Helix (ASX:HLX) build up Ionick nickel for spinout IPO

Helix (ASX:HLX) build up Ionick nickel for spinout IPO

November 9, 2023 Off By Rueben Hale

Fully owned Helix Resources subsidiary Ionick Metals has made an option agreement with Alchemy Resources to acquire an 80 per cent interest in the neighbouring West Lynn Nickel Project and build up its laterite nickel resources across nearly 1800 square kilometres of consolidated tenure ahead of an initial public offering.

West Lynn already holds an Inferred 21.3Mt @ 0.84% Ni and 0.05% Co JORC resource, and when combined with Ionick’s Homeville project, amounts to a 40Mt resource for around 340kt of nickel and 21kt of cobalt in central New South Wales.

The resource has Ionick halfway to its target to begin prefeasibility study work, and there are plentiful high-grade prospects and intriguing targets earmarked to provide the remainder.

Helix Chair and Ionick Director Mike Rosenstreich said the option had completed significant local consolidation of assets in the region and underpinned the planned spin out.

“A key objective for Ionick will be to define a large-scale high grade Mineral Resource estimate greater than roughly 80Mt. We think this is a threshold for a ‘meaningful’ scale nickel project in terms of production output and mine life to initiate the appropriate feasibility work,” Mr Rosenstreich said.

“This sizable bump in resources, plus the addition of numerous high-grade prospects provides Ionick with strong momentum towards achieving its critical resource threshold.”

Mr Rosentreich added that Ionick’s development strategy, emphasising consolidation and development of high-grades and large-scale tonnage, highlights the company’s alertness to the challenges for other laterite projects to secure funding.

“We are building on what we consider are key points of difference to be able to progress Ionick into development. Laterite projects offer some unique opportunities to get involved in long-term and large-scale nickel production compared to sulphide nickel projects and it is very exciting to see the Ionick business plan take shape,” he said.

“Having completed this vital asset consolidation, we can now start to have serious conversations aimed at recruiting a high-quality Board and executive team with technical and commercial nickel experience to build upon and execute our strategy.”

With a focus on copper-gold, Helix saw itself holding suite of nickel, cobalt, cobalt, and PGM assets deserving of more focus, and a spinout IPO as the best way to make it happen with a different skill set and risk appetite despite largely occurring on the same tenure.

Ionick IPO

With a focus on copper-gold, Helix saw itself holding suite of nickel, cobalt, cobalt, and PGM assets deserving of more focus, and a spinout IPO as the best way to make it happen with a different skill set and risk appetite despite largely occurring on the same tenure.

While nickel sulphide deposits tend to be higher grade, laterite more often comes alongside other high-priced minerals and make up more than 70 per cent of the world’s nickel reserves.

And over the last couple of decades, production from magmatic sulphide deposits has been steadily decreasing and begun to plateau while Indonesia has built a small metals empire on the back of the laterite deposits likely to fill the void of future production.

HLX West Lynn

Nickel-cobalt-PGM rights

Prospect results

  • 24m at 1.01% nickel (Ni) & 0.06% cobalt (Co) (Sykes prospect)
  • 14m at 1.02% Ni & 0.13% Co (Sykes prospect)
  • 25m at 0.82% Ni & 0.05% Co incl. 8m at 1.12% Ni & 0.09% Co (Browder prospect)
  • 16m at 4.1 g/t Pt incl. 8m at 0.4% Ni and 0.05% Co (Jodama’s Hillview prospect)

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