13 June 2022
All Star Minerals Plc
("All Star" or the "Company")
All Star to Proceed with Investments in Advanced Battery Metals Projects Following Completion of Due Diligence Reviews
All Star (AQSE:ASMO), a Mining Investing Company listed on the AQSE Stock Exchange, advises that, further to the announcement on 21 April 2022 that the Company entered into Heads of Agreement ("HoA") with Gathoni Muchai Investments Limited ("GMI"), the Company has now successfully completed its due diligence over the Blesberg Lithium and Tantalum Project in
The due diligence process included site visits, analyses of the technical aspects of the underlying deposits and their JORC and SAMREC compliant resources, reviews of historical mining and exploration activities, as well as an assessment of the associated local utilities, infrastructure, support and workforce availability for the recommencement of mining operations. As a result of the successful completion of the Company's due diligence on the Projects the terms of the Heads of Agreement become effective and the Company is proceeding with its planned investment in the Projects.
The key commercial terms of the Heads of Agreement are set out below:-
(1) The Company has an option to acquire an initial 25% legal and beneficial interest through a staged cash investment of
(2) An option to acquire an initial 30% interest in the Blesberg Project by issuing
Increased interests in the Projects can be further secured by the Company through both cash and share based payments and through investment in funding exploration and development of the Projects. The Company also has the right, but not the obligation, to acquire majority controlling interests in the Projects until 30 June 2023. In order to increase its investment in the Projects the Company will consider various forms of funding, taking into consideration the advanced nature of these Projects, including amongst other things offtake and commodity prepayment funding arrangements.
The Board believes that by securing an interest and investing in these Projects, they offer the potential to deliver positive returns to shareholders through a successful recommencement of mining and export operations.
§ The Blesberg Project is an advanced project comprising the former producing Blesberg mine located in the Northern Cape Province,
o Historic production from the Blesberg mine included spodumene concentrate (containing lithium), tantalite, as well as feldspar, bismuth, beryl and mica.
o Historic samples collected from the Blesberg open cut mine in 2016 assayed between 1.27% and 6.42% Li2O from six of the 20 samples taken.
o Previous drilling and trenching in 2017 at the Blesberg mine confirmed areas of spodumene lithium mineralisation present in the highly zoned pegmatites - this drilling successfully increased the known strike length of the main pegmatite by over 1 kilometre ("km") in length with significant widths of pegmatite intersected.
o Historic exploration and feasibility study work focused on the production of high-value feldspar and by-product production of spodumene concentrate and tantalite.
o Due diligence work has led the Company to believe there is potential to increase the spodumene (lithium) resources in the pegmatites with the view to accelerate new mine development given the robust market conditions and market pricing of lithium concentrates.
o All Star is now looking to commence bulk sampling and establish a pilot plant to test a representative sample and determine recoveries, whilst reviewing previous work at the Project. Following this, the Company will seek to commence small scale operations, and a broader drilling programme to ascertain the extent and depth of the potential ore body.
§ The Nkombwa Project is a major mineralised carbonate complex located in northeast
o Previous exploration has defined a JORC 2012 Compliant Total Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resource of 21.8 million tonnes ("Mt") at a grade of 7.06% P2O5 and 1.17% Total Rare Earth Oxides ("TREOs") at a 3.0% P2O5 cut-off.
o As a subset of the Total Mineral Resource above, a Mineral Resource of 2.78Mt at a grade of 2.76% TREO and 6.43% P2O5 at a 1.0% TREO cut-off grade was defined.
o The reported Total Mineral Resource was defined on an area of less than 5% of the Nkombwa Hill deposit and highlights the significant resource upside potential that exists for both phosphate, rare earth elements and also tantalum and niobium mineralisation.
o The Board believes that there is potential for the Nkombwa Project to deliver near term cash flow, with low initial capital costs, through the phased development of the near surface Rare Earth Element ("REE") ore bodies and, subject to further exploration, tantalum and niobium mineralisation into a small-scale mining operation within the next 6-9 months subject to permitting consent.
o In conjunction with the near-term production, the Company intends to carry out a systematic exploration programme to fully assess the phosphate, rare earth elements and tantalum and niobium mineralisation and report Mineral Resources in accordance with the JORC 2012 Code.
o All Star will also seek to conduct preliminary metallurgical extractive test work to identify the most efficient package to successfully extract the phosphate and REE resources, and identify the size and composition of the additional phosphate and rare earth resources.
§ The location of these Projects in well-established mining jurisdictions such as
Jason Brewer, CEO, said:
"As the Company continues on its path of looking to deliver positive results to shareholders, and following the announcement of the signing of HoA on 21 April 2022, we are pleased to announce the success of our due diligence programmes at both the Blesberg Lithium Project, and the Nkombwa Hill Project. Due diligence is an important aspect with respect to investment and acquisition and, having completed the process, we believe that these Projects should provide considerable value for the Company and its stakeholders.
"As the world continues to focus on a more sustainable future, it has never been more important to secure a supply of battery metals, and at All Star, we are pleased to be a part of that process.
"The completion of the due diligence programme will (subject to a further fundraise) result in the Company acquiring initial interests in the Projects following payment of the agreed fees and investment. This means we can now start to add real value to these promising assets. The Company already has exploration, development and operating plans in the pipeline and we look forward to sharing more on this with the market in the near future on these and other assets that we are progressing."
Further information on Blesberg Lithium Project
The main Blesberg orebody comprises a central mineralised zone of some 400 metres ("m") strike length and 20-40m wide and the ore zone is believed to extend over 1,000m. The asset has been worked mainly for Tantalum, occurring in discreet pockets as evidenced by the "glory hole" workings, since the 1920s. Significant spodumene, mica and high purity quartz has been left in scattered small waste dumps but all have value.
Blesberg is 80km north of Springbok and only 2-3km west of a well-maintained tarmac highway leading to the Namibian border. Infrastructure, water sources and utilities are in good supply, and direct grid power and water are on site.
As stated above, All Star will seek to set up a plant in order to test a representative sample, to determine recoveries, whilst reviewing previous work at the Project. Following this, the Company will seek to commence a drilling exploration programme to ascertain extent and depth of the potential ore body.
Further information on Nkombwa Hill Project
The intrusion at Nkombwa Hill comprises four varieties of carbonatite: phlogopite carbonatite, dolomitic carbonatite, ankeritic carbonatite, and silicified carbonatite.
The project area has been subject to detailed surface rock chip sampling on a 50m x 100m grid in 2011-2013, as well as two historical core drill-holes (one 533.4m long and one 454.20m) drilled in 1966 by Roan Selection Trust Limited and 11 core drill-holes in 2015-2016 totalling 2,075m, which formed the basis of the JORC Resource estimation.
The work identified two main REE ore bodies and several smaller ore bodies. The larger of the two main REE ore bodies is 50m wide and 300m long and extends from surface to 370m and is open at depth. Phosphate mineralization is much more widespread than REE and rock chip sampling over the whole hill comprises 0.5-21% phosphate over a surface area of 0.5km wide and 1.5-2km long and only 5% of the area has so far been drilled.
The economic minerals defined so far are REE, (mainly bastnasite, monazite and pyrochlore with minor daqingshanite) and phosphate. These have been quantified in the JORC Resource as Total Rare Earth Elements (TREE) and phosphate (P2O5). The economically significant rare earth elements include: Lanthanum, Cerium, Praseodymium, Neodymium, Europium, Gadolinium, Samarium and Yttrium.
Other minerals that may potentially be present in economic quantities, but which require further exploration to define the mineral resources, are tantalum, niobium, fluorite, and agricultural lime.
Nkombwa Hill is 22km directly east of the major T2 paved national road between
All Star will seek to extend drilling to increase Indicated & Inferred tonnage and grade, conduct preliminary metallurgical extractive test work to identify the most efficient package to successfully extract the phosphate and REE resources, and identify the size and composition of the additional phosphate and rare earth resources that reside in the soil in low-lying area surrounding the hill in parallel, as well the agricultural lime resource.
This announcement contains inside information for the purposes of
All Star Minerals Plc
Jason Brewer, Chief Executive Officer
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Caution regarding forward looking statements
Certain statements in this announcement, are, or may be deemed to be, forward looking statements. Forward looking statements are identiﬁed by their use of terms and phrases such as ''believe'', ''could'', "should" ''envisage'', ''estimate'', ''intend'', ''may'', ''plan'', ''potentially'', "expect", ''will'' or the negative of those, variations or comparable expressions, including references to assumptions. These forward-looking statements are not based on historical facts but rather on the Directors' current expectations and assumptions regarding the Company's future growth, results of operations, performance, future capital and other expenditures (including the amount, nature and sources of funding thereof), competitive advantages, business prospects and opportunities. Such forward looking statements reﬂect the Directors' current beliefs and assumptions and are based on information currently available to the Directors.