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Galena Mining Ltd. (“Galena” or the “Company”) (ASX:G1A) announces achievement of the key objectives from the 2020 Abra Drilling Program and has subsequently completed an updated JORC Code 2012 Mineral Resource estimate (“April 2021 Resource”) for the Abra Base Metals Project (“Abra” or the “Project”) located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia. The April 2021 Resource has been independently prepared by Optiro Pty Ltd (“Optiro”).
Managing Director, Alex Molyneux commented, “The objectives associated with the 2020 Abra Drilling Program were successfully completed. The Project now has over 100 kilometres of drilling in its database, and the geological confidence and understanding of the deposit continues to improve. Almost all of the new holes were drilled within the previous Mineral Resource envelope and over 75% of those holes achieved expected or better results. This Mineral Resource update will now feed into an optimised mine plan, and mine development will allow for underground drilling to continue Resource development, particularly the conversion of significant Inferred Mineral Resources associated with the Core Zone
mineralisation, which remains open in several directions and also hosts the interpreted copper-gold zone.”
Table 1 (below) states the Abra April 2021 Resource at a 5.0% lead cut-off grade.
2020 ABRA DRILLING PROGRAM AND OBJECTIVES
The completed 2020 Abra Drilling program included 57 drill-holes totalling 24,834 cumulative linear meters and was designed to achieve three specific objectives. These objectives were mainly focussed on the original Mineral Resource estimate and potential grade and continuity risk
of certain areas within that estimate, and they were:
(i) Lead-silver orebody infill drilling – Some infill drilling that had previously been planned to take place from underground once the decline was in place was pulled forward into the 2020 Abra Drilling Program. This aimed to further tighten the drill-hole spacing over the first four years of proposed production to 20 by 20 metres and up to 30 by 30 metres or better, compared with a more variable drilling density of up to 40 by 40 metres and up to 60 by 60 metres in that area previously.
(ii) Drilling into selected lead-silver ‘metal rich’ zones – Some drill-holes successfully targeted selected areas within the Abra lead-silver mineralisation where higher concentrations of metal (in both grade and thickness) were projected from previous drilling campaigns, in particular drill-hole AB147, which became the best high-grade lead-silver drill-hole ever at Abra, and the follow-up drill-holes that were added to the program in its vicinity (see Galena ASX announcements of 19 October 2020, 18 November 2020, 22 January 2021 and 24 February 2021).
(iii) Gold-copper exploration – Some of the drilling, in particular drill-hole AB195 (see Galena ASX announcement of 22 February 2021) successfully targeted the newly interpreted gold and copper drilling targets to the south and south east of the leadsilver mineralisation and at depth (see Galena ASX announcement of 29 June 2020).
The first two of these objectives enable the Company to optimise mine planning, which is now underway.
Abra is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia within clastic and carbonate sediments of the Proterozoic Edmund Group. Abra is a base metals replacement-style deposit, where the primary economic metal is lead. Silver, copper, zinc and gold are also present within
the established lead mineralised zones but are of lower tenor.
Abra can be divided into two main parts, the upper “Apron Zone” and lower “Core Zone”.
The Apron Zone comprises stratiform massive and disseminated lead sulphide (galena), with minor copper sulphide (chalcopyrite) and zinc sulphide (sphalerite) mineralisation within the lower conglomerate unit (KCLC) of the Edmund Basin Kiangi Creek Formation and the Upper
Carbonate Unit (UID) of the Irregully Formation. The Apron Zone is characterised by flat-lying alteration zones containing jaspilite (Red Zone), barite (Barite Zone), silica-sericite (Micrite Zone), siderite and dolomite (Carbonate Zone), and haematite and magnetite (Black Zone). Distinct stratiform alteration domains can be defined within the Apron Zone and have assisted in the definition of the distribution of the lead mineralisation and construction of the lead mineralisation lodes. The Apron Zone extends for over 1,200 metres along strike and 750 metres down dip, dipping gently south.
The electric vehicle (EV) revolution is well underway, and world governments are scrambling to create domestic supply chains to support it. The European market is rapidly expanding with 1100 Gigawatt hours of battery production already committed and the European Union has aggressive goals to put at least 30 million zero-emission vehicles on the road by 2030. Government incentives given to EV consumers are helping the EU meet these goals. Still, consumer adoption isn’t the only problem — the EU needs a domestic lithium supply.
Lithium is a critical metal required to produce the high-capacity batteries that EVs require. 100 percent of Europe’s battery chemical demand is currently imported. The problem becomes more severe when looking beyond its present needs; the EU will require 18 times more lithium by 2030 and 60 times more by 2050. So how will the EU meet its ambitious goals of widespread EV adoption and a domestic supply to support it?Infinity Lithium (ASX:INF, FRA:3PM) is an Australian-listed project developer that became the first to secure investments from the European Union to support the continent’s plans for a domestic lithium supply chain. The company is developing the most technically advanced integrated industrial lithium project in the EU at its San José lithium Project. Infinity Lithium’s project comprises both hard-rock lithium mining and chemical processing on-site. In addition, it has developed novel sustainable lithium processing technologies with the potential to unlock previously unviable lithium deposits via its Infinity GreenTech subsidiary.
Infinity Lithium’s project is located in the Extremadura region of Spain near the town of Cáceres and contains the EU’s second-largest hard rock lithium deposit. However, the company is doing much more than mining lithium. Infinity is focused on supporting Spain and the EU’s energy transition. It is building a fully integrated lithium processing plant on site at its San José Lithium Project that will utilise the deposit as feedstock for its processing plant to produce 20,000tpa (over 26 years) of battery grade lithium chemicals. The processing plant will operate using the novel technologies Infinity has developed with the support of EIT Innoenergy and will allow for more sustainable processing operations when compared with traditional and existing lithium processing practices.
In February 2022, test work conducted at Dorfner Anzaplan in Germany produced battery-grade lithium hydroxide from the feedstock at Infinity Lithium’s San José project. These results are significant as they indicate that Infinity’s project is the first in the EU to produce battery-grade lithium chemicals and proves the efficacy of its innovative, environmentally sustainable process.
The company understands the importance of an impeccable ESG rating and works closely with local community to create an operation that adds value. In October last year, Infinity’s project converted its mining activity to an underground extraction methodology to further improve its environmental credentials and meet the demands of the local community of Cáceres.
An experienced management team leads Infinity Lithium toward its goal of becoming a significant player in the European Union’s lithium supply chain. Experts in corporate management, resource extraction, and chemical engineering create a team capable of leading the company towards its goals.
- Infinity Lithium is an ASX-listed project developer that the first recipient of investment from the European Union to support its goals of creating a local lithium supply chain.
- The company has an integrated lithium project that includes resource extraction and processing at the same location. The project contains the second-largest known lithium hard rock deposit in the European Union.
- Infinity Lithium has also developed novel, innovative and sustainable technologies for low grade lithium chemical processing.
- Recent test work conducted by Dorfner Anzaplan and Infinity’s technical advisory committee indicated that the company’s project and its processing technologies produce battery-grade lithium, the first project in Europe to do so.
- Infinity Lithium is mindful of its ESG rating and works closely with the local community to minimize the project’s impact and provide value to surrounding communities.
- An experienced management team builds confidence that the company will achieve its ambitious goals of becoming a significant player in the EU’s lithium supply chain.
San José Lithium Project
Infinity Lithium’s 75 percent owned San José Lithium Project is poised to become a major player in the European Union’s lithium supply chain. The project is located in the Extremadura region of Spain and contains both lithium mining and chemical processing. Once in full operation, the project will become a significant and sustainable source of battery-grade lithium chemicals. In addition, the San José project contains the European Union's second-largest JORC-compliant hard rock lithium deposit.
- Unique Lithium Deposit: The massive lithium deposit is unique due to its extensive strike and surface outcrop, creating a sizeable homogenous ore body. The fully JORC-compliant lithium deposit can sustain the operation for over 25 years.
- Sustainable Focus: Infinity Lithium understands the importance of maintaining an excellent ESG rating as a lithium producer. The company has several initiatives focusing on sustainability, including:
- Underground Extraction: The deposit will be mined with a 100 percent underground extraction operation. This method was chosen to cause minimal terrain disturbance, reduce air dust, and minimize noise pollution.
- Electrified Underground Fleet: Infinity is examining options for all-electric mining equipment for its underground mining operations.
- Access to Renewable Energy: The Extremadura region of Spain is one of Europe’s most prominent centers of renewable energy. Access to clean energy allows Infinity Lithium to enhance its ESG rating further.
- Production of Battery Grade Lithium: The company’s project will become a large-scale producer of battery-grade lithium hydroxide for Europe. Lithium hydroxide is a critical component used in manufacturing the batteries that power EVs and other clean technologies.
Adrian Byass - Non-Executive Chairman
Adrian Byass’ career spans over 25 years in the minerals industry. His robust experience was gained through mining, resource estimation, and mine development roles for several gold and nickel mining and exploration companies. He has also gained experience in corporate finance and financial modelling during his employment with publicly listed mining companies. He has been part of exploration, development and production projects in a suite of commodities including gold, base metals such as copper, zinc, lead, specialty metals such as lithium, molybdenum and tungsten and fertilizers in Australia, America, Europe and Africa.
Currently, Mr. Byass is the chairman of a Europe’s most technically advanced lithium project in San Jose with Infinity Lithium (ASX.INF), chairman of Galena Mining Limited (ASX.G1A) which is progressing through the construction of a $200 million underground base metals mine in Australia and chairman of a producing underground gold mine in Australia (Kaiser Reef Limited ASX.KAU) as well as a non-executive role at Sarama Resources (TSXV.SWA) which is a gold company working in Burkina Faso.
Ryan Parkin - Managing Director and CEO
Ryan Parkin graduated with a degree of Bachelor of Commerce, Accounting and Finance from the University of Australia. He also earned his Diplome d'etudes en langue francais (DELF), Francais from the Université de Pau et des Pays de l'Adour. In 2017, he was a member of the Investment Advisory Board for Bonfire Group and became the Corporate Development Consultant for almost 10 years at Orthezian Holdings.
Remy Welschinger - Executive Director and Head of Corporate Development
Remy Welschinger holds a Master of Science in Investment Management degree. He is the founder and managing director of Limehouse Capital, an investment holding company that specializes in natural resources projects. He has significant networks in the UK and European Union. He also has connections with major London-based institutions.
Jon Starink - Executive Director / Chief Technical Officer
John Starink has 30 years of extensive experience in the mining industry, particularly in project management, engineering design, science and engineering research and development, mining exploration management, and process innovation and development. John Starink has earned his Bachelor of Science (Chemistry), Bachelor of Engineering (Chemical Engineering), and Master of Applied Science (Biotechnology) degrees from the University of Sydney.
Justin Samulski - General Manager (Commercial)
Justin Samulski worked as a principal for Axum, a company that specializes in customs and cross border trade matters providing an avenue for Samulski to exercise his expertise in mitigating risks associated with international trade. He also worked as Senior Manager - Customs and International at Pitcher Partners from 2019 to 2020.
Jonathan Whyte - CFO and Company Secretary
Jonathan Whyte worked as a Regulatory and Finance Control officer at Credit Suisse from 1999 to 2004. He then moved to Barclays Investment Bank as an accountant and then to Lefroy Resources Limited as company secretary. From 2006 to 2020, Jonathan was the company secretary for Peninsula Energy Limited before transferring to Infinity Lithium for the same position.
Lucas Robinson - Investor Relations Manager, Extremadura New Energies
Ramón Jiménez Serrano - CEO of Extremadura New Energies
Ramón Jiménez Serrano has over 25 years of professional life leading several companies including Extremadura New Energies, Acciona and Cobra or ABB, performing different roles such as CEO, Managing Director and Board Member. Mr. Serrano has robust experience in different fields like energy transition, renewables, water and environment, services and industrial banking on his solid technical background as an Industrial Engineer, complemented with a Master's Degree in Financial Economic Management and specialized training as a Member Board.
David Valls Santos - General Manager of Extremadura New Energies
David Valls Santos has more than 12 years of experience in the mineral exploration sector, national and international. He worked as Exploration Geologist for Berkeley Minera España from 2009 to 2012. He briefly worked as Chief Geologist for Forte Energy NL before he became a Senior Geologist - Consultant for nine years. He was Infinity Lithium’s Country Manager for five years before he was appointed as general manager for Extremadura New Energies.
- Completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS):
- 16 year lifespan producing high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate
- Pre-tax NPV of A$553M at spot prices
- C1 direct cash cost to be among the lowest for global primary lead producers at US$0.44/lb
- Estimated pre-production capital expenditure of A$170M
- Higher NPV, longer mine life and lower C1 direct cash cost compared to PFS
- Major partnerships include Toho Zinc, Japan's largest zinc and lead smelter and IXM SA, one of the top three base metals trading firms in the world.
- The Abra project is located in the Gascoyne Region of Western Australia, home to one of the largest undeveloped lead deposits in the world and the highest-grade lead concentrate available globally.
- The Abra project carries a JORC estimate of 16.7 Mt at 8.5 percent lead and 24 g/t silver in the indicated category and 24.4 Mt at 6.5 percent lead and 14 g/t silver in the inferred category.
- The Abra project has been named the world's lowest cost primary lead mine by Wood Mackenzie, a leading mining research and consultancy group.
- Initial construction activities have been commenced, with the project being "shovel ready" to commence the plant construction and deployment of the mining contractor.
- US$110 million of project financing debt facilities have been procured from leading mining-specialist lending fund Taurus Funds Management.
- Galena's management team brings decades of experience in the mining and base metals industry and has a proven track record of success throughout all stages of an exploration, from development to production.
Galena Mining (ASX: G1A) owns the Abra base metals project located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia — home to one of the largest lead and silver deposits in the world set to produce the highest-grade, cleanest lead concentrate available globally. The company is capitalizing on its low-risk Tier 1 asset in a Tier 1 jurisdiction, strengthened by and leveraging partnerships with Japan's largest zinc and lead smelter, as well as with one of the top base metals trading firms in the world.
Galena recently completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the development of a mine and processing facility with a 16 year lifespan producing high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate. Lead production is estimated at 95 kilotonnes per year while silver mining is projected to yield 805 kilo ounces annually. According to a pre-development capital expenditure estimate of AU$170 million, the BFS modelled a pre-tax net present value for Abra of AU$553 million, and an internal rate of return of 39 percent. Additionally, the project's excellent location, infrastructure, and low technical risk saw this mine named as the world's lowest cost primary lead mine by Wood Mackenzie, a leading mining research and consultancy group.
Galena's major partnerships include Toho Zinc (TSE: 5707), Japan's largest zinc and lead smelter and IXM SA, one of the world's top three base metals trading firms. Toho is providing AU$90 million project equity and has a long-term agreement to purchase 40 percent of Abra's production, while IXM has entered into a 10 year take-or-pay offtake contract to purchase the remainder.
The CEO of Galena Mining, Alex Molyneux, commented, "We have secured firm offtake arrangements for all of Abra's production with Tier 1 buyers and these arrangements reflect the premium value of Abra's high-grade concentrate product. The IXM arrangement in particular demonstrates a higher value over and above the assumptions used in the feasibility study."
The Abra project carries JORC Mineral Resource estimates of 16.7 million tonnes (Mt) at 8.5 percent lead and 24 g/t silver in the indicated category and 24.4 Mt at 6.5 percent lead and 14 g/t silver in the inferred category. This mineral resource estimate published in December 2019 was substantially upgraded following drilling during 2019. Despite being at the construction phase, Galena continues to actively drill to optimise Abra. As of late 2020, there are three drill rigs operating at Abra drilling 1,400 to 1,800 cumulative metres per week. The lead-silver orebody remains open in multiple directions and there have been exciting copper and gold intersections where mineralisation remains open at depth.
All permits for the Abra project have been obtained from the appropriate Western Australian regulatory bodies. The project is also subject to an existing land use and heritage agreement with the Jidi Jidi Aboriginal Corporation. The Abra property is well-serviced by public roads and highways, and all the necessary infrastructure has been developed to transport lead-sulphide concentrates to the Port of Geraldton, Abra's primary export port.
The first tranches of equity investment from Toho have been used to undertake initial construction activities at Abra. This means the project now has a mined boxcut, production water facilities, the first module of its permanent accommodation village and various completed site infrastructure. It is "shovel ready" for the commencement of plant construction and deployment of the mining contractor.
The company's management team brings decades of experience in the mining and base metals industry and has a proven track record of success throughout all stages of an exploration, from development to production. Both CEO Alexander Molyneux and CFO Craig Barnes previously worked for Paladin Energy (ASX: PDN), a publicly traded uranium production company that operates two mines in Namibia and Malawi.
Taurus Fund Management, one of the world's largest investment management firms, has provided the project with US$110 million in project financing debt. Galena's CEO Molyneux commented, "The US$110 million of debt funding completes an efficient and fulsome funding package to bring the outstanding Abra base and precious metals project to fruition in a way that provides robust shareholder returns."
The Abra Base Metals Project is located in the Gascoyne region of Western Australia, approximately 110 kilometres from the DeGrussa copper mine owned by Sandfire Resources (ASX: SFR).
Bankable Feasibility Study
Galena has recently completed a bankable feasibility study (BFS) for the development of a mine and processing facility with a 16 year lifespan producing high-value, high-grade lead-silver concentrate. Lead production is estimated at 95 kilotons per year while silver mining is projected to yield 805 kilo ounces annually.
According to a pre-development capital expenditure estimate of AU$170 million, the BFS modelled a pre-tax net present value for Abra of AU$553 million, and an internal rate of return of 39 percent.
Ongoing Project Drilling
As of late 2020 there are three drill-rigs operating at Abra drilling 1,400 to 1,800 cumulative metres per week for infill and optimisation drilling.
Recently announced drilling results included the best high-grade lead-silver drill-hole ever at the project (hole AB147). It revealed that the mineable domain is approximately 30 metres closer to the surface than originally predicted. Significant intersections from AB147 included:
- 5 m at 9.6 percent lead and 34 g/t silver from 266.2 m
- 9 m at 7.3 percent lead and 20 g/t silver from 288.1 m
- 5 m at 15.1 percent lead and 22 g/t silver from 321.8 m
- 9 m at 17.1 percent lead and 26 g/t silver from 366.2 m
"We're astounded at the success of hole AB147 in targeting a potential 'metal rich' combination of grade and thickness on the northern part of the eastern limb of Abra's Indicated Resource area, which is shallow and close to the current plan for early decline infrastructure. We have added a number of follow-up holes around AB147 to the drilling program with the intention to bring this area into the early years of the mine plan as an optimisation," said Galena Mining's CEO and Managing Director Alex Molyneux.
The Abra project has received all major permits and approvals and has begun construction. The company plans to use the conventional underground mining method of long-hole open stoping with paste backfill. Shallow dipping areas will be mined using the room and pillar method. The processing plant will employ single-stage primary crushing and semi-autogenous grind million comminution to produce high-grade lead-silver concentrate.
Next steps for Galena include receiving another AU$60 million in investment tranches from Toho, hitting construction milestones and optimizing drilling results from a comprehensive drill program that was conducted in August. The company is also focused on active exploration of the Abra property to identify additional base and precious metals mineralization in the Edmund Basin.
The Jillawarra properties are located 20 to 80 km west of the Abra Base Metals Project within the Jillawarra sub-basin of Gascoyne, Western Australia. The Jillawarra sub-basin hosts several base metal resources, as well as manganese and gold prospects, which have been explored since the 1970s. The majority of the drilling performed on-site has investigated 100 to 200 meters below surface.
Galena has launched a continued exploration program that aims to identify additional mineralization of both base and precious metals. The primary prospective corridor lies within the fault between the Quartzite Well and the Lyons River, which extends east-west along the entire tenement package and indicates many of the same geological markers associated with the world-class Abra base metals project. Galena continues to target its Jillawarra assets through geophysics and an active drilling and exploration program.
Alexander Molyneux - Managing Director and CEO
Alexander Molyneux is an executive and financier with 20 years of experience in the metals and mining industry. Between 2015 and 2018, Molyneux was CEO of Paladin Energy, one of the world's largest uranium companies, where he optimized its operating business and completed a US$700 million successful recapitalisation of the company and a re-listing on the ASX. Well-known for his breadth of experience in the mining industry, Molyneux serves on a number of public company boards, including: Metalla Royalty & Streaming, Argosy Minerals and Tempus Resources.
Troy Flannery - Abra Project CEO
Troy Flannery offers more than 20 years in the mining industry, including five years in corporate and 16 years in senior mining engineering and project development roles. Flannery has a degree in mining engineering as well as a master's degree in finance. He has achieved the First Class Mine Manager's Certificate of Competency. Flannery has worked at numerous mining companies, mining consultant agencies and contractors (including BHP, Newcrest, Xstrata, St. Barbara Mines and AMC Consultants).
Adrian Byass - Non-Executive Chairman
Adrian Byass has more than 20 years of experience in the mining industry both in listed and unlisted entities globally. He has served as non-executive and executive director of various listed and unlisted mining entities, which have successfully transitioned to production in bulk, precious and specialty metals around the world. He currently serves on boards of ASX phosphate, zinc, nickel and lithium companies.
Craig Barnes- Chief Financial Officer
Craig Barnes has over 20 years of experience in senior finance and financial management within the mining industry and previously the financial services industry. Barnes has considerable experience in project financing, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, treasury and implementation of accounting controls and systems.
Before joining Galena, Barnes held the position of CFO of Paladin Energy for more than five years and was part of the team that successfully completed the company's capital restructuring in 2018. Prior to that, he was the CFO of DRDGOLD and its affiliated subsidiaries for more than seven years, and he played a key role in the successful transformation of the company from an underground miner with two ultra-deep underground operations into a profitable tailings retreatment business.
Tony James -Non-Executive Director
Tony James offers more than 30 years of mine operating and project development experience predominantly in Washington. James is highly regarded for his work in building and operating base metals and offers expertise in both finance and mine construction. James has previous experience as a managing director of three ASX-listed companies with two of those companies successfully guided through a merger and takeover process to the benefit of the shareholders. He has a strong mine operating background (examples being the Kanowna Belle gold mine and the Black Swan nickel mine) and a strong feasibility study and mine development background (examples being the Pillara zinc and lead mine and the Trident Higginsville gold mine).