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Alba Mineral Resources plc
("Alba" or the "Company")
Drilling Commences at Alba's Limerick Base Metals Project in Ireland
Alba Mineral Resources plc (AIM: ALBA), the diversified mineral exploration and development company, is pleased to report that drilling has commenced on Alba's 100% owned Limerick Base Metals Project (under Prospecting Licence ("PL") 3824) in the Republic of Ireland.
Alba's Executive Chairman, George Frangeskides, commented:
"This excellent news that drilling has commenced at Limerick means that we have now hit all our principal objectives for our mining operations in this quarter (Q2 2019): we have announced a maiden resource estimate for our 100% owned Thule Black Sands Project; we have completed Phase 1 of our regional exploration campaign at Clogau in Wales; and we have now commenced drilling in Ireland.
The Irish Zinc Ore Field has been a major source of zinc production since the 1960s and is host to some very significant, high-grade zinc mines, not least the Tara Mine, with an ore body of ~110 million tonnes at a grade of 9.8% zinc and 2.6% lead, making it the largest zinc/lead deposit in Europe. Also, Glencore's Pallas Green deposit which has a resource of 42 Mt @ 8% zinc.
Of the only five drill holes previously completed on Alba's Limerick Project, one drill hole intercepted six metres of semi-massive and disseminated pyrite within the target limestone, including a two-metre mineralised interval containing zinc. The presence of pyrite is encouraging since it often indicates the presence of base metal sulphides at other properties in the Limerick basin.
I will be on site in Limerick today to see the progress of drilling for myself, and I look forward to reporting on the results in due course."
Details of Drilling Campaign
Alba is pleased to report that drilling has commenced at its Limerick Base Metals project. The drilling targets a number of areas of identified soil and gravity anomalies identified during Alba's previous field programmes. The drilling is being completed by Mineral Exploration Drilling Ltd ("MEDL"), who have extensive experience related to the Irish Zinc Ore Field, with the drilling being supervised by the Ireland-based mineral exploration consultancy firm, Aurum Exploration ("Aurum").
Alba's Technical Director, Howard Baker is in Ireland currently to inspect the start of drilling operations, with Alba Chairman George Frangeskides also due on site in Limerick later today. This followed a site visit by the Chairman to Alba's Clogau Project yesterday, 16 May, to inspect the progress to date of the ongoing extensive rehabilitation works to the Clogau St-David's Mine.
The Limerick drilling programme follows a review of all exploration results collected to date with the drill targets identified considered to have the correct indicative geological framework and associated geophysical and geochemical anomalies to potentially host zinc-lead ("Zn-Pb") mineralisation. Diamond drilling is now being undertaken that will test some of the targets identified.
The geology of the licence area is dominated by Waulsortian Reef Limestone Formation and the underlying Ballysteen Formation. This sequence is inferred to subcrop in the west and south of Alba's Project area. These units represent the host and footwall lithology respectively for most of the Zn-Pb deposits in the Irish Midlands. Historically, only five drillholes have been completed within Alba's Project area, one by Alba and four by former JV partner Teck Resources. These low levels of drilling are unusual in the Irish context and for this reason, the area is considered under-explored.
A total of five high-priority targets have been identified by the Company from an examination of the available data, including soil geochemistry and regional geophysical data. These targets are presented in Figure 1 of the accompanying pdf to this announcement, along with the interpreted exploration data and underlying geology.
Figure 2 of the accompanying pdf to this announcement shows the location of Alba's Project area and the surrounding licence holders and projects. The Irish Zinc Ore Field has been a major source of zinc production since the 1960s and is currently home to some of Europe's largest zinc projects including the Navan (Tara) zinc-lead mine (Boliden), the Pallas Green deposit (Glencore) and the past producing Lisheen mine (Vedanta) and Galmoy mine (Lundin Mining). The Stonepark zinc project (Group Eleven Resources) lies some 10 km from Alba's Limerick Project.
Alba will provide updates on the drilling results as and when these are available.
Clogau Regional Exploration and Mine Rehabilitation Update
Alba is pleased to report that the Company's dedicated field exploration team have now completed Phase 1 of the regional exploration programme over the Dolgellau Gold Belt in north Wales. The team has now collected a total of 1200 samples over ~7 miles of the length extent of the Gold Belt. As previously reported on 29 April:
· Results have been obtained from ALS Laboratories in Ireland for the first 525 samples from the 1200 sample programme.
· Multiple gold-in-soil anomalies have been identified away from the existing mine area and not associated with historic mine workings, averaging 0.006-0.17 ppm (at a 0.005 ppm cut-off), including one sample at 0.65 ppm (0.65 g/t).
· Average grades for two of the new anomalies are well above the average gold-in-soil grades for Clogau-St David's and the other historic mine areas.
· Anomalies have been identified across multiple geological units and outside of the traditional Clogau Shale target.
· Gold mineralisation has now been confirmed across ~4 miles along the strike extent of the Dolgellau Gold Belt.
We look forward to reporting the results from the remaining 675 samples from the 1200 sample programme once these are available from ALS Laboratories.
The Company can also report that Phase 1 of the Mine Rehabilitation Programme at the Clogau-St David's Mine has also now been completed, involving the following works at the Tyn Y Cornel (Upper) Adit: the fencing off of void areas; the construction of new floor platforms; and the installation of a ~50 metre ladderway within the vertical shaft connecting the Tyn Y Cornel (Upper) Adit with the Llechfraith (Lower) Adit. Alba's contractors have now demobilised from site temporarily while the construction and delivery of a number of steel arches is awaited in order to enable the Phase 2 rehabilitation works to commence at the Llechfraith (Lower) Adit level. Phase 2 is currently expected to commence sometime in June.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of EU Regulation 596/2014.
For further information please contact:
Alba Mineral Resources plc
George Frangeskides, Executive Chairman +44 20 3907 4297
Cairn Financial Advisers LLP (Nomad)
James Caithie / Liam Murray / Richard Nash +44 20 7213 0880
First Equity Limited (Broker)
Jason Robertson +44 20 7374 2212
Competent Person Declaration
The information in this release that relates to Exploration Results has been reviewed by Mr Howard Baker, Technical Director of Alba Mineral Resources Plc. Mr Baker is a Chartered Professional Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy (Membership Number 224239) and a Competent Person as defined by the rules of International Reporting Codes that are aligned with CRIRSCO.
Howard Baker 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. Howard Baker consents to the inclusion in the announcement of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which they appear.
Alba's Project & Investment Portfolio
Amitsoq (Graphite, Greenland): Alba owns a 90 per cent interest in the Amitsoq Graphite Project in Southern Greenland and has an option over the remaining 10 per cent.
Clogau (Gold, Wales): Alba owns a 90 per cent interest in Gold Mines of Wales Limited ("GMOW"), the ultimate owner of the Clogau Gold project situated in the Dolgellau Gold Belt in Wales.
Inglefield Land (Copper, Cobalt, Gold): Alba owns 100 per cent of mineral exploration licence ("MEL") 2017/40 and 2018/25 in north-west Greenland.
Limerick (Base Metals, Ireland): Alba owns 100 per cent of the Limerick base metal project in the Republic of Ireland.
Melville Bay (Iron Ore, Greenland): Alba is entitled to a 51 per cent interest in MEL 2017/41 in Melville Bay, north-west Greenland. The licence area benefits from an existing inferred JORC resource of 67 Mt @ 31.4% Fe.
Thule Black Sands (Ilmenite, Greenland): Alba owns 100 per cent of MEL 2017/29 in the Thule region, north-west Greenland.
Oil & Gas
Brockham (Oil & Gas, UK): Alba has a direct 5 per cent interest in Production Licence 235, which comprises the previously producing onshore Brockham Oil Field.
Horse Hill (Oil & Gas, UK): Alba holds an 11.765 per cent effective interest in the Horse Hill oil and gas project (licences PEDL 137 and PEDL 246 covering a total area of 142.9 km²) in the UK Weald Basin.
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