Boab Metals (ASX:BML) showcases Sorby Hills lead and silver project at Euroz Hartleys conference

March 21, 2022

  • Boab Metals is engaged in the exploration and development of the Sorby Hills Project in Western Australia.
  • Sorby Hills is the largest undeveloped lead and silver project in Australia.
  • Boab has completed strategic acquisition of Manbarrum a zinc-lead-silver project located just 25km east of the Sorby Hills Lead-Silver Zinc Project.
  • The Company estimates the lead market will grow by US$10 billion between 2020 and 2030.


Boab Metals Limited (ASX:BMLparticipated in the Euroz Hartleys Rottnest Island Conference. The Company presented highlights of the exploration and development activities at its 75% owned Sorby Hills Project, located in Western Australia.

Related read: Boab Metals’ HY report heralds success, DFS on track for early Q2 2022

The Sorby Hills Project is Australia’s largest undeveloped, near-surface Pb-Ag-Zn deposit. Located within 50km of the town of Kununurra and 150km from the port of Wyndham, Sorby Hills is well serviced by existing infrastructure.

A Pre-Feasibility Study (PFS) delivered in August 2020 defined open pit reserves of 494kt lead and 17.6Moz of silver. Boab is optimistic that these reserves will grow when the company delivers the Sorby Hills Definitive Fesibility Study (DFS) in the next few months.  Successful Phave IV and V exploration campaigns completed since the PFS have upgraded and improved the understanding of the deposits at the project.

Project location map (Image source: Company update, 10 March 2022)

The Boab team has been working very hard behind the scenes to progress the Sorby Hills DFS with a view to outlining a long-life project with strong financial metrics. The DFS is advancing well and is slated to be delivered by the second quarter of CY 2022 with a Final Investment Decision (FID) expected by mid-2022.

Detailed metallurgical tests have indicated high Pb and Ag recovery and this work is expected to lead to more efficient concentrate production across the life of the operation.

The robust financial outcomes and key assumptions of the PFS report released in 2020 are provided in the table below.

Related read: What is boosting Sorby Hills DFS progress for Boab Metals?

Key highlights of the PFS (Image source: Company update, 10 March 2022)

Significant resource upside potential

The Sorby Hills Project hosts several deposits, including Alpha, Beta, Omega and Norton. Drilling activity at the project continues to identify new zones of mineralisation whilst also defining extensions to known resources.

Recent exploration results from the Beta deposit are expected to support the project’s DFS mining inventory. The improved understanding of the Beta deposit, which was not included in the PFS report, has resulted in a 14% upgrade to the Measured and Indicated Resources as released in December 2020.

Significant drilling intercept results from Beta (Data source: Company update, 10 March 2022)

Related read: Boab Metals reports High Grade Mineralisation at the Sorby Hills Beta Deposit

Boab advancing with offtake agreements and project financing for Sorby Hills

Boab has entered into detailed discussions with potential offtake partners as the Sorby Hills Project moves closer to FID. The Company has received strong proposals from national and international traders and smelters.

Boab is targeting a binding offtake agreement for the project prior to the completion of the DFS.

Boab has engaged BurnVoir Corporate Finance to advise on and arrange project finance. The company is also in talks with government agencies such as Northern Australian Infrastructure Facility (NAIF) and Export Finance Australia (EFA) regarding possible project financing proposals.

Recently, the Company’s management took representatives from several domestic and international commercial banks for the site visit at Sorby Hills. Boab is targeting FID by mid-2022.

Project financier site visit at Sorby Hills (Image source: Company update, 10 March 2022)

Related read: Boab Metals’ December quarter building momentum for Sorby Hills DFS

Sorby Hills development timeline

Image source: Company update, 10 March 2022

Acquisition of Manbarrum Zn-Pb-Ag Project

During 1H FY 2022, Boab completed a strategic acquisition of the Manbarrum Zinc-Lead-Silver Project, located 25km to the east of Sorby Hills. The project is spread across an area of 175km2 and includes two granted mining leases.

Whilst the geology of Manbarrum Project is similar to that of Sorby Hills, it appears that the mineralisation at Manburrum is zinc dominant which may serve to upgrade the potential for zinc payability at Sorby Hills.

A Manburrum study related to open-pit mining undertaken by CSA Global in 2018 identified ways and methods to improve the project economics with one of the methods suggesting toll treating at a future plant located at Sorby Hills likely to result it considerable capital savings.

Project location map (Image source: Company update, 10 March 2022)

Related read: Boab Metals shares up 5% backed by massive trading volume on Friday

Lead and silver market

The current popular fascination with lithium-ion battery materials, has lead to a likelihood that many investors have overlooked the enduring importance of lead or Pb as a battery metal. It’s worth highlighting that lead is used in nearly 70% of all rechargeable batteries (storage). The lead-acid batteries in 12V category are a cheap and reliable source for Service Level Indicators (SLI), Stop-start, safety auxiliary functions in all types of vehicles.

The 12V lead battery market is estimated to grow by ~US$10 billion between 2020 and 2030.

Silver, traditionally used as a store of wealth, is now in demand as an essential metal in the development of green technologies. As one of the most conductive metals available on earth, silver is a key component in solar panels, electrical contacts and circuit boards.

Also read: Boab Metals confirms solid demand for its Sorby Hills Lead-Silver Concentrate

Boab Metals with silver resources of 53Moz is one of the largest undeveloped silver resources companies in Australia.

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