NickelX Ltd (ASX:NKL) has struck an exclusive option agreement for the acquisition of advanced nickel and hard rock lithium exploration projects in central Europe, sending its shares skyward.
Investors have responded positively to the agreement with shares as much as 56.73% higher in morning trade to $0.105.
NickelX’s move to secure these advanced projects underscores its strategic vision and positions the company to take advantage of the growing demand for nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium, particularly in the context of the planned establishment of 27 lithium battery ‘Gigafactories’ in the region by 2030.
One of the projects covered by the agreement is the Ransko Nickel-Copper-Cobalt Project in the Czech Republic. The Ransko Permit, spanning an area of 6.93 square kilometres, is known to host significant nickel-copper-cobalt mineralisation.
While historical mapping, sampling, geophysics and limited drilling have identified the presence of valuable mineral deposits, no modern exploration techniques or resource modelling have been conducted since the mid-1960s.
Rich historical dataset
The project benefits from a rich historical dataset derived from seven known sulphide deposits, which demonstrate multiple magma pulses and sulphide events associated with local faults and intrusions.
This project has also secured funding from the EU’s €7.5 million SEMACRET Project, which aims to support exploration for critical raw materials within the EU market.
The second project covered under the agreement is the Otov Hard Rock Lithium Project in the west of the Czech Republic near the German border. Encompassing 18.1 square kilometres, the Otov Permit is known for significant lithium (spodumene) mineralisation.
Historical mining activities targeting feldspar have revealed underground workings at the Otov1 pegmatite, demonstrating the presence of valuable lithium resources.
Notably, the Otov1 Lithium-Caesium-Tantalum (LCT) pegmatite displays a vertical zoning pattern, with spodumene concentrations increasing with depth. Impressive spodumene crystals, measuring up to 70 centimetres in length, further underscore the project’s potential.
Despite these promising indicators, the permit area’s 17 additional mapped pegmatites have not been subject to modern exploration techniques, leaving ample room for future discovery and development.
Project location in the central European country of the Czech Republic.
Managing director Matt Gauci said: “We are very excited to have secured the option to acquire, explore and develop the large-scale nickel-copper-cobalt mineralisation at Ransko, as well as the highly prospective Otov LCT pegmatite, which was historically only mined for feldspar, which is 1 of the 17 known LCT pegmatites, and where large spodumene crystals, up to 70 centimetres, are reported.
“Should we decide to exercise the option, the company will formalise an existing exploration partnership with Aurum Discovery Limited, a highly respected European-based exploration consultancy, with in-country representation, to ensure efficient operations, ongoing stakeholder engagement and progression of the existing EU Funded SEMACRET Project, which aims to promote exploration for Critical Raw Materials in the EU.”
Transition to green
The acquisition option agreement comes at a time when the European Union is placing increased emphasis on the transition to a green economy.
The EU Critical Raw Materials Act, adopted in March 2023, aims to enhance the EU’s self-reliance on mining essential metals such as nickel, copper, cobalt and lithium.
The recently adopted EU Green Deal allocates substantial funding, including €1 trillion for combatting climate change and €40 billion for the transition from fossil fuels to green energy.
These initiatives are expected to drive investments in the very metals that NickelX aims to dig up.
With the European market poised for significant growth in these critical metals, investors and industry observers eagerly await further developments as NickelX advances its exploration and acquisition efforts in central Europe.
“Critical minerals well demonstrated”
“It is an unprecedented time for energy transition in Europe with the passing of the EU Critical Raw Materials (CRM) Act and the adoption of the EU Green Deal, transforming the requirement for and funding of, exploration, development and mining of critical minerals,” Gauci said.
“These critical minerals are well demonstrated within both the Ransko and Otov projects.
“The projects are exceptionally well located, almost on the doorsteps of 27 lithium battery ‘Gigafactories’ in Europe planned for 2030. Ransko and Otov are within a c.500 kilometres radius of these Gigafactories and there is also potential for Volkswagen (VW) (and Czech-based subsidiary Skoda Auto) to build a Gigafactory within the Czech Republic.”