Extensive large-scale bauxite deposits were discovered during the Company’s first phase auger drilling and pit sampling program at the Nendo Bauxite Project (“Project”) in the Temotu Province of the Solomon Islands (ASX Announcement date 7 July 2016).
The Company’s comprehensive auger drilling and pit sampling program identified the presence of widespread high-quality bauxite mineralisation over a large area on the western end of Nendo Island (Figure 1).
The main target area presently defined by this work is approximately 12km by 2km and remains open to the east, within similar terrain.
Results indicate the tenor of Al2O3 content is fairly consistent, with little variation throughout the soil profile. Importantly, results show that mineralisation has low impurities and low reactive silica content.
The Company believes there is good potential to identify large areas of high-grade direct shipping bauxite mineralisation within the Project area.
Results of Initial Exploration
The Company’s initial phase of reconnaissance exploration attempted to cover as much ground as possible in the shortest period of time, without a particual focus on areas of potentially higher grade mineralisation.
Average results returned by Field XRF and Laboratory analysis are summarised in Table 1 below.
The Nendo Bauxite Project Background
The Nendo Bauxite Project (“Project”) is a granted Prospecting Licence located on the island of Nendo in the Temotu Province of the eastern Solomon Islands. Work by Australian exploration companies in the 1960’s, and the British and Solomon Island geological surveys up to and including the early 1980’s, identified bauxite deposits in residual soils on up-lifted limestone reef platforms.
In May 2016 Pacific Bauxite commenced field work at the Nendo Bauxite Project (ASX announcement dated 19 May 2016). The exploration program formed part of the due diligence process for the Company’s option to acquire a 50% interest in private company Eight South Investments Pty Ltd (Eight South) (formerly Au Capital Mining Pty Ltd) (ASX announcement dated 30 March 2016), holder of the mineral tenure over the Project.
A condition precedent of the agreement with Eight South is that the initial exploration activities completed by Pacific Bauxite identify the capacity for the Nendo Project to host resources of a minimum eight million tonnes of bauxite at greater than 45% total Al2O3 (alumina) and less than 5% total SiO2 (silica).
The recent phase of exploration included sampling of hand-dug pits and hand-auger holes to test the residual soil profile in areas historically identified as favourable for bauxite deposits. Company personnel have worked closely with the local people to identify areas of high-quality bauxite which are amenable to low-cost development.
The Company is extensively engaged with the local community and is ensuring that all stakeholders are made fully aware of current and future activities regarding the Project. To this end, meetings held with local parties to date have been extremely positive and much enthusiasm has been generated by the recent phase of exploration.