BlackEarth Minerals is nearing completion of its maiden drill program at the Maniry project in Madagascar and will report a JORC-compliant resource by the end of June. The program has outlined two continuous graphitic lenses 900 metres long and up to 50m thick from surface. The company is undertaking comprehensive mineralogical and metallurgical test work programs to determine the quality of its defined graphite product.
Recently listed BlackEarth Minerals continues to intersect wide zones of graphite mineralisation from diamond drilling at its Maniry project in southern Madagascar.
Two parallel graphitic lodes over 900 metres long with widths ranging up to 50m thick, have now been delineated at the company’s Razafy prospect, starting right from surface.
BlackEarth has completed 3,000 metres of drilling in 42 drill holes at Razafy since early April and the planned program is now 70% complete.
Once this drilling is completed, the company will move to the Haja prospect, 2km south of Razafy and complete definition drilling there.
The Razafy prospect was identified through regional mapping and rock chip sampling over at least 1.6km, encompassing six different graphite-rich lenses of mineralisation.
According to the company, preliminary mineralogy reported for the Maniry graphite project in February points towards a high quality, low-cost premium product, free of most internal contaminants, which can lower the selling price of the final product.
BlackEarth has delivered an 800kg sample to Intertek in Perth with assay results expected to become available in coming weeks.
A further 500kg sample is being shipped from Madagascar to Perth and a 650kg sample is being transferred to the Madagascan capital, Antananarivo for preparation before despatch to Australia.
"The Board is looking forward to the assay results and the commencement of sample test work in Quarter 3 2018 as it heads towards the completion of a scoping study by the end of 2018.”
Given the significant size of the Maniry graphite prospect, its flat-dipping nature and mineralisation at surface, BlackEarth says it is confident that the deposits can be upgraded to JORC-compliance efficiently.
The company hasn’t been sitting on its hands since listing on the ASX in January this year and it now has a project portfolio focussed on the exploration and development of its 100%-owned graphite projects in Madagascar and Western Australia.
BlackEarth commenced its exploration in Africa, due to the highly prospective nature of its tenement holdings in Madagascar, with Maniry only 70km southwest of the world-class Molo graphite project, owned by TSX-listed NextSource Minerals Inc.
That deposit has a global resource of 141.3 million tonnes grading 6.13% total graphitic carbon, with a contained ore reserve of 22.4 million tonnes grading 7.02% total graphitic carbon.
The Molo project has an initial mine life of 30 years, a processing rate of 240,000 tonnes per annum, producing just over 17,000 tonnes of premium graphite concentrate a year, representing up to 3% of the world market.
BlackEarth’s Ianapera prospect is only 10km northwest of the Molo project and contained within similar rock sequences.
Ianapera consists of a series of high-grade graphitic outcrops, up to 800m long and 30m wide. These high-grade near surface exposures have returned grades above 15% total graphitic carbon and lie over the top of a large electrically conductive body.
This potentially indicates the presence of a large and deeper graphitic mineralised system at Ianapera.
In Western Australia, BlackEarth holds exploration tenure over 4 different graphite projects.
All were identified by researching the available data from Western Australia’s comprehensive, historical mineral exploration database of old reports.
This work identified historical graphite mineralisation recorded from the Donnelly River project in the southwest, the Greenhills project 20km east of York, the Northern Gully project 26km west-southwest of Geraldton and the Yalbra project located 280km east of Carnarvon.
For now though, BlackEarth is wrapping up its maiden drilling program at the Rafazy prospect in Madagascar and aiming to have a JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate on the streets by the end of June.
The company will undertake comprehensive mineralogical and metallurgical test work programs of its graphite samples in Perth and these studies will commence in the third quarter of this year.