Triton Minerals carves fourth largest graphite resource globally
Triton Minerals (ASX: TON)
has delivered what looks to be the fourth largest graphite deposit in
terms of gross tonne in the world in just over six months at its Balama
North project in Mozambique, highlighting its potential to host multiple
Exploration has allowed the company to define a maiden Inferred Resource of 103 million tonnes at 5.52% graphitic carbon for its Cobra Plains graphite deposit.
Managing director Brad Boyle said the result was tremendous given the discovery of 5.7Mt of contained graphitic carbon was defined after just over 6 months from the start of drilling at the project.
“This result comes on the back of an initial exploration drill program at Cobra Plains that was intended as a proof of concept that graphite mineralisation continued southwest from the high priority, high grade target of the Nicanda Hill prospect,” he noted.
“The true potential of the high grade Nicanda Hill prospect and the rest of the Balama North project is yet to be fully tested. These results support the company’s belief that the Balama North project can host multiple, very substantial world class graphite deposits.”
Triton also confirmed that bulk samples for the metallurgical testwork program are currently in transit.
Results from the metallurgical testwork will be integrated into a Scoping Study that has been commissioned to evaluate the mining and processing options for the Balama North Project, and in particular, the treatment of the near surface higher grade zones within the Cobra Plains deposit.
Cobra Plains Resource
The Inferred Resource for Cobra Plains was modelled by Optiro and the mineralisation is located in a series of tablular stacked lodes that dip moderately to the northwest and contain a number of high grade graphite zones of up to 17.6% graphitic carbon.
The deposit is overlain by a thin horizon of overburden sediments between 1 and 3 metres thick.
This model is based on a combination of deep drill holes to a maximum depth of 213 metres and shallow reconnaissance drill holes that were designed to confirm the position of the mineralised corridor rather than to test the full width intersections of the graphite lodes.
Despite this, the maiden Resource now ranks Cobra Plains as the fourth largest graphite deposit in world.
|Company Name||M tonnes (Mt)||%TGC||Mt Contained Graphite Carbon|
The Inferred Resource Estimate covers an
area of 5 kilometres strike, 400 metres across strike and a projected
depth of 150 metres below surface. Ordinary kriging was used for the
grade estimation in the Mineral Resource model.
In addition, Optiro has identified the exploration target potential along strike and down dip at Cobra Plains as being in the range of 30Mt to 50Mt and grades of 5% to 5.2% graphitic carbon.
This is based on extrapolated grade estimates within the extents of the current resource model and does not include the potential graphite mineralisation greater than 150 metres vertically below surface nor extensions along strike to the north-east.
Thus, with further drill testing and other exploration work to be completed by Triton the Cobra Plains deposit is considered to have the potential to be significantly expanded to the range of 130Mt to 150Mt.
Besides Cobra Plains, there is also the highly prospective Nicanda Hill Prospect where initial drilling has intersecting near surface high grade material of up to 28.6% graphite.
Channel sampling has also provided support that the graphite mineralisation zone in this primary target area has a substantial depth, width and length within the prospect.
Taken together, the company has confidence that it can delineate a significant high grade resource with further exploration over the known 3.75km strike length of graphite schist at Nicanda Hill.
Reconnaissance rock chip sampling over the Charmers and Black Hills prospects have also demonstrated the prospectivity of these two new exploration targets, which show a number of similar physical characteristics and graphite grades to those initially discovered in the rock chip samples from Nicanda Hill.
Balama North is located along strike to Syrah’s massive Balama East Deposit, which 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.
That Triton Minerals has identified the fourth largest graphite deposit in the world just a little over six months after starting drilling at the Balama North Project is a testament to the prospectivity of the project.
As Proactive Investors has said before, we believe this is a starting point, albeit a large initial resource at that.
Notably, the Inferred Resource of 103Mt
at 5.52% graphitic carbon, or 5.7MT of contained graphite, at Cobra
Plains represents just one of multiple potential deposits at the
There is much to look forward to at Balama North with further exploration expected to highlight the potential of the higher grade Nicanda Hill prospect.
The Charmers and Black Hills prospects also host the potential for further world class high grade graphite deposits.
These are the focus of the ongoing exploration and drilling program at Balama North.
When the market cap. of the company was circa $6 million, we believed that there was alot more to come. Now at current market cap. we still consider this to be just the start.
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