Alba Mineral Resources plc (LON:ALBA) has now completed the preliminary evaluation of the high resolution airborne electromagnetic-magnetic (“EM-Mag”) geophysical survey on the Amitsoq graphite project (the “Project”) near Nanortalik in southern Greenland. The initial interpreted results are highly encouraging and provide numerous target areas for follow-up ground work, geophysics and drilling. These targets include graphite zones and extensions of the former graphite mine at Amitsoq, nickel and platinum group metals (“PGMs”) to the north of the former mine, as well as potential gold targets on the mainland to the south of Amitsoq island.
· Airborne EM data has identified several new faults and numerous anomalies, some of which correspond to known and interpreted graphitic horizons along strike and proximal to the Amitsoq graphite mine.
· Numerous EM anomalies associated with potential graphite horizons have been identified with a total strike length of 12.05 kilometres.
· 11 anomalies in particular of between 350 metres and 1300 metres each in length, for a total strike length of 5.55 km, will be priority targets for Alba in the 2017 ground campaign, especially in and around the historic mine area.
· Two shallow, moderate intensity EM anomalies have been identified, associated with a large ultramafic dyke known to contain magmatic sulphides of nickel, PGMs, gold and silver.
· Additional data processing being undertaken to determine thickness, lateral extent, depth and dip of the conductive bodies.
Airborne EM-Mag Geophysical Survey
SkyTEM Systems ApS was commissioned to perform an airborne geophysical survey which was flown in September 2016 over selected zones within the Project area. The survey comprised of four blocks containing a total of 343 km of planned flight lines. The main part of the survey on Amitsoq Island was flown at a planned line spacing of 200 m and a ground clearance of 30 m. High-definition targets, such as the former Amitsoq graphite mine, Craig’s Dyke, and two small gold targets east of Nanortalik were flown at a reduced line spacing of 100 m. The SkyTEM system was selected as it affords greater depth penetration (up to 400m) when compared to rival systems.
The airborne instrumentation comprised of a SkyTEM 304M system which included a time domain electromagnetic system, a magnetic data acquisition system, and an auxiliary data acquisition system containing two inclinometers, two altimeters and three Differential Global Positioning Systems (DGPS). All data was captured digitally, and processing of the data was carried out by SkyTEM geophysicists to produce a number of preliminary magnetic and electromagnetic interpretation products.
Geological interpretation of the magnetic data was performed by EurGeol Dr. Sandy Archibald, PGeo (Aurum Exploration Services), which helped to identify distinct geological units and faults, and reconciled the information with previous mapping carried out by the Geological Survey of Denmark and Greenland (GEUS).
Additional processing and interpretation of the magnetic and EM data was performed by Senior Geophysical Consultant Jeremy S. Brett, M.Sc., P.Geo. (MPH Consulting Limited, Toronto) in collaboration with SkyTEM staff. Mr. Brett scrutinised the original data and performed a variety of data reduction studies. From the reprocessed data, the following important features were identified:
– Several new faults and numerous EM anomalies associated with potential graphite horizons were identified with a total strike length of 12.05 kilometres.
– Of that total, there are 11 anomalies in particular of between 350 metres and 1300 metres each in length, for a total strike length of 5.55 km. These will be priority targets for Alba in the 2017 ground campaign.
– Two shallow, moderate intensity EM anomalies associated with a large ultramafic dyke (Craig’s Dyke) known to contain magmatic sulphides (pyrrhotite, pentlandite, chalcopyrite, and cubanite) of up to 0.4 g/t platinum, 0.6 g/t palladium, 0.2 g/t gold and 7 g/t silver (GEUS, 1971).
Generally, the EM anomalies are in good agreement with the remote sensing iron oxide (FeO) study reported by Alba on 4 February 2016.
Alba has grouped the EM anomalies into four distinct graphite target areas, and within those four graphite areas Alba intends to focus its efforts in the forthcoming ground campaign on what we are calling Target Area 1, seeking to establish graphite extensions in and around the known mine area. Alba also intends to explore the non-graphite target referred to above at Craig’s Dyke (Target Area 5).
The version of this announcement on Alba’s website (www.albamineralresources.com) will include a map showing the location of the five Target Areas referred to above.
Processing of the airborne data over two potential gold targets 5 and 7 km east of Nanortalik is ongoing.
Further Analysis of EM-Mag Data Underway
To build upon this initial evaluation of the EM-Mag data, further analysis work is underway with a view to determining the thickness, lateral extent, depth and dip of the inferred graphite horizons. This further work, which will be reported in due course, will complete Alba’s thorough evaluation of the EM-Mag data acquired as a result of the flying of the airborne survey. The results will be used to plan a drilling campaign for later this year.
Geological mapping, sampling, and additional ground based geophysics are recommended for the Ni-PGM target at Craig’s Dyke.
Follow-up work in respect of the two potential gold targets 5 and 7 km east of Nanortalik will be determined once the processing and evaluation of the EM-Mag data from those areas has been completed.
Additional maps showing the interpretation of the airborne geophysical survey area can be viewed on the Alba website at www.albamineralresources.com.
Previous Work Undertaken at Amitsoq
Prior to commissioning the airborne EM-Mag survey, Alba’s work at Amitsoq had confirmed the following:
• Test work carried out on hand/grab samples collected during a field expedition returned excellent results, showing graphitic carbon contents varying from 20.5% to 35.4%, with an overall mean graphitic carbon content of 28.7%, significantly higher than the previously reported historic average grade of 20% and higher than most reported advanced graphite projects globally.
• Measurements of the discrete graphite flakes demonstrated that the mean flake-size varies from 300-500 µm, ‘Jumbo’ to 180-300 µm ‘Large’, however the single most common flake size is in fact ‘Super-Jumbo’ (>500 µm). The larger flake sizes attract a premium in the market.
• The results of a remote sensing study were highly encouraging, highlighting several anomalies for a variety of commodities. Numerous and continuous graphitic horizons were suggested along strike and proximal to the Amitsoq graphite mine.
• Additional FeO anomalies are interpreted to be favourable targets for platinum group metals, orogenic lode gold and intrusion related copper-zinc mineralization.
• Anomalies have been identified with geology similar to economic gold mineralization at the nearby Nalunaq gold mine (circa 340,000 ounces of gold produced to date). These FeO anomalies are 5 km along strike from previous documented gold showings, and 18 km to the southwest of the Nulunaq mine.
• A bulk sampling exercise (August 2016) took 179 kilograms of graphite ore sampled from a surface bed that had previously been exploited when the Amitsoq mine was operational. The bed was found to have a true thickness of 16.58 metres. Metallurgical test work on this material is currently underway and will be reported on in due course.
Alba’s interest in Amitsoq
As announced on 1 November 2016, Alba has earned the right to a 49 per cent interest in the Amitsoq Project and has further agreed, subject to regulatory approvals from the Greenlandic authorities, to acquire a further 41 per cent interest which will take it to 90 per cent ownership of the Project.
George Frangeskides, Alba Mineral Resources plc Executive Chairman, commented “The initial results from the airborne geophysical survey are very promising. We expected to find anomalies in the vicinity of the historic Amitsoq graphite mine, and this has been confirmed by the survey. What is most exciting is the discovery of numerous linear anomalies running in a general north-easterly direction away from the mine area. These are suggestive of the presence of a highly conductive unit that can continue laterally for up to 1300 metres at a time. The identification in particular of 11 conductor axes amounting in aggregate to 5.5 kilometres of strike provides us with significant priority targets for follow up work.”
“The survey results to date vindicate the Alba Board’s decision to invest in the Amitsoq Project, the fundamentals of which were already strong, comprising as it does a former producing mine, with high grade graphite (average content 28.7% graphitic carbon) and a preponderance of high value, Jumbo to Super Jumbo flakes.”
“The next phase of exploration will involve further processing of the geophysical data which is already underway, followed by ground verification of targets and the planning of a drilling programme for later this year.”