Sabre Resources hits nickel at Nepean South play in WA

Wed 21 Sep 22, 1:54pm (AEST)
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Key Points

  • Sabre Resources is reporting high-grade copper hits at Nepean South
  • Assay results for first 12 of 18 RC drillholes returned back to company geotechs
  • Company to progress further electromagnetic surveys ahead of the next stage of drilling

Sabre Resources (ASX:SBR) is reporting a fresh batch of high-grade nickel hits at its Nepean South project in WA as the company receives 12 of 18 RC drill assay results from its most recent drill run. 

Sulphide mineralisation has been detected in core samples, often coincident with high-value metal deposits and easily processed in regular downstream refining. 

The company’s geotechs believe they have sniffed out a geological area of interest on-site with high nickel values identified in an area where two rock formations underground meet. 

While assay results for the remaining 6 of 18 drill holes still pending make their way back to the company, the geotech team is already planning to undertake more electromagnetic surveys before moving ahead with the next stage of drilling. 

Nickel having a moment

Worth noting is that nickel is an emerging material of interest as an often overlooked component of EV batteries. 

Nickel is a major constituent of lithium-ion batteries, both those used in Electric Vehicles (EVs), and also grid-scale battery assets used in BESS operations—like Tesla’s ‘Megapack’ products

While lithium is the most obvious constituent of a lithium-ion battery, there is still a huge need for both copper and nickel.

Demand for both basic metals is forecast to continue climbing well into the future, driven by battery markets alone. 

Ticking boxes 

“We’re ticking all the boxes with our initial exploration programs at Nepean South…high nickel grades have been produced from the saprolite zone above sulphide bearing bedrock,” Sabre Resources CEO Jon Dugdale said. 

“A detailed drone magnetics survey has defined three targets that are highly prospective for massive nickel sulphide deposits.” 

“Our next step is to track down nickel with electromagnetics and [proceed to] further drilling that will target deposits similar to those mined at Nepean, located only 10km along strike to the north.” 

What has Sabre Resources found? 

Sabre today highlights two of 12 assay results as standout results. 

Investor information provider Undervalued Equity classifies high grade nickel as that over concentrations of 2% in samples of ore.

Compare that to the following: 

  • 08m @ 1.01% nickel from 28m depth, including: 

    • 03m @ 1.26% nickel 

  • 08m @ 0.78% nickel from 32m depth, including:

    • 04m @ 1.12% nickel 

While today’s results may fall short of the high grade cut off published by Undervalued Equity, it’s worth noting the deposits so far, at less than 40m depth, reflect fairly shallow deposits. 

Often, shallow mid-grade materials can reflect more profitable operations than deeply buried high-grade materials; given a broad enough mineral system. How broad, exactly, nickel mineralisation at Nepean South truly is remains to be seen, but company geotechs are happy with the early results. 

Sabre is currently earning an 80% interest in Nepean South which comprises a 12km corridor prospective for nickel. Nepean South sits roughly 10km to the south of Auroch Minerals’ (ASX:AOU) Nepean nickel mine situated in similar geological settings. 

Quick overview

Year to date performance for Sabre currently sits up 33.3%. 

The company has a market cap of $16.7m and is ranked 576 of 915 listed constituents in the materials sector. 

The company finished the June quarter with $8.27m in cash and spent $0.14m over the period. 

The costs of the now-concluded RC drill run will be reflected in the company’s next quarterly report. 

A look at Sabre's three month charts. The blocky shapes on the chart come by way of illiquidity
A look at Sabre's three month charts. The blocky shapes on the chart come by way of illiquidity


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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