Boadicea Resources is uniquely positioned to advance its Western Australian and Queensland tenements. Under its own drilling team and teaming up with IGO in the Fraser Range last year, the company is embarking on its most ambitious exploration period to date.
Australia has enjoyed its share of success when it comes to greenfields discoveries.
In 2012, Sirius Resources uncovered the Nova nickel deposit in the underexplored Fraser Range of Western Australia, igniting a wave of exploration in the region.
The Nova deposit rocketed Sirius’ market capitalisation to more than $1 billion in 2013.
IGO (then Independence Group) acquired Sirius in 2015 for $1.8 billion, giving rise to stronger investment and understanding of the Fraser Range nickel belt.
With greater emphasis on green metals such as nickel, copper and lithium to drive the EV revolution, an exploration company such as Boadicea Resources is poised for significant investor interest as its exploration and drilling programs advance in the search for these new-age minerals to fuel the clean energy requirements of the future.
Boadicea received a significant kick-along in September last year when IGO sealed a landmark deal with its Nova neighbour.
IGO signed an asset sale agreement to explore nine of Boadicea’s 100 per cent owned Fraser Range tenements over a five-year period.
If a resource is declared by IGO within the five years of exploration, Boadicea will receive $50 million.
Boadicea hailed the agreement as the start of a metamorphic period for the company, with it since targeting additional copper-gold tenements in the Paterson Province and gold tenements in Queensland.
Boadicea managing director Jon Reynolds says the IGO deal defines the company among junior explorers on the ASX.
The Fraser Range has enjoyed a ‘hot property’ status since the Nova discovery in 2012. It has grown in importance since that time with the price of nickel soaring and demand for the metal not looking like it will abate any time soon.
According to a Roskill report from February, global nickel demand will rise by 2.6 million tonnes by 2040 off the back of rising electric vehicle (EV) manufacturing.
The report found that Australia will contribute more than 25 per cent of new mined nickel supply by 2030. The Fraser Range has a key role to play in this.
“The new Boadicea board of management that took over the company reins in April 2020 has transformed the company in the last 12 months in a significant way and we are on the threshold of highly prospective new projects with the exploration targets we have,” Reynolds tells Australian Resources & Investment.
“At the same time, we’ve added two extra exploration regions to our portfolio in terms of the Paterson Province and the Drummond Basin in Queensland.
“Within six months of IGO’s deal, the first 809-metre diamond drill hole from its most highly rated exploration target – Orion, which sits on the border of Boadicea’s Symons Hill licence.
“The results to date show the drilling has skimmed the margin of the chonolith intrusion, buoying IGO’s exploration efforts in the region to find the extension of its Orion intrusion. The intrusion is showing increased mineralisation on Boadicea’s Symons Hill licence.”
A discovery at Symons Hill provides IGO its closest feed source for its hungry Nova mill located three kilometres away.
With Boadicea and IGO waiting on initial assays following their partnership, Reynolds says the early signs are promising.
“The preliminary indication is that there is a lot more potential in our licence,” he says.
“IGO has a large exploration program at the moment, including geophysical surveys and aircore drilling, and they’re committing to further diamond holes.”
As IGO reaches deep into its pockets to explore nine of the 11 Fraser Range tenements owned by Boadicea, the junior explorer is looking to simultaneously grow its other projects.
“It allows us to focus on our other tenements. IGO is the expert in the Fraser Range and we will let them explore the tenements on our behalf to add value to shareholders,” Reynolds says.
Boadicea’s Koongulla copper-gold project in the Paterson Province is also surrounded by major companies, including Newcrest Mining’s Telfer mine, which contains 32 million ounces of gold and 1 million tonnes of copper.
Airborne geophysics have shown that Koongulla’s interpreted dome shares similar characteristics to Telfer.
“To say we have identified the exceptionally promising characteristics about Koongulla is an understatement,” Reynolds says. “We’ve picked up a really good quality position in the Paterson Province for almost no cost and we have a potential Telfer lookalike.”
Boadicea aims to start drilling at Koongulla either late this year or next year.
With its Western Australian tenements showing signs of nickel and copper mineralisation, Boadicea is well prepared to capitalise on growing demand for both base metals which have been bullishly priced this year.
“Just the fact we’ve got nickel and copper exposure in terms of what we’re looking at means by default we’re in the EV market and exposed to that supply and demand,” Reynolds says.
According to Reynolds, Boadicea is part of a new generation of junior companies that will be developing projects in the same hot exploration areas as larger mining companies.
“Being one of the top key targets for IGO to find its mixed resource for its Nova mill certainly put us in that new generation,” Reynolds says.
Boadicea’s focal point at two exploration licences in the Drummond Basin and Charters Towers regions of Queensland is gold.
Reynolds says both licences at the tenements, which were secured at a low price, are progressing through their early stages.
“We identified that Queensland has a lot of opportunities for quite interesting gold exploration potential,” he says.
“It was less explored, less covered by tenements and explorers; Charters Towers and the Drummond Basin jumped out to us for that reason.
“We like gold as it’s of relatively low cost to develop and maintains its interest within the investment community, so it was a natural fit for our portfolio.”
Boadicea’s substantial to-do list for the remainder of the year will have the board working diligently, and keep it agile and nimble to ensure it harnesses the full potential of the exploration efforts. The works include geophysics work across its Paterson Province and Queensland tenements.
With a background as a geologist, Reynolds says greenfields exploration remains the focus for Boadicea.
“We’ve got an excellent range of greenfields tenements in regions of Australia that are highly prospective for base metals and gold,” Reynolds says.
“We previously only had the Fraser Range but now we have three exceptionally good quality regions for us to explore and specifically targeting the biggest upside of all – mineral discovery and growing shareholder value.”
This story also appears in the August issue of Australian Resources & Investment.