Will Gallium contribution boost Mount Burgess’ Kihabe – Nxuu Project?

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Will Gallium contribution boost Mount Burgess’ Kihabe – Nxuu Project?

Gallium
Image source: © Blueringmedia | Megapixl.com

Highlights

  • Mount Burgess Mining NL (ASX:MTB) has conducted further research into Gallium’s (Ga) contribution to Kihabe – Nxuu Project.
  • At Nxuu Deposit, cumulative 607.45m Ga intersection length is far longer than those of the other five minerals (Zn, V2O5, Pb, Ge and Ag).
  • At Kihabe Deposit too, cumulative 330.30m length of the Ga intersections is far longer than those of the other five minerals.
  • According to TRADIUM GmbH, Ga is garnering attention primarily to demand from the 5G mobile phone networks.

Mount Burgess Mining NL (ASX:MTB) has been conducting in-depth reviews to better understand the scope of its polymetallic Zn/Pb/Ag/Cu/V/Ge project in Botswana. The project has two polymetallic sedimentary exhalative (SEDEX) style Kihabe and Nxuu deposits.

Notably, the Kihabe and Nxuu Deposits contain significant intersections of Gallium (Ga), which could represent significant credits for the project. There has been recent increase in the Gallium (Ga) price, US $826.50/kg (Kitco Strategic Metals 23/05/22). Consequently, Mount Burgess has conducted further research into the contribution Ga could make to the Kihabe – Nxuu Project.

Ga intersections in Nxuu Deposit

At the time of writing, 30 holes so far drilled into the totally oxidised, polymetallic Zn/Pb/Ag/V2O5/Ga/Ge Nxuu Deposit have been assayed for Ga. Impressively, the cumulative 607.45m Ga intersection length is far longer than those of the other five minerals. The average grade of the 607.45m Ga intersections is 10.8g/t.

  • Ga intersections are 50.69% longer than the 403.10m Zn intersections
  • Ga intersections are 120.23% longer than the 275.83m V2O5 intersections
  • Ga intersections are 163% longer than the 230.95m Pb intersections
  • Ga intersections are 349.13% longer than the 135.28m Ge intersections
  • Ga intersections are 389.48% longer than the 124.10m Ag intersections

Nxuu deposit

Source- Company announcement, May 2022

Ga intersections in Kihabe Deposit

At the time of writing, 7 holes drilled into the oxide zone of the polymetallic Zn/Pb/Ag/V2O5/Ga/Ge Kihabe Deposit have been assayed for Ga. The cumulative 330.30m length of the Ga intersections is far longer than those of the other five minerals. The average grade of the 330.30m Ga intersections is 12.12g/t.

  • Ga intersections are 52.94% longer than the 216m Zn intersections
  • Ga intersections are 118.77% longer than the 151m Pb intersections
  • Ga intersections are 131.01% longer than the 143.36m Ag intersections
  • Ga intersections are 150.27% longer than the 132m V2O5 intersections
  • Ga intersections are 432.82% longer than the 62m Ge intersections

Kihabe deposit

Source- Company announcement, May 2022

 

 

Test works and potential contribution of Ga

In March 2022, test work conducted by the University of Tasmania confirmed that Ga and Germanium (Ge) are hosted in micas. Ga is likely substituting for Al and is not directly associated with zinc mineralisation.

Usually, mica, in the form of flakes can be recovered by flotation to yield a mica rich concentrate. This further enables the recovery of Ga and Ge. It will however need additional metallurgical test work.

The Ga mineralisation in Nxuu as well as Kihabe Deposits would be extracted in the mining process (when extracting other five minerals).

Uses and increasing Ga demand

Ga has been declared as a strategic metal by the US Government. It is used for converting electricity into light via Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs), photo detectors and solar cells, semi-conductors, and transistors for defence applications and high-performance computers, an alloy for low temperature metals as it has a high boiling point, mobile phones and pressure sensors for touch switches.

According to TRADIUM GmbH, Ga price increases can primarily be attributed to demand from the 5G mobile phone networks which require greater amounts of Ga than are available.

Ga is a critical resource, which means it is of high economic relevance but only of limited availability. This makes it ideal for an alternative investment. The worldwide production capacity of the rare metal is presently ~720 tonnes per annum and is deemed to be exhausted. However, demand is definitely increasing.

For likely technical innovations up to 2030, the Fraunhofer Institute System and Innovation Research assumes a worldwide demand that is six times higher than today‘s world production of Ga.

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