Talon Metals provides updates at SME Minnesota Conference
The 2022 SME Minnesota Conference returned to an in person format April 11-13 and moved to Virginia, MN for the first time. The conference, held in the heart of the Mesabi iron range, brought together more than 850 people to the Iron Trial Motors Event Center for two days of technical programming, a robust exhibit hall and social events.
The technical sessions covered a range of topics including mineral processing, environmental, maintenance and safety and exploration updates. Of particular interest to many in attendance were the updates from Talon Metals Corp and its progress on the Tamarack nickel-copper-cobalt project. The project is located in central Minnesota and the only high-grade development stage nickel project in the United States. In January 2022, Talon entered into an agreement with Tesla Inc. to supply it with 75 kt (165 million lbs) of nickel in concentrate (and certain by-products, including cobalt and iron) from the Tamarack Nickel Project over an estimated six-year period once commercial production is achieved.
On April 13, the company announced that has purchased three new drill rigs. These new drills will be deployed to expand Talon’s exploration of the Tamarack Intrusive Complex for additional high-grade nickel, copper and cobalt.
The three Boart Longyear drill rigs, two LF-160’s and one LF-230, have increased depth capacity and bring Talon’s in-house drilling fleet to six drill rigs. The new rigs will be focusing on exploration outside of the main resource area, where numerous intercepts of high-grade nickel-copper mineralization (up to 9.95 percent nickel (drill hole 18TK0264)) have already been discovered. The first three zones that will be targeted are known as the 221 Zone, the 264 Zone, and the 164 Zone. The company also plans to drill a highly conductive anomaly that sits directly below the main zone resource area.
“The need to secure domestic sources of battery minerals like nickel has grown more urgent. Climate change is accelerating, and the United States is dependent on foreign countries for the key ingredients required for clean power and battery storage. President Biden, with bipartisan support in Congress, has recently elevated domestic sourcing of battery materials like nickel to a national priority. Our investment in new equipment, people and technology to explore for battery minerals in Minnesota addresses this national priority and purpose” said Henri van Rooyen, CEO of Talon.
“Talon’s in-house geology and geophysics teams have already established the initial high-grade zone of nickel-copper mineralization at the Tamarack Nickel Project that will supply Tesla and potentially other customers,” van Rooyen said. “Our investment in these three new drill rigs and hiring the people to deploy them on a 24/7 basis will hopefully confirm our geologists’ view that Tamarack is a “district scale” resource similar to other large-scale nickel sulphide districts in Canada and Russia that have been shown to have numerous zones of high-grade mineralization.”
Brian Goldner, Chief Exploration and Operations Officer of Talon said: “Over the last two years, our in-house drilling and geology teams have gone to the next level in terms of targeting and successfully hitting high-grade nickel-copper zones at the Tamarack Nickel Project. Based on last year’s metrics alone, we increased our hit ratio from 50 to 95 percent, and drilled a record 33,000 meters while intersecting a record amount of high-grade massive sulphides. With these new rigs, we plan to exceed the past milestones and hope to demonstrate that Minnesota has even more to contribute to the clean energy transition and serve as a domestic source of infinitely recyclable battery materials like nickel, copper, cobalt and iron.”