TIDMALBA

RNS Number : 9393D

Alba Mineral Resources PLC

08 March 2022

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Alba Mineral Resources plc

("Alba" or the "Company")

Investee Company Update: GreenRoc Mining plc

Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA) i s pleased to note the announcement today by its portfolio company, GreenRoc Mining plc ("GreenRoc") (AIM: GROC), in which Alba holds a 54% majority interest. Following on from Alba's announcement on 3 December 2021 of the high-grade graphite drill intercepts from the drilling programme at the Amitsoq Graphite Project in southern Greenland, GreenRoc's announcement today reports on a significant maiden ore resource for Amitsoq.

Alba's Executive Chairman, George Frangeskides, commented:

"We are absolutely delighted with the maiden mineral resource, which has been announced for Amitsoq today. This is the first significant milestone to be achieved by GreenRoc since it was admitted to AIM late last year. With a revised mineral resource assessment for its Thule Black Sands project due in the coming months and significant field and development programmes being rolled out at both its flagship projects this summer, we are confident that this is going to turn into a very strong year for GreenRoc."

The announcement by GreenRoc is set out below without material changes:

GreenRoc Mining plc

("GreenRoc" or the "Company")

Amitsoq Graphite Project Update

Declaration of Maiden Ore Resource

GreenRoc Mining plc (AIM: GROC), a company focused on the development of critical mineral projects in Greenland, is delighted to announce a significant maiden ore resource ("Maiden Resource") at the Amitsoq Graphite Project in southern Greenland ("Amitsoq" or the "Project"), one of the highest-grade graphite deposits in the world.

Highlights

-- A maiden combined Indicated and Inferred JORC Resource has been defined at Amitsoq of 8.28 million tonnes (Mt) at an average grade of 19.75%, giving a total graphite content of 1.63 Mt.

-- This includes a particularly high-grade contribution from the Lower Graphite Layer of 3.67 Mt at a grade of 21.19%, for 0.775 Mt of contained graphite.

-- This Maiden Resource confirms Amitsoq's position as one of the highest-grade graphite deposits globally and supports the Company's objective of fast tracking the Project into the development phase.

-- The total graphite content of 1.63 Mt outlined by the Maiden Resource exceeds the upper end of the tonnage range in the previously declared Amitsoq Exploration Target (which implied between 0.408 to 1.620 Mt of contained graphite from the entire target area).

-- Over 25% of the contained graphite in the Maiden Resource falls within the higher category of Indicated Resources, providing additional confidence that a more significant, high-category Resource can be established following the forthcoming Phase 2 drilling campaign.

-- Planning and procurement for the Phase 2 drilling campaign at Amitsoq is well underway with appointment of contractors due to be finalised this month.

-- The deposit is open along strike (predominantly to the north) and down dip to the west, and this will be tested in the Phase 2 drilling programme this year.

-- Metallurgical testing confirms that the Amitsoq graphite can be upgraded to a more than 99.95% pure graphite product, which is the specification requirement for EV lithium-ion batteries (the ultra-high growth sector of the graphite market).

GreenRoc's CEO, Kirk Adams, commented:

"This Maiden JORC Resource launches GreenRoc into the global graphite resource space with one of the highest-grade graphite projects in the world. We now find ourselves in a highly enviable position at Amitsoq following this outstanding maiden result.

"A review of our peers in this sector reveals that deposits with compliant resources above 20% contained graphite grade are scarce. Most graphite projects have average grades in single digit percentages and, according to S&P Global, the average grade of graphite resources worldwide stands at just 8.45%. The implication of our very high average grade at the Amitsoq deposit should not be overlooked, since it reduces the cost of mining and mineral production on a per tonne of concentrate basis, as well as reducing the amount of waste per tonne of ore mined.

"We believe the consistency and true widths of the orebodies at the Amitsoq deposit bode well for future mining and processing operations. Furthermore, it has been shown from previous metallurgical testing that this material can be upgraded to a more than 99.95% pure spherical graphite product, which is the requirement for EV batteries. Global consumption of this type of high purity spherical graphite is forecast to be at least 3 times higher by 2030, and supply shortages are predicted in the near to medium term. The projected future need for high purity spherical graphite, driven by the explosive growth in EV sales, is growing very rapidly.

"Despite the fact that more than half of the Exploration Target area for Amitsoq Island remains undrilled, this Maiden Resource has already exceeded the total resource tonnages predicted in that Exploration Target, as well as surpassing the total contained graphite target for the area. GreenRoc is now in the process of planning and procuring drilling services to drill out the remaining extent of the Exploration Target area at the Amitsoq Island deposit this summer.

"We are confident that the resource on Amitsoq Island will increase in both tonnes and classification following this year's programme to the extent that we hope to have the resource basis to undertake a detailed feasibility study on the deposit. We are also mindful of the additional considerable upside potential still to come from the, as yet undrilled, Kalaaq Deposit to the south of Amitsoq.

"In summary, I believe that this Maiden Resource confirms Amitsoq as one of the leading graphite projects in the world, with both exceptional grades and significant tonnes, and with more to come from the 2022 drilling campaign."

Details

The Maiden JORC Resource at the Amitsoq Island Project was calculated from 10 drill intersections drilled from three drill pads along the island's ridge, to test the down-dip continuation of the Upper Graphite Layer ("UGL") and the Lower Graphite Layer ("LGL"), which outcrop along the eastern face of the island. The assay results from the drilling programme were reported by the Company on 3 December 2021.

Further details in respect of the Resource are set out in Tables 1 and 2.

Table 1. Summary Table of Mineral Resources

 
 Mineral Resource          Tonnes (Mt)       Graphitic Carbon       Graphite content 
  Category                                          (%)                   (Mt) 
 Measured                       -                   -                      - 
                         ---------------  ---------------------  --------------------- 
 Indicated                     2.04               20.65                   0.42 
                         ---------------  ---------------------  --------------------- 
 Total Measured + 
  Indicated                    2.04               20.65                   0.42 
                         ---------------  ---------------------  --------------------- 
 Inferred                      6.24               19.45                   1.21 
                         ---------------  ---------------------  --------------------- 
 Total Resources               8.28               19.75                   1.63 
                         ---------------  ---------------------  --------------------- 
      Notes: 
       1. The Mineral Resource is reported at a graphitic carbon cut-off 
       grade of 0 (zero) % Cg 
       2. Mineral Resource estimates are not precise calculations, being 
       dependent on the interpretation of limited information on the location, 
       shape and continuity of the occurrence and on the available sampling 
       results. Therefore, reporting of tonnage and grade figures reflects 
       this relative uncertainty and figures are rounded to appropriate 
       significant figures. As a result, some error may be incurred when 
       reporting global figures based on rounded values. 
       3. The Mineral Resource Statement presented above has been reported 
       in accordance with the requirements of the 2012 edition of the 
       Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral 
       Resources and Ore Reserves (JORC 2012 Edition) ("JORC Code 2012 
       Edition"). The Competent Person who assumes responsibility for 
       reporting of the Mineral Resource is Dr John Arthur who is a Competent 
       Person as defined by the JORC Code 2012 Edition, having more than 
       5 years' experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation 
       and type of deposit described herein, and to the activity for which 
       he accepts responsibility. The effective date of the Mineral Resource 
       Statement is 1st March 2022. 
       4. Resources are not constrained other than by the geological boundary 
       limits of the mineralised unit. At this stage, no consideration 
       has been made as to what tonnes and grade would be reasonably expected 
       to be extracted profitably. Notwithstanding this, the Competent 
       Person considers the distance constraints in both the dip and strike 
       directions to be a reasonable approximation and expectation of 
       potential mining extents. 
       5. Mineral Resources which are not Ore Reserves do not have demonstrated 
       economic viability. The estimate of Mineral Resource reported may 
       be materially affected by environmental, permitting, legal, title, 
       taxation, socio-political, marketing, or other relevant issues. 
       6. The Inferred Mineral Resource in this estimate has a lower level 
       of confidence than that applied to the Indicated Mineral Resource 
       in this estimate and must not be converted to an Ore Reserve. It 
       is reasonably considered that the majority of the Inferred Mineral 
       Resource could be upgraded to an Indicated Mineral Resource with 
       continued exploration. 
       7. Currently, no Ore Reserves have been established for the Amitsoq 
       Project. 
 

Table 2 breaks down the Resource by graphite layer and Resource category.

Table 2. Breakdown of Resources per Graphite Layer

 
 Mineral Resource Category    Tonnes (Mt)   Graphitic Carbon   Graphite content 
                                                   (%)               (Mt) 
 Upper Graphite Layer 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 Indicated                       0.59            18.97              0.111 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 Inferred                        4.02            18.61              0.748 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 TOTAL UGL RESOURCE              4.61            18.65              0.859 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 
 Lower Graphite Layer 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 Indicated                       1.45            21.32              0.309 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 Inferred                        2.22            20.97              0.466 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 TOTAL LGL RESOURCE              3.67            21.19              0.775 
                             ------------  -----------------  ----------------- 
 

Table 3 displays the highly consistent nature of the graphite grades intersected so far in the drilling. The Resource is unchanged from a 0% cut-off grade to a 13% cut-off grade and only displays a marginal drop off of Resources when using a 15% cut-off grade. This bodes well for the resilience of the deposit in the face of potentially fluctuating graphite prices and operational cost profiles.

Table 3. Sensitivity Table

 
                                             Mineral Resource Category 
 Cut-Off             Measured                        Indicated                       Inferred 
  Grade 
  (Cg%) 
          ------------------------------  ------------------------------  ------------------------------ 
           Tonnes   Graphitic   Graphite   Tonnes   Graphitic   Graphite   Tonnes   Graphitic   Graphite 
            (Mt)      Carbon     Content    (Mt)      Carbon     Content    (Mt)      Carbon     Content 
                      (Cg%)       (Mt)                (Cg%)       (Mt)                (Cg%)       (Mt) 
          -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  --------- 
  Base 
   Case 
   (0% 
   Cg)       -          -          -        2.04      20.65       0.42      6.24      19.45       1.21 
          -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  --------- 
   13        -          -          -        2.04      20.65       0.42      6.24      19.45       1.21 
          -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  --------- 
   15        -          -          -        2.02      20.70       0.42      6.23      19.45       1.21 
          -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  --------- 
  17.5       -          -          -        1.91      20.95       0.40      6.03      19.55       1.18 
          -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  ---------  -------  ----------  --------- 
 

This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of the UK Market Abuse Regulation and the Directors of the Company are responsible for the release of this announcement.

Glossary

 
 cut-off                 The minimum grade required for a mineral or 
                          metal to be economically mined (or processed). 
                          Material found to be above this grade is considered 
                          to be ore, while material below this grade is 
                          considered to be waste. 
 Exploration Results     Exploration Results include data and information 
                          generated by mineral exploration programmes 
                          that might be of use to investors but which 
                          do not form part of a declaration of Mineral 
                          Resources or Ore Reserves. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 Exploration Target      An Exploration Target is a statement or estimate 
                          of the exploration potential of a mineral deposit 
                          in a defined geological setting where the statement 
                          or estimate, quoted as a range of tonnes and 
                          a range of grade (or quality), relates to mineralisation 
                          for which there has been insufficient exploration 
                          to estimate a Mineral Resource. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 graphitic               of, relating to, resembling, or having the structure 
                          of graphite. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 graphitic carbon        Carbon may be present in rocks in various forms 
                          including organic carbon, carbonates or graphitic 
                          carbon. Carbon in rocks may be reported as fixed 
                          or total carbon (i.e. organic carbon + carbon 
                          in carbonate minerals + carbon as graphite) 
                          or as graphitic carbon (i.e. total carbon - 
                          (organic + carbonate carbon)). 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 Indicated Resource      Indicated Resources are economic mineral occurrences 
                          that have been sampled (from locations such 
                          as outcrops, trenches, pits and drill holes) 
                          to a point where an estimate has been made, 
                          at a reasonable level of confidence, of their 
                          contained metal, grade, tonnage, shape, densities, 
                          physical characteristics. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 Inferred Resource       An Inferred Resource means that part of a mineral 
                          resource for which quantity and grade or quality 
                          are estimated on the basis of limited geological 
                          evidence and sampling. Geological evidence is 
                          sufficient to imply but not verify geological 
                          and grade or quality continuity. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 JORC                    The Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration 
                          Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves 
                          ('the JORC Code') is a professional code of 
                          practice that sets minimum standards for Public 
                          Reporting of minerals Exploration Results, Mineral 
                          Resources and Ore Reserves. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 Maiden Resource         The first Mineral Resource estimate to be completed 
                          on a project. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 Mineral Resource        A Mineral Resource is a concentration or occurrence 
                          of solid material of economic interest in or 
                          on the Earth's crust in such form, grade (or 
                          quality), and quantity that there are reasonable 
                          prospects for eventual economic extraction. 
                          The location, quantity, grade (or quality), 
                          continuity and other geological characteristics 
                          of a Mineral Resource are known, estimated or 
                          interpreted from specific geological evidence 
                          and knowledge, including sampling. Mineral Resources 
                          are sub-divided, in order of increasing geological 
                          confidence, into Inferred, Indicated and Measured 
                          categories. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 metallurgical testing   Metallurgical testing typically uses microscopy 
                          to provide important information about the structure 
                          and properties of metal and alloy samples. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 Ore Reserves            The economically mineable part of a Measured 
                          or Indicated Mineral Resource. It includes diluting 
                          materials and allowances for losses which may 
                          occur when the material is mined. Appropriate 
                          assessments, which may include feasibility studies, 
                          have been carried out, and include consideration 
                          of and modification by realistically assumed, 
                          mining, metallurgical, economic, marketing, 
                          legal, environmental, social and governmental 
                          factors. These assessments demonstrate at the 
                          time of reporting that extraction can reasonably 
                          be justified. Ore Reserves are sub-divided in 
                          order of increasing confidence into Probable 
                          Ore Reserves and Proved Ore Reserves. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 spherical graphite      Used as the anode in lithium-ion batteries. 
                          Natural flake graphite is first purified and 
                          shaped into small spheres, at which point the 
                          material is referred to a High Purity Spherical 
                          Graphite ("HPSG"). After shaping, the natural 
                          flake graphite is purified by chemical leaching 
                          to remove impurities and raise the carbon content 
                          to above 99.95% C. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 strike                  The direction and length of a geological feature 
                          (for example, a vein or rock formation) measured 
                          on a horizontal surface. 
                        ---------------------------------------------------------- 
 

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements relating to expected or anticipated future events and anticipated results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, competition for qualified staff, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, uncertainties resulting from working in a new political jurisdiction, uncertainties regarding the results of exploration, uncertainties regarding the timing and granting of prospecting rights, uncertainties regarding the timing and granting of regulatory and other third party consents and approvals, uncertainties regarding the Company's or any third party's ability to execute and implement future plans, and the occurrence of unexpected events. Actual results achieved may vary from the information provided herein as a result of numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, uncertainties also exist in connection with the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which may result in further lockdown measures and restrictions being imposed by Governments and other competent regulatory bodies and agencies from time to time in response to the pandemic, which measures and restrictions may prevent or inhibit the Company from executing its work activities according to the timelines set out in this announcement or indeed from executing its work activities at all. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may also affect the Company's ability to execute its work activities due to personnel and contractors testing positive for COVID-19 or otherwise being required to self-isolate from time to time.

Competent Person Declaration

The information in this release that relates to Exploration Results and Mineral Resources has been reviewed by Dr John Arthur. Dr Arthur is a Fellow of The Geological Society of London and a Chartered Geologist (FGS CGeol no. 1005744) and 28 years' experience in the minerals and mining industry.

Dr Arthur has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the "Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration targets, Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves", also known as the JORC Code. The JORC code is a national reporting organisation that is aligned with CRIRSCO. Dr Arthur consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.

**ENDS**

For further information, please visit www.albamineralresources.com or contact:

Alba Mineral Resources plc

   George Frangeskides, Executive Chairman                              +44 20 3950 0725 

SPARK Advisory Partners Limited (Nomad)

   Andrew Emmott                                                                 +44 20 3368 3555 

ETX Capital (Broker)

   Thomas Smith                                                                    +44 20 7392 1494 

St Brides Partners (Financial PR)

   Isabel de Salis / Catherine Leftley                                alba@stbridespartners.co.uk 

Alba's Projects and Investments

 
 Mining Projects Operated        Location     Ownership 
  by Alba 
 Clogau (gold)                   Wales        90% 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 Dolgellau Gold Exploration 
  (gold)                         Wales        90-100% 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 Gwynfynydd (gold)               Wales        100% 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 Limerick (zinc-lead)            Ireland      100% 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 Investments Held by Alba        Location     Ownership 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 GreenRoc Mining Plc (mining)    Greenland    54% 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 Horse Hill (oil)                England      11.765% 
                                -----------  ---------- 
 

Forward Looking Statements

This announcement contains forward-looking statements relating to expected or anticipated future events and anticipated results that are forward-looking in nature and, as a result, are subject to certain risks and uncertainties, such as general economic, market and business conditions, competition for qualified staff, the regulatory process and actions, technical issues, new legislation, uncertainties resulting from potential delays or changes in plans, uncertainties resulting from working in a new political jurisdiction, uncertainties regarding the results of exploration, uncertainties regarding the timing and granting of prospecting rights, uncertainties regarding the timing and granting of regulatory and other third party consents and approvals, uncertainties regarding the Company's or any third party's ability to execute and implement future plans, and the occurrence of unexpected events.

Without prejudice to the generality of the foregoing, uncertainties also exist in connection with the ongoing Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic which may result in further lockdown measures and restrictions being imposed by Governments and other competent regulatory bodies and agencies from time to time in response to the pandemic, which measures and restrictions may prevent or inhibit the Company from executing its work activities according to the timelines set out in this announcement or indeed from executing its work activities at all. The Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may also affect the Company's ability to execute its work activities due to personnel and contractors testing positive for COVID-19 or otherwise being required to self-isolate from time to time.

Actual results achieved may vary from the information provided herein as a result of numerous known and unknown risks and uncertainties and other factors.

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