A strong market outlook for gold and nickel sulphides has prompted exploration newcomer Metal Hawk to stake out a spot on the ASX, following a $5.5 million public offering which closed last month.
The 12 month-old company announced it would issue a maximum 27.5 million shares at $0.20 each to advance its efforts at projects in WA’s prolific eastern goldfields region, namely Kanowna East, Emu Lake and Clinker Hill.
Metal Hawk has generated “compelling drill-ready targets” across all three projects and is preparing to commence drilling in the new year.
Non-executive chairman Brett Lambert said the company’s decision to target gold and nickel sulphides is based on a belief that the market outlook for both commodities is very strong.
“The Australian dollar gold price set new all-time highs in 2019 and for the last three months has remained comfortably above A$2,000 per ounce,” he said.
“The nickel price has also been trending positively and has recently attained its highest level in five years.”
He said the favourable sentiment towards nickel had been fuelled by “expectations of burgeoning demand” for electric vehicle batteries, which have a high nickel content.
Existing demand for nickel has already seen London Metal Exchange warehouse stocks fall from over 450,000 tonnes in 2015 to below 90,000 tonnes this year.
Metal Hawk’s projects are strategically located within WA’s eastern goldfields and the
emerging Albany Fraser regions.
The eastern goldfields is a globally-significant producer of gold and nickel sulphide and Kanowna East, Emu Lake and Clinker Hill are adjacent to established mining operations and existing infrastructure.
Mr Lambert said the proximity to existing mines will help the company implement cost-effective and efficient exploration and potentially provides a more rapid and lower cost pathway to production for any deposits discovered.
In the Albany Fraser region, Metal Hawk’s acreage comprises the Viking gold project – initially identified in 2011 by AngloGold Ashanti, (ASX: AGG) – and the Fraser South project, located near Independence Group’s (ASX: IGO) world-class Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper mine, which is prospective for massive sulphide nickel-copper mineralisation.
At Viking, Metal Hawk recently entered into a joint venture agreement with Chalice Gold Mines’ (ASX: CHN) subsidiary CGM (WA) Pty Ltd, allowing CGM to earn up to 70% equity by sole funding up to $2.75 million of exploration over 4.5 years.
The arrangement enables exploration and evaluation of Viking to proceed without depleting Metal Hawk’s funds and leaves it free to focus on advancing other projects.
Following its ASX admission, Metal Hawk said it would prioritise the investigation of under-explored portions of its eastern goldfields projects using geochemical, geological and geophysical techniques to identify, develop and test drill targets for gold and nickel sulphide mineralisation.
Results will help determine the economic viability of each project.
Metal Hawk will trade on the ASX under the ticker ‘MHK’.