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Sunshine Metals: Illuminating Queensland’s gold & base metal potential

Peter Milios: I’m Peter Milios from the Finance News Network and today I am talking with Managing Director Damien Keys from Sunshine Metals. Sunshine Metals has the ASX code SHN and a market cap of around $14 million. Damien, welcome to the network.

Damien Keys: Thanks for having me.

Peter Milios: Thank you. To kick things off, could you give the audience an overview of the company and its projects?

Damien Keys: Yeah. Sunshine Metals is a Queensland based, Queensland focused explorer. We’ve been listed since December 2020 with an initial focus on a gold prospect called Triumph. We’ve put 120,000 ounce resource down there, very shallow. And as we’ve grown, we’ve been acquiring land in the Charters Towers Ravenswood district in Queensland. So a really prolific district for gold. Historically, 20 million ounces produced out of the district and significantly 14 million tons worth of base metal and gold VMS ore. And recently we’ve just acquired the Greater Liontown Project, which fits nicely in that Ravenswood district and that gives us exposure to a five and a half million ton base metal and gold resource in that district as well, at about 12% recoverable zinc equivalent. So a nice fire grade resource, certainly with a big scope to grow that.

We’ve recently been drilling down around the Liontown VMS prospect. We’ve pulled the system apart from a chemical perspective and had a look at the real metal distribution and what makes the system tick. We’ve been focusing on the gold and copper rich parts of the resource and we finished last year with a stunning drilling intersection of 17 meters at 22.1 grams per ton gold. So a gold only hit in a large zinc system, and we see there’s certainly been a lot more potential for these gold rich zones within these barren systems.

Peter Milios: Could you explain why you chose Queensland as the focal point for your operations?

Damien Keys: Yeah, I guess I’ve worked throughout Australia, and Queensland, kept coming back to Queensland as a place that companies kind of jet in, do a bit of work, don’t really get embedded in the environment and certainly within the towns and they shoot back to WA or Sydney or Brisbane or wherever they’re based out of. We’re based out of Townsville in North Queensland. The Ravenswood Charters Towers district is an hour and a half from our head office, makes it, we live and breathe our projects. We have great relationships with our pastoralists and landholders and native title groups and that in its own right makes access to the project a lot simpler. It’s one thing having perspective ground, it’s another thing, being able to access it and do exactly what you want when you need to. And we feel like we’ve got a real competitive advantage in that regard.

In terms of the exploration potential itself, well Queensland’s one of these places that exploration’s kind of forgotten over the years. The Charters Towers Ravenswood District had its heyday in the 80s and 90s when there were mines such as Mount Leyshon, three and a half to 4 million ounce of gold mined out of Mount Leyshon. Highway-Reward was a fantastic copper gold deposit, 4 million tons at 5 1/2% copper and a gram gold. Charters Towers itself was in operation, Ravenswood was just starting to hit its straps and find its feet. So it was a real buzz around the district in the 80s and 90s and since then a couple of those mines have closed down. They just ran out of resource and there hasn’t been any real systematic or modern exploration in the district.

We see it as an opportunity. We’ve got a fantastic land holding in the mountains of volcanics especially, and there’s companies there that have gone through and done systematic exploration for base metals but haven’t included gold in their exploration suite. So there’s lots of gaps in data, but there’s a lot of data to drive us into targeting in certain areas. So yeah, great opportunity in Queensland.

Peter Milios: Well, hopefully you guys can start a resurgence back in the day like it was in the 80s and 90s. But moving on to your recent announcements, you’ve had a busy start to the year, particularly this month. Could you talk through some recent news.

Damien Keys: As we touched on, it was a chaotic finish to last year with testing a few new concepts and we generated a stunning drill intersection. So looking at that metal distribution within the Liontown VMS system and that led us to drill two holes targeting that particular end of the, well, that particular concept. And one of those holes hit 17 at 22 and we enjoyed a nice little price spike off the back of that. The second hole tested what we think is the B default system to the mineralized system, where the fluids would’ve come through as these systems were laid on a sea floor. That hole intersected two meters at four grams of 4% zinc and about half percent copper. So certainly, and it intersected significant folding.

So we considered both holes a success and it certainly provided the impetus for the start of the year. So we’ve gone back and completed another small drill campaign to see if we can extend that gold rich panel to should be out to dimensions of about 120 by 120 meters. Doesn’t sound like much, but there’s intersections in there other than the 17 at 22, like 8.1 meters at 10.65 grams gold and another one that’s 8 at 11.7 grams gold. So this is a really unusual panel, really rich. So we’re testing the extents to that panel and then some of these feeders to these systems. So we think we’re on the right track in terms of pinpointing the copper and gold rich parts, going about the exploration to delineate those and see if we can extend resource deeper into the footwall than ever has been defined. So that drilling has been completed the first round and we’re awaiting results on that.

And recently we’ve just in the last week or week and a half, we’ve put out a resource upgrade on Liontown. So when we acquired the project, the project was 3.2 million. That got us just under 5 million ton of resource and 2.3 of that was at Liontown. We’ve upgraded that resource in since September when we’ve had the project. There’s been about 108 holes that have been drilled since the last resource was done in 2020 and they’ve been incorporated. So we’ve had a significant increase in tons, another half million tons added to the resource, but importantly, the confidence in that resource has gone from 32% indicated up to about 63% indicated resource, giving that global resource for the district about a 47% indicated component. So we’ve got a nice high grade resource that we’ve got a lot of confidence around.

Peter Milios: So firstly, congrats on the Liontown resource announcement. And secondly, could you give us some more color around the future pathway of the project?

Damien Keys: Yeah, there has been the resource update and we’ve got real line of sight on how we grew this resource. The resource at Liontown in its own right is formed from the Liontown deposit and the Liontown East Resource, two separate resource blocks. There’s a handful of holes between the two resource blocks, all mineralized, and we see no reason why we shouldn’t be able to extend those two resources to merge. And then further to that, the footwall of the Liontown East Resource hasn’t been delineated, so we can see a really clear line of sight on how we can rapidly grow this Liontown East system. It’ll be a significant VMS system in its own right.

Further to that, we’re currently completing some geophysics at the moment on a couple of prospects nearby that Highway-Reward copper gold mine. So we’re chasing copper gold rich targets at Truncheon and Highway East and we’ll be putting boots on ground at prospects like Tiger Town and Trooper Creek in the next couple of months. So it is an exciting time for exploration. 2024 shapes has been a good year for Sunshine.

Peter Milios: Damien Keys, thank you for your time and we’ll be following your progress with interest. Thank you.

Damien Keys: Excellent. Thanks Peter.

Ends.