Project Geology and Metallurgy

Recent Exploration and Development

 

2017

The resource declarations by previous owners included inferred resources from extrapolation of identified significant pegmatite veins at depth to RL1100m. JORC Code (2012) reporting standard requires that all resources declared follow sampling. A deep hole drilling programme (4 holes in total) is now complete with results of the initial two holes confirming the extension of the pegmatite veins to depth. Once all results are available the Company can look to declaring an upgraded resource.

2016

As the previous resource declarations by Minerex and GSM were not compliant with JORC Code (2012) reporting standard and the original drill core and QA/QC procedure no longer exist, therefore, unable to be rectified by the competent person, the Company went about locating almost all the primary data of Minerex at the Ministry archives in Vienna, Austria. This data was logged and sorted into the Company database. A verification programme of twin hole drilling and underground channel sampling was carried out in 2016 to compare with the original Minerex data. This showed that the data sets from Minerex and that from the verification programme were not significantly different.

Type Million Tonnes Grade Li2O
(%)
 Measured*  2.86 1.28
 Indicated*  3.44  1.08
 Inferred  6.30  1.17
  • *Measured and Indicated resource at a cut-off grade of 0% Li2O as the veins will be mined contact to contact.

For more information refer to ASX announcement CLICK HERE

2015

The resource was restated to be compliant to JORC Code (2012) as 3.7 million tonnes inferred at 1.5% Li2O at a 0.75 % Li2O cutoff grade. This reclassification was required as original drill core was no longer available and original Minerex primary data and QA/QC procedures were unavailable to the competent person.

Historic Exploration and Development
2012 – 2013

Following the acquisition of the Wolfsberg project, GSM undertook exploration drilling in 2012 on the southern limb of the anticline which confirmed the structural interpretation and presence of lithium bearing pegmatite veins. Mining was undertaken in 2013 to validate the mining license and to collect 500 tonne bulk samples from the two ore types for metallurgical testing. The Minerex drilling data was utilised to develop a three dimensional resource model for use in mine planning.

  • 16,727m of drilling / 1,389m of decline, drives and crosscuts
  • Deposit is split into two zones:
Zone 1: the northern limb of an anticline was drilled by Minerex down dip to a maximum depth of 450m and mapped over a distance of 1500m. Lithium bearing pegmatite veins up to 5.5m wide intersected and ore body remains open along strike to the west and down dip.
Zone 2: exploration target, demonstrated to be the southern limb of an anticline of which the northern limb (Zone 1), was the focus of all exploration by Minerex.

The resource was declared by previous owners to German and Austrian reporting standards and by GSM to JORC Code (2004):

Type Million Tonnes Grade Li2O
(%)
 Measured*  3.7 1.5
 Indicated  3.2  1.2
 Inferred  10.0  1.2
  • *JORC 2004 Measured resource at a cut-off grade of 0.75% Li2O derived from a global measured resource of 4.7Mt @ 1.2% Li2O
Pre – 2012

Minerex completed exploration work that comprised initial surface geology mapping along with 9,940m³of surface trenches and a diamond drilling programme totalling 12,012m collared from surface. In 1985 an underground exploration programme was undertaken including development of a decline from the surface from the northern side of Brandrucken Mountain through the amphibole schist to provide access to the pegmatite veins. Crosscutting drifts were driven along strike of selected veins to provide access for mapping and sampling and an additional decline was driven to access the veins in the mica schist. In all 1,389m ofunderground development was mined. A diamond drilling campaign of 4,715m was undertaken from underground to effectively infill the surface drilling to about 50m intervals in the eastern part of Zone 1.

 

Project Topography

Topography

Section through deposit

Section through deposit
Source: The spodumene depost at “WeinebeneKoralpe, Austria by Dr.Göd, Mineralium Deposita 24, 270-278 (1989).

Mineworkings – plan view

Mineworkings_plan view
Source: Company, prepared from Minerex data by Dr. Göd.

Metallurgy

  • Mineral processing studies were undertaken for Minerex by the North Carolina State University. As a result of the test work, using flotation and magnetic separation, spodumene concentrate with Li2O grades greater than 6% could be produced with spodumene recoveries of over 85%. Furthermore, ceramic-grade feldspar and glass grade quartz were also recoverable. Mica concentrates were also considered a possible by-product. A pilot plant was set up which demonstrated that of all the mined and processed ore 74% was a saleable product.
  • Since this work in the mid 1980’s there have been numerous advances in metallurgical technologies. Dorfner Anzaplan, Germany, were engaged to carry out metallurgical optimisation test work. As the pegmatite veins at Wolfsberg are fairly narrow it can be expected that mining dilution could be significant. However, test work into laser sensor sorting has shown that in the treated size range +8 – 70mm, mining waste dilution can be effectively rejected maximising grade to the processing plant. The work has also shown that a marketable spodumene concentrate of 5.3% Li2O can be produced simply by dense media separation and magnetic separation. This potentially allows fast track production for the European glass-ceramic industry that requires this material which is currently imported. The test work has shown that a flotation concentrate of 6% Li2O can readily be produced for sale or conversion to battery grade lithium carbonate and hydroxide. Test work on this conversion and the recovery of flotation by products is ongoing and scheduled for completion by end of April 2017.

For more information refer to ASX announcement CLICK HERE

Mining

  • The Minerex study in the 1980’s concluded that open stoping and cut and fill were suitable mining methods and trial mining was undertaken. SRK Consultants were engaged to develop a conceptual mine plan for the declared resource with consideration given to how resource upgrades would impact the mine plan.

For more information refer to ASX announcement CLICK HERE

Environmental

  • The project area is located in a commercial forest. The mining licence requires the submission of an operating plan to the Mining Authority before mining activities commence. This plan must also address environmental management. An environmental consultant, Umwelt Büro, is currently carrying out baseline studies.

Pre-Feasibility Study

  • Following completion of the metallurgical and mine design studies, the Company intends to undertake a pre-feasibility study to determine the optimum production configuration and capacity, location for the processing facilities, as well as provide estimates for capital requirements, operating costs and the economic performance of the project.