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26 June 2017
Strategic Minerals plc
("Strategic Minerals" or the "Company" or "SML")
CARE H2 Exploration Program targets Cobalt, Nickel, Rare Earths and Gold
Strategic Minerals PLC (AIM: SML; USOTC; SMCDY), the diversified mineral production and development company, announces that its Board has agreed to a fully funded exploration programme for its wholly owned subsidiary, Central Australian Rare Earths ("CARE"), which holds tenements in Western Australia and the Northern Territory that are prospective for cobalt, gold, nickel sulphides and rare earth elements.
· Three stage exploration programme
· Stages one and two at Hanns Camp with Stage three at Mount Weld
· Stage one to drill 2,000 Metres through 40-50 air core holes
· Stage one to focus on Cobalt and newly identified Nickel Laterite targets
· Stage two to undertake deeper diamond drilling, targeting Nickel Sulphide deposits
· Programme of works lodged with WA Government covering stages one and two
· Stage three soil sampling campaign to identify high priority REE and Gold targets
· All three stages fully funded from internal cashflows
· H2 expected to see recurring newsflow for CARE
The programme will predominantly consist of shallow drilling for a total of approximately 2,000 metres. This is to be undertaken through between 40 and 50 air core drill holes designed to assess an area that is prospective for nickel sulphides and nickel-cobalt laterites at CARE's tenements at Hanns Camp, Western Australia, east of Laverton.
The Company completed the 100% acquisition of CARE in May 2017 and has since been reviewing its exploration plans for the second half of 2017. The Company considers that the second half of the year will be an exciting one, with a three staged approach to the exploration of the major CARE tenements.
Stage one of the exploration programme involves the undertaking of around 2,000 metres of drilling in the Hanns Camp tenements that were the subject of successful drilling in 2016. The drilling programme will be conducted by the completion of between 40 to 50 air core drill holes. These will be designed to test the prospective area at Hanns Camp that has previously indicated anomalous cobalt and nickel results. While cobalt is the key focus of the air core drilling programme, it is believed that a coincident nickel target may also be defined from the laterite deposits that have previously been recognised in the area.
The drilling programme involved in stage one is expected to be completed and assay results received within the third quarter of 2017. It is considered that the findings from these drill holes may also provide indicators for prospective nickel sulphides targets, which may be tested with future drilling in Stage two.
Stage two involves the drilling of between one and three deeper diamond holes at the Hanns Camp tenements and, to provide the greatest probability of success, a specialist Nickel geological and geophysics review will be conducted in parallel to stage one. It is anticipated that the drilling of these holes and assay results will be completed in the second half of 2017.
CARE has lodged a Programme of Works with the Western Australian Government which covers anticipated drilling arrangements encompassed in stages one and two of the exploration plans for CARE's Hanns Camp tenements.
Stage three of the exploration programme relates to the Mount Weld tenements which are located approximately 30km south of Hanns Camp. These tenements are adjacent to the world class Lynas Rare Earths project and are prospective for gold and Rare Earth Elements. The Company is proposing a careful and calculated approach, commencing with a soil sampling campaign, which is planned for the third quarter of 2017. After this, the Company will undertake a process of identifying high priority targets, potentially leading to additional exploration activities.
The Company is encouraged by a renewed interest in the market for rare earth elements, the fact that the CARE tenements are adjacent to the Lynas project and the history of gold deposits unearthed in this region. All this provides the Company with an excellent strategic position in Western Australia. The emphasis on rare rarth elements at Mount Weld is a reflection of the Company's intention to identify resources that the Directors believe are likely to outperform in the medium term.
All the works outlined in the three stage drilling programme are to be funded internally and scope exists to fund further exploration activity, if called for by preliminary results. The commencement of income this month from the latest new significant customer at the Cobre operation reinforces the Company's finances further.
Commenting, John Peters, Managing Director of Strategic Minerals, said:
"We are excited to commence further exploration in relation to potential cobalt, nickel laterite and nickel sulphide deposits at Hanns Camp, Western Australia along with the rare earth elements and gold prospectivity at the Mount Weld tenements in WA.
"Considering the successful results of previous drilling at Hanns Camp and the large Lynas operation adjacent to the Mount Weld tenements, we consider that there is a strong potential for technical and commercial success associated with the planned exploration programmes.
"SML's strategy of judiciously fast tracking the CARE project, now that we have acquired 100% ownership, is taking effect and has the potential to add significant value and provide great returns to shareholders. Further, due to the underlying cashflows from its Cobre magnetite stockpile operation, SML is in the fortunate position to undertake these activities without any dilution to existing shareholders."
For further information, please contact:
Strategic Minerals plc +61 (0) 414 727 965
Follow Strategic Minerals on:
Vox Markets: www.voxmarkets.co.uk/company/SML
SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
Nominated Adviser and Joint Broker
+44 (0)20 3470 0470
Optiva Securities Limited
+44 (0)20 3411 1880
Yellow Jersey PR
Alistair de Kare-Silver
+44 (0)7825 916 715
Notes to Editors
Strategic Minerals Plc is an AIM-quoted, diversified mineral development and production company with projects in the United States of America, the UK and Australia. The Company is focused on acquiring and developing cash generative, high quality projects which meet local market demand for commodities and utilising this cash flow to undertake value added exploration.
In September 2011, Strategic Minerals purchased its first cash generating asset; the Cobre magnetite tailings dam project in New Mexico, USA which it brought into production in 2012 and which continues to provide a revenue stream for the Company. The portfolio was expanded in January 2016 with the acquisition of shares in Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd, which holds tenements in Western Australia and the Northern Territory that are prospective for cobalt, gold, nickel sulphides and rare earth elementss. The Company has since acquired all shares in Central Australian Rare Earths Pty Ltd. In May 2016, an additional exploration asset was acquired when the Company entered into an agreement with New Age Exploration Limited to acquire up to 50% of the Redmoor Tin/Tungsten project in Cornwall, UK. This 50% acquisition has now been completed and drilling at the project has commenced.
This information is provided by RNS