African Bauxite play getting bigger for Lindian
Further surface mapping conducted just before the launch of its maiden drilling program at the Gaoual bauxite project in northwest Guinea has given Lindian Resources the confidence that it is sitting on an ore body significantly larger than originally anticipated.
The Perth based ASX listed company says it is convinced that its high grade Bouba “conglomerate” bauxite target now extends around a kilometre further to the north than the initial 1.5km zone previously identified.
Lindian is about to embark on a two-stage drilling program designed to assess the grade, thickness and scale of Gaoual, with two key targets - Bouba and Mamaya – already firmly on the radar.
Located around 165 kilometres northeast of the Kamsar port, Gaoual, according to the company, is possibly shaping up as a replica of the Sangaredi ore body to the south west, where superior “conglomerate” style bauxite was earlier mined by Compagnie des Bauxite Guinee, or “CBG” - a joint venture between mining giants, Rio Tinto and Alcoa and the Guinean Government.
Whilst CBG is still a significant bauxite player, producing around 13.6 million tonnes of alumina oxide a year, the lucrative conglomerate style mineralisation at Sangaredi has long been depleted.
Conglomerate bauxite deposits tend to be multi-layered and much thicker than a typical in-situ deposit that was not transported by water over the years.
Earlier due diligence and field work conducted by Lindian has convinced the company it is not sitting on an ordinary bauxite deposit, but on one that contains the high value, very rare conglomerate style of bauxite material.
These kinds of ore bodies can have off the scale economics due to their higher grades of over 50% alumina and low levels of impurities.
Gaoual’s alumina oxide grade samples are well above conventional in-situ bauxite values, which are usually around 48%, with its surface samples returning 53.57% alumina.
The deposit also has a vertical width interpreted to be possibly 37 metres, whereas typical in-situ bauxite ore systems rarely exceed 15m thickness.
Lindian’s first target, the 5sqkm Bouba, hosts high grade bauxite that outcrops at surface, with this outcropping mimicking Sangaredi’s primary conglomerate bauxite.
Bouba’s mineralisation has a high alumina grade of 55-60%, contains a very low, 1-3% silica, and has the potential to be 30m plus thick.
Lindian said a recent review of the northern edge of the Bouba Plateau indicated there was no outcropping basal geology which potentially could reduce the vertical extent of the conglomerate bauxite pile. Furthermore, it did not indicate a “broken edge” typical of an in-situ bauxite plateaux typical of this region, thus reconfirming the company’s suspicions that it is dealing with some unique conglomerate style geology.
Lindian’s other early drilling target, Mamaya, covers 11sqkm, where outcropping high grade bauxite has also been sampled at surface. Hosting large areas of what Lindian has called bauxite plains, the target has an expected depth of 10-15m, with the ore grades reaching 45-50% alumina.
Lindian will acquire its initial 51% interest in Gaoual from KB Bauxite Guinea SARLU and its sole shareholder, Guinea Bauxite, by pumping USD$1 million into the ground over the next two years.
It also has the right to move to a 75% holding via a longer-term deal after certain project milestones have been achieved and further monies spent on the project.
Lindian Managing Director Shannon Green said: “The geologists identifying that the areal extent of the Bouba Conglomerate Bauxite Plateau could potentially be significantly larger than initially identified puts Lindian Resources in a unique position, with a low market capitalisation and what is shaping up to potentially be a truly world class project of global significance.”
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