In a lengthy New York Times article published online October 1, 2021, titled, The World Wants Greenland Minerals. Greenlanders Are Wary, there was no mention of cryolite. The print edition was published on Oct 2nd.
“The year ahead looks to be busy and productive as we continue to evaluate and uncover the potential of Ivittuut and create a path for its development, as well as our projects in Australia,” says executive chair.
The Ivittuut Project in Greenland when in production was home to the world’s largest cryolite mine.
Eclipse Metals Ltd is preparing for another busy season of exploration and development on the back of a key acquisition and a $2 million capital raise in the 2021 financial year.
Executive chair Carl Popal looked back on what he described as a “transformational” 12 months for the multi-element explorer in Thursday’s annual report, reflecting on its operations in FY21.
At the start of this year, the ASX-lister bought the world’s largest and only naturally occurring cyrolite source — a material used for aluminium production — meaning Eclipse is now exploring across southwestern Greenland, the Northern Territory and Queensland.
Eclipse has $1.8 million in cash reserves to continue its exploration campaigns — almost double its bank balance at the end of FY20.
Eclipse’s exploration interests across Greenland and Australia.
Speaking to the company’s financial year highlights, the Eclipse chair said: “Our acquisition of the Ivittuut project in Greenland in January 2021 was a major accomplishment for Eclipse, providing us with an important multi-commodity development opportunity.
“Ivittuut hosts the world’s largest historical cryolite mine, which produced 3.8 million tons of high-grade cryolite for use in the aluminium industry over its 120-year life before mining ceased in 1987.”
Eclipse moved to 100% ownership in a deal with Cerium Pty Ltd and Rimbal Pty Ltd in mid-January, launching a $2 million capital raise to fund the deal.
The company issued more than 133 million shares at 1.5 cents each to secure the capital, which will support Eclipse as it progresses through the multi-phase acquisition.
Potential rare earths source
Cryolite is hard to come by — especially in commercial quantities — and the Ivittuut Project represents the world’s largest and only naturally occurring source of the aluminium mineral.
But there’s more to the Greenland project than its cryolite potential.
Popal continued: “Ivittuut also has immense potential for rare earths, fluorite and high-silica grade quartz.
“Demand for rare earths continues to increase as developments grow in electric vehicles, wind turbines, LCD screens and mobile phones which are become increasingly important to our lives.
“High-silica grade quartz is also used in the semiconductor industry to produce crucibles and quartz glass products such as windows, rods, and tubes as well as in the production of silicon metal, making it another important ingredient in new technology products.”
Developing Ivittuut in FY22
With upside across a variety of commodities, Eclipse is determined to get the big picture ahead of exploration at Ivittuut.
The chair explained: “Given Ivittuut’s long mining history, we are reviewing myriad historical records and mining data, as well as drill core samples dating back more than 50 years.
“Our work to date has only demonstrated the massive potential to develop this project and take it back into production.
“We have the support of the Greenland Government and have received approval for our initial fieldwork program from the Greenland Mineral Licence and Safety Authority.
“We plan to assess the project in detail and complete sampling which will enable us to calculate a JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate and project feasibility study, which is our major goal in the year ahead.
“We are hopeful travel restrictions relating to COVID-19 will improve over the coming months to expedite our efforts on this front.”
Eclipse could support the burgeoning high purity quartz market.
Exploring Australian assets
Across the sea and down under, Eclipse remains committed to developing its Australian portfolio, where it’s exploring for several minerals across the Liverpool, Ngalia Basin and Mary Valley projects.
Popal continued: “In parallel with acquiring Ivittuut, we also continued to explore and develop our projects in Australia, which comprise uranium and base metal interests in the Northern Territory and our Mary Valley manganese project in southeast Queensland.
“Research of historical exploration reports held by the Northern Territory Department of Industry, Tourism and Trade has produced data from exploration by the NT Geological survey in 1971 on the Rock Hill copper and silver deposits in ELA 26487 (Yuendi), which has indications of potential for discovery of a substantial deposit.
“We’ve also identified shallow uranium-vanadium-strontium mineralisation at the Mt Wedge Station and Rabbit Bore areas of ELA 31051 in the eastern Ngalia Basin, NT, with excellent potential to delineate further mineralisation through shallow drilling.
“We are planning further re-interpretation of radiometric data on these anomalies while we progress our negotiations with the Central Land Council for an exploration agreement.
“At Mary Valley, our diamond drilling programs in 2018 and 2020 have identified potential for bulk mining, where lower grade mineralisation could produce a high-grade, marketable product via processing through a gravity and magnetic beneficiation plant. We are continuing to consider the best way to move forward with this plan.”
Eclipse brought in $309,000 in revenue over the financial year, up from the $67,600 recorded in the previous corresponding period.
As exploration continued and the explorer executed its Ivittuut acquisition, its net loss for the year deepened to $629,000, while exploration spend totalled nearly $70,000.
The ASX-lister’s current assets are valued at nearly $1.9 million and total equity stands at 10.6 million.
Outline of Eclipse’s planned newsflow from June.
The chair concluded: “In addition to our shareholders, I’d like to thank my fellow directors and our management team and staff for their incredible efforts over the past 12 months, which have been challenging but also rewarding for our company.
“Our people are our greatest asset, and I am grateful for the hard work contributed by everyone at Eclipse.”