Polymetallic explorer Axiom Mining (ASX: AVQ) has published an interim update with respect to its ongoing operations at two metals projects in its portfolio.
Axiom is currently progressing the Isabel nickel project and the West Guadalcanal project, both located in the Solomon Islands.
One of the most keenly anticipated updates was regarding its ongoing wait for a mining lease over its San Jorge project. Axiom said that despite “protracted” negotiations with Solomon Island government, their discussions had “now reached the final stage”. Axiom added that it is confident of securing a mining lease over San Jorge “by the second quarter of 2018”.
Axiom’s environmental impact statement also nearing finalisation, with development consent expected shortly. According to Axiom, “a special meeting of the Minerals Board of the Ministry of Mines is expected to occur this month for final consideration of Axiom’s mining lease application”.
Two for one
At its other project in the Solomon Islands — the West Guadalcanal project — Axiom said that its exploration was yielding “encouraging results through trenching and geological mapping” with a drilling program being considered on the back of recent improvements in both spot gold and copper prices.
Axiom said that following review of the most-recently acquired data, it was now focusing its efforts on a prospect known as “Humvee” with indications that the prospect could be a piece of “a far larger mineralised system”.
Completion of early-stage field exploration including geological mapping and sampling revealed a 300 metre by 700 metre “mineralised zone”, which would now be the prime focus for Axiom at West Guadalcanal.
Axion has established a camp and exploration operations which include a significant amount of civil works for the upgrade and maintenance of access roads to some logistically challenging locations in the mountains of Guadalcanal Island.
As the wet season comes to an end in the Solomon Islands, Axiom said it plans to “connect the Humvee exploration area with Axiom’s already established camp at Taho” several kilometres away thereby providing further exploration efficiencies.
Shareholders in the loop
As part of its intention to keep its investors abreast of developments, Axiom announced two briefing sessions to be held in Sydney and Brisbane, following the success of such sessions last year.
The Sydney session will be held on 30 April 2018 while the Brisbane session is scheduled to be held the next day on 1 May 2018.
“The stage is set for Axiom to fulfil its objective of becoming a significant player in the nickel industry. Negotiations with the Solomon Islands Government for a mining lease over the San Jorge deposit have been finalised, with the final approval process due to occur shortly,” said Mr Ryan Mount, CEO of Axiom Mining.
“The efforts made, to progress our application for mining, by officials of the Ministry of Environment and the Ministry of Mines have been appreciated and we have been impressed with the recent display of professionalism by these two government departments,” he added.
Today’s exploration update saw Axiom shares lift by around 25% to $0.15 per share by the start of the afternoon trading session on the ASX.