All images: Havilah Resources.

 

BY ELIZABETH FABRI

Diversified junior Havilah Resources has been busy. In June, the company announced high cobalt recoveries at Mutooroo, launched a due diligence agreement with SIMEC, and divested its North Portia mine. Elizabeth Fabri spoke with Havilah chief executive Walter Richards about the company’s timeline to production for its Kalkaroo and Mutooroo projects.

 

 Q. You recently flagged the sale of Benagerie Mining Lease, comprising the Portia and North Portia mines, for $14.7 million and a 2 per cent royalty. Why did you sell?

 

Havilah has established a mutually beneficial relationship with Consolidated Mining and Civil (CMC) over the past three years and together we have made a success of the Portia gold mine.

With all the infrastructure in place at Portia and a willing and able partner, with relevant experience, it appears to be the logical next step for CMC to develop the North Portia copper-cobalt-gold deposit, which is right next to Portia on the same mining lease.

Havilah also has other projects in its diverse multi-commodity portfolio that have greater potential in both scope and profitability.

The divestment of the Benagerie Mining Lease provides Havilah with some immediate funding and an ongoing revenue stream from which to fund our other major projects, without the distraction of developing the North Portia resource ourselves.

Havilah also maintains first rights to the pyrite (potentially cobalt containing).  It’s a ‘win win’ outcome for both parties.

 

Q. Take us through Havilah’s ‘Copper Strategy— Enhanced by Cobalt’and its significance.

 

Havilah is a very fortunate junior miner with a multi-commodity portfolio that allows it to choose the right commodity at the right time.

We believe that the current commodity to focus on is copper due the positive outlook for the red metal.

We are also in the fortunate position to have all our copper deposits enhanced by cobalt and gold.

I believe most people are aware of the social and political challenges facing the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC), which to date has been a major source of the world’s cobalt.

Due to its use in batteries, including those required by the renewables industry, cobalt prices have increased significantly.

What sets Havilah’s projects apart is that our projects work on copper alone.  The cobalt therefore becomes a bonus that generates significant upside, without increasing the risk of the projects. If you are looking for an ASX listed company with exposure to copper and cobalt, but where the cobalt is located in Australia, then Havilah is one of only eight such companies.

Havilah has the biggest resource base of this group of companies.  This combination of metals, risk profile, size of JORC resources, and exploration upside, makes Havilah a unique investment opportunity.

 

Q. In June you inked a deal for GFG Alliance’s SIMEC Mining to begin due diligence at your iron ore projects. How does iron ore fit into your portfolio currently?

We have now acquired the tenement to give us full control over the Grants Iron Ore Basin.  Iron ore is not considered to be a core asset at this time, but it is part of our multi-commodity portfolio.

That means we are not investing significant funds or effort into iron ore at the moment, but we do keep an open mind as others might be prepared to invest in iron ore, or it might fit their business strategy and create opportunities for Havilah.

SIMEC could be the perfect partner for our iron ore assets.  They have access to a steel mill as well as a port, which is the missing piece of the puzzle for Havilah.

 

Q. What was the outcome of your partnership with Cobalt Blue to investigate cobalt recovery potential at Mutooroo?

 

Our relationship with COB is in the very early stages of exploring potential ways we can work together with respect to cobalt.

We have recently released promising results from laboratory scale work that COB have performed on some of our Mutooroo copper-cobalt-gold ore using their proprietary technology.

We now have to develop a work program for the next phase of our cooperation to explore how these results could benefit both parties going forward.

 

Q. Do you encourage more juniors – like yourselves— to collaborate in projects like this?

 

I think as a junior, you have to keep an open mind as to how you will be developing your projects and advance the execution of your strategy.

There is no single approach, solution, answer, or funding model/opportunity.

In other words, when you do get the opportunity to work with others to explore opportunities that could benefit both parties then these should be explored.

 

 

 

 

Q. How soon could you hit the start button at Kalkaroo and Mutooroo?

 

Mutooroo is a very doable project for Havilah.

It is a high grade copper deposit (1.5%) with a high cobalt grade (0.13%) that outcrops at the surface, is 40 minutes’ drive from Broken Hill, and has a relatively low capital cost.

It also has a lot of exploration upside.  It is therefore the perfect project for Havilah and is our next priority.  We have a $5 million work program that covers exploration, PFS and permitting.  We could have Mutooroo in production in two years’ time.

Kalkaroo is the largest undeveloped open pit copper-cobalt-gold deposit in Australia.

The economics are robust, but the project requires significant funding.

We are planning on advancing Kalkaroo by addressing a few metallurgical recovery opportunities and also expanding the scope of the PFS to include cobalt to further enhance the value proposition.

Kalkaroo could be in production in three years’ time under the right circumstances.

 

Q.Havilah chairman Kenneth Williams will retire later this year. Has the board commenced a recruitment process for his replacement?

 

This appointment will be an important one for the Havilah Board and for the evolution of Havilah.

In communicating his intent to retire at the AGM, Ken has afforded the Board sufficient time to canvass broadly to ensure that a high calibre candidate is sourced.

Some expressions of interest have already been received and we would encourage suitably qualified individuals who might be interested in being part of a company with a very exciting future to make contact with us.

 

Q. Final thoughts?

Havilah is a low cost investment opportunity to get into the copper-cobalt investment space on the ASX.

With our 16,000sqkm tenement holding in the Curnamona Craton in South Australia, a solid exploration track record, and local knowledge there is real upside opportunities for us to add value and enhance the value proposition further.