Widgie Nickel hits high grade lithium in WA

Mon 09 Jan 23, 2:00pm (AEST)
Electric car with lithium batteries plugged into charging station
Source: iStock

Key Points

  • Widgie Nickel is formally pivoting to battery metal lithium as it continues to explore for nickel
  • Maiden drill campaign at Mt. Edwards project in WA finds high grade lithium in hard rock near surface
  • Infill drilling on-site will kick off in the coming weeks as progress continues

Widgie Nickel (ASX:WIN), currently drilling for lithium at its Mt. Edwards project in WA, on Monday confirmed further high-grade hard-rock lithium assays from the latest drilling at the on-site Faraway prospect. 

Widgie began landing on lithium microcap investors’ radars in October last year when the share price soared following an unexpected lithium intersection

The company on Monday reported it will begin exploring for lithium across all of its projects (or “the entire Widgie tenure”) alongside its simultaneous nickel exploration. 

The pivot to battery metals sees Widgie join dozens of other mining explorers that have made the same choice. 

Pegmatite outcrops remain untested 

The company reports thick bands of shallow lithium bearing pegmatite mineralisation which was detected from surface in two Reverse Circulation (RC) drillholes. 

RC drilling captures rock chips at depth which provide something of a core equivalent. Drilling which returns a physical cylindrical core to surface is known as Diamond Drilling (DD), so called for the diamond-tipped drillbits that allow solid core collection. 

Drilling will recommence in the coming weeks as Widgie moves towards an infill campaign allowing it to better understand in which directions pegmatite mineralisation continues (and where it doesn’t, saving time and money.) 

The company will also sink drillholes beyond the boundaries of known outcrops to explore the prospect for further leads. So far, the company also has 400m of known outcrop still to be tested. 

Okay - but what about grades? 

Investor advisory firm Next Investors classifies high-grade hard-rock lithium as those with concentrations of more than 1%. 

Many Australian projects boast grades of between between 0.80% and up to 3% but reads of below 2% are most common. 

Compare that to the following results from Widgie on Monday: 

  • 16m @ 0.77% lithium from surface (MERC253), including

    • 07m @ 1.17% lithium from 1m depth 

  • 07m @ 0.73% lithium from surface (MERC247), including

    • 02 m @ 1.16% lithium from 2m depth 

The company notes these results confirm the potential of Faraday which was subject to earlier assay results reported last year which showed: 

  • 10m @ 0.90% lithium from 22m depth, including 

    • 03m @ 1.49% lithium from 29m depth 

  • 14m @ 0.88% lithium from 10m depth, including 

    • 02m @ 1.76% lithium from 15m depth, and

    • 05m @ 1.02% lithium from 20m depth 

  • 18m @ 0.72% lithium from 12m depth, including 

    • 02m @ 1.58% lithium from 30m depth 

Lithium pivot here to stay 

“Widgie looks forward into the new year with great anticipation,” company chief Steve Norregaard said. 

“This initial program is a resounding success for what is our maiden drill program targeting lithium and confirming the outstanding critical metals potential of our Mt Edwards project.” 

“Lithium is now confirmed as the second major critical mineral within our tenement package which the company will progressively advance in tandem with its highly successful and ongoing nickel exploration effort.” 

Performance considerations 

Despite the good news on the lithium front (as well as high-grades starting at surface,) Widgie’s share price is down -3.95% in late lunchtime trades to 36.5c.

A small rise in the morning was quickly sold off into red territory. 

The company has a market cap of $91.6m and is ranked 234 of 941 players in the materials sector. 

One year returns for Widgie shareholders are up by 52%; gains in the first nine days of the year sit at 10.6%. 

Widgie's three month charts as at 1400 AEST
Widgie's three month charts as at 1400 AEST


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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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