Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) H1 marks Flanagan Bore MRE upgrade, impressive scoping study & HPMSM testwork

By - Team Kalkine Media

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  • Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) released the Flanagan Bore Scoping Study in H1, confirming robust project economics.
  • Latest drilling campaign results have generated a 64% increase in JORC Mineral Resource Estimate at the Flanagan Bore manganese project.
  • The Company advanced its high purity manganese sulphate (HPMSM) strategy with successful leaching testwork and encouraging initial manganese sulphate crystallisation testwork.

Manganese explorer Black Canyon (ASX:BCA) has released its half-year report for the period ended 31 December 2022.

The report highlights key advances made at the company’s flagship Flanagan Bore manganese project along with activities focused on the Company’s longer-term ambition of downstream processing manganese ores from its East Pilbara projects to produce high purity manganese sulphate (HPMSM). The Company intends to tap opportunities in the steel manufacturing and the burgeoning EV lithium-ion energy storage space. 

Black Canyon plans to produce a 33% Mn product, generating ~500,000 tonnes of manganese concentrate per year over the life of mine. As per the proposed sales strategy, the Company has the potential to sell lump and fines products, and reserve some of the fines product for downstream processing into manganese sulphate. 

Positive Scoping Study boosting confidence in Flanagan Bore

The period saw completion of a Scoping Study into Flanagan Bore, confirming robust project economics.

Data source: BCA update

The project is currently based on a 20-year life of mine, with plans for higher grade mineralisation and mining in the initial 11 years and stored stockpile processing in the remaining nine years. The Company believes that there lies the opportunity to extend the mine life.

Significant upgrade in Flanagan Bore MRE

During the half-year period, the Company completed a reverse circulation drilling campaign, on back of which the Flanagan Bore MRE saw a major boost.

The Flanagan Bore MRE registered a 64% increase to 171Mt @ 10.3% Mn containing 18Mt of manganese. The estimate led to a substantial increase of 67Mt of total tonnage and 7Mt of contained manganese from the previous Mineral Resource. Read more.

Data source: BCA update

Mining Lease application for Flanagan Bore

The period saw the submission of an application for a Mining Lease (MLA46/546) by Black Canyon and JV partner Carawine Resources. The application comprising 1,756 hectares is for Flanagan Bore manganese deposits that cover FB3 and LR1 as well as extend over recent discoveries at L1 and TF1.

The Company has also engaged Preston Consulting to provide advice on project approval pathway and management of key consultants. The gathering of baseline and approval information is underway to support future discussions with environmental regulators.

The company has kicked off desktop and field based environmental studies, and plans to undertake more detailed field surveys after the wet season in Q2/Q3 2023.

Downstream HPMSM Strategy makes headway

An initial leaching testwork program has delivered highly promising manganese leach extractions up to 91%.

Data source: BCA update

Following on from the successful leaching testwork, initial manganese sulphate crystallisation testwork delivered a 32.3% manganese sulphate product which is equivalent to greater than 99% Mn purity.

The Company is undertaking more detailed Scoping Level leaching, purification and crystallisation testwork to further advance the HPMSM strategy.

It has identified multiple manganese oxide targets across its portfolio which form part of a variability study to determine the chemistry of different mineralisation styles and amenability to the production of HPMSM. The samples are planned to undergo initial beneficiation with selected samples subjected to more detailed hydrometallurgy to deliver HPMSM.

Manganese, which is primarily used in the steelmaking industry, is witnessing growing utilisation in the battery mineral sector. Black Canyon believes that downstream processing of manganese oxide concentrates into HPMSM provides significant upside and value add potential as the demand for EVs continues to grow.   

BCA shares were trading at AU$0.21 midday on 21 March 2023.