Major miner First Quantum Minerals (TSX: FM) has exercised its $12 million earn-in option over Dreadnought Resources’ (ASX: DRE) Mangaroon nickel-copper-platinum group element project in Western Australia’s Gascoyne.
This joint venture is separate to Dreadnought’s flagship Mangaroon rare earth element ground in the same region.
Under the joint venture, First Quantum can earn 51% in the nickel-copper-PGE project by spending $12 million on exploration and development by 1 March 2026.
First Quantum will pay Dreadnought $150,000 by 30 September as part of the earn-in. However, it can withdraw from the joint venture at any stage.
Mangaroon nickel-copper-PGE joint venture
A drilling program has confirmed what Dreadnought describes as a “fertile magmatic nickel-copper-PGE system” within the project’s Money Intrusion.
According to Dreadnought, the Money Intrusion is in a similar setting to China’s Jinchuan nickel-copper-PGE deposit which has an endowment of around 500 million tonnes at 1.2% nickel, 0.7% copper and 0.4 grams per tonne PGE.
Recent reverse circulation drilling at the project hit nickel-copper sulphides in nine out of 12 holes, with drilling only testing 10% of the 45km-long Money Intrusion.
Assays from this program are anticipated in September.
Next steps at the project will involve fixed loop electromagnetics surveys, which will kick-off in October.
This will assist in determining drill targets, which are expected to be revealed in December.
“With only a handful of relatively shallow holes drilled to-date, the Dreadnought-First Quantum team has confirmed a large-scale, fertile nickel-copper-PGE system,” Dreadnought managing director Dean Tuck said.
“We look forward to working with First Quantum on the $12 million phase of the earn-in.”
In total, First Quantum can earn up to 70% of the project, with the joint venture ground covering 1,100sq km. Mangaroon is located 250km southeast of Exmouth.
First Quantum has a market cap of around $20 billion and copper, gold and nickel operations in various places around the world.