Black Canyon expands scope of WA manganese play with record intersections from surface

Wed 07 Sep 22, 11:45am (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Black Canyon, developing a manganese project in WA, has found its thickest intersections yet from surface
  • Results from the LR1 target on-site the Flanagan Bore project will now go towards a resource upgrade
  • Further assays from drilling at a separate target are due later this month

Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) has today revealed its registration of record-breaking intersections of manganese mineralisation on-site its WA Flanagan Bore project, logging the thickest intersections yet. 

Four significant intersections were collected from surface (or at depths less than 5m,) ratifying the economic potential for an open-pit mining operation.

Results boost open-pit ogling 

A recent scoping study commissioned for the Flanagan Bore project noted the company expects to execute free dig mining toward the creation of an open pit operation with a low amount of waste produced (‘strip ratio.’) 

Those first three years are projected to see the company log over $90m in cashflow. Ultimately, the company intends to produce a 33% manganese concentrate using conventional processing on-site. 

What is Black Canyon looking to do with that Manganese? Produce high purity manganese sulphate to enter the lucrative EV battery supply chain market

The scoping study also posted the following project credentials: 

  • 20 year mine life 

  • $134m pre-tax project value

  • $44m upfront pre-production capital expenditure

  • 2 year payback period for pre-prod capex

  • $31.1m annual revenue cashflow in first four years 

  • $67% pre-tax internal rate of return 

What has Black Canyon found? 

While high-grade manganese is generally considered manganese ore in concentrations exceeding 30% (and today’s results do not match that,) it’s worth considering the value of surface mineralisation in this context. 

Often, vast systems of intermediate grade minerals can be more valuable than a small project of high-grade mineralisation, regardless of the metal in question, and especially if it occurs at surface, allowing for drastically reduced development costs. 

Black Canyon has logged: 

  • 46m @ 11.9% manganese from 1m depth 

  • 44m @ 11.1% manganese from surface 

  • 34m @ 13.1% manganese from 2m depth 

  • 29m @ 14.8% manganese from surface 

  • 20m @ 15.4% manganese from 15m depth 

These results, it turns out, actually break records in the geotech lab at Black Canyon: they’re thicker intervals than previously encountered on-site the project. 

Now, the company is getting to work updating the resource for the LR1 target from which they came.

The current resource for LR1, only one target within the larger Flanagan Bore project, sits at 37m tonnes of ore at 10.8% manganese. 

Drilling results for an additional target, FB3, are also inbound, and due by late September. 

Manganese sulphate the golden egg 

“The company has an aggressive schedule to get Flanagan Bore development ready and it all starts with a large scale outcropping manganese resource,” Black Canyon executive director Brendan Cummins said. 

“The company also continues to advance studies with acid leaching testwork to concentrates derived from the Flanagan Bore deposits…this testwork is an important step on a larger program of producing manganese sulphate.” 

“Manganese sulphate is a critical precursor material for nickel-cobalt-manganese cathodes used in lithium-ion batteries.” 

Flanagan Bore is part of the company’s Carawine JV, of which Black Canyon currently holds 51% alongside Carawine Resources (ASX:CWX)

Once Black Canyon spends $2.5m in exploration opex, it will be able to boost its interest to 75%. 

Black Canyon's six month charts
Black Canyon's six month charts


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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