East Timor emerges as battery minerals target

Manatuto and Ossu project location plans. Image: Inca Minerals

East Timor is showing battery minerals potential across the country, leading Inca Minerals to lodge an applications for three exploration licences.

Forty kilometres east of the capital city Dili, inland from the northern coastline of East Timor, marks the base of the Manatuto project area within Inca’s licence application.

The area is considered prospective for nickel, cobalt and chromium.

Prior sampling in the area showed chromium mineralisation extending over a 2500m strike length, with grades between 35–51 per cent chromium.

Another prospective cobalt, gold, silver, copper and zinc mineralisation appears 14km north of the provincial town of Viqueque and 80km southeast of Dili.

Mineralisation at grades of 3 to 4 grams per tonne (g/t) gold, 70g/t silver and 10 per cent copper have been previously recorded within the target Ossu project tenement.

Phosphate mineralisation prospects were also reported 15km south of the northern coastal town of Baucau.

According to Inca, the mineralisation is characteristic of sedimentary marine or upwelling-style phosphate deposits. They occur in limestones, marls and shales as dark brown nodules.

Following the significant phosphate mineralisation finding, its related vanadium mineralisation will also be tested.

Managing director Ross Brown said, “With first-mover advantage, East Timor fully satisfies the company’s strategy being highly prospective for battery metals (cobalt and vanadium), precious base metals (gold, silver, copper, zinc, chromium) and food-related minerals (phosphorus pentoxide).

“Underexplored, a receptive government and regulatory regime and proximal to Western Australia, East Timor provides an unparalleled opportunity for Inca.”

The move signifies the company’s shift away from zinc in favour of commodities with “an attractive supply-demand equation, and global regions with acceptable sovereign risk,” Inca said in an ASX statement.

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