Plymouth Minerals identifies shallow, high grade potash mineralisation
Published on: | by Trevor Hoey
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Plymouth Minerals (ASX:PLH) informed the market on Wednesday that it had identified shallow depth, high-grade mineralisation in assay results for drill hole BA-002, one of three holes drilled by the company in the first phase of its exploration program at the 100% owned Banio Potash Project in Gabon.
PLH’s management anticipate further promising news as assay results come to hand.
However, it should be noted here that this is an early stage play operating in a high risk region. So investors should seek professional financial advice if considering this stock for their portfolio.
As a backdrop, Plymouth owns 100% of the Banio and Mamana Potash Projects, which are drill proven, high-grade, shallow potash deposits. Banio has a multi-billion tonne exploration target of carnallite and sylvinite based on historical seismic and drilling data.
Both Banio and Mamana have ready access to infrastructure being located on the coast of Gabon or on major transport river ways (barge) with direct access to export ports. Brazil is a major consumer of potash, and South America is the largest consumer of seaborne potash (MOP) in the world.
West African potash exporters benefit from a significant shipping advantage over other major potash producing regions such as the US.
Plymouth anticipates Alpha target hosts a high-grade resource
These latest developments suggesting the company appears to have intersected laterally extensive potash mineralisation on the Alpha Target, as indicated from down-hole geophysical gamma data from the neighbouring drill hole BA-003 are extremely promising.
While assays are pending for BA-003, PLH believes that the Alpha Target has the potential to host a high-grade resource. Based on these assumptions, the group has been successfully targeting an area within the Gabonese section of the Congo Basin now proven to host shallow sylvinite and carnallitite mineralisation.
Commenting on these latest developments, PLH’s Managing Director, Adrian Byass said, “Multiple intersections drilled on the Alpha Target which are in excess of 31% KCl (potassium chloride) are high-grade by industry standards, and the return of this tenor of mineralisation in the first phase of the exploration programme is extremely encouraging.”
Similar mineralisation in third drill hole suggests wide deposit open in all directions
Byass also noted that the geology in the successfully completed exploration hole BA-003 drilled approximately 2 kilometres from BA-002, for which assay results are pending, indicates that similar widths of potash mineralisation are present and both holes are open in all directions laterally.
Drill hole BA-002, is one of three holes drilled in the Phase 1 drill programme. As indicated in the following diagram, the hole is located in the northern half of the Alpha Target, which is an east/west trending potash-bearing corridor bound by the interpreted basin hinge line to the south and the basin edge to the north. This hole has intersected wide zones which include multiple seams of high grade potash (sylvinite).
Verification of previous exploration data assists in shaping focused drilling campaign
BA-002 has verified historical geological and geophysical data relating to the Alpha and Ndindi South Targets. This is an important development given that it will assist the company in conducting a focused and potentially more productive exploration program.
The large exploration target for Banio was compiled using over 290 kilometres of line seismic and in excess of 7000 metres of historic oil exploration drilling from the 1980’s and related downhole gamma (geophysical) data. The historic oil exploration companies did not assay for potash, but noted its presence in many locations within the salt sequence.
PLH is currently planning the next stages of exploration at Banio and is progressing the granting of Mamana, its other historically drilled, high grade potash project in Gabon. The Mamana potash project was drilled historically for potash, recording shallow, high-grade intercepts including 4.35 metres grading 46% KCI from 384 metres and 9.5 metres grading 29% KCI from 433 metres.
From a logistics perspective, it should be noted that both drill holes BA-002 and BA-003 are within 5 kilometres of the Atlantic Ocean to the south-west and less than 2 kilometres east of an extensive lagoon providing transport access to the east.
This provides PLH with short and long-term options around equipment and personnel access, as well as ultimate product export route preferences. Further logistics studies will be conducted once drilling has delivered additional results.
The project already benefits from the location of port facilities, the newly constructed dual-lane bridge across the lagoon and operating gas fields with supporting infrastructure in the southern region – all within the permit.