Nickel one to watch as it edges towards a 5 year high

By Hannah Goldman. Published at Jan 12, 2021, in Mining

Nickel is inching closer and closer towards its 5 year high, as a resurgence influenced by demand from China and a more positive iron ore outlook have pushed prices to US$17,891 per tonne, just shy of the US$18,600 per tonne high in September 2019.

The high that was struck at the end of last week represented a 62% rebound since lows experienced in March last year when China was deep in its struggles with COVID-19.

Lincoln Indicators Nickel Chart

This is great news for ASX-listed nickel hopefuls, who are currently looking down the barrel of a potentially bountiful 2021.

Galileo buckling down for drilling

High on this list is Galileo Mining Ltd (ASX:GAL), a well-funded, systematic explorer focused on furthering its understanding of large scale magmatic nickel-copper deposits identified in the Fraser Range, as well as exploiting the high-grade nickel-copper-cobalt resources at its Norseman project.

Galileo’s update provided on December 15, 2020 discussed locked-in drilling and field programs at both the Fraser Range and Norseman Projects, flagging positive early news flow from such activities in the early months of 2021.

The company has spent recent years undertaking EM surveys and preliminary drilling campaigns that while necessary, generally identify targets rather than delivering discoveries.

Early 2021 is likely to bring in material results as Galileo’s drilling campaign kicks into gear again.

Reverse circulation (RC) drilling of priority Fraser Range nickel targets at the Lantern East and Lantern South prospects have been scheduled for mid-February 2021, and these have the potential to generate significant interest in the company.

Lantern South Prospect Plan View of RC Drilling showing Sulphide Target Zone.

Approximately 1,200 metres of drilling is planned to test electromagnetic (EM) conductors at Lantern East, while also examining deeper sulphide mineralisation at Lantern South.

Galileo also anticipates drill testing its Norseman Project for nickel sulphides in the June quarter of 2021.

This is located 50 kilometres from prominent nickel deposits at Cassini, Mariners and Wannaway.

Norseman already has a high-grade cobalt resource of 25 million tonnes with 26,600 tonnes of contained cobalt and 122,500 tonnes of contained nickel.

The project contains 278 square kilometres of prospective ground at the southern end of the prolific Norseman-Wiluna Greenstone belt, and it’s the potential for a large nickel sulphide discovery that interests Galileo in the project.

A new nickel sulphide discovery in this area would be sure to create value.

Pursuit Minerals finalises acquisitions in prosperous Julimar Complex

Next on our nickel watchlist is Pursuit Minerals (ASX:PUR), a mineral exploration and project development company that has acquired two highly prospective and complementary projects in Tier I jurisdictions in Western Australia.

First is the Warrior PGE-Nickel-Copper Project, consisting of four highly prospective exploration licences in the Julimar Complex, Western Australia.

The Warrior PGE-Nickel-Copper Project covers a series of prominent magnetic anomalies whose magnetic response is similar to the mafic and ultramafic Gonneville intrusion, which has the potential to be the most important deposit of palladium in Australia.

Exploration is underway at Warrior PGE-Ni-Cu Project, and new results suggest there is the potential for mafic-ultramafic intrusions equivalent to the Julimar Complex.

Additionally, a prominent belt of aeromagnetic anomalies over a 14-kilometre strike length on the Calingiri East tenement has the potential to host PGE-Ni-Cu mineralisation.

The company has also acquired the Gladiator Gold Project in Laverton, WA, which is currently undergoing geochemical surveys to define targets for drilling in early 2021.

PUR is well funded, with active exploration programmes planned in the first half of 2021, including EM surveys and drilling across its projects, potentially providing near term catalysts.

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