25/05/2021 - 16:36

Eclipse one to watch as Greenland Govt extends licence

25/05/2021 - 16:36

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Eclipse Metals has locked in a four-year extension to its exploration licence at the Ivittuut cryolite and rare earth project in Greenland, with heavily reduced minimum expenditure commitments for the first year. The extension follows amendments to the previous licence made by the newly elected Greenland Government. A program of work for 2021 has been submitted with approval expected in July.

Historical photo of Ivittuut cryolite mine from 1960. Credit: File

Eclipse Metals has locked in a four-year extension to its exploration licence at the Ivittuut cryolite and rare earth project in Greenland, with heavily reduced minimum expenditure commitments for the first year. The extension follows amendments to the previous licence made by the newly elected Greenland Government. A program of work for 2021 has been submitted with approval expected in July.

Eclipse only entered an agreement to acquire Ivittuut in January this year and already the company appears to have been given a boost with the new exploration licence now secured and valid through to December 2024.

Ivittuut could be the world’s largest and only known source of naturally occurring cryolite, a material used as a fluxing agent to cut energy consumption and furnace temperatures in aluminium production. The mine was in production for some 120 years until its closure in 1985, based on a deposit that originally contained 3.8 million tonnes of ore going 58 per cent cryolite.

The new exploration licence with updated conditions has now been formally approved by Greenland’s Minister for Mineral Resources, Naaja Nathanielsen.

According to Eclipse, Ms Nathanielsen said in a statement released earlier this month that mineral resources were, “very important for the new government in order to diversify the Greenlandic economy to the benefit of all.”

“Mining remains an industry that the new government intends to develop and prioritise in the future – both for international companies as well as local entrepreneurs,” Ms Nathanielsen added.

Eclipse says the new government is looking to advance mining projects in the country other than uranium ventures.

Eclipse Executive Chairman, Carl Popal said: “Ivittuut is an industrial mineral and REE project with no uranium mineralisation. We are looking forward to working with the Ministry of Mines and Greenland’s Mineral Licence and Safety Authority to progress the development of the Ivittuut project.

"Ivittuut has more than 120 years of mining history, and the project has great commercial prospects. We look forward to exploring this potential and working with the new government to develop a new mine or mines in south-west Greenland."

Eclipse has submitted a program of work for the 2021 campaign at Ivittuut and expects to receive formal approval from the government by early July.

The historical mine workings at Invittuut are also believed to contain fluorite, siderite, quartz and base metals, in addition to undeveloped resources that potentially include a large rare earth carbonatite deposit 10km from the historical mine.

Some 19,000m of core from historical exploration drilling is available for Eclipse to sample and assay, reducing any immediate need for further drilling.

The new exploration licence has given Eclipse a green light to advance its work at Ivittuut and the market another reason to keep a close eye on a company with its foot on what is thought to be the only naturally occurring source of cryolite in the world.

 

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

 

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