Source - LSE Regulatory
RNS Number : 5478K
Empire Metals Limited
29 August 2023
 

Empire Metals Limited / LON: EEE / Sector: Natural Resources

 

29 August 2023

Empire Metals Limited

('Empire' or the 'Company')

 

Airborne Gravity Survey Results Highlight Potential for Extensive Higher Grade Titanium Mineralisation at Pitfield

 

Empire Metals Limited (LON: EEE), the AIM-quoted resource exploration and development company, is pleased to announce the results of the airborne gravity survey recently flown at the Pitfield Project ('Pitfield' or the 'Project'), located in the premier mining jurisdiction of Western Australia.

 

Highlights

 

·    Large, very dense core within the 40km long magnetics anomaly identified by recently completed airborne gravity survey that has been correlated to the extensively altered and mineralised sedimentary beds.

·    Highest density areas identified by this airborne gravity survey are outside areas tested in Empire's maiden drilling programme demonstrating significant potential to discover even higher-grade mineralisation and/or zones of new economic minerals within the high-density core.

·    Strong, discrete gravity anomalies, indicative of high-density bodies of subsurface rock have been identified by the airborne gravity survey and are interpreted to indicate thick high-grade iron-titanium mineralised beds or large zones of hematitic iron oxides that may be associated with copper mineralisation.

·    A 1,500m diamond core drill programme is expected to commence in September, which will be followed up later this year by a more extensive Reverse Circulation ('RC') drilling programme focusing on the new targets identified from the airborne gravity data, in conjunction with all other exploration data sets.

·    Empire's priority over the coming months is to confirm the scale of this giant, titanium-enriched mineral system and also to provide more information about key parameters such as mineralogy, grades, tonnage potential and geological controls on the thicker, higher-grade mineralisation.

 

Shaun Bunn, Managing Director, said: "I am pleased to announce the results of our airborne gravity survey which has successfully mapped anomalous variations in the subsurface rock density at Pitfield across the 40km by 8km magnetics anomaly. As expected, the higher resolution achieved by our close-spaced survey has identified a large, very dense core which we believe to be indicative of the thicker and higher-grade parts of this extensively altered, giant titanium-rich mineral system.

 

"What is particularly exciting is that the highest density areas identified by this airborne gravity survey are outside areas tested in our successful maiden drilling programme and so we can see that we have yet to drill test any of these highest density targets. There is clearly potential to discover even higher-grade mineralisation and/or zones of new economic minerals within this high-density core and we are looking to expand our next RC drilling campaign to ensure we cover as much of these high-density targets as possible."

 

The Pitfield Project

Empire holds a 70% interest in Pitfield which is comprised of four granted Exploration Licences (E70/5465, E70/5876, E70/6320 and E70/6323) covering 1,042km2. Pitfield is located near Three Springs, a town 313km north of Perth, Western Australia on the Midlands Road, which until the opening of the Brand Highway in 1975 was the main road route from Perth to the state's north (refer Figure 1).


Figure 1.  Pitfield Project Location showing the scale of the magnetics anomaly and coincident alteration footprint.

 

Regional gravity and magnetics surveys, carried out historically by the Geological Survey of Western Australia (GSWA), identified strong, extensive and coincident gravity and magnetics anomalies within the Yandanooka Basin but lacked detail due to the wide line spacing of these historical surveys. The more detailed airborne magnetics (AM) and airborne electromagnetics (AEM) surveys undertaken by Empire (announced 21 September 2022) confirmed a field-mapped massive alteration footprint within the host sedimentary rocks that was coincident with the historical gravity anomaly and the new, detailed magnetic and electromagnetic anomalies extending over a 40km north-south distance (Figure 1).

 

The maiden, reconnaissance RC drilling campaign (announced 30 May 2023) was focused on areas where Empire had previously identified highly chargeable-highly resistive anomalies from Induced Polarisation (IP) ground surveys, which have now been shown to be associated with stratabound iron and titanium oxide mineralisation hosted within hydrothermally altered sandstone-siltstone and conglomerate beds.

 

Airborne Gravity Survey Results

XCalibur Multiphysics Group ('Xcaliber') was contracted by Empire to conduct a Falcon fixed-wing airborne gravity gradiometer (AGG) survey at Pitfield, which was flown between 17 and 21 July 2023. The survey was flown over the entire magnetics anomaly and consisted of 1,749 line-km at a spacing of 325m.

A map of a geothermal area Description automatically generated

Figure 2.  Grey-scale magnetics map overlain by airborne gravity survey results (highest subsurface rock densities indicated by warmest colours).

 

The results of the recent airborne gravity survey have highlighted a high-density, central core broadly associated with the previously mapped giant iron-titanium alteration system at Pitfield. The high-density core is a regional-scale feature, covering an area ~30km in length and up to 6km wide. The gravity data matches the airborne magnetics flown by Empire in June 2022 whereby the more magnetic rocks are also located within the same central core (Figure 2).

 

The gravity data shows a distinct linear gravity high of at least 15km in length, associated with the very dense rocks, flanking the eastern margin of the regional gravity anomaly but largely corresponding to rocks of lower magnetic susceptibility. This is an unexpected outcome which potentially highlights new zones of concentrated titanium mineralisation. A separate strong but discrete gravity high also occurs towards the northern end of the regional gravity core feature. These two gravity highs infer subsurface rock densities up to four times greater than the surrounding rocks. At the south-western end of the regional gravity core lies an additional distinct gravity high that infers rock densities of up to three times that of surrounding rocks.  These very dense zones may be represented by extensive concentrated Fe-Ti oxide mineralised beds.

 

A map of a geothermal area Description automatically generated

Figure 3.  Grey-scale magnetics map overlain by airborne gravity data showing a distinct linear gravity high (greater than 2.6 mgal; solid yellow outlines) indicative of very high-density rocks located along eastern margin of the regional gravity core feature.

The airborne gravity survey has provided strong supportive evidence for the presence of key NNW-SSE striking regional fault structures previously identified in the detailed airborne magnetics data. The gravity data also highlight additional and previously unrecognised ENE-WSW striking cross faults that appear to be late-stage and visibly offset the main gravity feature. This new structural information will be critical in planning future exploration programmes, including the optimal placement of drill holes.

 

3D inversion modelling of the preliminary gravity data has provided an insight into the geometry and scale of this newly recognised high-density body with the top appearing to be "canoe" like, the western and eastern margins of the body are both essentially vertical indicating an important structural control crossing the east-dipping sedimentary beds which host the Fe-Ti oxide mineralisation.  Confirming the results of the recent 3D inversion modelling of the magnetics data, the 3D gravity modelling clearly indicates that the high-density central core extends to a minimum 6km depth.

 

The maiden RC drilling programme that identified the giant iron-titanium hydrothermal alteration system (announced 30 May 2023) was focused on areas where the IP surveys outlined near surface highly chargeable zones. None of these holes was drilled into any of the discrete high-density anomalies identified from the recent detailed airborne gravity survey (Figure 4).

A map of the area Description automatically generated

Figure 4.  Grey-scale magnetics map overlain by airborne gravity survey results with indicative highest density zones (solid yellow outlines) and locations of maiden RC drill holes and IP survey lines.

Drilling at Mt Scratch was at the northern end of the high-density core gravity anomaly; however, the intensity of the gravity anomaly is weaker where the holes were drilled.  In the south of the project area, where some of the highest TiO2 grades were recorded, the single RC hole was drilled on the western flank of the highest density gravity anomaly (Figure 4). This suggests that these newly identified high-density areas are underlain by higher grade Fe-Ti oxide mineralised beds.

 

In addition to potentially mapping areas with the best iron-titanium exploration potential, the  high-density anomalies also represent compelling targets for iron-oxide associated copper mineralisation. A number of copper workings are present within the project, and the high-density anomalies may represent areas where larger concentrations of copper mineralisation are present, in conjunction with zones of strong hematic iron oxide alteration.

 

Future Work

A diamond core drilling campaign is scheduled to commence in September and will consist of three angled 500m deep holes, focusing on confirming the continuation of the high-grade titanium mineralisation discovered during the maiden drill campaign which consisted of only 21 RC drill holes totalling 3,206 metres. The next fully funded drill programme, scheduled for late 2023, will involve a significant RC drilling campaign, which will be carried out along the length of the high-density gravity core now identified to be within the regional magnetics anomaly. The objective of these two drill campaigns is to not only confirm the scale of this giant, titanium-enriched mineral system but to also understand the distribution of key factors better, such as grade, mineralogy, thickness and extent of mineralised beds and controls on high-grade TiO2 mineralisation.

 

Qualified Person Statement

The technical information in this report that relates to the Pitfield Project has been compiled by Mr Andrew Faragher, an employee of Eclipse Exploration Pty Ltd, a wholly owned subsidiary of Empire. Mr Faragher is a Member of the Australian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr Faragher has sufficient experience that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit under consideration and to the activity being undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the 'Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves'. Mr Faragher consents to the inclusion in this release of the matters based on his information in the form and context in which it appears.

 

Market Abuse Regulation (MAR) Disclosure

Certain information contained in this announcement would have been deemed inside information for the purposes of Article 7 of Regulation (EU) No 596/2014, as incorporated into UK law by the European Union (Withdrawal) Act 2018, until the release of this announcement.

 

**ENDS**

 

 

 

For further information please visit www.empiremetals.co.uk  or contact:

Empire Metals Ltd

Shaun Bunn / Greg Kuenzel

 

Tel: 020 4583 1440

S. P. Angel Corporate Finance LLP (Nomad & Broker)

Ewan Leggat / Adam Cowl

Tel: 020 3470 0470

Shard Capital Partners LLP (Joint Broker)

Damon Heath

Tel: 020 7186 9950

St Brides Partners Ltd (Financial PR)                                         

Susie Geliher / Ana Ribeiro

Tel: 020 7236 1177

 

About Empire Metals Limited

Empire Metals is an AIM-listed (LON: EEE) exploration and resource development company with a project portfolio comprising copper, titanium and gold interests in Australia and Austria.

 

The Company's strategy is to develop a pipeline of projects at different stages in the development curve. Its current focus is on the Pitfield Project in Western Australia, which has demonstrated to contain a newly recognized giant mineral system that hosts a globally significant titanium discovery.  The Company is also advancing the Eclipse-Gindalbie Project in Western Australia, which is prospective for high-grade gold and also kaolin used to produce high-purity alumina, an essential component in lithium-ion batteries.

 

The Company also has two further exploration projects in Australia; the Walton Project in Western Australia, and the Stavely Project in the Stavely Arc region of Victoria, in addition to three precious metals projects located in a historically high-grade gold producing region of Austria.

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