Firetail eyeing nickel, cobalt and manganese at Mt. Slopeaway battery metals play as drilling kicks off

Mon 28 Nov 22, 10:04am (AEST)
Concept of a home battery energy storage located in a garage with a sunny background; a car is parked on the lawn outside in a modernised suburban setting
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Company will re-test six holes drilled by BHP back in the 1960s
  • Ni, Co and Mn are all crucial components of Lithum-ion batteries; with the batteries actually requiring more of the above than lithium
  • A follow-up diamond drill run is already planned as the company seeks to grow its Slopeaway JORC and increase bankability

Firetail Resources (ASX:FTL), which has been focused on lithium at its WA Yalgoo play for most of this year, is now kicking off the drills at its QLD-based Mt. Slopeaway nickel (Ni) cobalt (Co) manganese (Mn) project. 

All three metals are crucial components in lithium-ion batteries, which are actually required in larger amounts than lithium feedstock to begin with.

An RC drill rig is currently en route to site where it will plug away and re-test six historical drill holes sunk by BHP (ASX:BHP) in the 1960s to get an early-stage idea of how accurate an existing JORC resource of 4Mt @ 1% nickel and 1% manganese proves to be.

In short, Firetail is boosting up its portfolio of projects as the company meaningfully makes a shot at becoming a diversified battery metals explorer. 

More drilling already locked in 

A follow up drill run will then aim to improve and expand the existing MRE by conducting infill drilling to see how far out mineralistation extends.

That follow up drill run will be conducted by another (or the same) RC rig, and, a separate diamond drill rig, allowing deeper drilltesting. 

DEPCO has been hired as the drilling contractor the job; Firetail earlier this year wound up the permitting process to commence operations. 

Firetail is hunting for nickel laterites at Slopeaway. 

Assessing the true nature

"We are delighted to now be at the point where we can assess the true nature of the mineralisation at Mt Slopeaway,” Firetail chief Brett Grosvenor said. 

“Subject to results, [we will be] able to initiate the next phase of resource drilling aimed at increasing the confidence in the MRE and expanding the in-ground resource."

Grosvenor noted there had been delays surrounding rig availability in getting to this point. 

Firetail has also been busy developing its WA-based hard-rock lithium project in Yalgoo, where the company has intersected broad mineralised pegmatites. 

A look at FTL's three month chart performance
A look at FTL's three month chart performance on Friday, when the announcement was released
Disclaimer: Market Index helps small-cap ASX listed companies connect with Australian investors through clear and concise articles on key developments. Firetail was a client at the time of publishing. All coverage contains factual information only and should not be interpreted as an opinion or financial advice.


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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