Western sells iron ore rights to focus on nickel


Western Mines Group has sold its iron ore rights to its Pavarotti project near Southern Cross in Washington state to Mineral Resources while maintaining its grip on nickel and other minerals that may reside there. The company says it bought the project for just under $40,000 and has now sold the rights to the product in bulk for $200,000 cash plus a 1.25% royalty on future production.

Pavarotti sits within a geological package of rocks mined since the 1960s, the package containing several open pit iron ore mines already under the Mineral Resources banner.

The unloading explorer says he will remain focused on the potential of Pavarotti’s nickel-copper-platinum group elements while leaving the red export to experienced and nearby mineral resources.

Western Mines recently put its boots into the field at the project’s Jock’s Fury prospect to validate initial targets and locate historical drill holes and rock chips, with a parallel order of mapping and sampling.

The explorer says historic drill holes at Jock’s Fury returned respectable grades, including a 4.6m hit ranging to 1.28% nickel, 597 parts per million copper and 293ppm cobalt from 42.7 m – notably, ending in mineralization. Another wider length of 16.8 m grading 0.78% nickel, 360 ppm copper and 285 ppm cobalt from a depth of 12.2 m was also encountered.

Amazingly, the explorer says he even managed to confirm the location of anomalous rock chips from the 1990s with labeled sample numbers attached to nearby vegetation.

The company plans to use the information gathered to guide ongoing and future exploration work.

Pavarotti is Western Mines’ second nickel sulphide project with its flagship Mulga Tank project 190km east of Kalgoorlie, where it has just illuminated five main conductors with a moving loop electromagnetic survey.

Explorer says the money from the sale will go directly to the upcoming program expansion at Mulga Tank – rather than the bank.

Notably, nickel appears to have closed above $33,000 a tonne on the London Metals Exchange on Friday after the battery metal experienced a wild and erratic run. Strong growth in demand for nickel is expected, due to its increasing use in the booming battery industry.

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