We are planning quite an aggres- Frisco is comprised of historical mining scale,” he said.

sive exploration programme this year centres and workings, including the Cac- “It’s similar in size to Bingham Can-

which will really unlock the potential, not tus copper-gold silver deposit and brec- yon, if you consider the size of Bingham

just of the big underlying porphyry pros- cia pipe, the Accrington copper-zinc-sil- Canyon once you include the pyrite shell

pect but all the associated prospects ver-gold skarn and the Horn zinc deposit. around it. Bingham Canyon is a 7bt cop-

around it. “Porphyries are big systems so last per deposit, it’s massive. Discovering

“It could be a very significant year, not year’s work was really about trying to un- the Perseverance target underneath the

just for the company but potentially for derstand the geology at the Frisco pro- whole project is certainly a very signifi-

exploration in the US and in Australia be- ject,” Wanless said. cant move forward for the project.”

cause it’s been a long time since any jun- “The geophysics we did, which was a Wanless was confident his company

ior has made a Tier One discovery and very big geophysics programme, was in- had enough cash remaining in the bank

this project certainly has that potential.” tegral in helping us identify exactly where to see it through the proposed 2018 ex-

Alderan raced out of the starter’s block the main porphyry intrusions are and the ploration programme, headlined by “lots

upon completing an $8.5 million IPO in associated deposits. and lots of drilling”.

June, finishing its opening day’s If not, Alderan is unlikely to be

trade at 38c/share before charting short of potential backers should it

a remarkable share price run which need to rattle the tin.

peaked at $2.40/share in October. “A very common theme among

Wanless credited a combination of a lot of the funds and investors is

good timing and strong support from they’re really keen to get some cop-

lead broker BW Equities Pty Ltd and per exposure,” Wanless said. “Cop-

mining entrepreneur Tolga Kumova, per is, after all, the biggest base met-

as well as the untapped potential of al market and there’s more copper

the Frisco project, as the key drivers used in batteries, electric cars, etc

behind the company’s memorable than any other commodity.

first seven months on the bourse. “That said there are very, very few

“I think for most of the people we investment opportunities in copper

met [in the lead-up to the IPO] the around for them. One fund manager

only real question we got was about Alderan is chasing a Tier One copper discovery at Frisco recently told me he was desperate to
how this thing could still be there get on to copper and that he’s been

given its location in the middle of the looking all over the place but just

copper industry in the US,” he said. “We were perhaps a little bit late start- couldn’t find it. And it’s not just fund man-

“It was quite an easy sell to investors ing the drilling programme, but that went agers; a lot of the majors have come out

and I think that’s also indicative of the pretty much as expected. We knew we in the last 6-12 months have been very

fact that everyone’s looking for copper at were not necessarily drilling in the best bullish on copper.

the moment…and at the end of the day places to start with because we were “There are simply very few copper

there were a lot of people wanting to get still doing the geophysics, but we think projects out there, especially in good ju-

on to the stock and that really did push we have a pretty good indication now of risdictions. We just happen to be in one

the share price up a fair bit.” where we should be drilling going for- of the best places in the world to build a

A 10,000m drilling campaign kicked off ward.” copper mine.”

at Frisco in July, followed by an IP survey Although the company’s share price – Michael Washbourne
over the entirety of the project. tailed in December, it failed to internally


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