22/09/2020 - 15:27

Drill rig mobilises as Eclipse chases battery-grade manganese

22/09/2020 - 15:27

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Eclipse Metals has launched the second stage of drilling at its high-grade Amamoor manganese project in Queensland with a diamond drill rig returning to the area near Gympie to chase geophysical anomalies linked to the known historical mine workings. Eclipse will test the width, depth and grade quality of mineralisation intersected in its stage one drill program, adjacent to historical workings.

Eclipse Metals has launched the second stage of drilling at its high-grade Amamoor manganese project in Queensland with a diamond drill rig returning to the area near Gympie to chase geophysical anomalies linked to the known historical mine workings. Eclipse will test the width, depth and grade quality of mineralisation intersected in its stage one drill program, adjacent to historical workings.

The ASX-listed, battery-grade manganese explorer, which also has prospective uranium assets in NT, has identified discrete, dense gravity anomalies over, or adjacent to, the known deposits worked by earlier miners. The company said these anomalies could potentially indicate the presence of high-grade deposits extending laterally over some distance.

Eclipse will start its latest diamond core drill in the central area of the historical mining area before moving north to drill up an exposed face of manganese mineralisation which management said was around 8m high and 25m wide.

Several drill holes are planned to test strike and depth extensions of the two best holes drilled in its stage one campaign back in 2018.  Drill holes ADD006 and ADD007 targeted depth extensions of a historically mined area and both intersected layered-to-massive manganese mineralisation over much of their lengths.

Hole ADD006 intersected 3.2m of high-grade mineralisation averaging 59.8 per cent manganese oxide from 8.8m downhole, within a mineralised zone of some 15m in width.

Hole ADD007 intersected a 2.4m interval of manganese-mineralised breccia averaging 26.3 per cent manganese oxide from 14.9m downhole.  ADD007 also intersected 6m grading 5.9 per cent manganese oxide from surface.

Discovered in the 1920’s, small scale historic mining extracted just under 20,000 tonnes of ore at 51 per cent manganese for use in the manufacture of alkaline-manganese batteries.

Whilst width and depth testing are always important strategies in any mineral drilling program, Eclipse said it will also be testing for chemical characteristics.

The company said the stage one drill results pointed to the potential for direct shipping ore characteristics of the manganese mineralisation with amenability to beneficiation also demonstrated.

With a burgeoning electric vehicle industry hungry for high-grade manganese concentrate to feed the lithium-ion battery smelters, its strategy of targeting a ‘dig, truck and ship’ operation through Gympie could be on the money, if the drill rods deliver width and depth this time around.

 

Is your ASX listed company doing something interesting? Contact: matt.birney@businessnews.com.au

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