Eclipse Metals Ltd (ASX:EPM) has delineated high-grade quartz mineralisation below the Ivittuut open pit in Greenland based on ongoing analysis of historical diamond drilling reported by independent mining consultants North Atlantic Mining Consultants Ltd.
The results demonstrate high-grade quartz mineralisation within the historical Ivittuut mine environment with modelling of historical exploration data from the Ivittuut deposit indicating substantial economic potential within the pit.
Shares have been up to 5% higher to 2.4 cents intra-day and since the market close on December 24 have risen from 1.1 cents.
The company has also defined large exploration targets for the quartz mineralised domain at Ivittuut:
These exploration targets are based on actual exploration results from 18 diamond drill holes representing 1,764 metres of drilling within and around the historic pit.
The assay data used include 1,062 analytical results and bulk density measurements were assigned using lower value of 2.55 and upper value of 2.65.
Eclipse has relied heavily on geological maps, assay data and cross sections from previous operators of the Ivittuut mine.
Much of the historical quartz data for the Ivittuut deposit sourced in open file reports from the GEUS portal required digitisation.
Historical data, comprising paper cross sections and plans containing both lithological and analytical data, were reviewed and digitised to form a 3D database.
This review indicated the data is reliable and methods used were appropriate for industry standards of that time.
“Potential for multi-commodity deposits”
Executive chairman Carl Popal said: "To date, evaluation of historical data has unveiled massive economic potential for the Ivittuut project being the world’s only known commercial cryolite mine.
“It also has the potential for multi-commodity deposits of cryolite, fluorite, zinc, iron, high grade quartz and highly sought-after rare-earth minerals (REE).
“This is a global leap forward for the company to expand its interests with a unique opportunity to contribute to the growing demand for high-grade silica in the European market.”
High silica grade quartz from drill hole 153.
Overall, 18 diamond drill holes intersected the body of the quartz zone Domain 3.
An extensive body of high-grade quartz in Domain 3 was intersected below the cryolite-fluorite zone Domain 1 and iron-zinc zone Domain 2, with average drill intersections including:
- Hole 153 – 54 metres at 97.6% silicon from 32 metres;
- Hole 165 – 24 metres at 93.2% from 12 metres; and
- Hole 165 – 53 metres at 94.8% from 45 metres.
Analyses of individual 3-metre intervals of high-grade quartz mineralisation include:
- Hole 153 – 99.60% silicon from 32 metres;
- Hole 153 – 99.33% from 59 metres;
- Hole 153 – 99.98% from 80 metres; and
- Hole 153 – 99.94% from 86 metres.
“Well-positioned to deliver increasing value”
Popal added: “This project also fits the company’s mission to excel in the commercialisation of metals and minerals demanded in the production of green energy required by industry in the reduction of pollutants.
“Logistically, the deposits are in close proximity to an existing port, offering significant commercial benefits in the delivery of its products to market.
“The global exploration target domains have delineated extensive tonnages and grades across all the commodities with REE exploration yet to be conducted.
“EPM is now well-positioned to deliver increasing value for our shareholders by being able to achieve cost effective results from assay of 19,000 metres of drill core from the project area currently in storage.
A constantly growing glass industry in Europe demands increasing amounts of appropriate raw materials, including the most important one - glass silica.
High quality quartz is composed of silica which is characterised as having minimum 95% silica and low levels of impurities.
Silica with varying qualities may be used not only for glass production but also to make casting moulds in foundries, ingredients in ceramics, proppants in shale hydrocarbons extraction, fillers and extenders in polymers, paints and rubber for water filtration and for many other uses.
Quartz can also be the starting point for the manufacturing of water-soluble sodium silicates and other downstream silicon chemicals.
The global quartz market was valued at $8.23 billion in 2018 and is projected to reach $13.61 billion by 2026, growing at a CAGR of 6.9% from 2020 to 2030 as mentioned in Persistence Market Research in July 2020.
Subject to COVID-19 restrictions, Eclipse is planning activities to calculate a JORC-compliant resource estimate for the Ivittuut project at the earliest opportunity.
Further analytical work is required over the quartz zones as previous explorers did not assay all quartz intersections for contaminants.
Numerous drill holes hosting quartz mineralisation will be systematically split and analysed for contaminants to enable calculation of silica content as part of JORC-compliant resource estimation work.