Tertiary Minerals (LON:TYM) recently unveiled substantial maiden resources for the MB Fluorspar project in Nevada. Sarah Lowther (SL) spoke to the mineral exploration and development company's managing director, Richard Clemmey (RC)
SL: Richard, what are the project’s indicated and inferred resources?
RC: The indicated resource that we've announced ... is 8.9 million tonnes, grading at 10.3% fluorspar, and the inferred resource is 29.5 million tonnes, grading at 10.4% fluorspar. This gives a total of JORC-compliant indicated and an inferred mineral resource of 38.4 million tonnes, grading at 10.4% fluorspar.
SL: What is fluorspar used for and who's buying?
RC: Fluorspar is used for many things and many everyday things, but the key two uses for fluorspar, there's acid grade fluorspar, which is used to produce hydrogen fluoride; hydrogen fluoride goes into a whole range of end uses, for example, fluorocarbons. The refrigerant gases and air-conditioning gases that we all use on a day-to-day basis are made from fluorocarbons.
Flouropolymers is another end use for fluorspar; so, for example, fluorspar is used in lithium batteries and a whole range of fluorochemicals. For example, in more than 50% of today's medicines, fluorspar is contained within those medicines. It's used in electronics, water, detergents, glass, and many household names that we use on a daily basis, for example, Teflon; the basis for Teflon is fluorspar.
Those are some of the key uses that everybody will recognise. Fluorspar is also used to make aluminium fluoride, and aluminium fluoride is used for a basis to make aluminium; it reduces the production temperature of aluminium. It's also used in flux and steel production, cement; it's used in enamels and glass fibre.
SL: There are plenty of potential customers out there for fluorspar.
RC: That's right.
SL: You've also told investors that you've raised £178,000 under your £10 million equity facility [with Darwin]; what will this be used for?
RC: That'll be split between the MB Project and the Storuman project, and also on overheads for the company. We have the £10 million Darwin facility in place, and that gives us the flexibility to top up our cash position and minimise shareholder dilution.
SL: Finally, any future drilling prospects and any outside the fluorspar domain?
RC: No, we're concentrating on our core projects, which are all fluorspar resources, and now we've received the results for the JORC mineral resource for the MB project, we are currently planning some further drilling to further increase the size of this resource and potentially upgrade the parts of, if not all of, the inferred resource into the indicated category.