The Centaurus Metals Limited (ASX: CTM) share price is charging higher today after the company delivered a maiden JORC 2012 mineral resource estimate (MRE) for its nickel-sulphide project in Brazil.
At the time of writing, Centaurus Metals shares have jumped 32.84% to trade at 44.5 cents apiece. This rise takes the company’s current market capitalisation to around $116 million.
About Centaurus Metals
Centaurus is an exploration company focused on the development of its wholly-owned Jaguar Nickel-Sulphide Project located in the Carajás Mineral Province in Brazil.
The company acquired the Jaguar Project from global mining giant Vale S.A. in September 2019. Vale completed a historical non-JORC MRE in 2010, which comprised 40.4 million tonnes at 0.78% nickel for a total of 315,000 tonnes of contained nickel.
Additionally, Centaurus holds the development-ready Jambreiro Iron Ore Project, which is located in south-east Brazil. It is a fully permitted, wholly-owned project that is licensed for 3 million metric tonnes per year of production.
Why is the Centaurus Metals share price surging?
This morning, Centaurus announced a maiden JORC 2012 indicated and inferred MRE of 48 million tonnes at 1.08% nickel for a total of 517,500 tonnes of contained nickel for its Jaguar Project.
What’s more, this maiden MRE includes a higher-grade component of 20.6 million tonnes, grading 1.56% nickel for 321,400 tonnes of contained nickel. The company noted that this provides an “outstanding” platform from which to commence scoping and development studies.
This maiden MRE is based on more than 65,000 metres of diamond drilling, including 218 diamond drill holes.
“This is a phenomenal starting point confirming Jaguar’s status as a new globally-significant nickel sulphide project,” said managing director Darren Gordon.
“With a maiden Resource containing more than 500,000 tonnes of nickel, this is already one of the largest near-surface undeveloped nickel sulphide projects in the world and, as a maiden JORC Resource number, we believe it is up there with some of the best initial JORC Resources ever published by an ASX-listed junior,” Mr Gordon added.
Centaurus pointed out that Jaguar is unique in the nickel-sulphide space as the high-grade mineralisation comes almost to surface and continues at depth. Around 80% of the nickel metal in the maiden MRE sits less than 200 metres from the surface, which the company believes demonstrates the strong open pitiable potential of the project.
The maiden JORC MRE for the Jaguar Project covers the six Jaguar deposits and two Onça deposits. Since drilling commenced in November 2019, the company has drilled and successfully intersected high-grade nickel sulphides at three of the Jaguar deposits (south, central and north), as well as both Onça deposits.
Centaurus is yet to commence drilling at the Jaguar West or Jaguar North-East deposits, however, drilling is planned in the second half of 2020.
Additionally, the company will undertake step-out drilling at Jaguar in the second half of 2020 to test deeper high-grade underground targets and strike extensions of the known deposits.
In-fill drilling is already in progress, with two diamond rigs operating on day-shift only and a third rig on standby. The company plans to ramp-up back to three rigs on double-shift and mobilise a reverse circulation rig in the third quarter of 2020. This is part of its strategy to unlock the full potential of the Jaguar Project as quickly as possible.
“This multi-pronged approach should ensure that we can continue to grow the resource as we advance this exceptional project towards development,” Mr Gordon said.
Closing out his comments, Mr Gordon stated: “We also expect to complete a Scoping Study and deliver a further Resource upgrade this year, providing shareholders with strong news flow over the coming months.”
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Motley Fool contributor Cathryn Goh has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. The Motley Fool Australia has no position in any of the stocks mentioned. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy. This article contains general investment advice only (under AFSL 400691). Authorised by Scott Phillips.
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