Strike is an international mineral exploration company, with projects in South America and Australia.
Strike has been operating in South America since 2005, where it has been principally focused on developing its Apurimac Iron Ore Project in Peru, recognised as one of the highest grade, large-scale magnetite projects in the world with the potential to support the establishment of a significant 20 Mtpa iron ore operation.
Anticipating the expected massive increase in demand for commodities used for the manufacture of electric vehicle (EV) and grid storage (GS) batteries, Strike has more recently made strategic investments in two battery minerals projects – the Solaroz Lithium Brine project in Argentina (located in the heart of South America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’); and, the Burke Graphite Project in Queensland, Australia.
Both lithium and graphite are critical ingredients for the current generation of EV and GS batteries and both projects offer tremendous upside potential for Strike.
In addition, Strike is currently developing the Paulsens East Iron Ore Project in the Pilbara, Western Australia which contains high grade iron ore potentially suitable as direct shipping ore (DSO) for customers in China.
Strike’s portfolio of projects therefore provides investors with exposure to the exciting emerging battery minerals sector, plus a world class established asset in the Apurimac Iron ore Project and near term iron ore production potential in Australia.
Solaroz Lithium Project (Argentina)
Strike has rights to acquire a 90% interest in the highly prospective Solaroz Lithium Brine Project (Solaroz) within South America’s ‘Lithium Triangle’ in North-West Argentina.
Solaroz comprises concessions (totaling 12,000 hectares in area, mostly adjacent to and principally surrounded by concessions held by ASX-listed Orocobre Limited (ASX:ORE) and TSX-listed Lithium Americas Corporation (TSX:LAC).
Solaroz is located in the same Salar de Olaroz Basin as and directly adjacent to the producing Salar de Olaroz Lithium Brine Project operated by Orocobre.
The location of Solaroz is considered by Strike to be highly strategic and prospective for containing commercial quantities and concentrations of lithium-rich brine, since Strike believes that the aquifer which supplies the lithium-rich brine being extracted by Orocobre is likely to extend under Strike’s Solaroz Concessions. This will be tested by geophysical work and drilling with a view to fast tracking production of lithium carbonate dependent upon these works being successfully concluded.
Burke Graphite Project
In 2016, the Company secured the Burke Graphite Project in Queensland. During 2017 Strike conducted a drilling campaign on the key Burke tenement and delivered a maiden JORC resource which confirmed the Burke deposit as one of the highest grade graphite deposits in the world.
- 6.3 million tonnes @ 16.0% Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) for 1,000,000 tonnes of contained graphite;
- Within the mineralisation envelope there is included higher grade material of 2.3 million tonnes @ 20.6% TGC (with a TGC cut-off grade of 18%) for 464,000 tonnes of contained graphite which will be investigated further.
Testwork on the Burke graphite has confirmed its potential suitability for use in electric vehicle batteries and for the production of Graphene.
Paulsens East Iron Ore
The Paulsens East Iron Ore Project (Strike:100%) located in the Pilbara, Western Australia, has a maiden JORC Inferred Mineral Resource of 9.1 Million tonnes at 63.4 % Fe, 5.6% SiO2 and 3.2% Al2O3.
A key feature of the Paulsens East Mineral Resource is an approximately 3 kilometre-long ridge of outcropping hematite conglomerate which extends up to 60 metres above the surrounding terrain. It is estimated that the outcropping portion contains approximately 2 million tonnes of high grade 62% Fe potential DSO material that may be able to be mined with minimal overburden. Such an operation could be undertaken relatively simply using shovels and trucks, with the material then to be crushed and screened on site prior to transport by road to a suitable port facility for export.
Pilbara Lithium and Gold projects
In 2016 Strike conducted a detailed review of the Pilbara region and pegged two tenements that it believed were prospective for Lithium. Strike is undertaking exploration and evaluation activities on these tenements, for gold as well as lithium since recent exploration activities by other exploration companies has highlighted the potential for gold mineralisation in the areas of Strike’s tenements.
In addition, Strike holds a tenement located ~7km east of the Paulsens Gold Mine operated by Northern Star Resources Ltd (ASX:NST). This tenement has been held by Strike for many years for its deposit of high grade hematite. Strike has historically conducted extensive drilling on the tenement for iron ore.
A review by Strike of the historical data within the tenement for other mineralisation has indicated the presence of a historical gold occurrence, hosted within conglomerate rocks on a faulted contact between the Fortescue Group and Ashburton Basin sediments.
Further evaluation of the gold potential in this tenement is currently underway.
Peru Iron Ore Projects
The nature of the Apurimac Iron Ore Project deposit and the development work undertaken to-date define this project as a potentially strategic asset in Peru, which may, when market conditions improve, provide opportunity for the Company to restart operations or otherwise recover value.
The exceptionally high grade 57% Fe is almost twice as high as magnetite deposits developed in Australia; ore bodies are coarse grained and soft, resulting in cheaper processing costs once in production.
A pre-feasibility study completed in 2008 and updated in 2010 on the Apurimac Project indicated clear potential for development of a world-class iron ore project:
- JORC Resource of 269Mt of iron ore at Apurimac of 57.3% Fe (142 Mt Indicated at 57.84% Fe and 127 Mt Inferred at 56.7% Fe).
- Mineralisation predominantly high-grade, coarse-grained magnetite providing comparatively high mass recoveries (>60%) at coarse grind size (>500 microns).
- Excellent exploration potential within current concessions with several targets containing ironstones grading >60%Fe in similar geological settings to main Opaban concessions.
- Base case of 20Mtpa of concentrate produced by open pit mining and processing 20 – 27Mtpa of ore with transport of the high grade (>66%Fe) product to the coast via a slurry pipeline for drying and shipment to customers.
- Attractive life-of-mine operating expenses (2010) of US$ 17 – 20 per tonne of product. · Estimated capital expenditure (2010) of US$ 2.6 – 2.9 billion, competitive with other major iron ore projects at the time.
An initial drilling program at Apurimac established 269 Mt resources of high grade, coarse-grained magnetite with an average grade of 57.3% iron. Of this, potentially 67 million of Direct Shipping Ore (DSO) at an average grade of 61.5% Fe has been identified.
In addition to the Apurimac Iron Ore Project, Strike holds the Cusco Iron Ore Project, which lies approximately 150km to the south – east of Apurimac. The Cusco project forms a potential secondary development target for the Company in Peru with an initial inferred resource estimate of 104Mt at 32.6% Fe.
Like at Apurimac, iron ore mineralisation at the Cusco project is coarse grained and dominated by magnetite, with high grades recorded. Preliminary metallurgical tests indicate a concentrate grade of >65% Fe could be produced from this ore using conventional grinding and magnetic separation processes.