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Eclipse Metals Identifies Shallow High Grade Targets At Mary Valley

Eclipse Metals (NYSEMKT:EPM) has potential for high grade, mineable mineralisation at its Mary Valley Manganese Project in Queensland with recent rock chip samples returning up to 40.9% manganese.

Work has identified shallow exploration targets beneath and adjacent to historic workings that could host more than 130,000 tonnes averaging 40% manganese or more.

The company has identified shallow exploration targets adjacent to the historic workings to be tested with a program of 11 angled diamond drill-holes.

It recently flagged potential for early cash flow from potentially saleable ore within historical stockpiles.

Historical near surface production between 1918 and 1966 has been reported at 7,930 tonnes at grades of up to 44% manganese.

The company's third phase of exploration marks the first time that high grade manganese mineralisation has been geologically mapped and orientation determined.

It also marks the first time that geological control of mineralisation has been recognised which will enable classification of mineralisation style.

"Based on the excellent results from the Upper Kandanga and Amamoor historical areas, the company is confident of the potential for high grade, mineable manganese mineralisation in the Mary Valley Project," executive chairman Carl Popal said.

"Currently within the two areas, geological evaluation by Eclipse has indicated the potential for at least 167,000 tonnes of high grade manganese mineralisation.

"To date we have only looked at a small part of the high grade mineralised areas within the overall Project. We still have another six historic mined areas to geologically assess with the objective of delineating larger potential resources of manganese mineralisation than apparent from historical production.

"Petro-physical and petrographic studies have commenced with the view to determining the best geophysical method for delineation of blind manganese deposits and the basic processing requirements for treatment of mineralisation to produce a saleable product."

The company will continue its exploration of other prospects such as Skyring Creek, Skyring North, Eel Creek and Queen Mary that, in addition to the Amamoor and Upper Kandanga prospects, appear to have potential to contain significant quantities of manganese mineralisation.

Exploration Results

Eclipse's fieldwork confirmed the high-grade nature of the Upper Kandanga Manganese Mine, which is located within a north-trending steep-sided gully and bisected by the small intermittent creek that carved the gully.

The main production workings are an open-pit about 50 metres long (oriented east-west) and about 20 metres wide.

Assays from 10 samples collected in 2014 and 2015 returned between 15.46% and 42.86% manganese.

Silica (SiO2) is the main impurity in this high-grade manganese mineralisation with a mean concentration of 40.05%.

The historical mine exploited a single lens of manganese mineralisation up to 4.5 metres thick, having an east-west trend and shallow dip towards the north.

The mineralised lens is conformable with the shale, fine-grained sandstone and chert within which it is interbedded.

Three main faults and several minor faults transect the lens, resulting in six separate sections of mineralisation.

Each section is separated from adjacent sections by vertical displacements. The six sections of the mineralised lens identified at the historical Upper Kandanga Manganese Mine are referred to by Eclipse as sections A, B, C, D, E and F. Part of section E is exposed adjacent to the workings.

Characteristics of the mineralisation at Upper Kandanga, based on historical records compiled during mining operations and Eclipse' recent observations, suggest that mineralisation extends beyond the historical workings.

Interpretation of the Upper Kandanga mineralisation as an example of Cuban-type manganese mineralisation supports the assertion that these workings exploited only part of a manganese deposit that is significantly larger than indicated by the size of the historical workings.

The entire manganese deposit at Upper Kandanga may exceed 130,000 tonnes but it is unclear how much of it can be exploited as the depth of overburden is uncertain.

Drilling will be required to confirm both continuity of mineralisation and depth of overburden.

A programme of eleven angled diamond drill-holes is proposed to test the up-dip, down-dip and along-strike continuation of mineralisation beyond the historical workings.

Eclipse' exploration to-date has consisted of an initial appraisal of the project (Phase 1), followed by on-ground location and preliminary inspection of some prospects (Phase 2) with recent work (Phase 3) focussing upon two prospects (Amamoor and Upper Kandanga) in more detail.

Results to-date confirmed the possibility that the Mary Valley Manganese Project has the potential to contain a much larger quantity of manganese mineralisation than apparent from historical production.

Proposed Exploration

Eclipse plans to carry out diamond drilling to provide oriented-core to better evaluate results.

Investigation of the mineralogical and physical characteristics of mineralisation from the Upper Kandanga Manganese mine workings, to include petrographic and petro-physical studies, has commenced.

This will assist in determination of exploration and processing requirements of mineralisation from the Upper Kandanga Manganese Deposit.

Mary Valley Manganese Project

The Mary Valley Manganese Project comprises two tenements located 14 road kilometres southwest of Gympie in Queensland and about 165 rail kilometres from Brisbane.

These have historic production of over 31,000 tonnes of ore grading 42% to 51% manganese from mining operations carried out during the 1920's and 1960's.

It also has a number of historic mine dumps containing a mixture of mineralised rock and waste rock, the three largest of which returned assays with a mean of 13.27% manganese.

Despite historical production, little to no geological activity has been recorded over the Mary Valley prospects for manganese in the past 50 years.

Recent work by Eclipse at the historical Amamoor Manganese Mine workings has identified eight lenses of manganese mineralisation.

The thickness and orientation of the lenses of manganese mineralisation in the Amamoor mine workings, along with historic evidence and likelihood that mineralisation is of the Cuban-type, supports the idea that mineralisation continues down-dip, below and beyond the present workings.

These could host more than 37,000 tonnes of mineralisation with grades up to 52% manganese to less than 15 metres depth.


Shares in the Eclipse Metals should trade higher today after identifying potential for high grade manganese mineralisation at the Upper Kandanga Manganese Mine.

This follows on work at the Amamoor mine workings that could also host further manganese mineralisation.

Drilling will be carried out at Upper Kandanga to test shallow exploration targets.

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