Alba Mineral Resources eyes up potential source of early revenue at Clogau
(ALBA ) has informed investors that the evaluation pitting of the historic waste rock dump at the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine will commence shortly.
The waste rock dump, which contains material derived from the internal development of the Clogau-St David’s Gold Mine during past periods of production, is estimated to cover about 30,000 square feet (up to 10m thick) and to contain 20,000 tonnes of waste rock.
As most of the underground development was developed on the vein, Alba considers that it is likely that there are remnants of the quartz vein contained in the dump (Figure 1).
Figure 1: Aerial photograph taken from one side of the waste rock dump. Depth of waste rock dump shown is about 10 metres.
(Source: Alba Mineral Resources)
Alba informed investors that it has designed a scheme for the sampling of the waste dump for gold content, which involves the digging and sampling of selective pits across the dump.
It is the Company’s opinion that there could be ‘significant quantities’ of gold still left in the finer grain size fractions within the waste rock dump at Clogau, and accordingly, at this first stage, the Company said it will be sampling the waste rock dump to test for its gold content.
As part of the evaluation pitting, Alba stated that nine pits are to be dug, with around 15 tonnes of material to be extracted per pit. Following this, the material will be screened and a sample of the finer material from each pit which will then be sent for gold assaying offsite.
If the gold content is found to be sufficiently high-grade, the Company will then move to the next stage (subject to all regulatory approvals), being to extract large tonnages of the waste rock dump material and to then process the material in the Group’s pilot processing plant.
The pitting exercise is expected to take up to two weeks, with the assaying of the composite samples then being subject to normal turn-around times at the off-site lab used by Alba.
“We are constantly looking for ways to unlock early revenue streams at Clogau-St David’s while we continue with our work to prove up, through drilling, the new gold-bearing zones within the mine complex which will ultimately justify a decision to reopen the mine for long-term commercial production,” said Executive Chairman, George Frangeskides.
Frangeskides said one such potential source of early revenue is in the waste rock dump at Clogau: “We estimate that this dump contains around 20,000 tonnes of rock extracted from the mine during previous periods of production, and we believe there are good prospects for finding significant quantities of gold in the finer grain-size fractions within the dump.”
Today’s news forms part of Alba’s objective to unlock early revenue streams at Clogau while it continues ongoing drilling work to prove up new gold-bearing zones. Alba expects to have a definitive answer on the gold-bearing potential of the dump by the middle of next month.
Last week, Alba unveiled that it had started the second phase of its surface drilling programme at Clogau, an 8-10-hole programme designed to target the source of most of the historic gold production at the mine and to confirm continuity of Main Lode extension.
Confirming continuity here represents a ‘potentially very significant new discovery’ for the Company. Identifying a continuation of the Main Lode,which has never previously been exploited, and would constitute ‘the most important discovery at the Mine in many decades’.
Shares in Alba Mineral Resources rose by 1.84% this morning to 0.305p following the news.
Alba Mineral Resources is a well-diversified 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 Resources expected
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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