Location

The Panton PGM Project is located 60 kilometres north of Halls Creek and just 1 kilometre off the Great Northern Highway, in the East Kimberley Region of Western Australia (refer to Figure One). The Great Northern Highway also provides direct access to the Port of Wyndham.

The Panton PGM Project is held under three granted Mining Leases (M80/103, M80/104 and M80/105) covering an area of approximately 23km2.

Project History

The Panton deposit was discovered by the Geological Survey of Western Australia from surface mapping conducted in the early 1960s. Initial drilling was conducted in the 1970’s and 1980’s to test the mafic-ultramafic complex. In 1989, Pancontinental Mining Limited and Degussa Exploration drilled a further 32 drill holes and defined a maiden non-JORC resource. Platinum Australia Ltd (Platinum Australia) acquired the Panton PGM Project in 2000 and conducted the majority of the drilling, comprising an additional 166 holes for 34,410 metres, leading to the delineation of a maiden JORC Mineral Resource Estimate. Platinum Australia completed a Bankable Feasibility Study for the development of the Panton PGM Project in September 2003, a time of historic lows in PGM prices. Platinum Australia’s focus then shifted to the development of PGM projects in South Africa and was placed into Administration in 2011. The Panton PGM Project was acquired by Panoramic Resources Ltd (Panoramic) in 2012 for the administrator of Platinum Australia Ltd. Panoramic conducted a wide range of metallurgical test work the Panton ore. The JORC Mineral Resource was updated to be compliant with the JORC (2012) Code in August 2015.

Future Metals NL acquired the project in June 2021.

Figure One: Project Location

Mineral Resource Estimate

Past exploration and drilling, predominantly undertaken by Platinum Australia Ltd (Platinum Australia) in the early 2000s, resulted in the delineation of a Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for the deposit undertaken by Cube Consulting Pty Ltd (Cube) in April 2003. In August 2015, Cube reviewed and re-reported its 2003 MRE model to report the MRE in accordance with the Australasian Code for Reporting of Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves 2012 (JORC 2012). The focus of the JORC 2012 MRE was on two of the chromite layers known as the Top (101) and Middle (201) Reefs, domained into the A, B, C and D blocks (refer to Figure Two).

The MRE was based on previous drilling at Panton comprising historical diamond drilling (30 holes or 9,524 metres completed prior to 2001), reverse circulation (RC) (29 holes for 2,366 metres) and more recent diamond drilling (166 holes for 34,410 metres) completed by Platinum Australia.  The MRE also included surface trenching and underground channel samples (1,391 metres) conducted by Platinum Australia between 2001 and 2003 in an exploration decline which accessed the upper chromite reef.

No significant exploration has been conducted on the Panton PGM Project for almost 20 years.

The modelled chromite reefs have an unfolded strike length of approximately 3.5 kilometres.   Historical drilling has been focused on the A, B, C and D chromite reefs and an approximate 8.5 kilometres of mapped PGM-bearing chromite reefs remain largely untested by drilling.

Grade Metal (oz)
Resource Tonnage Pt Pd Au Ni Cu Pt Pd
(g/t) (g/t) (g/t) (%) (%) (oz 000s) (oz 000s)
Top Reef
Measured 4,400,000 2.46 2.83 0.42 0.28 0.08 348 400
Indicated 4,130,000 2.73 3.21 0.38 0.31 0.09 363 426
Inferred 1,560,000 2.10 2.35 0.38 0.36 0.13 105 118
Middle Reef
Measured 2,130,000 1.36 1.09 0.10 0.18 0.03 93 75
Indicated 1,500,000 1.56 1.28 0.10 0.19 0.04 75 62
Inferred 600,000 1.22 1.07 0.10 0.19 0.05 24 21
Total 14,320,000 2.19 2.39 0.31 0.27 0.08 984 1,081

Table One: JORC 2012 Mineral Resource Estimate by Cube (August 2015)

Figure Two: Resource Wireframes showing the Panton 101 and 201 reef system

Geology

The Panton Complex is a layered mafic-ultramafic intrusion which is a 10km long and 3km wide, south-west plunging synclinal layered intrusion situated within the Central Zone of the Halls Creek Orogen of Western Australia (refer to Figures One and Three). The Panton Complex displays many geological similarities to the Bushveld Complex in South Africa on a smaller scale.

The lower range of the Panton intrusion comprises a massive variable olivine orthocumulate ultramafic intrusive phase, primarily dunite, with various other phases recognised including wehrlite, lherzolite and harzburgite. Various stratiform reefs of PGM-bearing cumulate chromitite-magnetite occur in the lower ultramafic phase at Panton. Horizons vary in thickness from 0.2 metres to 8 metres in thickness and multiple stacked reefs are common. The majority of historic drilling has been focused on the ultramafic-hosted chromite reefs of the A, B and C zones in the northern part of the Panton Complex (refer to Figures Two and Three).

The top zone of the Panton intrusion comprises mainly layered mafic phases that vary from gabbro, gabbronorite, and norite and then transitions upward to anorthosite and leucogabbro through to a ferrogabbro or magnetite-bearing gabbro at the top of the sequence (refer to Figure Three). PGM-bearing stratiform reefs are known to occur within the upper layered mafic sequences however these reefs have received much less exploration attention.

The Panton Complex has been folded into a syncline such that the shallowest chromite reefs occur around the outer edges and become deeper towards the centre of the complex (refer to Figure Three). The syncline axis is interpreted to plunge toward the southwest. In addition to folding, the Panton Complex has been subject to several stages of faulting, many of which offset the chromite reefs including a major north-south oriented fault that offsets the C zone to the south which is now known as the D zone (refer to Figure Three).

Figure Three: Panton PGM Project’s Geology and Mapped Outcropping PGM-bearing Chromite Reefs

Figure Four: Exploration Potential