Written by 10:53 am Australia, Featured Business News, Mining, SLIDER, Terra Metals

Terra Metals’ Milestone: Large Platreef-Style Copper-PGE Sulphide Reefs Discovered at the Dante Project

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Copper prices are rising sharply. On May 20th 2024, copper prices reached a record high of all time at USD 11,104.5 per metric tonne on the LME or London Metal Exchange. Goldman analysts estimate that copper will reach USD 12,000 per metric tonne by the end of 2024 and USD 15,000 per metric tonne in 2025. The year-to-date copper price increased 16.88%.

Clean energy and digitalisation are driving the future demand for copper. Amidst the price hike, Terra Metals Limited (ASX: TM1) (“Terra” or “the Company”) made an important announcement regarding the discovery of a large Platreef-style copper-PGE sulphide reef in Dante Reefs. Reef discovery is based on the results of 14 wide-spaced, first-pass reconnaissance drill holes.

Mr Thomas Line, Managing Director and CEO of Terra Metals Limited, has marked reefs discovery as “the first of its kind in Australia.”

Details About The Discovery

Strategic Location of the Findings

The large Platreef-style copper-PGE sulphide reefs highlight the significant potential of the Dante Reefs, situated only 15 kilometres from BHP’s AUD 1.7 billion Nebo-Babel nickel-copper sulphide deposits.

Black Coloured, Heavy Magmatic Sulphide Mineralization At The Dante Reef

Figure 1: Black Coloured, Heavy Magmatic Sulphide Mineralization At The Dante Reef

Significant Drill Results

The latest drilling results demonstrate the presence of substantial mineralisation at the Dante Reefs, including copper, gold, PGEs, vanadium, and titanium. Highlights from the drilling include:

  • 6m @ 0.40% Cu, 0.79 gram per tonne (g/t) PGE3, 0.66% V2O5, & 19.9% TiO2 from 4m (HRC004), including:
    • 2m @ 0.62% Cu, 0.85g/t PGE3, 0.71% V2O5 & 22.3% TiO2 from 6m
  • 5m @ 0.34% Cu, 0.84g/t PGE3, 0.81% V2O5, & 21.2% TiO2 from 21m (URC005), including:
    • 3m @ 0.43% Cu, 0.94g/t PGE3, 0.88% V2O5 & 24.1% TiO2 from 23m
  • 7m @ 0.31% Cu, 0.61g/t PGE3, 0.71% V2O5, & 20.7% TiO2 from 17m (URC011)
  • 10m @ 0.82g/t PGE3, 0.11% Cu, 0.44% V2O5 & 10.5% TiO2 from 66m (HRC002), including:
    • 3m @ 2.22g/t PGE3, 0.20% Cu, 1.08% V2O5, & 23.5% TiO2 from 68m
  • 5m @ 0.30% Cu, 0.81g/t PGE3, 0.70% V2O5, & 19.1% TiO2 from 71m (URC006), including:
    • 2m @ 1.57g/t PGE3, 0.31% Cu, 0.99% V2O5, & 23.2% TiO2 from 74m
  • 3m @ 1.40g/t PGE3, 1.00% V2O5, & 21.0% TiO2 from 9m (URC008)

Potential for Large Sulphide Deposit

The drilling results confirm that the Dante Reefs have the potential to host a large sulphide deposit containing copper, gold, PGEs, vanadium, and titanium. The reefs are characterised by gentle dipping and laterally extensive mineralised layers resembling coal seams that outcrop from the surface and span 42 kilometres. The mineralised basal layer averages approximately 10 metres in thickness, with a higher-grade basal section around 5 metres thick.

Assays Pending and Future Exploration

Assays from 16 drill holes covering an additional 4.5 kilometres of a strike at Reef 2 are still pending. Terra Metals Limited anticipates publishing an initial exploration target for Reef 1 soon. The Company also plans to begin mapping in the Dante Project’s eastern portion, where further reefs are expected to be identified.

Comparison to Other Significant Reefs

The Dante Reefs are comparable to other globally significant reefs, such as those in the Bushveld Province of South Africa, which average 1-2 metres thick. The confirmation of high-grade vanadium and titanium, critical for renewable batteries and speciality steel, adds to the potential value of the discovery.

Terra Metals Limited’s latest drilling results at the Dante Reefs underscore the significant potential of this region to host a large, economically viable sulphide deposit. With ongoing exploration and pending assays, the Company is poised further to define the extent and richness of these mineralised reefs.

Regarding this discovery, Mr Thomas Line mentioned, “It’s clear that there is a concentration and combination of high-value metals within the same layers in the Dante Reefs. Chalcocite and bornite appear to be the dominant copper sulphides. Our highly experienced metallurgical team, led by Dr. Evan Kirby, have already commenced initial metallurgical test work, focusing on applying conventional flowsheets.”

About the Dante Copper-Platinum-Group-Elements-Gold-Nickel Project

The Dante Cu-PGE-Au-Ni Project, acquired by Terra Metals Limited (Legacy Known as GCX Metals Limited) in October 2023, is located in the West Musgrave region of Western Australia. This region is a significant metallogenic province and an emerging mining hub. The Dante Project is 15 kilometres north of BHP’s AUD 1.7 billion Nebo-Babel Cu-Au-PGE-Ni mine development, making the asset attractive. The project encompasses advanced large-scale magmatic Cu-PGE-Au-Ni targets and PGE-Au reef systems, including approximately 23 kilometres of outcropping mineralised strike. The Dante Project has a clear pathway to drilling, supported by a Native Title Agreement with the Ngaanyatjarra Land Council and extensive historical datasets, including full airborne EM and magnetics coverage.

Location of the Dante Cu-PGE-Au-Ni Project

Figure 2: Location of the Dante Cu-PGE-Au-Ni Project

The Dante project is primarily characterised by the Jameson Layered Intrusion. Layered intrusions are the primary hosts of the world’s platinum group elements, which include platinum (Pt), palladium (Pd), rhodium (Rh), iridium (Ir), osmium (Os), and ruthenium (Ru). Of these, platinum, palladium, and gold are of the most significant commercial importance due to their high price and demand. The PGE-bearing reefs typically comprise laterally extensive layers of ultramafic or mafic rocks.

Investor’s Outlook

  • The discovery of large Platreef-style copper-PGE sulphide reefs at the Dantee Project is a milestone for the Company. The same enthusiasm can be seen in the investor community as well. Post announcement, Terra Metals’ share prices zoomed ~135% with heavy volume from the previous close.
  • This discovery positions Terra Metals to capitalise on the increasing demand for metals essential to renewable energy technologies. It enhances its potential for long-term growth and profitability in the mining sector
  • Previously, Terra Metals marked significant progress after receiving the Exploration Incentive Scheme (EIS) grant of AUD 435,000 from Western Australia’s Government for the same project
  • As of June 20th, 2024, Terra Metals’s share price traded at AUD 0.073, which is 135.483% higher than its previous close. The stock’s 52-week range was AUD 0.028 to AUD 0.096.
  • The market capitalisation of the Company was AUD 9.16 million, with 78 million shares on issue as of June 20th, 2024.

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