Sayona Mining to explore Pilbara gold tenements in Australia
Sayona Mining Limited (Sayona) has begun exploration of targets identified within 824sqkms of Pilbara gold tenements in Western Australia.
An emerging lithium miner with projects in Québec, Canada and Western Australia, Sayona says this exploration will include testing for intrusion-related gold mineralisation, similar to De Grey Mining’s nearby Hemi discovery.
Initial work will focus on the company’s Mount Dove Project, E47/3950, located 10kms south‐west of the Hemi project. Fieldwork will include orientation soil geochemistry over two target areas and reconnaissance mapping over the one area of outcrop already identified. Much of the Mt Dove area is masked by surficial cover which has hampered past exploration and the tenement remains effectively untested for its gold potential, according to a statement.
Additional work will also be undertaken at the Company’s Tabba Tabba East tenement, E45/4703, which is located near the Malindra Stock and Wallareenya Granodiorite. These high‐Mg diorites of the Indee Suite are similar to those which host the Hemi and Toweranna gold mineralisation further to the west.
Sayona says that the launch of exploration activities follows the resumption of the full ownership of its Pilbara gold and lithium portfolio and comes amid a protracted bull market for gold.
“We are delighted to launch this exploration program, with a recent assessment identifying a number of targets across our 100 percent owned Pilbara gold portfolio," says Brett Lynch, managing director of Sayona.
“The Hemi discovery has highlighted the region’s potential and we look forward to unlocking the prospectivity of our large tenement holding for the benefit of shareholders, adding to our flagship Authier Lithium Project and other lithium projects in Canada and Western Australia.”
The announcement comes in the wake of record gold high prices in 2020 – above £1,489 per ounce. Investment banks such as Goldman Sachs forecast prices for the precious metal to reach £1,713 per ounce in 2021 amid a ‘structural bull market for gold’.
Exploration, including geophysical targeting and planning for geochemical orientation and reconnaissance rock sampling has commenced, the company says. As a first step, sample pulps of 119 previously collected rock samples have been submitted for gold assay determination, it explains.
These rocks comprise pegmatite, aplite and altered intrusive which, together with quartz veining, were collected during past pegmatite exploration and have not been previously tested for their gold content. Geophysical work to identify the subtle magnetic features typical of the target Indee Suite has commenced and following review it is anticipated high resolution airborne magnetic surveying will be commissioned.
DRC selects Fortescue to develop giant hydro project
Democratic Republic of Congo's (DRC's) government said on Tuesday Fortescue Metals Group would develop the Grand Inga hydroelectric power project, including a 4,800-megawatt dam that has already been committed to Chinese and Spanish developers.
Fortescue to develop dams for world's largest hydroelectric project
Australia's Fortescue confirmed it was in talks with Congo to develop a series of dams that could become the world's largest hydroelectric project, but it said no formal binding agreement had been concluded.
Fortescue's involvement is the latest twist in Congo's decades-long quest to expand Inga, whose two existing dams - completed in 1972 and 1982 - have a combined installed capacity of nearly 1,800 MW.
The proposed expansion of six more dams would bring capacity to over 40,000 MW, roughly double the size of China's Three Gorges dam, currently the world's largest. Total development costs have been estimated at up to $80bn.
In 2018, a Chinese consortium that includes China Three Gorges Corporation and a Spanish consortium that includes AEE Power signed a deal with Congo's government to develop the third dam, known as Inga 3.
Ground has yet to be broken on Inga 3 because of questions over its financial viability. Alexy Kayembe De Bampende, President Felix Tshisekedi's top infrastructure advisor, said the project would now be led by Fortescue.
"Fortescue will be the sole operator for the entire Grand Inga (3 to 8). Chinese & co are welcome to join Fortescue," he told Reuters."There has been discussion between Chinese (Three Gorges) & AEE and (Fortescue) since last year to work together."
Three Gorges and AEE Power did not respond immediately to requests for comment.
DRC's Grand Inga green energy project will create hundreds of thousands of jobs
In a memorandum of understanding signed between Fortescue and Congo in September 2020, Fortescue "acknowledges the existing potential rights held on Inga 3 by third parties".
"In the event that, for any reason, such rights to develop Inga 3 become available, the government of the DRC undertakes to secure for Fortescue Future Industries an exclusive first option to develop Inga 3," it said.
A senior official at the government's Agency for the Development and Promotion of Grand Inga (ADPI), speaking on condition of anonymity, said the ADPI had not been involved in the talks with Fortescue.
Fortescue chairman Andrew Forrest met Congo President Felix Tshisekedi on Sunday to discuss the project. Forrest said Fortescue would use the energy from Inga to produce hydrogen to export around the world.
"The capital cost of this will be many many tens of billions of dollars and direct and indirect employment will be in the hundreds of thousands," he told reporters.
Fortescue has said it plans to fund the majority of its green energy projects off its balance sheet, investing about $1bn a year of its own money.
Fortescue's statement was made in response to an article in the Australian Financial Review.
Meanwhile, Fortescue has teamed up with Hatch, Anglo American and BHP, to form a Green Hydrogen Consortium focused on ways of using green hydrogen to accelerate decarbonisation within their operations globally.