Pantera Minerals hit manganese in maiden WA drill run

Mon 23 Jan 23, 10:50am (AEST)
An image of an outback sealed road in remote Australia, Northern Territory
Source: Unsplash

Key Points

  • After finding manganese in rock chips last year, Pantera’s maiden drill run has hit manganese at its Weelarrana project
  • Near surface mineralisation is reported in 16 out of 30 drillholes, a success rate of more than 50%
  • Manganese mineralisation extends over 600m and is open to the north and east

Pantera Minerals (ASX:PFE), an ASX-listed junior explorer microcap seeking manganese in Western Australia, has today reported a success rate of over 50% in its maiden drill run at the company’s flagship Weelarrana Project.

Pantera hit strong early results for manganese mineralisation at Weelarrana last May, when initial fieldwork turned up positive rock chip results. 

Manganese is traditionally used in steel as an alloy but is increasingly exposed to the Electric Vehicle (EV) battery supply chain thematic. BloombergNEF expects demand for manganese in lithium-ion batteries to reflect a ninefold increase between 2021 and 2030.

Location considerations 

Weelarrana is located 75km south of the mining town of Newman and is accessible via the Great Northern Highway, a major haulage route. 

From a nearology perspective, Element 25’s (ASX:E25) Butcherbird manganese prospect is 45km southward. 

Butcherbird boasts a JORC-compliant resource of over 260Mt of manganese ore. 

“The results from Weelarrana’s maiden drilling program have confirmed the mineralisation within Mn Area 1, with the mineralisation open in two directions,” Pantera CEO Matt Hansen said. 

Mineralisation extends over an area some 600m in length and remains continuous to the north and east. 

What grades has Pantera found? 

Official classifications for high-grade manganese are hard to pin down, but projects such as Accelerate Resources’ (ASX:AX8), boasting manganese hits of 41% back in 2021, is firmly considered a high-grade result. 

Compare that to Pantera’s findings reported on Monday: 

  • 05m @ 12.3% manganese from surface

  • 03m @ 19.7% manganese from 3m depth

  • 02m @ 17.1% manganese from 3m depth 

  • 01 m @ 24.1% manganese 

“Significantly,” Pantera noted on Monday, “mineralisation is close to the surface and is flat lying.” 

Higher grade deposits of ore buried deep underground can be more unprofitable than mid-tier grade deposits lying at or close to surface, given the greatly reduced opex needed to actually get the materials out of the ground. 

Common methods used in the downstream refining of manganese concentrates are well known to greatly increase overall grades, meaning investors should not be dissuaded by Pantera’s first-stage drilling results. 

“We now look forward to progressing the Project through further exploration with drilling of the other known mineralised areas, Mn Areas 2, 3 and 4 in Q2 2023,” Hansen added. 

Want to know more? 

Using Market Index’s free company data, a range of early-stage considerations can be made about Pantera Minerals by potential investors. 

Those include but are not limited to: 

  • Share price of 14.5c*

  • Market cap of $7.4m*

  • One year returns -27.5% 

  • Year to date returns up 31.8%

  • Average 4 week trading volume of 93,990 shares

  • Ranked 777 of 943 materials sector companies 

  • Company held $3.8m in cash at end of September quarter 

  • It spent $355,000 in opex over the same period 

  • It spent $721,000 in investing activities over the same period 

  • Company kicked off 1,200m drill run in November last year 

  • No capital raise since 

*As at 1030 AEST Monday 23 January 2023 

Pantera's six month charts show an upward improvement, but illiquidity is a factor
Pantera's six month charts show an upward improvement, but illiquidity is a factor


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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