Triton Minerals impresses with up to 28.6% graphite at Balama North
Triton Minerals (ASX: TON) has highlighted the potential of its Balama North project in Mozambique to host multiple world class graphite deposits with initial drilling intersecting near surface high grade material of up to 28.6% graphite.
Widths and grades were impressive and demonstrate the possible scale of the graphitic mineralisation at Balama North.
The initial two hole diamond drill program at Nicanda Hill confirmed multiple zones of high grade graphitic material over significant widths with notable intersections including:
- 14.7 metres at 18.7% Weighted Average Graphite Carbon from 3.3 metres including 1 metre at 24.9% graphite and 1 metres at 28.6% graphite;
- 40 metres at 14.2% graphite from 88.1 metres including 7 metres at 18.9% graphite and 10 metres at 20.1% graphite; and
- 12.3 metres at 12.3% graphite from 19.3 metres including 1 metres at 25.5% graphite and 15.5 metres at 11.2% graphite from 33.8 metres.
Balama North is located along strike to Syrah’s massive Balama East
Deposit, that is acknowledged as the largest known graphite deposit in
the world. Construction at Balama East is expected to start once the wet
season ends about April 2014.
“These are tremendous initial drilling results from the Nicanda Hill prospect, confirming Triton’s belief in the overall prospectivity of the Balama North project,” managing director Brad Boyle said.
“These drilling results follow on from the previously announced rock chip sample results obtained from the Nicanda Hill prospect, which identified high grade large flake graphitic mineralisation, with graphite flake sizes up to 1mm, and continue to support Triton’s belief that the Balama North project has the potential to host multiple world class graphite deposits.”
The results of the two holes on the southern edge of the main target area at Nicanda Hill are especially pleasing considering the time constraints of the imminent wet season.
The very high grade of 28.6% graphite carbon was intersected just 17 metres down hole in TMBD0005. This zone appears to be moderately dipping to the northwest and is intersected below 100 metres in hole TMBD0006.
TMBD0006 intersected multiple zones containing graphite for a cumulative drilled width of 156 metres and was terminated still in graphitic material, due to the actual commencement of the wet season.
Both holes were designed to provide a preliminary test of the graphitic succession that outcrops on the Nicanda Hill prospect.
The limited drill program has helped to indicate that the graphite mineralisation zone the Nicanda Hill prospect is at least 200 metres wide at surface and 150 metres deep.
Furthermore, there is over 3.75 kilometres of graphitic schist outcropping identified indicating the potential of the Nicanda Hill prospect to host a very large high grade graphite deposit.
These drilling results provide the company confidence of obtaining further exploration success and to proceed with a more detailed drilling program along the 5 kilometre graphitic mineralisation zone identified on the Nicanda Hill prospect.
A more detailed exploration and drilling program is currently being designed to further delineate the graphite mineralisation on the Nicanda Hill prospect.
This will also enable Triton to better understand the continuity of the graphite mineralisation between the Cobra Plains and Nicanda Hill prospects.
Triton is also waiting on the infill drilling results from the Cobra Plains prospect, rock chip samples from Black Hills and Charmers prospects and the Nicanda Hill prospect trenching samples.
The diamond drill samples were analysed at SGS Laboratories (South Africa) for carbon in graphite, total carbon and total sulphur analyses. A suite of samples have also been collected for petrographic analyses to characterise the nature of the graphite flake and gangue mineral associations.
This petrographic data will feed into the design of the metallurgical test work program that the company will be looking to commence shortly, in conjunction with a refined scoping study.
It also expects geological consultants Optrio to complete in the first quarter of 2014 a Resource for the Cobra Plains prospect.
This is a very significant milestone at this stage of the Cobra Plains prospect, and the potential development into a graphite mine in the future.
Initial exploration at Balama North had suggested the graphite mineralisation has developed along the same sub-structure which extends in a north-east direction from Balama East.
This has since received support from sampling and initial drilling.
Triton had in November, moved to a 60% controlling interest in key graphite projects in Mozambique, after finalising an increase from a 49% stake with its joint venture partner, unlisted Grafex Ltd.
The change is significant as a shareholding below 50% would have rendered future development decisions and funding for Balama and Anucabe projects more difficult to complete. It should significantly assist with timelines for exploration and development.
At the commencement of a Definitive Feasibility Study, Triton can move to a 75% equity interest in Grafex and 80% should a project move into graphite production.
Shares in Triton Minerals are expected to trade higher today with the strong initial drilling results with grades of up to 28.6% and significant widths and multiple zones of high grade graphite mineralisation the proof in the pudding for the company that its Balama North has the potential to host multiple world class graphite deposits.
There is more news in the pipeline, including the infill drilling results from the Cobra Plains prospect, rock chip samples from Black Hills and Charmers prospects and the Nicanda Hill prospect trenching samples.
A Resource estimate for Cobra Plains is also due this quarter, which will turn lead to a Scoping Study.
Given these drill results (just the southern edge of the main target area at the Nicanda Hill has been drilled) and others received to date, just how large the total graphitic mineralisation is at Balama North - is - indeed the $64 million question. On today's results, the bar is lifted.
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