Mining Licence Application for Advanced 'Anthony' Molybdenum
Perth, May 10, 2023 AEST (ABN Newswire) - QX Resources Limited (ASX:QXR) confirms its intention to commence a formal application for a Mining Lease to advance development at the Company's 'Anthony' Molybdenum (Mo) project in Central Queensland.
Anthony is an advanced-stage pure Mo deposit, located in a Tier-1 jurisdiction, adjacent to major sealed roads and near rail and energy support.
In 2021, the Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) at Anthony was upgraded to JORC Code 2012, with an emphasis on recoverable resources from the near-surface oxidised part of the deposit (refer ASX Announcement 18 October 2021 and Table 2*).
- Indicated and Inferred Resources for the Oxide domain (using a 400ppm Mo cut-off) total 17.5Mt @ 520ppm Mo (contained Mo 9,100 tonnes / 20.1 million lbs)
- Indicated and Inferred Resources for the Sulphide domain (using a 600ppm Mo cut-off) total 17.4Mt @ 780ppm Mo (contained Mo 13,600 tonnes / 29.9 million lbs)
- Indicated and Inferred Resources for the Transition (partially oxidized) domain (using a 600ppm Mo cut-off) total 2.1Mt @ 790ppm Mo (contained Mo 1,700 tonnes / 3.7 million lbs).
- Total Indicated and Inferred Resource of 24,700 tonnes (53.7 million lbs) of contained molybdenum in sulphide, transition (partial oxide) and oxide zones from surface.
QXR Managing Director Stephen Promnitz stated: "Molybdenum is considered a critical mineral by Queensland's Dept of Natural Resources and Mines. This development approach is consistent with QXR's focus on the battery materials and critical materials supply chain. The decision to commence a Mining Lease application followed a detailed review of the existing Mineral Resource Estimate.
Anthony is well located, with mineralisation from surface, uniquely placed as an advanced-stage molybdenum project in geographical proximity to major Asian markets. Future progress will focus on development pathways including high grade starter pits."
QX Resources Chairman Maurice Feilich said: "Molybdenum prices are at the highest level for over a decade due to deep structural supply/demand gaps, so the timing is right for the development of an advanced deposit. The market is looking for molybdenum projects in Tier 1 jurisdictions with good infrastructure."
Molybdenum (Mo), commonly referred to as "moly", has been used primarily in the steel industry, as an alloy to strengthen structural steel industry and in high-nickel stainless steel, and as a catalyst in the chemical industry. There has been a significant increase in infrastructure projects increasing demand for structural steel globally, together with defence applications. Recent demand has also come from renewable energy technologies, where moly is used in wind turbines, with one megawatt of output requiring 130 kg Mo. For example, a typical offshore turbine of 12MW requires 1.5 tonnes of molybdenum. Outside China, there are only two pure moly "plays" in operation, both in Colorado USA, operated by Freeport-McMoRan (NYSE:FCX).
Global market conditions for Molybdenum have strengthened significantly recently. Amid a tighter supply environment, benchmark ferromolybdenum prices in Europe rose above US$100/kg (US$45/lb) in February 2023, a 17-year high, and trading continues above US$55/kg (US$27/lb). Asian ferromolybdenum prices also peaked in early February between US$94-$96/kg - the highest level since Platts Asia commenced in weekly pricing index in 1987.
Factoring in the positive macro environment for Mo prices and the upgraded Mineral Resource Estimate, the decision to pursue a Mining Licence application for the Anthony deposit reflects the increased confidence of the QXR management team that it has an opportunity to bring the project through to development. Analysts have attributed the recent spike in support for Molybdenum prices to several supply and demand factors, as opposed to a single disruptive event.
On the supply side, a lack of new investment has been cited as one such catalyst, where a dearth of planning and approvals activity over the past 5+ years globally has left no new mines in an advanced stage of development. The early-2023 price spike was also exacerbated by production disruptions at large copper operations in South America, especially Chile, where molybdenum is produced as a secondary output.
On the demand-side, major infrastructure projects have increased demand for structural steel and strong oil prices have provided consistent support for moly-bearing carbon steel used in off-shore drill rigs. Recent demand has come from renewable energy technologies, where moly is used in wind turbines, similar to the increased demand for rare earth elements (REE).
Asia-based demand also rebounded strongly in February, where the rebound in Chinese demand was stronger than analysts expected following the Lunar New Year holiday, with broader demand expected to stay strong amid the easing of COVID-19 restrictions.
The Anthony Mo Deposit
The Anthony Molybdenum deposit is located approximately 70km northwest of Clermont and 810km northwest of Brisbane, next to the Gregory Development Road The Anthony Molybdenum deposit is covered by EPMs (Exploration Permit for Minerals) 15145 and 14790, held 100% by Zamia Resources Pty Ltd, under an earn-in agreement between QXR and Zamia Metals Limited (Zamia) announced on 1 July 2020, where QXR currently owns a 70% interest.
Zamia previously announced a Mineral Resource Estimate for the Anthony deposit on 15March 2012.
The 2012 MRE was prepared by Hellman & Schofield Pty Ltd (H&S) and was reported under the JORC Code 2004.
In 2021, QXR commissioned Geos Mining, Minerals Consultants, to update the MRE in accordance with the principles and guidelines of the JORC Code 2012, with emphasis on the near-surface oxidized part of the deposit.
A summary of the methodology used in the upgraded MRE was outlined in the ASX Announcement on 18 October 2021.
Table 1* in link below presents the estimated Mineral Resources for the Oxide domain. A cut-off grade of 400ppm Mo was selected, based on preliminary assessments of mining and processing costs.
Reasonable Prospects for Eventual Economic Extraction
The Mineral Resources for the Oxide domain are considered to have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction given the access to critical infrastructure, the tonnage and grade of the mineralization and results of preliminary mining assessments and metallurgical test work. The Mineral Resources for the Transition and Sulphide domains are also considered to have reasonable prospects for eventual economic extraction, although further work is required to determine mining and metallurgical processes and costs.
Expansion Potential and Exploration Upside
Potential exists for high grade starter pits for the project. Infill drilling in the two higher grade zones has the potential to expand and define higher grade zones where development could commence for an earlier economic return.
Exploration upside exists in another look-alike deposit, the Creek prospect, 30km to the south west.
Magnetics show a ring-like intrusion typical of porphyry systems like Anthony, with moly-copper-gold potential. Surface sampling has previously identified elevated Cu-Mo-Au values but significant drilling potential exists to define a new satellite deposit for an operation. Past shallow drilling targeted the magnetic 'high' instead of the adjacent magnetic 'low', which is the pattern identified at the Anthony deposit.
Metallurgical test work has been ongoing, characterising the oxide material to further establish the project economics for a pathway to development, including assessing high grade starter pits.
The process for the mining lease applications includes the following steps:
a) Formal application to the regulator and public notification with development plans
b) Notify landholders regarding the application together with particulars;
c) Access agreements and landholder compensation agreement;
d) Address native title requirements; and
e) Standard Environmental Authority
*To view tables and figures, please visit:
About QX Resources Ltd
QX Resources Limited (ASX:QXR) is focused on exploration and development of battery minerals, with hard rock lithium assets in a prime location of Western Australia (WA), and gold assets in Queensland. The aim is to connect end users (battery, cathode and car makers) with QXR, an experienced explorer/developer of battery minerals, with an expanding mineral exploration project portfolio and solid financial support.
Lithium portfolio: QXR's lithium strategy is centred around WA's prolific Pilbara province, where it has acquired a controlling interest in four projects through targeted M&A - all of which sit in strategic proximity to some of Australia's largest lithium deposits and mines. Across the Pilbara, QXR's regional lithium tenement package (both granted or under application) now spans more than 350 km2.
Gold portfolio: QXR is also developing two Central Queensland gold projects - Lucky Break and Belyando - through an earn-in agreement with Zamia Resources Pty Ltd. Both gold projects are strategically located within the Drummond Basin, a region that has a >6.5moz gold endowment.
QX Resources Ltd