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Europa Metals Ltd - Metallurgical Update

RNS Number : 7909H
Europa Metals Ltd
27 March 2020
 

27 March 2020

Europa Metals Ltd

("Europa Metals", the "Company" or the "Group") (AIM, AltX: EUZ)

Second Phase Metallurgical Test Results for Toral Pb, Zn & Ag Project, Spain, Delayed to Early April 2020

Europa Metals, the European focused lead-zinc and silver developer, announces an update in respect of the second phase metallurgical testwork being carried out on material extracted from the Company's wholly owned Toral lead, zinc and silver project ("Toral" or the "Toral Project") situated in the region of Castilla y León, north-west Spain.

Due to the impact of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, a delay has unfortunately occurred in completing the last metallurgical laboratory test and consequently also in transferring the data to Wardell Armstrong International in the UK.  Once this work has been duly completed, now anticipated to occur in early April 2020, a full metallurgical report, encompassing flowsheet optimisation for concentrates and a breakdown of deleterious elements, will be obtained by the Company and its findings announced to the market.

Laurence Read, Executive Director of Europa Metals, commented:

"The Company has unfortunately encountered a delay to the completion of the last test for deleterious elements required for the finalisation of an updated independent metallurgical report and publication of its findings. Whilst this is frustrating, given that we had scheduled completion by the end of Q1 2020, we would like to acknowledge all the efforts of both the laboratory team and Wardell Armstrong International in seeking to conclude the work by early April 2020 during these challenging times."  

For further information on the Company, please visit www.europametals.com or contact:

 

Europa Metals Ltd

Dan Smith, Non-Executive Director and Company Secretary (Australia)

T: +61 417 978 955

Laurence Read, Executive Director (UK)

T: +44 (0)20 3289 9923

 

Strand Hanson Limited (Nominated Adviser)

Rory Murphy/Matthew Chandler

T: +44 (0)20 7409 3494

 

Turner Pope Investments (TPI) Limited (Broker)

Andy Thacker/Zoe Alexander

T: +44 (0)20 3657 0050

 

Sasfin Capital Proprietary Limited (a member of the Sasfin group)

Sharon Owens
T (direct): +27 11 809 7762

 

The information contained within this announcement is deemed by the Company to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014.

 

Notes to Editors

Appendix: Further information on the Toral Project

 

JORC (2012) Mineral Resource Estimate

The Toral Project is a traditional polymetallic (lead-zinc-silver) deposit, which is hosted over 6km of strike length of the prospective Lower Cambrian Vegadeo Limestone formation, that is regionally mineralised along more than 40km of its extent. The deposit represents a carbonate hosted, structurally controlled deposit type, demonstrating fault-controlled contact, vein, carbonate replacement and breccia styles of mineralisation situated close to and along the boundary between footwall slates and hanging wall limestones and dolomites. Sub-ordinate lead-zinc-silver mineralisation also occurs wholly within the hanging wall limestones and dolomites, approaching the contact with the slates.

 

Historic drill hole re-logging undertaken by the Company in 2018 provided improved geological, structure, alteration and weathering/oxidation information, which was incorporated into the interpreted geological and mineralised models for the current JORC (2012) mineral resource estimate. Surface mapping and remote data interpretation by Europa Metals has enabled the development of an interpreted fault model, also incorporated into the aforementioned updated geological and mineralised models used in the mineral resource estimate.

 

The latest mineral resource estimate (as of 25 October 2019) for the Toral deposit comprised, at a 4% cut-off:

·      An Indicated resource of approximately 2.7Mt @ 8.9% Zn Equivalent (including Pb credits), 5% Zn, 4.2% Pb and 32g/t Ag

Including 130,000 tonnes of zinc, 110,000 tonnes of lead and 2.8 million ounces of silver

·      An Inferred resource of approximately 16Mt @ 7.2% Zn Equivalent (including Pb credits), 4.5% Zn, 2.9% Pb and 22g/t Ag

Including 690,000 tonnes of zinc, 450,000 tonnes of lead and 11 million ounces of silver

·      Total Resources of approximately 18Mt @ 7.4% Zn Equivalent (including Pb credits), 4.5% Zn, 3.1% Pb and 24g/t Ag

Including 830,000 tonnes of zinc, 570,000 tonnes of lead and 14 million ounces of silver  

--The latest resource update identified potentially economic mineralisation ranging from surface to approximately 1,100m below surface. The block model currently extends for a strike length of 3,600m and is still open to the east and west along strike and also at depth where it has not yet been closed off.

 

Cut-Off Zn Eq (PbAg)%

Tonnes (Millions)

Density

Zn Eq (Pb)%

Zn Eq (PbAg)%

Zn %

Pb %

Ag g/t

Contained Zn Tonnes (000s)

Contained Pb Tonnes (000s)

Ag Troy Oz (Millions)

Indicated

6

2.1

3

10

11

6

4.7

35

120

100

2.4

5

2.3

2.9

9.6

10

5

4.5

34

130

100

2.6

4

2.7

2.9

8.9

9.5

5

4.2

32

130

110

2.8

3

3.0

2.9

8.3

8.9

5

3.9

31

140

120

2.9

Inferred

6

11

2.9

8.4

8.9

5

3.5

26

550

360

8.8

5

12

2.9

7.9

8.4

5

3.2

24

610

400

9.7

4

16

2.9

7.2

7.6

5

2.9

22

690

450

11

3

18

2.9

6.7

7.1

4

2.7

21

740

480

12

Total

6

13

2.9

8.7

9.2

5

3.7

28

670

460

11

5

15

2.9

8.2

8.6

5

3.4

26

740

510

12

4

18

2.9

7.4

7.9

5

3.1

24

830

570

14

3

21

2.9

6.9

7.3

4

2.9

22

880

600

15

Transitional Oxide Material Total

4

3

2.9

5.8

6.3

3

3.2

27

87

97

2.6

Unweathered Fresh Rock Total

4

15

2.9

7.8

8.2

5

3.1

23

740

470

11

 

Table 1: Summary of mineral resources for the Toral property reported at a 4.0% Zn equivalent cut-off grade (including Pb and Ag credits) and estimated grade and tonnages at the various cut-off grades. Figures are rounded to reflect the accuracy of the estimate and as such totals may not cast.

Notes for table 1:

1.   No mineral reserve calculations have been undertaken. Mineral resources that are not mineral reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. 

2.   Numbers are rounded to reflect the fact that an Estimate of Resources was reported as stipulated by JORC 2012. Rounding of numbers may result in differences in calculated totals and averages. All tonnes are metric tonnes.

3.   Zn equivalent calculations were based on 3 year trailing average price statistics obtained from the London Metal Exchange and London Bullion Market Association giving an average Zn price of US$2,780/t, Pb price of US$2,200/t and Ag price of US$16.4/oz. Recovery and selling factors were incorporated into the calculation of Zn Eq values. It is the Company's opinion that all the elements included in the metal equivalents calculation (Zinc, Lead and Silver) have a reasonable potential to be recovered and sold. 

4.   Zn Eq (PbAg)% is the calculated Zn equivalent incorporating silver credits as well as lead and is the parameter used to define the cut-off grade used for reporting resources (Zn Eq (PbAg)% = Zn + Pb*0.935 + Ag*0.018).

5.   Zn Eq is the calculated Zn equivalent using lead credits and does not include silver credits (Zn Eq = Zn + Pb*0.935).

6.   The mineral resource estimate set out above for the zinc, lead and silver mineralisation in the Toral Project area is based on a 3D geologic model and wireframe restricted block model that integrated the exploration work on the Toral Project up to 30 September 2019. The block model used uniform cell size of 50x4x50m to best suit the orientation of the mineralisation and sample spacing. The block model was rotated by 20° in plan view to best match the trend of mineralisation. Sub cells were applied to better fit the wireframe solid models and preserve accurate volume as much as possible. Cells were interpolated at the parent block scale using an ordinary kriging.

7.   Top cuts were applied to the composite assay grades for 20% Zn, 17% Pb and 125 g/t Ag, any value above the top cut value was reduced to that grade.

8.   The Indicated and Inferred mineral resource category for the Toral lead-zinc-silver project set out in Table 2 (at cut-off grades ≥4% Zn Equivalent) comply with the resource definitions as described in the Australasian Code for the Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves. The JORC Code, 2012 Edition. Prepared by: The Joint Ore Reserves Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia (JORC).

9.   The tonnes and grades reported at a cut-off grade of 3% Zn equivalent are below the economic cut-off grade of 4% and as such should not be considered mineral resources, they are shown here for comparison purposes only.

Bulk density

The resource database contains 2,373 bulk density measurements, with a total of 177 within the mineralised wireframe.

 

The mean for the mineralised domain transitional zone is 2.75 g/cm3 and the mean for the mineralised domain fresh material is 2.85 g/cm3.  A broad linear relationship between Pb+Zn grade and bulk density was identified from scattergrams and the formula 2.75 + 0.02(Pb+Zn%) used to estimate block density within the block model.

 

Preliminary independent metallurgical test results from Wardell Armstrong International ("WAI") (December 2019).

Overview of sample and metallurgical testwork carried out by WAI:

·      Grind calibration tests to assess the Bond Abrasion, Rod and Ball work indices and uniaxial compressive strength;

·      First open flotation tests, optimisation of grind size, float cleaning tests and rougher regrind testing;

·      Petrographic/mineralogical and scanning electron microscope (SEM) work;

·      First/single locked cycle testing; and

·      A series of comminution tests were undertaken to investigate the crushing and grinding characteristics of the sample. The testing conducted investigated conventional crushing technologies, the results of which are summarised in the following table:

Comminution Testwork Results

Comminution Test

Units

Value

Unconfined Compressive Strength (UCS)

MPa

51.8

Bond Abrasion Index

-

0.5227

Bond Rod Mill Work Index

kWh/t

12.69

Bond Ball Mill Work Index

kWh/t

9.83

Flotation Testwork

A series of tests were undertaken to investigate the recovery of lead and zinc to separate concentrates by means of froth flotation. The testing conducted consisted of: eight rougher flotation tests, four first-stage cleaner flotation tests, six three-stage cleaner flotation tests and a single locked cycle flotation test.

 

The results of the locked cycle test are summarised below.

Table 2: Locked cycle flotation test results



Assay

Recovery (%)

Product

Mass (%)

Pb (%)

Zn (%)

Ag (ppm)

Pb

Zn

Ag

Pb Cl 3 Conc 

2.5 

57.47

10.06 

1,457

84.30

9.65

90.35

Zn Cl 3 Conc 

3.4 

1.16

55.78 

38.6

2.25

70.71

3.17

Zn Cl 1 Scav Tailings 

5.3 

1.74

2.89 

28.8

5.36

5.82

3.76

Zn Ro Tailings 

88.8 

0.16

0.41

1.3

8.09

13.82

2.73

Feed 

100.0 

1.73

2.65

40.9

100.00

100.00

100.00

The locked cycle test achieved a lead recovery of 84.3% to a concentrate grading 57.5% Pb and a zinc recovery of 70.7% to a concentrate grading 55.8% Zn. 90.3% of the silver was also recovered to the lead concentrate at a grade of 1,457ppm Ag.

 

Economic highlights from the Company's selected development scenario 

Estimated economic forecasts for the Toral Project based on the current level of work (+/-30%) from the Scoping Study (December 2018) comprise:

·     US$110 million net present value (NPV) using a discount rate of 8%;

·     24.4% internal rate of return (IRR);

·     Estimated US$33 million CAPEX for a proposed 450ktpa design capacity plant, including associated auxiliary costs, with infrastructure being situated near portal entrance on the north side of the deposit;

·     Estimated total CAPEX of US$110 million; 

·     US$25 per tonne indicative OPEX processing cost at steady state conditions; 

·     US$36 per tonne indicative OPEX mining cost utilising mechanised cut and fill; and

·     15-year production plan, with significant potential for extension.

 

Basis for announcing economics

The factors that lead the Company to believe that it has a reasonable basis for announcing a production target and forecast financial information are detailed in the Scoping Study and can be summarised as follows:

Three conceptual underground mining development and production scenarios were considered and developed throughout the Scoping Study, resulting in the identification of a preferred scenario, highlights from which are set out below:

·     4% Zn Eq cut-off used with potential for mine life extension.

 


This information is provided by RNS, the news service of the London Stock Exchange. RNS is approved by the Financial Conduct Authority to act as a Primary Information Provider in the United Kingdom. Terms and conditions relating to the use and distribution of this information may apply. For further information, please contact [email protected] or visit www.rns.com.
 
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