The Company has a 100% interest in three granted Exploration Permits (Mineral), two Exploration Permit applications (Mineral) and 100% of the metal rights to one Mineral Development Licence covering a total of 2,008km² near Richmond and Julia Creek in North West Queensland. The tenements cover large areas of Cretaceous Toolebuc Formation.
In December 2016 Intermin announced the execution of a binding Heads of Agreement with AXF Resources Pty Ltd (“AXF”), a wholly owned subsidiary of the AXF Group (http://www.axfresources.com.au/)
Details of the HoA between the parties include:
- AXF to sole fund and manage A$6m of technical beneficiation and commercialisation studies over 4 years to earn a 75% interest in the project;
- Intermin free carried to study completion;
- AXF purchased an initial stake in Intermin via subscription for $430,000 in Intermin shares at 12c per share with a 1 for 2 option with a strike price of 17c and expiry of 31 August 2018.
Since 2006 Intermin has actively explored the region and defined the world’s largest known vanadium deposit hosted within weathered calcareous oil shales between surface and 15 metres vertical depth. Below this depth the Toolebuc oil shale is fresh and contains organic (kerogen) content capable of generating >60 litres of oil per tonne of shale. Both the weathered and fresh oil shale horizons contain significant vanadium, molybdenum, nickel and copper metal.
The JORC 2004 Mineral Resource Estimate for the Richmond Project was;
Measured, Indicated & Inferred (Oxide) –
- Billion tonnes grading 0.375% V2O5 + 295g/t MoO3
These oxide resources have been defined in only a small portion of the area known to host vanadium and molybdenum (V/Mo) mineralisation in the region. There is potential for the definition of much larger Resources at depth and along strike. These areas include V/Mo Resources on the Julia Creek tenements that were previously held by Intermin then assigned to Global Oil Shale PLC (“GOS”). (Under an agreement with GOS, Intermin retains beneficial ownership of all minerals other than oil shale recovered from the assigned tenements).
Metallurgical work on the project since inception has focused on upgrading the fresh oil shale by mineral dressing procedures. The aim is to produce a high grade Kerogen concentrate which can be further processed to release its oil content leaving an ash containing high levels of V/Mo for metal recovery.
Results to date warrant further testwork to improve the selectivity of various mineral dressing approaches available. Intermin has been actively seeking a joint venture partner to assist with the next stage of development of this very large project which is to conduct further testwork and define a technical solution to extract the minerals economically.