MILESTONE ACHIEVEMENT – SHIP ROUTE PROVEN
Ironbark Zinc Limited (“Ironbark, the Company”) (ASX: IBG) is pleased to announce the significant achievement of proving the viability of shipping from the Citronen base metal project in Greenland.
Ironbark is delighted to report that the “Nunavik”, a 189m long Polar Class Cargo ship has proved shipping access to the Citronen site (Figure 1) marking the first time a large commercial ship has travelled so far north on the eastern coast of Greenland. The vessel took advantage of late summer ice conditions and open water leads whenever possible to prove viable access to the project site (Figures 2 and 3). Ironbark chartered the icebreaking Nunavik to transit the area as part of the overall proof of logistical plan. The Citronen Project represents one of the World’s largest zinc deposits and will be a largely conventional mine with the exception of its location.
Jonathan Downes stated “The relative ease with which the vessel was able to negotiate the ice conditions, even this late in the season, has given a huge boost to our level of confidence in the practicality of operating this world class base metal project in a safe and environmentally responsible manner. The proposed mine would be a significant global producer of zinc metal and, while the mine would be conventional in almost every way, its location has previously been perceived to be a point of difference and as a challenge. We are delighted to achieve this significant milestone.”
The Citronen project has some unique characteristics that are likely to make this one of the most environmentally friendly and sustainable global operations. Ironbark plans to draw on these advantages to deliver the cleanest zinc mine in the world. In conjunction with Fednav’s impeccable environmental track record and reputation, Ironbark ensured that the Nunavik made this journey consuming low sulphur marine diesel oil instead of conventional heavy fuel oil (HFO) while in Greenland waters.
The Nunavik’s master, Thomas Grandy with more than 20 years of polar navigating experience, remarked "Despite harsh ice conditions at times, Nunavik was able to make good progress to & from the entrance to Frederick E. Hyde Fjord thanks to a properly suited vessel with machinery operating at peak performance, an experienced ice navigation team, up to date weather information and ice charts, and satellite imagery received in a timely manner from Fednav's shore team in Montreal".
The Nunavik is a modern and very powerful icebreaking cargo ship and measures 188.8 metres (619 ft) long and has a beam of 26.6 metres (87 ft). Fully laden, she draws 11.75 metres ( 38.5 ft) of water and has a deadweight tonnage of 31,754 tonnes. She is built for navigation in ice according to the International Association of Classification Societies (IACS) Polar Class 4, which allows year-round operation in thick first-year ice which may include old ice inclusions. The Nunavik is owned and operated by Fednav and services Canadian Royalties’ Nunavik Nickel Mine, in Canada.
Ironbark Zinc Limited (“Ironbark, the Company”) (ASX: IBG) is pleased to provide an update on the Citronen site activities during 2018.
Ironbark reports that it has concluded the planned series of site visits to the Citronen proposed mine site this year. Ironbark is extremely pleased with the calibre of the groups represented and the interest that was expressed in proceeding with financing discussions. The groups included potential investors, private equity groups, bankers, equipment suppliers and mining operators. Investment criteria for the investors includes completing site inspections as part of the due diligence process. The agenda for the inspections included an appraisal of drill core selected from the site core library as well as a visit to the areas of outcropping mineralisation (Figure 1) that occur at the Discovery zone over a strike length of 2 kilometres. Investigations were also made of the proposed decline area, tailings dam and various other infrastructure plans (Figure 2). The site visit typically impresses upon the investors the open ended nature of the mineralisation and the Exploration Target of 302- 347 Mt @ 4.4- 5.0% Zinc + Lead (ASX announcement 28 January 2010). The potential quantity and grade of the Exploration Target is conceptual in nature. There has been insufficient exploration completed to date to estimate a Mineral Resource in accordance with the JORC 2012 Edition Guidelines. It is uncertain if further exploration will result in the delineation of a Mineral Resource.
The current resource stands at a favourable 70.8Mt @ 5.7% zinc+lead (3.5% zinc cut-off) against a sub-4% current global average head grade (25Mt Measured, 26.5Mt Indicated, 19.3Mt Inferred). The data room holds all the relevant information including the Feasibility Study (with updated and current price assumptions) as well as the required operating permits to commence mining.
An update around certain aspects of the project financing package will be released as soon as possible.
Site Activities and Mining
Ironbark reports that it has commenced site works including preliminary and small scale box-cut and portal preparation at the decline (Figures 3 & 4). The equipment on site was serviced and the site prepared for large scale early works next year. The commencement of breaking ground on site is a strong endorsement of the support shown by the Greenland Government and the fully permitted nature of the current mine plan.
The Citronen Mine will be one the largest zinc mines in the world at full scale production. It will also be one of the cleanest mines by virtue of many factors such as the self-neutralising tailings that are planned to mostly be pumped back underground where they will freeze into a solid with a higher Unconfined Compressive Strength than that of paste fill cement. Ironbark is pleased to have entered into agreements to ensure an environmentally friendly and sustainable operating environment. The work layout of the project lends itself to a particular clean operation while providing essential but resource constrained zinc metal.
Ironbark Zinc Limited (“Ironbark, the Company”) (ASX: IBG) provides an update on the ongoing work to determine the presence of Germanium in the Citronen orebody.
Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Results
Ironbark reports that it has received a report detailing the results from SEM test work. The SEM test work was commissioned to definitively answer the ongoing questions regarding the occurrence and nature of any potential germanium credits. Ironbark was unable to get a satisfactory explanation to explain the ongoing assay discrepancies and poor repeatability from several laboratories in Australia.
The full report, provided as an appendix to this ASX release, does not definitively prove the recoverability or payability of germanium. The report does however show that there is germanium present in the lead minerals and is likely to also report to the planned lead concentrate where it is likely to be concentrated. In the current flow sheet, Ironbark produces a pyrite pre-float which is currently planned to be sent to the tailings. The report indicates that germanium is associated with the pyrite and that the germanium grades might potentially be payable. Further testwork is being planned.
“Germanium is extracted mainly as a by-product of mining zinc sulphide-rich ores. It comes from sphalerite concentrates containing 50 to 3000 ppm Ge (Sinclair, 2014). Current production mostly comes from SHMS deposits in China (Huize, Jinding and Fankou), the United States (Red Dog SEDEX deposit, Alaska; and MVT deposits of the ElmwoodGordonsville district, Tennessee) and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (Kipushi deposit). The overall Ge grades in these deposits range from 10 to 300 ppm, for total Ge resources of approximately 5400 tonnes
Global Ge resource and reserve data are inconsistent because Ge concentrations in many deposits are not properly reported”. 1
“The silicon germanium materials & devices market is projected to grow to $5,045.3 million by 2021, at a CAGR of 13.7% from 2016 to 2021.
This growth is highly attributed to the increasing requirement for huge data transfer, high applicability in wireless communication systems and rising demand from automotive sector for sophisticated sensors and radar systems. Moreover, the rapid penetration of IoT technology in the telecom, consumer electronics and auto industry, has led to an increased growth in the SiGe market. Apart from that, emerging opportunities in the 5G networking systems and autonomous driving electronics are expected to create huge impact on the SiGe market growth, during the forecast period.” 2
- Source: Symposium on critical and strategic materials. British Columbia Geological Survey Paper 2015-3, Suzanne Paradis, Geological Survey of Canada, Pacifi c Division, Sidney, BC, V8L 4B2
- Source: Research and Markets, Dublin, April 27, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE)
Byrnecut Offshore and Ironbark Enter Mining Services Agreement
Ironbark Zinc Limited (“Ironbark, the Company”) (ASX: IBG) is pleased to announce that it has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Byrnecut Offshore Pty Ltd (“Byrnecut”)
The agreement provides Ironbark with the extensive international experience in underground hard rock mechanised mining. The role is intended to include underground contract mining services, underground mine cost modelling, providing the underground mining fleet, and includes holding the debt and security of the equipment. Ironbark has commenced work seeking to remove key capital items off the Capital Cost of the Citronen project. Ironbark has identified several further key opportunities to reduce the project Capital Cost. The parties will work towards a more detailed cost based commercial agreement operating under agreed margins through each project stage and will also encompass agreed performance margins. Ironbark is in discussions with other highly regarded groups for the remaining disciplines or to support the project that have the potential to collectively and significantly assist with the overall project financing. Byrnecut will operate under the Greenland Government guidelines and will assist Ironbark achieve its training and employment obligations. A Byrnecut technical representative will be visiting the site later this month.
Byrnecut is an internationally recognised underground mining contractor that offers both a full range of professional mining support services and a 30 year history of world class mining experience. Since starting its international operations in 1999, it has grown into one of the most experienced underground mining contractors across the globe. Byrnecut currently employs over 4,000 people worldwide with operations currently in the Australia, Democratic Republic of Congo, Mali, Burkina Faso, Saudi Arabia and Tanzania.
Byrnecut specialises in mechanised underground mine feasibility, mine development and mine production and has been successful in securing many Australian and international contracts over the past 30 years. It offers its clients a range of services including:
- Mechanised development and production
- Equipment rebuilds and maintenance engineering
- Mine engineering consultancy services
- Workforce safety and training
- Labour hire and management
- Raise drilling
- Shaft sinking
Byrnecut has first-hand knowledge of the skills necessary to overcome remote location logistics, language barriers and upskilling the national workforce. They offer clients a safe, efficient and professional contracting service to assist in optimising the development and production of their mineral resources, training of local workforce, and they are capable of providing first world mining capabilities to any international location.
Managing Director, Jonathan Downes, stated that “We are extremely pleased to have attracted the interest of a group as well regarded and capable as Byrnecut. Byrnecut have the capacity to provide Ironbark with an immediate “bolt-on” underground mining expertise that will assist Ironbark as we move from financing to active mining. While only at an early stage, we consider this is a very positive step towards the projects development and financing. Byrnecut is aware and supportive of the training and employment obligations that Ironbark is operating under in Greenland.
The wholly owned Citronen project is exceptionally well placed to meet the strong and growing global demand for zinc and represents a large scale, high margin operation in a stable and safe jurisdiction. Citronen is held under a granted 30 year Mining Licence. Ironbark is continuing working towards project financing and remains confident that the project economics against the current zinc price remains compelling.
Jonathan C. Downes – Managing Director
Mr Downes has over 25 years’ experience in the minerals industry and has worked in various geological and corporate capacities. Experienced with nickel, gold and base metals, he has also been intimately involved with numerous private and public capital raisings. Mr Downes is on the board of several ASX-listed companies; he was a founding director of Hibernia Gold (now Moly Mines Limited) and Siberia Mining Corporation Limited (now merged with Monarch Resources Limited) and is a non-executive director of Corazon Mining Limited and Galena Mining Limited.
Michael Bourguignon – Project Director
Michael has over 20 years’ experience in Project Management within the Mining Industry both in Australia and Internationally. Michael’s most recent role was as the Capital Project Manager for Syrah Resources Limited’s Balama Graphite Mine. Michael was responsible for the planning, coordination and execution of multiple contracts for the construction of the Balama Processing plant which is the largest graphite processing plant in the world. The project scope also included the construction of external infrastructure which was self-managed. In this role, Michael was responsible for 2000 personnel with an owners of team of 96 staff reporting directly to him through to successful completion.
Peter Duncombe Bennetto- Non Executive Chairman
Peter has over 35 years’ experience in banking and investment. He has had deep involvement in capital, currency and commodity markets with Societe Generale and Banque Indosuez. Peter has held company director positions in exploration, mining and manufacturing companies listed on the ASX since 1990. Peter was also a founding director of Anaconda Nickel Ltd.
David Kelly – Non Executive Director
Mr Kelly has over 9 years’ experience in finance industry in Australia and the United Kingdom; he has held senior roles at Deloitte Touche Tomatsu, Chartered Accountants and Royal & SunAlliance Insurance Group plc. Mr Kelly is a qualified Chartered Accountant, and is currently working for Ironbark’s substantial shareholder, Glencore International.
Gary Comb – Non Executive Director
Mr Comb is an engineer with over 25 years’ experience in the Australian mining industry, with a strong track record in successfully commissioning and operating base metal mines. Whilst he was Managing Director of Jabiru Metals Limited, he successfully took the Jaguar base metal project into production with the commissioning of the mine and processing plant taking place during the Global Financial Crises. Mr Comb was previously the Chief Executive Officer of BGC Contracting Pty Ltd, the mining contracting arm of the West Australian construction group BGC Pty Ltd. He is currently also a director of Zenith Minerals Limited.
Kelly Strong – Non Executive Director
Mr. Kelly Strong is the Vice President for mining operations at Nyrstar located in Tennessee. In his current role Mr Kelly Strong is responsible for all of Nyrstar’s zinc mining and milling operations in Canada and the United States, operating the mining of polymetallic ore bodies, and associated products. Mr Strong’s appointment is ideally suited to support Ironbark’s planned transition into mining.
Rob Orr – Chief Financial Officer & Company Secretary
Mr Orr is a Chartered Accountant with a significant level of commercial experience in the roles of Chief Financial Officer and Company Secretary for a number of ASX listed companies. Mr Orr has over 25 years’ experience in public practise and commerce and has worked extensively in the resource industry and is experienced in capital markets, project development, contract negotiation and mining operations.