The information contained within this announcement is deemed to constitute inside information as stipulated under the Market Abuse Regulations ("MAR") (EU) No. 596/2014. Upon the publication of this announcement, this inside information is now considered to be in the public domain.
For the purposes of MAR and Article 2 of Commission Implementing Regulation (EU) 2016/1055, this announcement is being made on behalf of Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer.
4 May 2018
Beowulf (AIM: BEM; Aktietorget: BEO), the mineral exploration and development company, focused on the Kallak magnetite iron ore project and the Åtvidaberg polymetallic exploration licence in Sweden, and its graphite portfolio in Finland, is pleased to announce assay results for its latest drilling campaign at its Aitolampi graphite project in Finland. Aitolampi is part of the Company’s 100% owned Exploration Permit Pitkäjärvi 1.
Drilling has confirmed the continuity of mineralisation between holes drilled in 2017, wide graphite lenses extending along strike, at least 350 metres (“m”) along the main conductive zone (the main electro-magnetic (“EM”) anomaly extends for 700m), and at depth.
For the two parallel higher-grade zones previously identified, mineralisation has a strike length of at least 150m (the two parallel conductive zones extend for 300m and 250m), and these zones seem to merge to form one body of mineralisation.
From northwest to southeast along strike, drill holes AITDD18014, AITDD18016, AITDD18015, AITDD18017 and AITD18018 (drilled on the same profile), all intersected this higher-grade body of mineralisation, with intercepts of 89.60m at 4.01% Total Graphite Carbon ("TGC"), 107.09m at 4.59% TGC, 108.69m at 5.04% TGC, 121.68% at 5.00% TGC and 121.46m at 5.29% TGC respectively.
For these holes, intercepts showing greater than 5% TGC were as follows: AITDD18014 - 30.10m at 5.75% TGC; AITDD18016 – 29.00m at 6.04% TGC; AITDD18017 – 62.42m at 6.08% TGC; and AITDD18018 – 92.46m at 6.19% TGC, including 44.00m at 7.08% TGC.
AITDD18018 is the furthest hole drilled to the southeast, to test the parallel higher-grade conductive zone, which remains open in all directions.
Within the Company’s Pitkäjärvi licence area, several extensive EM conductors, associated with graphite observed in surface outcrops, have yet to be drilled, are prospective for graphite mineralisation and offer potential upside.
“I am really pleased with the latest assay results from this year’s drilling programme. In January 2018, metallurgical testwork demonstrated the broad market attractiveness of the graphite concentrates that we might produce in the future. Not only do we have the potential to serve lithium ion battery manufacturers, but the Aitolampi concentrates' chemical and physical properties could also suit many other applications.
“This year’s drilling shows that higher-grade mineralisation extends at least 150m along strike, with mineralised intercepts ranging from 89.6m to 121.68m, grades ranging 4.01% to 5.29%, and remaining open in all directions. This all adds to work we carried out in 2017, defining the main conductive zone at Aitolampi. We now look forward to producing a Maiden Resource Estimate (“MRE”) (JORC Code 2012 edition), and thereafter a Scoping Study.
“We have a supportive environment in Finland for battery minerals and metals producers, which is materialising into new networks, partnerships, projects, and funding opportunities, as evidenced by our involvement in the raw materials suppliers’ Cooperation Network, and the funding we have received from Business Finland.
“Recently, we announced the award of contracts for the MRE, and an Environmental and Social Impact Assessment Roadmap, and we will shortly commence baseline environmental and biodiversity studies.
“We have a busy few months ahead, and we look forward to updating shareholders on our progress in due course.”
*Lengths in metres, and mineralised intercepts are the down-hole widths and are not the true widths.
** No cut-off grade applied.
Location - Comments
Down-dip AITDD17001 and AITDD17007, Main Conductive Zone
Down-dip AITDD17002 and AITDD17008, Main Conductive Zone
Infill between AITDD17003 and AITDD17004, Main Conductive Zone
Down-dip AITDD18011, Main Conductive Zone, 50m NW strike extension from AITDD17005 of Parallel Conductive Zone 1 (started in graphite)
Infill between AITDD17003 and AITDD18011/12, Main Conductive Zone, 50m NW strike extension from AITDD18012 of Parallel Conductive Zone 1 (started in graphite)
Down-dip AITDD17003, Main Conductive Zone, 50m NW strike extension from AITDD18013 of Parallel Conductive Zone 1, 50m NW strike extension from AITDD17006 of Parallel Conductive Zone 2
Down-dip of AITDD18012 of Parallel Conductive Zone 1, 50m SE strike extension from AITDD17006 of Parallel Conductive Zone 2
Down-dip of AITDD17006 of Parallel Conductive Zones 1 and 2
Down-dip of AITDD17005 of Parallel Conductive Zone 1, 50m SE strike extension from AITDD18015 of Parallel Conductive Zone 2
Down-dip of AITDD18017 of Parallel Conductive Zones 1 and 2
Aitolampi - Background
Aitolampi is in eastern Finland, approximately 40 kilometres southwest of the well-established mining town Outokumpu. Infrastructure in the area is excellent, with road access and good availability of high voltage power.
The latest round of metallurgical testwork has been conducted by ProGraphite Gmbh (“ProGraphite”) based in Germany. ProGraphite specialises in the processing and evaluation of graphite materials.
Concentrates produced by SGS Minerals Services were combined and sent to ProGraphite in the fourth quarter last year. The objective of the advanced testwork was to determine the suitability of Aitolampi concentrates for different market applications.
The following tests were undertaken:
Concentrate Product Characterisation (LOI/Fixed carbon on concentrate and mesh fractions, bulk densities, Specific Surfaces Analysis (SSA), Thermogravimetric Analysis (TGA), Inductively Coupled Plasma (“ICP”) analysis, and X-ray Diffraction (“XRD”) analysis;
Purification Processing (Acid purification, Alkaline purification, and ICP analysis on purified graphite); and
Production of Expandable Graphite.
The following results were achieved:
Results show that both acid and alkaline purification methods can produce a very clean concentrate of greater than 99.41% C(t).
The alkaline method, using standard formulation, produced the highest grades, 99.82% C(t) for the -100-mesh concentrate, and 99.86% C(t) for the +100-mesh concentrate.
Results obtained from acid purification reached 99.6% C(t) for the +100-mesh fraction.
The alkaline and acid purification results indicate that, with some process optimisation, Aitolampi concentrates may meet the purity specification of 99.95% C(t) required for the lithium ion battery market.
There is also a good market for the -100 mesh and greater than 95% C(t) concentrate.
Carbon content in all fractions, including the fines, is very high and ranges from 96.25 to 97.61% C(t). The demand is significant for fine graphite with high carbon, across various applications.
Aitolampi graphite shows high crystallinity, with the degree of graphitisation measuring approximately 98%, which is almost perfect crystallinity, and an important consideration for battery manufacturers seeking high energy density in cells.
Volatiles are low which is an attractive product attribute, and often a pre-condition, in many applications, including refractories, lubricants, crucibles, and foundries.
SSA is comparable to that of high quality flake graphite from China.
Oxidation behaviour, tested with TGA analysis, is comparable with Chinese graphite of the same flake size, used for refractories, and other high temperature applications.
ICP analysis, for elemental impurities in the alkaline purified concentrate, showed that impurities could be reduced to significantly lower levels by intensifying purification, optimising the amount of chemicals used, and process parameters, such as reaction time and temperature.
Competent Person Review
The information in this announcement has been reviewed by Mr. Rasmus Blomqvist, a Competent Person who is a Member of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy. Mr. Blomqvist has sufficient experience, that is relevant to the style of mineralisation and type of deposit taken into consideration, and to the activity being undertaken, to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the 2012 Edition of the "Australasian Code of Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves".
Mr. Blomqvist is a full-time employee of Oy Fennoscandian Resources AB, a 100 per cent owned subsidiary of Beowulf.
Beowulf Mining plc
Kurt Budge, Chief Executive Officer
Tel: +44 (0) 20 3771 6993
Cantor Fitzgerald Europe(Nominated Adviser & Broker)
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7894 7000
Tim Blythe / Megan Ray
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7138 3204
Statements and assumptions made in this document with respect to the Company’s current plans, estimates, strategies and beliefs, and other statements that are not historical facts, are forward-looking statements about the future performance of Beowulf. Forward-looking statements include, but are not limited to, those using words such as "may", "might", "seeks", "expects", "anticipates", "estimates", "believes", "projects", "plans", strategy", "forecast" and similar expressions. These statements reflect management's expectations and assumptions in light of currently available information. They are subject to a number of risks and uncertainties, including, but not limited to, (i) changes in the economic, regulatory and political environments in the countries where Beowulf operates; (ii) changes relating to the geological information available in respect of the various projects undertaken; (iii) Beowulf’s continued ability to secure enough financing to carry on its operations as a going concern; (iv) the success of its potential joint ventures and alliances, if any; (v) metal prices, particularly as regards iron ore. In the light of the many risks and uncertainties surrounding any mineral project at an early stage of its development, the actual results could differ materially from those presented and forecast in this document. Beowulf assumes no unconditional obligation to immediately update any such statements and/or forecasts.
JORC Code, 2012 Edition – Table 1
Section 1 Sampling Techniques and Data
JORC Code explanation
Nature and quality of sampling (eg cut channels, random chips, or specific specialised industry standard measurement tools appropriate to the minerals under investigation, such as down hole gamma sondes, or handheld XRF instruments, etc). These examples should not be taken as limiting the broad meaning of sampling.
Include reference to measures taken to ensure sample representivity and the appropriate calibration of any measurement tools or systems used.
Aspects of the determination of mineralisation that are Material to the Public Report.
In cases where ‘industry standard’ work has been done this would be relatively simple (eg ‘reverse circulation drilling was used to obtain 1 m samples from which 3 kg was pulverised to produce a 30 g charge for fire assay’). In other cases more explanation may be required, such as where there is coarse gold that has inherent sampling problems. Unusual commodities or mineralisation types (eg submarine nodules) may warrant disclosure of detailed information.
Diamond drill core was sampled based on visually observed graphite mineralisation.
The drill core was quarter-cut.
Sampling was carried out under the Company’s sampling protocols and QA/QC procedures as per industry best practice.
The drill core has been sampled on geological intervals (1m to 3m intervals) and 2m intervals within wider mineralised intercepts where appropriate. All samples were crushed and pulverized to produce a sub-sample to be analysed for Graphitic C by Leco furnace, Total C by Leco furnace and Total S by Leco furnace and infrared spectroscopy.
Drill type (eg core, reverse circulation, open-hole hammer, rotary air blast, auger, Bangka, sonic, etc) and details (eg core diameter, triple or standard tube, depth of diamond tails, face-sampling bit or other type, whether core is oriented and if so, by what method, etc).
Diamond drilling was carried out by Northdrill Oy (“Northdrill”) from Finland.
Using WL76 equipment with a core diameter of 61.77mm.
Core orientation was completed for all holes using Reflex ACT 3 core orientation tool.
Downhole surveys for all drill holes were completed by Northdrill using a Deviflex instrument.
Drill sample recovery
Method of recording and assessing core and chip sample recoveries and results assessed.
Measures taken to maximise sample recovery and ensure representative nature of the samples.
Whether a relationship exists between sample recovery and grade and whether sample bias may have occurred due to preferential loss/gain of fine/coarse material.
The core recovery was physically measured and recorded by the drillers for every core run. Any core loss was recorded on the core blocks.
Core recovery was double-checked and measured for all drill holes by the Company`s geologists logging the core. The core length recovered was calculated as a percentage of the theoretical core length.
No additional measures were taken to maximize the core recovery.
The core recovery was generally very good. A sampling bias has not been determined.
Whether core and chip samples have been geologically and geotechnically logged to a level of detail to support appropriate Mineral Resource estimation, mining studies and metallurgical studies.
Whether logging is qualitative or quantitative in nature. Core (or costean, channel, etc) photography.
The total length and percentage of the relevant intersections logged.
All drill core was geologically logged determining lithology, mineralogy, mineralization, texture, and structural observations.
Density, RQD and core recovery was measured for all drill core by the Company`s geologists.
All drill core was photographed in wet and dry states after logging was completed and sample intervals had been marked on the core boxes.
Sub-sampling techniques and sample preparation
If core, whether cut or sawn and whether quarter, half or all core taken.
If non-core, whether riffled, tube sampled, rotary split, etc and whether sampled wet or dry.
For all sample types, the nature, quality and appropriateness of the sample preparation technique.
Quality control procedures adopted for all sub-sampling stages to maximise representivity of samples.
Measures taken to ensure that the sampling is representative of the in-situ material collected, including for instance results for field duplicate/second-half sampling.
Whether sample sizes are appropriate to the grain size of the material being sampled.
The drill core was quarter-cut. All core sawing was done by ALS Finland Oy (“ALS”) in Outokumpu.
Samples were prepared by ALS as per industry best practice. The entire sample is crushed with more than 70% passing the < 2mm, then reduced in a splitter to 250g. The 250g sample is pulverized with more than 85% passing < 75 microns. A sub-sample of pulp is taken from homogenized sample to be analysed for Graphitic C by Leco furnace, Total C by Leco furnace and Total S by Leco furnace and infrared spectroscopy. Duplicate samples were completed at a rate of 1:20 where practicable.
Certified standards at a rate of 1:20 and blanks were inserted at a rate of 1:25 where practicable.
The sample sizes were considered appropriate for the type of mineralization (graphite)
Quality of assay data and laboratory tests
The nature, quality and appropriateness of the assaying and laboratory procedures used and whether the technique is considered partial or total.
For geophysical tools, spectrometers, handheld XRF instruments, etc, the parameters used in determining the analysis including instrument make and model, reading times, calibrations factors applied and their derivation, etc.
Nature of quality control procedures adopted (eg standards, blanks, duplicates, external laboratory checks) and whether acceptable levels of accuracy (ie lack of bias) and precision have been established.
All samples were assayed for total graphitic carbon by Leco furnace. Graphitic C is determined by digesting sample in 50% HCl to evolve carbonate as CO2. Residue is filtered, washed, dried, and then roasted at 425 ⁰C. The roasted residue is analysed for C by high temperature Leco furnace with infrared detection.
All samples were assayed for total carbon by Leco furnace.
All samples were assayed for total Sulphur by Leco furnace and infrared spectroscopy.
The analytical methods are considered appropriate for the style of mineralisation.
Duplicate samples were completed at a rate of 1:20 where practicable. Duplicates for all holes are satisfactory.
Certified standards were inserted at a rate of 1:20 and blanks were inserted at a rate of 1:25 where practicable. Standard and blank results are within accepted limits.
Laboratory QA/QC methods include insertion of certified standards, blanks and duplicates.
External laboratory checks at Actlabs Finland at rate of 1:40 for laboratory pulps and 1:40 for coarse rejects where practicable.
Verification of sampling and assaying
The verification of significant intersections by either independent or alternative company personnel.
The use of twinned holes.
Documentation of primary data, data entry procedures, data verification, data storage (physical and electronic) protocols.
Discuss any adjustment to assay data.
Rasmus Blomqvist, the Competent Person to this report has reviewed the drill core and verified significant graphite intersections.
No twinned holes have been drilled.
All location, geological and geotechnical data has been electronically stored in excel spreadsheets with several back-ups of all data.
No adjustments have been done to any assay data in this report.
Location of data points
Accuracy and quality of surveys used to locate drill holes (collar and down-hole surveys), trenches, mine workings and other locations used in Mineral Resource estimation.
Specification of the grid system used.
Quality and adequacy of topographic control.
All drill hole collars have been surveyed by T&J Holmback Ab Oy using a DGPS with an accuracy of ±1cm.
Downhole surveys for all drill holes completed on regular intervals by Northdrill using a Deviflex instrument.
The grid system used is EUREF FIN TM35FIN.
The topographic data used for the drill sections has been gridded from elevation data acquired from the National Land Survey of Finland.
Data spacing and distribution
Data spacing for reporting of Exploration Results.
Whether the data spacing and distribution is sufficient to establish the degree of geological and grade continuity appropriate for the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve estimation procedure(s) and classifications applied.
Whether sample compositing has been applied.
The spacing between the drilled profiles is approximately 50-100m.
Orientation of data in relation to geological structure
Whether the orientation of sampling achieves unbiased sampling of possible structures and the extent to which this is known, considering the deposit type.
If the relationship between the drilling orientation and the orientation of key mineralised structures is considered to have introduced a sampling bias, this should be assessed and reported if material.
All drill holes have been drilled perpendicular to the interpreted strike of the mineralization and lithology.
No sampling bias as consequence of orientation-based sampling has been identified.
The measures taken to ensure sample security.
The sample ‘chain of custody’ is managed by the Company’s geological personnel.
All core is stored in a locked facility in Kaarina.
Audits or reviews
The results of any audits or reviews of sampling techniques and data.
No external review of the sampling techniques and data has been completed.
Section 2 Reporting of Exploration Results
JORC Code explanation
Mineral tenement and land tenure status
Type, reference name/number, location and ownership including agreements or material issues with third parties such as joint ventures, partnerships, overriding royalties, native title interests, historical sites, wilderness or national park and environmental settings.
The security of the tenure held at the time of reporting along with any known impediments to obtaining a licence to operate in the area.
The Aitolampi mineralisation is located within exploration permit Pitkäjärvi (ML2016:0040).
The exploration permit is 100% owned by the Company’s Finnish subsidiary Oy Fennoscandian Resources Ab. No native title interest, historical sites, national parks or nature conservation areas exist within the exploration permit.
The exploration permit is in good standing with the local mining authority TUKES.
Exploration done by other parties
Acknowledgment and appraisal of exploration by other parties.
No historic exploration for graphite has been done at the Aitolampi prospect.
Deposit type, geological setting and style of mineralisation.
The Pitkäjärvi exploration permit area belongs to the geological unit of the Karelian domain, part of the proterozoic svecokarelian supracrustal rocks. The area is in a regional open fold of considerable size, about 10 kilometres (“km”) wide and 20-30km long which is cut by a regional fault zone(s) in the northeast. The fold is clearly visible on aeromagnetic and electromagnetic maps. Quartz-feldspar-biotite gneiss is the most common rock type in the area. The main mineral composition of the gneiss is quartz, feldspars (mainly plagioclase), micas (mainly biotite) ± graphite. Accessory minerals seen in thin sections are zircons, garnets, sericite and chlorite. Graphite schist is common as layers and lenses in the quartz-feldspar-biotite gneiss. These metasediments have been metamorphosed to the upper amphibolite to granulite facies (650-700 ˚C, 4-5 kbar).
The graphite mineralisation at Aitolampi comprises several graphite lenses which generally extend for several hundred metres along strike and dips 40-50⁰ to SW. Based on the completed drill program the known graphite/sulphide bearing lenses consists of 40-140m wide continuous units of predominately fine to medium graphite flakes, containing approximately 4% total graphitic carbon. The hanging- and footwall is comprised of quartz-feldspar-biotite rich gneisses with common garnet porphyroblasts. The graphitic lenses are commonly intruded by pegmatite veins which vary in thickness from few decimeters to tens of meter.
Drill hole Information
A summary of all information material to the understanding of the exploration results including a tabulation of the following information for all Material drill holes:
easting and northing of the drill hole collar
elevation or RL (Reduced Level – elevation above sea level in metres) of the drill hole collar
dip and azimuth of the hole
down hole length and interception depth
If the exclusion of this information is justified on the basis that the information is not Material and this exclusion does not detract from the understanding of the report, the Competent Person should clearly explain why this is the case.
A tabulation of the mineralised down hole interception length and depth can be found in this report.
Maps and sections showing the drill hole location, azimuth, dip, length of holes and mineralised interceptions can be found at www.beowulfmining.com.
Data aggregation methods
In reporting Exploration Results, weighting averaging techniques, maximum and/or minimum grade truncations (eg cutting of high grades) and cut-off grades are usually Material and should be stated.
Where aggregate intercepts incorporate short lengths of high grade results and longer lengths of low grade results, the procedure used for such aggregation should be stated and some typical examples of such aggregations should be shown in detail.
The assumptions used for any reporting of metal equivalent values should be clearly stated.
No cut-off grade has been applied in this report.
No metal equivalents have been used in this report.
Relationship between mineralisation widths and intercept lengths
These relationships are particularly important in the reporting of Exploration Results.
If the geometry of the mineralisation with respect to the drill hole angle is known, its nature should be reported.
If it is not known and only the down hole lengths are reported, there should be a clear statement to this effect (eg ‘down hole length, true width not known’).
Only the down hole lengths are reported, true width not known.
Appropriate maps and sections (with scales) and tabulations of intercepts should be included for any significant discovery being reported These should include, but not be limited to a plan view of drill hole collar locations and appropriate sectional views.
Appropriate maps, sections and tabulations can be found at www.beowulfmining.com.
Where comprehensive reporting of all Exploration Results is not practicable, representative reporting of both low and high grades and/or widths should be practiced to avoid misleading reporting of Exploration Results.
Both low and high grades and the widths of the intercepts are reported.
Other substantive exploration data
Other exploration data, if meaningful and material, should be reported including (but not limited to): geological observations; geophysical survey results; geochemical survey results; bulk samples – size and method of treatment; metallurgical test results; bulk density, groundwater, geotechnical and rock characteristics; potential deleterious or contaminating substances.