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Eclipse Metals (ASX: EPM) delineates high-grade quartz at Ivittuut amid strong silica market

Source: AButyrin 22, Shutterstock

Summary

  • Eclipse Metals has delineated high-grade quartz zone beneath Ivittuut Pit using 3D modelling of historical diamond drilling data.
  • The quartz zone at Ivittuut has been interpreted as a flat, circular, intrusive body with a diameter of 220m and a true thickness of 90m.
  • The potential high-grade quartz mineralisation can be treated in Iceland in the presence of cheap power for refining and may be used in burgeoning sectors such as solar, optics, lighting, semiconductors, and microelectronics.

Eclipse Metals Ltd (ASX: EPM) has announced outcomes of the evaluation and assessment of definitive historical exploration and analytical data for the Ivittuut open pit.

The assessment was undertaken by independent mining consultants, North Atlantic Mining Consultants Ltd. The outcomes showcase high-grade quartz mineralisation at the historical mining centre at Ivittuut. The modelling of the previous exploration data of the deposit exhibited significant potential within the pit.

Work advancement at the Ivittuut Project

The historical data includes geological maps, assay results, and cross-sections, generated by previous operators. The historical data includes quartz data, which has been sourced from the GEUS portal, paper cross-sections, and plans consisting of lithological and analytical data to form a 3D database.

Although the quantity and grades at the exploration targets are conceptual, the latest review indicated that the data was reliable, and standard methods of the industry were used during historical exploration programs.

3D image representing the interpreted domains 1 & 2 with high-grade quartz mineralisation in Domain 3 Source: Eclipse Metals’ announcement, 29 March 2021

Drill Hole Data for the Ivittuut Project

The exploration data included diamond drilling data of 18 holes intersecting the quartz zone body in Domain 3. In 2012, two drill holes were analysed for quartz purity. The analytical data for every hole have been compiled digitally to create a database.

The data was extracted from laboratory analytical reports within the GEUS Report 23656 and was verified with historical cross-sections. The analytical data was reviewed in 3D and formed the foundation for geological modelling.

Pit with the cross-section (Source: Eclipse Metals’ announcement, 29 March 2021)

The high-grade quartz formation lies beneath the cryolite-fluorite and iron-zinc zones with a high percentage of impurities coinciding with the modelled zones of siderite (iron), sphalerite (zinc), and cryolite. The two holes provided data of over 54 samples, with a 95% silica cut-off representing over 61% of the samples.

The quartz zone forms a flat circular intrusive body with a diameter of over 220mand a true thickness of 90m. The modelled domain characterises the in-situ mineralisation, which could be accessed 5-10m beneath the central cryolite-fluorite zone.

Source: Eclipse Metals’ announcement, 29 March 2021

The exploration results pertain to over 1,764m of drilling at 18 diamond drilling holes within and around the historical pit. The assay data includes 1,062 analytical results. Further, bulk density measurements were assigned a lower value of 2.55 and a higher value of 2.65.

The Way Forward: The company plans to estimate the JORC code-compliant mineral resource for the Ivittuut project. The drill holes hosting quartz mineralisation will be split and analysed to measure the silica content.

The Silica Industry Scenario

Glass silica, one of the most crucial ingredients for the glass industry, has been receiving a growing demand from the burgeoning European glass industry. The high-quality silica is described with a minimum silica content of 95% and lower levels of impurities.

Silica with ranging qualities may be utilised for casting moulds in foundries, as a raw material in ceramics, proppants in shale hydrocarbon extraction, and as fillers in paints, rubber, and polymers.

Variation in Silica pricing with grades (Source: Eclipse Metals’ announcement, 29 March 2021)

Quartz can also be the starting point for manufacturing water-soluble sodium silicates and other downstream silicon chemicals.

As per the Persistence market research July 2020 report, the global quartz market was pegged at $8.23 billion in 2018 and is anticipated to reach a market value of $13.61 billion. Further, the quartz market will grow at a CAGR of 6.9% between 2020 and 2030.

The market for quartz in Europe exceeds 30 million tonnes a year, which is sourced domestically from the Netherlands, Poland, UK, Spain, Bulgaria, and Germany. Quartz resources are primarily restricted to these countries, especially the Netherlands, Germany, UK, Chechnya, and Poland.

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