Healthy and optimistic earnings and activities reports are a blessing for any company. Delivering positive results help gain investors’ attention, who are actively looking for hot stocks to invest. Good performances are ideally a sign that the company is on the right path to achieve its fundamental goals- of expanding, building capital for growth, recording profits and generating good shareholders returns.
A recent example of a decent performer during ongoing reporting season has been metals and mining company, Mount Burgess Mining NL (ASX: MTB). After successfully discovering the Red October Gold Deposit in Western Australia and three kimberlites in Namibia, MTB is aiming at unveiling the potential of one of best vanadium mines the globe possesses at the Kihabe – Nxuu deposits in Botswana.
Encouraging Results for The Quarter Ended 30 June 2019
Mount Burgess concluded July 2019 on a good note for mining enthusiasts and investors, by releasing decent Q4FY19 results on 30 July 2019. The highlight of the result was the preliminary Sensor Sorter test work on ten samples, undertaken by STEINERT on Nxuu Deposit. The test delivered promising results, positive enough to motivate the company into proceeding towards a bulk test to confirm the sorting results.
Purpose and Method of the Sensor Sorter test: The test was undertaken to enhance the profitability potential of the project. The test intended to work towards lessening the water and power needs sustainably and restrain the probable environmental impact of the Project.
The test utilised tech-savvy measures, which consisted of an x-ray transmission sensor, which aided in measuring the atomic density along with a 3D laser sensor, which analysed the size of mineral particles. The use of these measures intended to target densely mineralised domains in the test samples. Post this, the samples were separated into a concentrate which parted them from the non-mineralised or trivially mineralised portions of the samples.
The ten samples were specifically chosen to serve varied purposes. The test work on vanadium pentoxide aimed to ascertain the quantity of barren Quartz Wacke that could be separated and further rejected from the total mass, post the product was crushed from the V2O5 mineralised zones. The test work on the low-grade zinc and lead zones was conducted to ascertain the quantity of barren Quartz Wacke that could be separated and further rejected from the total mass, post the product was crushed from lower grade Zn/Pb zones.
This was then expected to determine a smaller volume of upgraded V205 and Zn/Pb concentrate from these lower grade zones, which only then needed to be subject to the more expensive milling process.
Results of the Test Work: The results of the separation activity depicted that of the total mass of the size fraction of + 10mm from all ten samples, an average of 51 per cent of mineralised Quartz Wacke was readily present for milling and processing. The remaining 49 per cent of the sample mass was rejected tagged as barren.
Below figure depicts the overall average increase in metal concentrate grades of the fraction separated by the ore sorter and the resulting average recovery to concentrate:
Outcome: Based on the test work results and the rejection of 49% of the primary crushed Quartz Wacke, the company estimated that there could be a reduction of capital, power and treatment costs, by a whopping 40 per cent, along with a significant reduction in water requirements and potential environmental impact. Moreover, with increases in preconcentrate grades, MTB believes that additional grades of Zinc and Lead would be recovered from the zones that were not part of the recoverable grade estimates, on the application of 1 per cent Zinc equivalent low cut.
Optimistic Outlook: Considering the success of the Sensor Sorter test, MTB vouched to continue its stance and deliver more positives from the Nxuu Deposit. Further, test work was conducted by STEINERT on the fines fraction of 4mm – 10mm, resulted from the separation from the above +10mm size fraction test work.
This metallurgical and mineralogical test work demonstrated that of the combined mass of the size fractions of + 10mm and + 4mm to minus 10mm from a composite of all the ten samples subjected to the test work, 55 per cent of the mineralised Quartz Wacke was available for milling and processing, after an average of 45 per cent of the sample mass was rejected as barren Quartz Wacke, as reported by MTB on 20 August 2019.
Further, MTB notified that it would conduct a bulk test work on ½ HQ diamond core. This would be done to look for the barren rejection and upgradation of mineralised concentrate, before milling of average grade Zn/Pb zones. It should be noted that these zones are higher grade than the ones tested previously.
MTB also expects to carry forward its testing profile and conduct a milling test work, led by Energy and Densification Systems (Pty) Ltd. The positive outcome of this test bears the potential to lessen the power requirements, capital and operational costs. Other benefits like energy efficiency, smaller footprint, low weight, no civils requirement and quick installation time, would also be reaped.
After the optimistic succession of the tests, MTB intends to pursue the STEINERT Ore Sorter further where the higher (average and more typical) grades of Zinc, Lead and Silver would be tested. A mineralogical test work conducted by ALS Laboratories established the fact that DESCLOIZITE was the host oxide vanadate of Vanadium Pentoxide at Nxuu.
Proposals in Hand: In the quarter, MTB submitted three proposals to Botswana Power Corporation for a power link line from the national grid to the project, of which one had been selected that will enable the local villages within the region to access grid power from the project link line. The company is awaiting advise on the proposal’s funding contribution from the Botswana Government as well as an estimated KW/hr rate. Besides this, MTB is in discussion with various parties with regards to the solar/hybrid power.
MTB’s Cash Flow Position: During the quarter, MTB was successful in raising $37,000 via the placement of 9,250,000 shares at an issue price of 0.4 cps. It also received $70,200 and $14,000 from an R&D Tax Incentive Refund and loan funding from Directors, respectively. A further placement to raise $65,000 at 0.2 cps has been committed to sophisticated investors by the company.
The below table outlines MTB’s Cash Flow Statement for Q419:
Stock Performance: On 23 August 2019 at 2:34 PM AEST, MTB’s stock quoted A$0.002, with a market capitalisation of A$1.04 million.
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