JORC (2012) Ore Reserves - Baker Deposit
Baker’s initial Ore Reserve estimate was reported to the ASX (22 May 2023) as part of the lodgment of the results of the Pre-feasibility Study (PFS) focused on Baker. It was compiled in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC Code) 2012 Edition. The Probable Ore Reserve estimate is based on the Baker Mineral Resource estimate classified as Indicated Resource after consideration of all modifying factors determined by geotechnical inputs, mining methods, metallurgical characteristics, infrastructure, social, environmental, governmental, and financial aspects of the operation.
The grades and metal stated in the Ore Reserves estimate include diluting materials and allowances for losses, which may occur when the material is mined or extracted and is defined by a study at a PFS level as appropriate that includes application of modifying factors.
The Ore Reserve estimate is determined from a mine design, plan and production schedule that is technically achievable and economically viable. All material was subjected to an economic evaluation in a detailed cost model underpinned by the PFS analysis. The mine plan returns a positive net present value assuming a discount rate of 8%, and a flat nickel price assumption of A$35,294/t (US$24,000/t; 0.68 AUD:USD) was used for the Ore Reserve financial evaluation. Ore processing was assumed to be undertaken at the Kambalda Nickel Concentrator under an OTCPA with Nickel West. The PFS on which the Ore Reserve estimate is based demonstrates, that at the time of reporting, extraction could be reasonably justified.
JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimates
Prior to its IPO in June 2021, Lunnon Metals applied significant attention to the review and analysis of the former WMC reported mineral inventories to upgrade and report these in accordance with JORC 2012 guidelines. The work carried out by the Company included a detailed audit of the historical data and historical drill core that supports the current Mineral Resources, including:
• duplicate sampling with QAQC (insertion of certified reference material or sample standards)
• density determinations
• check geological logging
• mineralisation characterisation for metallurgical considerations
• historical section and plan reviews (in 2D and also in 3D as scanned and geo-referenced images)
• review of paper geology logs, assays and surveys cross referencing with the digital database
The above work led to the reporting of 39,000 tonnes of nickel metal in Mineral resource at the time of listing on the ASX.
In the 21 months since listing this figure has now grown by 125% with the addition of the N75C, S16c and N14C surfaces at the Foster nickel mine (again generated from the Historical Core Programme) and the exciting discovery of the Baker Shoot, a brand-new nickel deposit. The current (31 March 2023) JORC Code (2012) Mineral Resource for the Kambalda Nickel Project is as follows (all reported above a 1.0% Ni lower cut off).
All material modifying factors have been considered and accommodated in the chosen reporting cut-off grade, which is >1.0% Ni. Refer to the ITAR in Schedule 3 of the Prospectus (dated 22 April 2021) released to the ASX for further details, the Competent Person and Important Statements for the Mineral Resources estimates for the nickel deposits on this website which also contain additional information required by ASX Listing Rules 5.8.1 and 5.8.2 and the ASX announcements dated 22 April 2022 (in relation to the N75C figures), 14 June 2022 and 7 December 2022 (in relation to the Baker Shoot) and the 11 January 2023 (in relation to the S16C/N14C figures) and 31 March 2023 (in relation to Warren).
The Company reported the initial nickel Mineral Resource estimate for the Baker deposit, its first discovery at the Kambalda Nickel Project, in June 2022. In December of the same year, this estimate was updated following an aggressive infill RC and diamond drill campaign: The current Indicated and Inferred Baker Mineral Resource comprises (above a 1.0% Ni cut off):
This updated figure increased Lunnon Metals’ global Mineral Resource (at the time of reporting) across the KNP to 2.58 million tonnes @ 3.1% Ni for 79,300 contained nickel tonnes, an increase of 103% in contained metal since listing in 2021.
Completing the updated Baker Mineral Resource capped off a successful 2022 for the Company. It saw the Exploration Target at East Cooee converted via the discovery and drilling out of the Baker deposit to approximately 20m x 20m. Baker is understood to be the first new nickel discovery reported in a Mineral Resource in the immediate Kambalda nickel camp since Independence Group announced the discovery of the Moran nickel deposit at the south end of the Long-Victor mine in 2008.
In January 2021, Cube Consulting Pty Ltd (Cube) estimated a Mineral Resource for the 85H nickel surface in the main Foster area. Drillhole data and geological interpretations were supplied by Lunnon Metals and Cube produced the estimate using standard processes and procedures including data selection, compositing, variography, estimation by ordinary kriging (OK) and model validation. Estimates were made for nickel and bulk density only.
In December 2020, Cube estimated a Mineral Resource for the Foster South nickel deposit. As with 85H, drillhole data and geological interpretations were supplied by Lunnon Metals and Cube produced the estimate using standard processes and procedures including data selection, compositing, variography, estimation by OK and model validation. Estimates were made for nickel and bulk density as well as the minor elements of arsenic, cobalt, copper, iron, magnesium oxide (MgO) and sulphur. Furthermore, estimates were made for all variables in the background ‘halo’ domain (outside the mineralised lodes) for potential future mine planning purposes (e.g. dilution calculations).
In March 2023, Cube updated an estimate of the Mineral Resource for the Warren nickel deposit (formerly known as Foster NW). Drillhole data and geological interpretations were supplied by Lunnon Metals and Cube produced the estimate using standard processes and procedures, including data selection, compositing, variography, estimation by OK and model validation. The update followed a long drilling campaign started shortly after the Company's IPO, that saw 13 reverse circulation (RC) drill holes (totalling over 2,000m) and 25 diamond drill (DD) holes (totalling over 7,300m) drilled throughout 2021 and 2022.
As reported to the ASX throughout the Warren drilling programme, multiple significant assay results have been recorded in gaps between the historical WMC drilling. Infilling these data gaps, whilst extending the geological and mineralisation interpretation to provide continuous models for both, underpins the increase in the estimate reported today.
Infilling the data gaps has greatly enhanced the overall understanding of the nature and distribution of nickel mineralisation in the Warren channel. Importantly, the Lunnon Metals drilling campaign has confirmed that nickel mineralisation is not restricted to what was previously interpreted as a narrow main channel environment. Rather, the new data has materially extended the footprint of the deposit. Previously, the channel was modelled to an approximate 40 metres to 50 metres width with only very minor flanking mineralisation (i.e. nickel intercepted outside of the channel margins).
The current interpretation records mineralised channel widths of 50 metres to 100 metres including extensive flanking nickel mineralisation. In the plunge orientation, the Warren channel is now modelled as hosting >1,200 metres of continuous mineralisation, whereas previously the interpretation was limited to a discontinuous 750 metres.
In March/April 2022, Cube estimated a Mineral Resource for the N75C nickel deposit. The N75C Mineral Resource comprises the laterally continuous N75C, 18C and 24C nickel surfaces. The N75C is a flanking basal contact surface located up-dip from the main incised Foster nickel channel. The N75C mineralisation itself is of moderate nickel grade largely characterised as 5-40% disseminated nickel sulphides increasing in intensity towards the base where there can be a narrower zone of stringer to massive nickel sulphides.
To the south the N75C surface continues and becomes the 18C and sitting down flank of the N75C and 18C (and immediately above the main Foster channel) is the 24C which has a footwall almost exclusively of Lunnon Basalt. Estimates were made for nickel and bulk density. There has been previous mining at N75C, so mining depletion was required and applied.
The N75C surface was one of the many nickel surfaces mined during the operational life of the Foster mine. Total mine production recorded over 61,000 tonnes of nickel metal produced from some 2.37 million tonnes of ore. The location of these newly estimated nickel surfaces relative to the Foster workings are shown below.
The S16C and N14C surfaces were some of the many nickel surfaces mined during the operational life of the Foster mine. These mineralised surfaces are part of an extensive suite at Foster that are in a flanking position at the base of the Kambalda Komatiite on the Lunnon Basalt footwall contact, which is interflow sediment covered in the case of S16C and partially sediment covered for N14C. This flanking position extends up-dip (up-flank) from the main Foster channel. The S16C/N14C surface is on the footwall side of a late intermediate dyke which splits this surface from the N75C mineralised surface (reported to the ASX on 22 April 2022), which is on the hanging wall side of the intermediate porphyry.