Monday, January 30, 2023
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Market nonplus about Chalice murmurings

Investors paid little heed to weekend media reports hinting that a very familiar name was trying to nail down a big stake in Chalice Mining (ASX:CHN) and its fabulously rich Julimar palladium, platinum, nickel, copper and cobalt discovery.

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The media reports at the weekend suggest iron ore billionaire Andrew Forrest likes the look of Chalice and is trying to get his hands on a sizeable chunk held by former chair Tim Goyder.

Goyder owns 8.8% of Chalice and stepped down as chairman 14 months ago. he reduced his stake from 10.76% in mid-year, raising just over $30 million. Now Forrest is reportedly after the rest.

Chalice shares barely moved Monday, edging up 0.6% to $5.86 after they rose 3.7% last Friday to end the week at $5.82.

That has seen the shares surge 40% or $1.73 in the past month as the price of gold, copper, nickel and the 3E metals have steadied and risen slowly.

A big factor was an upbeat update 10 days ago which revealed assays from other parts of the prospect that suggest it is much bigger than already disclosed.

Chalice has so far proved up at least 350 million tonnes of resources at the Gonneville prospect at the south-eastern end of what is a 30-kilometre line of strike.

There’s an interesting irony here – Forrest’s interest comes as his rival Perth-based iron ore billionaire, Gina Hancock is engaged in a battle for control of Warrego Energy with another Perth billionaire, Kerry Stokes and his 30% owned (through Seven Group Holdings) Beach Energy.

The Gonneville discovery (so far) is the largest nickel sulphide discovery in the world this century. It is also the latest ever PGE (palladium, platinum and gold) discovery in Australia.

Chalice is in the final stages of a scoping study for Gonneville which will look at ideas for mining and processing ideas and could contain an upgrade to the existing resource.

The midyear upgrade to Gonneville saw Chalice declare 350 million tonnes @ 0.94 grams to the tonne 3E (palladium, platinum and gold), 0.16% Nickel, 0.10% Copper and 0.015% Cobalt.

That’s around 0.58% nickel equivalent or 1.8 grams to the tonne of palladium based on 11 million ounces of the 3E metals, 360,000 tonnes of copper, 540,000 tonnes of nickel and 54,000 tonnes of cobalt.

Glenn Dyer

Glenn Dyer has been a finance journalist and TV producer for more than 40 years. He has worked at Maxwell Newton Publications, Queensland Newspapers, AAP, The Australian Financial Review, The Nine Network and Crikey.

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