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Talon Metals spikes on drilling results at Rio JV

Talon Metals shares shot up by a third yesterday as the explorer reported a thick intercept from the Tamarack nickel project, a joint venture with Rio Tinto in Minnesota.
Talon Metals spikes on drilling results at Rio JV Talon Metals spikes on drilling results at Rio JV Talon Metals spikes on drilling results at Rio JV Talon Metals spikes on drilling results at Rio JV Talon Metals spikes on drilling results at Rio JV

Semi-massive sulphide mineralisation from Talon Metals’ drilling at Tamarack in Minnesota

Staff reporter

The drill hit follows last week's release of an updated preliminary economic assessment for Tamarack, which nearly doubled the after-tax NPV to US$569 million in one of three production scenarios.

Talon said yesterday the latest intercept, a 25m step-out into an undrilled area of the project's current resource, intersected 110.65m of semi-massive and disseminated sulphide mineralisation.

Assays were pending.

"The more we learn about the Tamarack nickel project - even within the project's existing resource area - the better the project seems to get," head of exploration Brian Goldner said.

"In addition to successfully intercepting mineralisation as predicted by the company's current resource model, we also intercepted 51.82m of disseminated sulphide mineralisation below the current resource model."

Talon said its updated PEA had demonstrated robust economics and the optionality to produce nickel for either the electric vehicle or stainless steel markets.

The study had investigated producing nickel sulphates for the EV market, nickel concentrates used to produce refined nickel powders for the EV market, and concentrates for the traditional stainless steel market.

It put the after-tax NPV7 and IRR at US$569 million and 31.9%, $567 million and 48.3% and $520 million and 45.6% respectively for the three scenarios.

Initial capex remained low at $219 million, as per the March 2020 PEA update.

"The 96% increase in the after-tax NPV from $291 million to $569 million excludes drilling results announced since September 2020, as these drilling results are either outside of the Tamarack nickel project's resource area and/or assays are still pending," CEO Henri van Rooyen said last week.

"Our end game is producing low cost ‘Green Nickel' during a predicted period of unprecedented nickel shortages, whether it is to supply the electric vehicle or stainless steel market."

With about C$15.4 million in the bank, president Sean Werger said at the time Talon was "well-equipped" to progress its strategy of growing the resource further and preparing for feasibility studies.

Talon can earn up to 60% of Tamarack under a 2017 agreement, after turning down the option to purchase Rio subsidiary Kennecott Exploration's 81.55% for $114 million.

Its shares closed up 33.3% to C80c, a level last seen about 10 years ago, capitalising Talon at $485 million (US$382 million).