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Kodal Minerals PLC RNS Release

Update on Development and Exploration Activities


RNS Number : 6784A
Kodal Minerals PLC
31 May 2019
 

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

 

Kodal Minerals Plc / Index: AIM / Epic: KOD / Sector: Mining

 

31 May 2019

Kodal Minerals plc ('Kodal Minerals' or the 'Company')

 

Update on Development and Exploration Activities

at Bougouni Lithium Project, Mali

 

Kodal Minerals, the mineral exploration and development company focused on its Bougouni Lithium Project in southern Mali (the 'Project' or the 'Bougouni Project'), is pleased to provide this update on recent activities at the Project.  The Company has focused on advancing the development of the Bougouni Project through the completion of the Environmental and Social Impact Assessment ('ESIA') and various engineering studies, as well as continuing its exploration programme.

 

Highlights:

 

·    ESIA technical reports being compiled and finalised for submission to the authorities

·  ESIA community consultation meetings completed with positive response to the proposed development from officials and the community

·    Project visits completed by engineering consultant groups to finalise mine and process planning

·   Engineering review of infrastructure and transport ongoing at the Project, with significant cost savings identified in transport estimates

·  Metallurgical testwork ongoing with a focus on targeting commencing with a dense media separation ('DMS') plant, with a flotation circuit to be added potentially four years later in the mining cycle

·   Bulk sample mining contract terminated at the Bougouni Project due to poor performance of contractor;

o Kodal shipping 980 tonnes of lithium spodumene material directly from Dakar port to China for testing 

o The large size test will provide beneficial information regarding processing and recovery at an operational scale.

·   Exploration activities identified further drill targets within the Bougouni Project and at the recently acquired Bougouni West concessions, with drilling to commence in early June 2019

 

 

Bernard Aylward, CEO of Kodal Minerals, remarked: "I am delighted to announce that we have continued to make significant steps in advancing operations at our Bougouni Lithium Project.  The large amount of technical work that is currently underway represents significant components of our upcoming Feasibility Study and we are using the most experienced consultants to ensure we achieve the best result.  Moreover, the completion of all specialist baseline studies for the ESIA, combined with the completed community consultation, will allow us to finalise our ESIA application and lodge it for approval.   The ongoing support we have received from the Mali Government and local community has been very encouraging and demonstrates the significant interest in our Project's development.

 

"Unfortunately, we have terminated the contract for the completion of our bulk sampling programme at Bougouni due to poor performance of the contractor.  Currently we have over 980 tonnes of material at the port of Dakar for shipping to China and our in-depth discussions with the processing company, Ruifu Chemical of Shandong, have informed us that this size sample will provide very useful information nonetheless.  It is clear that this sample, combined with our ongoing metallurgical testwork, will allow us to optimise the future mining and processing of lithium spodumene at the Bougouni Project.

 

"Our exploration programme continues to identify and delineate high priority exploration targets, and as such, we have been working extensively on the Bougouni West concessions which we acquired in Q1 2019.  We expect to commence a drilling programme in June 2019 with key targets identified within the Mafele West concession, which is close to Birimian's Goulamina Project, as well as drilling additional targets within our own Bougouni Project that are in close proximity to the existing resources.

 

"This is a very exciting time for the Company with much work underway.  The pace of our development programme continues as we focus our attention towards lodging the ESIA, continuing to strengthen of our relationships with the Malian authorities and local communities and finally, undertaking a pivotal work and drilling programme at Bougouni.  I look forward to updating our shareholders in due course."

 

Further Information

 

ESIA and Engineering

 

Site visits have been completed by specialist engineering consultants to review the proposed mining project and current planned infrastructure layout.  The studies have confirmed that the proposed processing facility site location is suitable as there is ample flat land for construction, very low risk of flooding, with minimal need for bulk earthworks for site preparation.  In addition, the location of the tailings storage facility and water storage dams are also suitable for the proposed development. 

 

The optimisation of the potential open pits is continuing following the site visit by the consultant geotechnical engineer to review the geology for open pit stability implications, as well as by the mine development engineers to assess the area of proposed open pit and confirm geological database.

 

An infrastructure specialist group based in West Africa have also completed a site visit to review and provide cost estimates for the development of site offices, maintenance areas, access roads and additional accommodation required.

 

The ESIA is nearing completion with all specialist baseline studies complete and draft reports received and reviewed by Kodal for the soils, wetlands, surface water, social, heritage, closure planning and the community development plan.  These are key documents for the ESIA and combined with the community consultation indicate that the ESIA is nearing completion. 

 

The community consultation was undertaken from 21 to 24 May 2019 and was attended by Kodal staff members as well as community leaders including regional officials of Prefet and Sous-Prefet, as well as the village chiefs and mayors of the two main communes of Bougouni and Kola.  All sites were visited, and larger community meetings were held at local Mayoral offices to present the project, receive community questions and provide feedback.

 

Bulk Sample and Metallurgy

 

The bulk sample mining at Ngoualana has been terminated due to poor performance of the contractor.  The key concerns identified by Kodal were the lack of experienced technical staff mobilised to the project and a lack of focus on safe work practices and environmental awareness during surface mining activities. Kodal has consistently maintained a very high standard of community relations and demand its contractors to maintain this standard and as this was not the case, Kodal stopped the work.   The level of metallurgical studies combined with the already extracted 980 tonnes of material will provide detailed information for planning and the Company does not intend to re-commence the bulk sample to recover further tonnage at this stage.

 

The bulk sample of 980 tonnes of pegmatite at the Dakar port will now be shipped to China following discussions with the Ruifu Chemical technical team, to ensure that this sample will still provide high quality information via processing of the ore in an operation-scale plant.  This will then be combined with Kodal's ongoing metallurgical testing programme to finalise the processing plant design.

 

The metallurgical testwork is continuing with analysis of a "Master Composite", comprising material from the Sogola-Baoule and Ngoualana prospects and variability composites being tested.  In addition, a programme of testwork utilising "floatation" is underway to review the potential to maximise recovery of the spodumene concentrate and maximise the grade of the material to ensure that Kodal can produce a high quality 6% spodumene concentrate that will achieve the best valuation.

 

 

Exploration

 

Exploration activity has focused on the geological mapping and geophysical surveying to finalise targeting for exploration drilling in June 2019.

 

At the Bougouni Project, field work has focused on the region between Sogola-Baoule and Boumou with the recently identified "Marigo" prospect defined for initial drill testing.  Geological mapping and ground magnetic geophysical survey has defined a target extending for over 500m strike length and comprising multiple coarse-grained pegmatite veins with abundant spodumene identified in hand specimens.  Identification of mineralisation in this area could have an immediate positive impact on the proposed mine development due to its close proximity to the existing resources.

 

At the Bougouni West project, exploration activity has focused on geological mapping, ground magnetic geophysical surveys and compilation of all data to identify drill-ready targets.  The region adjacent to the Goulamina project (ASX listed Birimian Limited project with reported resource of 103Mt @ 1.34%Li2O) is a priority and the geological team has identified targets that will be drilled in June.  This is a new exploration region for Kodal and the identification of new pegmatite hosted mineralisation in this area will be significant for the long-term development in Bougouni.

 

**ENDS**

 

For further information, please visit www.kodalminerals.com or contact the following:

 

Kodal Minerals plc

Bernard Aylward, CEO

 

Tel: +61 418 943 345

 

Allenby Capital Limited, Nominated Adviser

Jeremy Porter/Nick Harriss

 

 

Tel: 020 3328 5656

SP Angel Corporate Finance LLP, Financial Adviser & Broker

John Mackay

 

 

Tel: 020 3470 0470

St Brides Partners Ltd, Financial PR

Catherine Leftley/Cosima Akerman

 

 

Tel: 020 7236 1177

 

About Kodal Minerals

 

Kodal Minerals' primary focus is on the rapid advancement towards production of its flagship Bougouni Lithium Project in Southern Mali.  The JORC Resource Estimate places the Bougouni Project in the top 15 hard rock lithium projects globally and was calculated using only three of the eight currently recognised prospects demonstrating the significant exploration upside potential remaining across the 450km2 project area.  The Mineral Resource estimate for the Ngoualana, Sogola-Baoule and Boumou prospects are tabulated below.  These mineral resources are reported in accordance with the JORC Code:

 

Prospect

Indicated

Inferred

Total

Tonnes

(Mt)

Li2O%

Grade

Contained Li2O

 (kt)

Tonnes

(Mt)

Li2O%

Grade

Contained Li2O

 (kt)

Tonnes

(Mt)

Li2O%

Grade

Contained Li2O

 (kt)

Sogola_Baoule

8.4

1.09

91.9

3.8

1.13

42.8

12.2

1.10

134.8

Ngoualana

3.1

1.25

39.2

2.0

1.12

22.1

5.1

1.20

61.3

Boumou

 

 

 

4.0

1.02

40.4

4.0

1.02

40.4

TOTAL

11.6

1.13

131.2

9.7

1.08

105.3

21.3

1.11

236.5

 

Notes:  Mineral resources are reported using a 0.5%Li2O cut-off.  Figures may not sum due to rounding.  The contained metal is determined by the estimated tonnage and grade.

 

The Bougouni Project and recently acquired 200km2 Bougouni West project are located in an emerging lithium province that is already attracting the attention of investors and off-take partners interested in securing a long-term supply of lithium.  With the support of its strategic investor and off-take partner Suay Chin International Pte, a Singapore-based lithium and chemical trader, Kodal Minerals is well funded to continue its ambitious development programme at Bougouni.

 

Further to this, Kodal Minerals is the manager of additional lithium and gold projects that are undergoing low cost exploration programmes in addition to JV funded gold properties in Cote d'Ivoire that offer potentially significant long-term value.

 


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