Exploration and development company Group Ten is continuing to advance its Stillwater West project, in Montana, which it believes has the potential to be a leading US-based source of key battery metals and platinum group metals (PGMs).
The company is targeting bulk-tonnage deposits of battery-grade nickel sulphide - enriched in other metals such as palladium, platinum, rhodium, gold, copper and cobalt - at Stillwater West.
The US government has listed five of Stillwater West’s target commodities as critical minerals, with the intention of increasing production of these metals.
The key driver will be nickel sulphide, which battery makers require to meet projected supply deficits driven by demand from the burgeoning electric vehicle (EV) and energy storage industries.
President and CEO Michael Rowley says Stillwater West is one of only a few projects in North American that may be able to help meet the shortfalls projected by analysts and EV industry leaders such as Tesla's Elon Musk for environmentally responsible production of battery grade metals.
“Through the application of deposit models from South Africa's Platreef mines, which are among the largest and most profitable nickel/copper/PGE [platinum group element] mines in the world, we have demonstrated potential for both scale and grade of these commodities in a prolific US mining district that hosts three world-class mines and a smelter,” states Rowley.
Group Ten is applying modern geological models developed in South Africa at Ivanhoe’s Platreef and Anglo American’s Mogalakwena mines to its Stillwater West project.
Stillwater West is adjacent to PGM and gold major Sibanye-Stillwater’s operations in Montana. Sibanye’s Stillwater operations are widely recognised for producing palladium and platinum, along with lesser volumes of other commodities, including nickel.
Vancouver-headquartered Group Ten closed 4.48% higher at C$0.35 a share on the TSX-V on Wednesday, giving the company a market capitalisation of C$50-million.