Bluejay Mining plc ORD 0.01p, (LON:JAY) the AIM and FSE listed company with projects in Greenland and Finland, has today announced that it has appointed SRK Exploration Services Limited and SRK Consulting (UK) Ltd (collectively ‘SRK’) to commence work on a mining and infrastructure study for the raised and active beach areas at its Pituffik Titanium Project (‘Pituffik’ or the ‘Project’) in Greenland.
· Deliverables include infrastructure and logistic development as well as geotechnical, hydrological and mining studies – all to be completed during 2017.
· The studies will be executed in parallel with the ongoing fieldwork programme during the coming 6 months, which includes drilling to expand and upgrade the current resource of 23.6Mt at 8.8% ilmenite, bulk sampling and progression of the permitting process.
· Work programmes required to finalise an exploitation licence application continue on schedule.
o The Environmental Impact Assessment (‘EIA’) and the Social Impact Assessment (‘SIA’) have now been through the public consultation process and will shortly be re-submitted inclusive of all stakeholder comments to the Greenlandic Government to continue the approval process in the coming weeks.
Bluejay Mining plc ORD 0.01p CEO Roderick McIllree said, “SRK have a thorough understanding of our Pituffik project having produced the Maiden Mineral Resource Estimate, which underpinned the Project as the highest-grade mineral sand ilmenite project globally. It is this proven knowledge combined with their ability to deliver quality technical consultancy services on time and within budget that made them the number one choice. We are accordingly delighted to add this industry leader to our team of advisors once more as we look to define processing and development plans for the Project. With licence applications progressing, drilling to due to commence shortly and multiple studies underway to better define processing routes and support project construction, the second half of this year is going to be very productive.”
Pituffik Titanium Project
Bluejay intends to complete the following work programmes to define locations and conditions for mine construction at Pituffik. This work will primarily focus on the raised beach environment, where the current resource of 23.6Mt at 8.8% ilmenite and exploration target of between 90Mt and 130Mt with an in-situ grade of between 6.3% and 8.4% ilmenite has been defined. Crucially this resource and exploration target represents just 17% of the raised beach area and is one of three types of domains within the licence area, with the other two being the active and drowned beach environments.
· Infrastructure study
SRK will look at options for product storage and transfer options to ocean-going vessels by evaluating likely production rates and other similar infrastructure projects in the industry and in country.
This study will include geotechnical and hydrological aspects for civil engineering required by the mining and processing flowsheet and facility layout. Initial works will focus on methods of infrastructure construction and the suitability of local raw materials such as rock fill and stability of potential construction locations. Understanding the surface water and groundwater regimes, and the interaction of fresh and saline waters will be critical to the operational strategy for mining.
· Mining study
This will include a review of similarly high-latitude mining projects in order to understand what methods or infrastructure they have in place for winter operations and how these may be applied at Pituffik. Risks or opportunities that are specific to Pituffik will also be considered (as far as current understanding allows) and the study will assess if these may be addressed by existing technologies.
SRK will highlight primary risks and opportunities in respect to different mining options based on current understanding and regional scale water considerations. This will include considering the option to allow operations to continue year-round. It is accepted that mining will not be necessary during the winter due to the extremely high grade nature of the Project and the lack of infrastructure required to move what will be a relatively small tonnage throughput to deliver our operational rates compared to a conventional mineral sand operation, but consideration should be given to what facilities would be required to allow mineral processing to continue throughout the winter periods once the Project is ready for scaling.
· Site Visit
SRK will mobilise a Principal Exploration Geologist to the Project to coincide with the start of the field programme and assist with the start-up of the sonic drilling by implementing logging and sampling protocols, with particular emphasis on the infrastructure, geotechnical and hydrological studies. This work will include undertaking test work and obtaining samples for laboratory tests in areas that may be used for construction. Trial pits, sonic drill core samples of sediments or bedrock and recording basic geotechnical parameters in outcropping geology will be used.
SRK will also obtain samples of materials (such as coarse oversize) that could be used for infrastructure construction and will either conduct testing of them on site or dispatch them for analysis elsewhere. This also applies to samples of in-situ bedrock taken from areas in which infrastructure may be constructed. They will also obtain samples of ore materials to analyse how the material behaves when stockpiled.
Observations and measurements of local water sources that could be used as supply for future mining, processing and infrastructure operations will also be undertaken. In addition to this, SRK will assist in the installation of hydrogeological monitoring equipment and obtain measurements.
Finally, SRK will test an alternative Ground Penetrating Radar system that may produce improved results compared to that used in 2016.