Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine
Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA) is pleased to provide an update on the Company’s work activities at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine.
· Surface Drilling Update
o Three drill holes have been completed for 399.6 metres, with a fourth hole so far drilled to 54.6 metres.
o Completed holes LL001-LL003 have intersected significant quartz veins, a total of 6.48 metres in LL001, 3.65 metres in LL002 and 5.7 metres in LL003.
o With each of the three completed holes hitting significant veins within about a 15-metre zone of one another (at 83.5m for LL001, 96.3 m for LL002 and 84.9 m for LL003), the Company believes this to indicate the presence of a vein system some 30 metres below the deepest previously worked zone at the Llechfraith mine area.
o Further, deeper holes will be drilled to test the depth extent of this vein system.
· Pilot Processing Plant Installation
o The remaining key items of plant have now been installed in the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine building, notably the impact crusher and gold concentrator.
The Company’s surface drilling campaign, which commenced in early November, has progressed well. To date, three holes (LL001-LL003) have been completed for 399.6 metres (see Table 1). The fourth drill hole, LL004, has been drilled to 54.6 metres and will be completed after the resumption of drilling in early January 2021.
This drill programme has been designed to target mineralisation below the existing mine workings at the Llechfraith mine area (see Figures 5 and 6 in the PDF version of this RNS), thus testing the continuation of mineralisation at depth. This zone was previously successfully targeted during Alba’s drilling programme in November 2019. Both main drill holes completed in that programme, GMOW002 and GMOW003, intersected a sequence of intrusive greenstones or microdiorite followed by a shear zone dominated by intermixed Clogau shale and quartz veining, this being the known gold-bearing geological setting at the Llechfraith mine area.
By stepping out the drilling so that the drill collar was set further away from the mine area, the current phase of drilling has been designed to intersect the quartz vein at a higher, and therefore more favourable, angle to dip. This has so far proved successful (see Figures 5 and 6 in the PDF version of this RNS), given the significant widths of quartz vein which have been intersected. LL001 has intersected a total of 6.48 metres of quartz veins, LL002 a total of 3.65 metres and LL003 a total of 5.7 metres.
Table 1 refers to certain of the quartz veins as forming part of the “Llechfraith Lode System”, to indicate veins which have been intersected in the same zone as one another within the Llechfraith mine area. With each of the three completed holes hitting significant veins within about a 15-metre zone of one another (at 83.5m for LL001, 96.3m for LL002 and 84.9m for LL003), the Company’s technical team are working on the modelling of these vein intercepts within the existing 3D geological model for Clogau-St David’s to show the extent of the identified pay shoot.
The photographs at Figures 2 to 4 in the PDF version of this RNS show key intercepts of the Llechfraith lode in drill holes LL001-003.
Table 1: Summary of completed drill holes including notable structural intercepts
Drilling has now paused for the Christmas period, and is scheduled to recommence in the first week of January. According to current Government advice, the increased public health measures announced by the Welsh Government on 19 December 2020 will not affect the Company’s ability to continue its ongoing activities in the field.
Upon resumption of drilling, drill hole LL004 will be completed first, followed by the drilling of two further planned holes, LL005 and LL006, seeking to intersect the projected pay shoot some 20 metres or so below the intercepts for drill holes LL001-LL004 (see Figures 5 and 6 in the PDF version of this RNS).
The core recovered from this phase of surface drilling will not be cut and sent to an accredited laboratory for assaying until all holes in this phase have been completed.
Once this phase has been completed, as announced on 2 December 2020 the next phase of surface drilling (Phase 2) will consist of an 8-10 hole programme for around 2,000 metres. This phase of drilling will target the 550m Main Lode extension indicated by the recently completed underground drilling and will also seek to intersect the projected depth extensions of certain historically worked lodes, namely Grandfathers Lode and the 7-10 Lode.
Pilot Gold Processing Plant
All items of plant for the Company’s bespoke pilot processing plant ordered from Appropriate Process Technologies (APT) in South Africa have now been cleared through UK customs and delivered to Alba’s mine building at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine, where it has been assembled by Alba’s technical team. Notably, this includes an impact crusher capable of processing 3 tonnes per hour and a gold concentrator capable of processing 1.5 tonnes per hour. The other key items of plant, notably the jaw crusher and Wilfley Table, were already in situ in the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine building.
Following electrical connection and safety testing of the pilot plant, the Company now expects to commence operation of the pilot plant by mid-January 2021 onwards.
All activities and timelines in this announcement are subject to the timely receipt of regulatory and other third-party consents and to the timely availability of contractors, plant and equipment.
George Frangeskides, Alba’s Executive Chairman, commented:
“Our drilling programme continues to generate very positive results. Having previously identified in our underground drilling a 550 metre projected extension to the Main Lode, our surface drilling has now identified a new vein system some 30 metres below the deepest historically mined section of the Llechfraith mine area, the No.4 Level. This new zone will now be further tested by the completion of drill hole LL004 in January and by the drilling of at least two, even deeper holes.”
“As for our pilot processing plant, all remaining items of plant have now been imported, delivered to site and assembled. We expect to be able to run the first batch of material through the plant next month.”
“This year has been a difficult one for everyone, on both a professional and a personal level. At Alba, I would like to pay credit to our dedicated employees and contractors who have moved heaven and earth so that we can deliver on our promise to move Clogau-St David’s forward at pace. It is worth remembering that it was only in late July that we were able to return to work in the field, meaning that some seven months of 2020 were effectively lost to the coronavirus pandemic lockdown. As such, in my view what has been achieved in the space of just the last five months is nothing short of astounding, including:
– The collection of a 36-tonne bulk sample from several target sites underground;
– The completion of further important in-mine safety and rehabilitation works, notably the restoration of several hundred metres of airline;
– The drilling of 7 separate targets underground for a total of 559.5 metres, with all 7 drillholes intersecting quartz veining, drillhole L002 returning significant gold assays of up to 1.79 g/t and drillholes L002 and L003 intersecting what we believe to be a 550-metre extension to the Main Lode;
– The completion of the first three holes of Phase 1 of the surface drilling campaign for a total of 399.6 metres, with each of the holes intersecting significant quartz veins from between 83-96 metres, indicating the presence of a vein system some 30 metres below the deepest previously worked zone at the Llechfraith mine area;
– The completion of the first phase of surface trenching, and this work uncovering quartz veins in several trenches including a 2.1 metre width quartz vein discovered in trench 10, comparable with the widths of the worked veins in the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine;
– The commissioning, delivery and installation of a bespoke pilot processing plant at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine, which means that the Company can, from early next year, proceed to process all material it recovers from the mine at its own dedicated facility onsite;
– The signing of a bulk sampling lease with The Crown Estate, meaning that the Company will own any gold recovered from the processing of any and all material extracted from the Mine during the exploration phase; and
– The securing of the exclusive rights to the Gwynfynydd Gold Mine and surrounding exploration ground, meaning that the Alba Group not only now has the rights to the UK’s two largest, by far, gold mines under its exclusive ownership, but also has the exclusive right to explore the entire length and breadth of the Dolgellau Gold Field in the search for new and completely unexploited gold deposits.”
“These achievements put us in a very strong position as we move into 2021 and seek to complete our exploration of the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine so that we can implement our plans to bring the Mine back into commercial production as soon as possible.”
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
Forward Looking Statements
This announcement contains forward-looking statements relating to expected or anticipated future events and anticipated results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, competition for qualified staff, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, uncertainties resulting from working in a new political jurisdiction, uncertainties regarding the results of exploration, uncertainties regarding the timing and granting of prospecting rights, uncertainties regarding the timing and granting of regulatory and other third party consents and approvals, uncertainties regarding the Company’s or any third party’s ability to execute and implement future plans, and the occurrence of unexpected events.
Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, uncertainties also exist in connection with the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which may result in further lockdown measures and restrictions being imposed by Governments and other competent regulatory bodies and agencies from time to time in response to the pandemic, which measures and restrictions may prevent or inhibit the Company from executing its work activities according to the timelines set out in this announcement or indeed from executing its work activities at all. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may also affect the Company’s ability to execute its work activities due to personnel and contractors testing positive for COVID-19 or otherwise being required to self-isolate from time to time.
Actual results achieved may vary from the information provided herein as a result of numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors.
Competent Person Declaration
The information in this release that relates to Exploration Results has been reviewed by Mr Mark Austin. Mr Austin is a member of SACNASP (Reg. No. 400235/06), Fellow of The Geological Society and Fellow of the Geological Society of South Africa. He has a B.Sc. Honours in Geology with 38 years’ experience.
Mark Austin has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the ‘Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration targets, Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves’, also known as the JORC Code. The JORC code is a national reporting organisation that is aligned with CRIRSCO. Mr Austin consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.
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