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gippsland has more than tripled its tantalum resou

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    good luck if you own :).
    GIPPSLAND has more than tripled its tantalum resources in Egypt to 122 million tonnes thanks to its joint venture partner, the Egyptian government, making available 16sq.km of exploration tenements.
    Gippsland's ASX-listed shares jumped 46.7% to 8.8 cents after the announcement was made and a trading halt on the stock lifted.

    The new exploration tenements, which host the 82 million tonne Nuweibi tantalum-feldspar deposit, have been incorporated into the joint venture partnership.

    The two entities have 50% stakes in Tantalum Egypt, the company set up to develop the 40Mt Abu Dabbab tantalum-feldspar project located 15km from Nuweibi.

    Gippsland chairman Jack Telford said the exploration licence over the tenements has a four-year life and Tantalum Egypt has the right to convert it to a mining licence at any point during that time.

    "The award of this licence over a world-scale 82Mt deposit reflects the excellent working relationship that has been formed between Gippsland and our Egyptian partners," he said.

    "We have not had to pay anything for the exploration licence and negotiations have gone very smoothly."

    The Nuweibi deposit was discovered during the 1970s by joint Egyptian-Soviet geological expeditions, but was never developed due to a stalled world tantalum market.

    Telford said extensive exploration has been completed on the area, including 23 diamond drill holes totalling 2746m, trenching, surface sampling and metallurgical testwork.

    The deposit is comprised of tantalum-niobium-tin mineralisation within porphyritic microcline-quartz-albite granite.

    As a result of the exploration by the Egyptian and Soviet ventures, the deposit was given its resource of 82Mt at a grade of 156gpt of tantalum pentoxide at a cut-off of 120gpt.

    Telford said the mineralisation was assigned to the C1 and C2 categories according to Soviet systems, which are approximately equivalent to JORC code compliant resource standards.

    He said Gippsland is presently undertaking a review of all the available data on the deposit in a bid to convert the soviet resource figures to JORC code standard, but was confident the original resource estimate would not differ greatly.

    "The acquisition of the Nuweibi licence greatly increases the likelihood of an early expansion of mill-feed to 2Mtpa between the two projects," Telford said.

    "We are on the record stating that Abu Dabbab will become the world's second largest tantalum producer and with 122Mt in resources and an operating cost for tantalum pentoxide production of less than US$5/lb we are progressing to plan."

    Engineering group Lycopodium is currently working on a bankable feasibility study for Abu Dabbab based on annual production of 1Mt to produce about 430,000 pounds of tantalum pentoxide, 1000 tonnes of tin metal and 800,000t of micronised ceramic-grade feldspar.
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