ALBA drilling at Llechfraith proving ‘more successful’ than originally anticipated
(ALBA ) said its ongoing surface drilling programme at the Llechfraith mine area at the Clogau-St David's Gold Mine has proven more successful than previously anticipated and has highlighted the area as a potential significant resource and production opportunity for the Company.
Positive Phase 1 Drilling Results
This Phase 1 surface drilling programme (Fig. 1), targeting mineralisation below the existing mine workings at Llechfraith to test the continuation of mineralisation at depth, has returned better than expected results promoting the Company to extend its drilling programme.
While it had originally planned to drill only three holes from this collar location, the success of the drilling resulted in Alba drilling a total of ten holes from this same location, allowing the dimensions of this lode system to be more clearly defined.
The Company confirmed that the extended Phase 1 surface drilling programme has enabled the Group to more clearly define the target lode structure and helped to identify the precise location of the additional quartz veins in the immediate vicinity of the Llechfraith workings.
To date, holes LL007 - LL009 have increased the Phase 1 running total depth up to 981.6m with LL009 intersecting the projected pay shoot at the deepest and westernmost point and LL008 intersecting one of the thickest vein intercepts seen so far.
Figure 1: 3D Projected view of the current Llechfraith 3D Geological Model, integrating both surface drilling programmes completed by Alba to date. Preliminary logging suggests LL009 encounters the target structure at ~106.8 m, 58.6 m away from the intercept in LL006 which represents the likely eastern margin of the pay-shoot.
(Source:Alba Mineral Resources)
Alba now projects the newly identified vein system as having a strike extent of up to 58m extending 66m below the deepest previously worked zone at the Llechfraith mine area.
The Group detailed that the final hole in the Phase 1 program (LL010) will test the depth extent of the structure, aiming to intercept the lode at around 100m below the existing workings.
Commenting on the Phase 1 programme, Mark Austin, Alba's Chief Operating Officer, said, "All of our drilling to date has been aimed at providing us with critical geological and structural information on the lode systems previously mined at Clogau, so that we can assess if those same structures continue beyond the limits of the previously mined areas.”
He said, “To this end, the drilling at Llechfraith has been more successful than we could reasonably have anticipated: the physical attributes of the veins that we have intersected in our drill holes reflect the characteristics of the veins that were successfully mined in the past."
"While we should await the results of the drill core assays before reaching any preliminary conclusions, the significant dimensions of the Llechfraith Lode, as defined by the drilling so far completed, indicate that this could well be a significant contributor to future production at Clogau-St David's,” he added.
Phase 2 Drilling Program ready to Commence
Once completed, the next phase of surface drilling (Phase 2) of an 8-10 hole programme for around 2,000m will commence.
Phase 2 will target the 550 m 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.
Alba said it is now in discussion with contractors to assess the opening up of the Llechfraith Lode, both to allow for preliminary bulk sampling and testwork via the Company's existing pilot processing plant but also to allow for possible commercial-scale mining in the future.
The Group highlighted that opening up the lode will also provide ‘fresh exposure’ for the Company's technical team to further assess the geology of the pay shoot.
The Company hopes to commence Phase 2 of the surface drilling program as soon as Phase 1 completes, subject to timely receipt of regulatory approvals, which it said are already in progress.
Today’s, positive results from its phase 1 surface drilling programme, which have been even more successful than previously anticipated, will be pleasing to shareholders who have already enjoyed a three-fold increase for shareholders since August 2020.
The final hole will now test the depth extent of the structure aiming to intercept the lode at around 100m below existing workings. Meanwhile Alba will draft plans to directly access this newly identified lode structure at depth in order to assess and collect ore for future mining and processing, which could provide a further positive re-rating for the shares.
Reasons to Follow ALBA
Alba Mineral Resources is a well-diversified mineral exploration and development company which owns and operates mining projects in Greenland, Wales and Ireland. Its strategy is to identify and secure undervalued assets with a diversified commodity mix where there is potential for discovering further unexploited resources alongside the existing mine site.
Limerick Base Metals Project
Historically, only eight drillholes have been completed within Alba’s Project area of the Limerick Base Metals Project, the most recent being the three holes drilled in Q2 of 2019.
Alba said these low levels of drilling are unusual in the Irish context and, for this reason, the area is considered under-explored. Alba has previously identified a number of attractive targets that have never been drilled before.
Alba’s current technical team, led by Mark Austin, Alba’s COO and Senior Geologist, will undertake a comprehensive review of the licence area before determining the next phase of planned exploration activities.
The expenditure conditions attaching to the renewal of PL 3824 require Alba to incur expenditure of €15,732 by 26 May 2021 with a further €50,000 to be spent by 26 May 2022.
JORC Resource expected at St David’s Clogau Gold Mine
Despite losing field time to the COVID-19 pandemic, Alba said it is in a position to execute one of the most significant underground work programmes seen for several decades at its Clogau gold mine in Wales, just as the commodity is reaching all-time highs in value.
Alba said its mining projects remain on ‘a sound footing’, with JORC resources at both Thule Black Sands and Melville Bay, and plans to drill a maiden JORC resource at Amitsoq in 2021.
In recent weeks, Alba said an independent testwork programme at the Group’s Amitsoq graphite project in southern Greenland has confirmed ‘very high carbon content.’
Due to the high carbon content, the product would offer ‘a significant advantage, as no purification would be needed to achieve that level,’ the Company explained to investors.
Accordingly, subject to certain follow-up testwork which the Group said is recommended, the testwork successfully indicates the suitability of Amitsoq graphite as feed material for Lithium-Ion Batteries ("LIBs"), the fastest growing market for flake graphite globally.
‘This finding that the concentrate appears to be suitable for LIBs is significant, as the market for LIBs is the fastest growing market for flake graphite, with massive growth rates forecast for the next decade due to the expected demand for LIBs in electric vehicles,’ Alba outlined.
Transition from Exploration to Production in Greenland and Wales
Other ‘significant’ progress has also been made in recent years towards Alba’s ultimate goal of achieving commercial production at one or more of its sites, including at the Thule Black Sands in Greenland, the Amitsoq project in Greenland and the Horse Hill well in Surrey.
In 2020, Alba has announced that surface trenching activities would kick-start over the first of the group’s 10 regional gold targets over the Dolgellau Gold Field.
The trenching will target the first of 10 separate new gold targets over the Dolgellau Gold Field which have previously been identified by Alba.
Alba said up to eight trenches have been planned in this first phase, each varying in length from 40-90m for a total of 575m, with each trench being 1m wide and up to 2m deep.
Once exposed, the quartz veining and other structures from the trenches, those of which are pictured below, will be sampled, and those samples sent to a laboratory for assaying.
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