TSX-listed base metals company Talon Metals Corp has engaged South Australian nanosatellite technology firm Fleet Space Technologies to help it speed effective exploration of its 400,000-acre landholding around Lake Superior in Michigan and Minnesota, USA.
The area, considered prospective for nickel, cobalt and copper, includes the Tamarack project in central Minnesota, a joint venture with Rio Tinto.
Adelaide-headquartered Fleet Space raised US$26 million of Series B funding last year to advance production and marketing of its technology, and hire up to 70 new staff. The equity raising, which reportedly valued Fleet at A$171m (US$126m), involved Artesian Venture Partners, Blackbird Ventures, Grok, Horizons Ventures, Alumni Ventures, Hostplus, the South Australian Venture Capital Fund (SAVC) and In-Q-Tel.
ASX-listed Core Lithium said in August this year testing of Fleet Space’s proprietary Ambient Noise Tomography (ANT) technology at its Finniss lithium project in Australia’s Northern Territory, was “an outstanding success”. It reported strong correlation of ANT feedback with the pegmatite body interpreted from drilling to depths below 500m, and generation of “previously unknown targets”.
Fleet Space launched Australia’s first four commercial nanosatellites in November 2018 and followed up with further launches in 2021 and 2022.
“We are excited to work with Fleet to pilot their impressive advanced seismic tomography approach to mineral discovery and pair it with our in-house exploration teams’ unique approach to finding more high-grade nickel in the United States,” Talon CEO Henri von Rooyen said this week.
“Fleet’s technology has the potential to deliver two tantalising results for … our team of proven nickel hunters: speed and accuracy.
“Increased accuracy means less disturbance of the earth as compared to conventional exploration practices. Speed means a faster path to discovering the metallic minerals like nickel that society needs for the energy transition.”
Fleet Space’s ExoSphere technology scans the ground with ANT seismic tomography. Its light and portable Geode devices use edge computing to detect ambient seismic noise, generating subsurface 3D mapping data via the company’s constellation of low earth orbit satellites.
“Fleet is excited to be working with Talon to pilot our ground-breaking exploration technology in North America,” said Fleet Space co-founder Matt Pearson, the company’s chief exploration officer.
Canadian mineral exploration technology firm Ideon Technologies announced earlier this month it had raised US$16 million via a series A equity funding backed by US venture capital firm, Playground Global.
The Vancouver-based company, an eight-year-old spin-off of Canada’s national particle accelerator laboratory, TRIUMF, says it is working with BHP, Glencore, Vale and other “critical mineral suppliers” to improve discovery rates with its muon tomography sensors and software. The company says the cosmic-ray tomography can provide “x-ray-like visibility up to 1km beneath the Earth’s surface”.
One leading Australian geophysics and geoscience data processing and targeting firm told InvestMETS muon tomography results could generate a “very well constrained density model” given adequate distribution of drill-hole and/or underground sensor locations.