Amitsoq Licence Renewal and Further Metallurgical Test Results
• Amitsoq Graphite licence renewed to Alba for a further five-year period.
• Government of Greenland grants a 12 month moratorium on the exploration expenditure commitment attaching to the Amitsoq licence.
• Further metallurgical testwork has confirmed the ability to produce a marketable grade concentrate from Amitsoq graphite.
Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA), the diversified mineral exploration and development company, is pleased to announce that Mineral Exploration Licence (MEL) 2013/06, comprising the Amitsoq Graphite Project in southern Greenland (the “Project”), has been renewed for a further five years commencing from 2018. Furthermore, the Government of Greenland has confirmed that the exploration expenditure commitment for the Project has been reduced to zero for 2018.
The Company has completed further metallurgical testwork on the Project which has confirmed the ability to produce a marketable grade concentrate.
MEL 2013/06, which is 90% owned by Alba (with the right to go to 100% ownership), has been renewed for a second five-year term encompassing calendar years 2018-2022 inclusive. At the same time, the Government of Greenland has confirmed that the current year (2018) standard expenditure commitment for the Project has been reduced to zero, as part of an accommodation that the Government of Greenland has decided to apply to all exploration licences which are in their sixth year of grant or above.
Details of Testwork
Samples from the Amitsoq graphite deposit have been tested in a two stage testwork programme aimed at establishing the basic response of the mineralisation to concentration methods, to seek to confirm the technical and financial viability of the project.
The first phase of testwork (reported in the Alba RNS on 12 April 2017) was carried out at the SGS (Cornwall, UK) laboratory, and investigated the concentration of the graphite by gravity separation at differing sizes using a Mozeley table (a device used in mineral processing laboratories to separate valuable minerals from gangue (or worthless) minerals). This testwork showed that an acceptable rejection of gangue mineral could be achieved, with an acceptable recovery of the graphite to the gravity tail, throughout the size fractions.
Flotation at differing grind sizes indicated that the graphite was recoverable at a grind below 500 microns at extremely high recoveries with a maximum of 97.4% recovery at a relatively coarse 150 micron grind.
This Phase 1 testwork indicated that the graphite was amenable to recovery by conventional methods.
Following the collection of further channel samples during the 2017 field season, a second phase of testwork was carried out in the SGS (Canada) laboratory, owing to the closure of the UK laboratory. This phase has now been completed.
The second phase of testwork was aimed at defining the quality of concentrate which could be produced by conventional flotation methods. The testwork investigated the flotation of the mineralisation from a top-size of 6 mesh down through successive size fractions by milling, to obtain a coarse rougher concentrate. The rougher concentrate was then reground and cleaned prior to splitting into a +100 mesh (150 micron) and a -100 mesh fractions for polishing and cleaning.
Both fractions above and below 100 mesh upgraded to marketable carbon grade concentrate of up to 97.3% combined.
Optimisation testwork is now required to evaluate the economic grade versus recovery trade-off at varying sizes of grind to establish the project flowsheet design.
George Frangeskides, Alba’s Executive Chairman, commented: “We are grateful to the Government of Greenland for the continuing strong support they give to those of us operating in the mining sector in Greenland. The latest demonstration of that support, in recognition of a view that global conditions for mining exploration remain sub-optimal, is the Government’s decision to apply a moratorium on exploration expenditure commitments for the duration of calendar year 2018 for all licences entering into year six or more of their term, which includes our Amitsoq licence.”
“We have continued to push forward our work at Amitsoq, as shown by the completion of these latest positive testwork results. The grant of a further five year licence term is a major development and reward for the significant work we have put into the Project over the past few years. Aside from Amitsoq, we now have a strong portfolio of exploration assets in Greenland and we look forward to announcing our plans for this coming field season soon.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
Alba’s Principal Operations & Investments
Oil & Gas
Horse Hill (Oil & Gas, UK): Alba holds an 18.1 per cent interest in Horse Hill Developments Limited, the company which has a 65 per cent participating interest and operatorship of the Horse Hill oil and gas project (licences PEDL 137 and PEDL 246) in the UK Weald Basin.
Brockham (Oil & Gas, UK): Alba has a direct 5 per cent interest in Production Licence 235, which comprises the previously producing onshore Brockham Oil Field.
Amitsoq (Graphite, Greenland): Alba owns a 90 per cent interest in the Amitsoq Graphite Project in Southern Greenland and has an option over the remaining 10 per cent.
Thule Black Sands (Ilmenite, Greenland): Alba owns 100 per cent of mineral exploration licences 2017/29 and 2017/39 in the Thule region, north-west Greenland.
Gold Mines of Wales (Gold, Wales, UK): Alba holds a 49 per cent interest in Gold Mines of Wales, the ultimate owner of the Clogau Gold project situated in the Dolgellau Gold Belt in Wales.
Inglefield Land (Multi-Commodity, Greenland): Alba owns 100 per cent of mineral exploration licences 2017/40 and 2018/15 in north-west Greenland.
Melville Bay (Iron Ore, Greenland): Alba is entitled to a 51 per cent interest in mineral exploration licence 2017/41 in Melville Bay, north-west Greenland. The licence area benefits from an existing inferred JORC resource of 67 Mt @ 31.4% Fe.
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