6 September 2016
Highly Prospective Lithium Tenements Secured and Right to Acquire Historic 1.48Mt at 1.67% Li2O Lithium Resource in Ghana, West Africa
IronRidge Resources Limited (AIM: IRR, 'IronRidge' or the 'Company') is pleased to announce the acquisition of a highly prospective 'hard-rock' lithium tenement package and associated access rights to an historic (non-JORC compliant) 1.48Mt at 1.66% Li2O lithium resource in Ghana, West Africa.
· Historic 1.48Mt at 1.66% Li2O resource defined by the Ghana Geological survey in 1962.
· IronRidge can earn up to 100% of the projects through staged earn in arrangements and expenditure to Feasibility Study within a 4-year period.
· Hard-rock, pegmatite hosted mineralisation with dominant lithium rich spodumene mineralogy, simple process flow-sheet envisioned.
· Extensive and highly prospective land package secured through joint venture and direct application, covering 238km2 in Ghana, West Africa.
· 10km long by 1 to 3km wide lithium pegmatite vein swarm trend defined in historic mapping.
· Multiple untested pegmatite occurrences identified - including lithium, tin, tantalum, niobium and beryllium targets throughout the tenement package.
· Licenses adjacent to the coast and within 70km of the capital city Accra; excellent infrastructure, logistics and services support for potential rapid development.
· Global demand for lithium is increasing at an unprecedented rate.
Reference to figures and tables relate to the version of this release on the Company's website (www.ironridgeresources.com.au) or visible in PDF format by clicking the link below:
Commenting on the Company's latest progress, Vincent Mascolo, Chief Executive Officer of IronRidge, said:
"Our global search initiatives continue to yield positive results with this advanced opportunity, an impressive historical lithium resource complimented with adjacent highly prospective licenses and applications is a timely opportunity considering the emerging battery and storage energy markets.
"We are very excited about the emerging energy space and today's news development presents a compelling opportunity covering resource scale potential, simple mineralogy, proximity to infrastructure and mining friendly jurisdiction, all imply the potential for a first quartile, low capital and operating intensity project."
Project Area and Geology
The project area is located on the southern margin of the Cape Coast Batholith, a major 100x200km granitic intrusive complex occurring along the southern-central coastline of Ghana and part of the West African shield. A window of older Birimian metasediments is surrounded by the batholith and occurs along the intrusive contact; possibly representing a roof pendent of older metasediments underlain by granitic intrusives.
Smaller kilometre scale, more fractionated granitic intrusive bosses occur within the metasediments and are spatially associated with pegmatitic vein swarms. These intrusive bodies are believed to be the more fractionated end-members, and accordingly more prospective zones for lithium rich pegmatites.
The outcropping pegmatites are characterised by coarse crystalline spodumene (a lithium rich pyroxene mineral and the preferred feedstock of hard-rock lithium mining projects) in addition to lepidolite (a lithium rich mica mineral) from which lithium may be leached to precipitate a lithium carbonate product. In addition to lithium, the licenses are also prospective for tin, tantalum, niobium, beryllium and gold which occur as accessory minerals within the pegmatites and host formations.
Historic work completed by Ashanti Goldfields Corporation during the early 1980's, in addition to work completed more recently, has identified a 10km long by 1-3km wide north-east trending pegmatite vein swarm trend which includes the historic, non-JORC 1.48Mt at 1.66% Li2O lithium resource at Egyasimanku Hill.
This represents a high priority target zone with proven lithium bearing pegmatite potential for immediate follow-up, notwithstanding the currently identified resource. Additional target zones with potential further repetitions of the vein swarm trend have also been identified within the project portfolio.
The project area is well located, being easily accessible within a 1 hour drive from the capital city Accra along a bitumen highway and is within 5km of grid power.
Historic Lithium Resource
Through the Joint Venture Agreement with Obotan Minerals and Merlink resources, the Company has secured rights to acquire the historic Egyasimanku Hill spodumene rich lithium resource. The deposit was drilled by the Ghana Geological Survey during 1962 and a resource estimate of 1.48Mt at 1.66% Li2O reported.
The Egyasimanku Hill Lithium deposit occurs within the Yenku Forest Reserve, a designated forested area set aside for the local population. Access rights for minerals exploration and development within a forest reserve are granted to an adjacent exploration license holder with due course on approval from the Forestry Commission, Environmental Protection Agency and the local landholders. The application has been lodged by the Joint Venture partner and approval is pending; no certainty to the grant of access can be assigned at this stage.
The Company has entered into a Joint Venture Agreement with Obotan Minerals Ltd and Merlink Resources Ltd of Ghana, West Africa, under which IronRidge can acquire up to 100% of the projects through staged earn in arrangements and expenditure to Feasibility Study within a 4-year period subject to Obotan and Merlink retaining a NSR of 2.5% of which 50% may be acquired for US$3 million at any stage. Funding will be used to undertake further exploration work and, pending results, defining a maiden resource and complete project studies.
Completion of the Investment is subject to certain conditions being met by the Company, Obotan and Merlink, principally in relation to the securing of shareholder approvals.
In addition to the securing licenses and the right to acquire a historic lithium resource through Joint Venture, the Company has also submitted a license application through its wholly owned local subsidiary Green Metals Resources Ltd, over an area to the east of the historic resource and along interpreted extensions of the lithium pegmatite trend. The application is pending approval.
Global demand for lithium is increasing at an unprecedented rate since the emergence of consumer electronics, the electric vehicle and energy storage markets, driven by a desire to reduce carbon emissions and improve efficiencies.
In its purified form, lithium (Li) possesses some unique characteristics. It is the lightest of all metals, has a high electrochemical potential with an exceptionally small ionic radius and therefore exceptionally high charge to radius ratio. These unique characteristics make it ideal for use in lightweight, rechargeable batteries currently undergoing rampant growth in global demand.
Lithium and its compounds have several industrial, medicinal and biological applications, including heat-resistant glass and ceramics, lithium grease lubricants, flux additives for iron, steel and aluminum production, lithium and lithium-ion batteries, mental health treatment and bacteriostatic properties. These uses consume more than three quarters of lithium production.
Commentary from industry experts suggest lithium consumption to increase significantly over the coming years; especially due to increasing global battery demand.
The Board is delighted with the progress that the Company has made in 2016 and looks forward to keeping shareholders updated as further news becomes available.
For any further information please contact:
IronRidge Resources Limited
Vincent Mascolo (Chief Executive Officer)
Tel: +61 7 3303 0610
Nicholas Mather (Executive Chairman)
Tel: +61 7 3303 0610
SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP
Tel: +44 (0)20 3470 0470
Nominated Adviser and Broker
Yellow Jersey PR Limited
Tel: +44 (0) 7584 085 670
Notes to Editor:
IronRidge Resources is an AIM listed mineral exploration company with frontier assets in both Australia and West Africa, with two province scale projects in Gabon, and promising and advanced titanium and bauxite projects in Queensland Australia. IronRidge's corporate strategy is to create and sustain shareholder value through the discovery of world-class and globally demanded commodities.
Monogorilby is prospective for province scale titania and bauxite, with an initial maiden resource of 54.9MT of premium DSO bauxite Monogorilby located in central Queensland, within a short trucking distance of the rail system leading north to the Port of Bundaberg. It is also located within close proximity of the active Queensland Rail network heading south towards the Port of Brisbane.
May Queen is located in Central Queensland, within its wholly owned Monogorilby license package and is highly prospective for gold with drill ready targets defined. Historic drilling completed during the 1980s intersected multiple high-grade gold intervals including 2m @ 73.4 g/t Au (including 1m at 145g/t), 4m @ 38.8g/t Au (at end of hole) and 3m @ 18.9g/t Au, over an approximate 100m strike hosting numerous parallel vein systems, open to the north-west and south-east.
Wholly owned Quaggy contains highly anomalous platinum, palladium, nickel, cobalt and copper exploration targets and is located in Central Queensland within a short trucking distance of the dormant rail system to the Port of Bundaberg. It is also located within close proximity of the active Queensland Rail network heading south towards the Port of Brisbane.
Tchibanga is located in south-western Gabon, in the Nyanga Province, within 10-60km of the Atlantic coastline. This project comprises two exploration licenses, Tchibanga and Tchibanga Nord, which cover a combined area of 3,396km2 and include over 90km of prospective lithologies and the historic Mont Pele iron occurrence.
Belinga Sud is Located in the north east of Gabon in the Ogooue-Ivindo Province, approximately 400km east of the capital city of Libreville. IRR's licence lies between the main Belinga Iron Ore Deposit, believed to be one of the world's largest untapped reserves of iron ore with an estimated 1bt of iron ore at a grade >60% Fe, and the route of the Trans Gabonese railway, which currently carries manganese ore and timber from Franceville to the Port of Owendo in Libreville.
The Company entered into a conditional agreement with Tekton Minerals Pte Ltd of Singapore and its portfolio covering 1,400km2 of highly prospective gold and other mineral projects in Chad, Central Africa. Under the terms of the agreement, IronRidge will acquire an initial 58% of Tekton, including its projects and team, to advance the Dorothe, Echbara and Am Ouchar licenses; hosting multiple, potential nation building gold projects. Initial trenching results at Dorothe, including 14.12g/t Au over 4m, 34.1g/t over 2m and 63.2g/t over 1m, has defined significant gold mineralised quartz veining over a confirmed 1km strike at an average of 2m and up to 5m true width across multiple stacked vein zones up to 200m wide with new hard-rock artisanal workings potentially extending strike to >3km.
IronRidge made its AIM debut in February 2015, successfully securing strategic alliances with three international companies; Assore Limited of South Africa, Sumitomo Corporation of Japan and DGR Global Limited of Australia. Assore is a high- grade iron, chrome and manganese mining specialist. Sumitomo Corporation is a global resources, mining marketing and trading conglomerate. DGR Global is a project generation and exploration specialist.
The Board of Directors is represented by mining industry professionals with a broad range of corporate, exploration, production, contracting and capital markets experience. The Company was admitted on 12 February 2015 (Ticker Code IRR) and currently has 236,612,203 shares and 14,770,000 unlisted options on issue.
This information is provided by RNS