Perth based IMX Resources and joint venture partner Continental nickel have discovered new nickel sulphide mineralisation at the Ntaka Hill nickel Sulphide project in Tanzania, including a potential new zone that has returned intercepts of up to 1.45% nickel and 0.25% copper.
The partners are focused on upgrading the Resource confidence categories.
It was also designed to further define the near surface zones of hanging wall mineralisation situated within the northern end of the conceptual pit for the Sleeping Giant zone.
The first round of drill assays returning 32.65 metres at 1.04% nickel and 0.22% copper, including 14.05 metres at 1.45% nickel and 0.25% copper, near the north-eastern edge of the Sleeping Giant zone.
Further adding to the potential of the Sleeping Giant zone, multiple zones of disseminated nickel sulphide mineralisation were intersected in the hanging wall to the zone, assaying greater than 0.5% nickel, including 14.8 metres at 1% nickel and 0.2% copper.
The L Zone has also been extended 50 metres to the south with an intersection of 3.8 metres at 2.03% nickel and 0.35% copper.
The Ntaka Hill nickel sulphide project forms part of the larger Nachingwea nickel-copper JV Project in southern Tanzania, and is strategically located close to key infrastructure.
Ntaka has previously demonstrated excellent metallurgy capable of producing premium nickel concentrates.
A revised Scoping Study is scheduled for release in September 2012, and an Environmental Impact Study and definitive metallurgical test work is underway.
Forecast production is set down for 2015 with an initial phase generating 10,000 to 15,000 tonnes per annum, followed by an expansion phase producing 20,000 to 25,000 tonnes per annum.
IMX and Continental have been implementing a C$10 million exploration program for 2012 on the Nachingwea project.
The aggressive exploration program comprises 20,000 to 25,000 metres of diamond and reverse circulation drilling, a 2,500 line kilometre regional airborne versatile time domain electromagnetic (VTEM) survey and ground geophysical surveys.
In addition to infill and step-out drilling at the Sleeping Giant zone, the program also includes drill testing exploration targets in the Ntaka and Lionja ultramafic intrusions, and generating and exploring priority targets on the regional land holdings.
To date, 11 drill holes totalling 1,802 metres have been completed to test seven exploration targets. All of these holes have intersected various concentrations of sulphides hosted within the Ntaka ultramafic intrusion.
The VTEM survey will cover selected portions of the regional land holdings, including the area of the newly discovered Hog gold showing where surface gossan grab samples returned values of up to 4.96 grams per tonne (g/t) gold.
The survey is scheduled for completion by mid-August.
Nachingwea JV ownership structure
IMX's interest in Nachingwea is held through a direct 25% interest in the Tanzanian joint venture company, Ngwena Limited, and indirectly through a 37.2% interest in Continental nickel.
The partners are moving closer to a merger under the previously announced plan for IMX to acquire all of the shares in Continental nickel that it does not already own.
Continental has been granted approval from the Ontario Superior Court of Justice in Canada to call a special meeting of shareholders to approve the proposed business consolidation of the two companies.
The plan is to bring all of IMX and Continental's activities under one single entity to simplify the structure of the two companies and reduce the complexities associated with bringing the Nachingwea Project into production.
The consolidation of IMX and Continental will take the market capitalisation of IMX Resources to about A$100 million, up from $43 million at present.
The combined company will feature dual ASX and TSX listings, giving access to a broader investor base, and an attractive asset base and growth pipeline.
In addition, with a cash balance of more than $15 million coupled with ongoing operating cash flow from Cairn Hill, the company will have greater funding and development capabilities going forward.
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