Based on mineralogy studies carried out by both SGS, South Africa and Xstrata Process Solutions of Canada, Glenover has a comprehensive understanding of the three major rock-types of interest on its large intrusive, namely Apatite Breccia, Pyroxenite and Carbonatite.
The company recently appointed the services of UK-based GBM to perform the project Preliminary Economic Assessment focused on its SAMREC-compliant 10MT breccia resource. This study is being carried out in collaboration with the REE-experienced metallurgical laboratories Anzaplan of Germany and the resulting PEA report will be available by early 2013.
Simultaneously an in-depth PFS-level metallurgy program is underway at a major state-owned REE-laboratory in China with one ton of breccia ore having been provided for ultimate piloting of one of two potential flow-sheets. Feedback from the PEA study may provide useful parameters for this work nevertheless the separation of PEA and PFS mandates is designed to accelerate the overall project. The project team selected the specific Chinese laboratory due to it having demonstrated a great depth of understanding of REE processing, generally unattainable in western laboratories.
- Short time to market and to realize investment returns: Existing stockpiles of REE-rich minerals have already been mined and are ready for processing
- Highly accessible REE: The stockpiles present short term processing potential with no mining risk
- REE-bearing and Niobium-rich materials below the surface: Significant below surface reserves for later stage development
- Strong local partner: Fer-Min-Ore has 40 years of international construction and processing experience in the mining industry backed by over 100 years of design know how
- Strategic alternative supply source of REE: China currently controls 97% of global REE production and are taking actions to restrict REE exports
- More information is available in the Glenover Geological and Resource Report (PDF, 24.4Mb)
- The Glenover Project is located approximately 88 kilometers (km) north of Thabazimbi in the Limpopo Province of South Africa.
- The prospecting right covers a surface area of 15,802 hectares (ha). The majority of the mineral assets are located on the farm Glenover 371 LQ. This includes a large open pit mine as well as various stockpiles of high, medium and low grade phosphate bearing material.
- Historical exploitation of the Glenover deposit for its phosphate content resulted in the creation of a series of stockpiles which still contain high levels of phosphate and contain varying amounts of REE’s, the presence of which have been confirmed by sampling programs undertaken by Gold Fields of South Africa Limited (GFSA) and by Fer-Min-Ore (Pty) Ltd (FMO) (Harrison, 2004). The previous owners referred to the stockpiles as “dumps”. Snowden has revised the naming convention as a consequence of them being chemically unaltered and some of them demonstrating economic potential, and refers to the dumps as stockpiles. The stockpiles are located on Portion 1 of Glenover 371 LQ.
The Glenover carbonatite is a complex circular, carbonatite/pyroxenite plug intruded into sedimentary shale and arenite rocks of the Waterberg Group and prominently visible as a major circular feature on satellite images of the area. Thickness estimates for the Waterberg Group range from 2,700 meters (m) to more than 7,000 m.
The deposit comprises a central iron rich breccia (subsequently mined out), surrounded by a pyroxenite plug, into which carbonatite has intruded as a series of dykes and cone sheets.
The main historical source of geological information concerning the Glenover Carbonatite is Handbook 6 of the Geological Survey of South Africa, ‘The Carbonatites of South Africa and South West Africa’, published in 1967 and authored by WJ Verwoerd.
Verwoerd hypothesised that the deposit was created by two geological events that resulted in the formation of a primary and a secondary phosphate deposit. Exploitation has historically focused on the phosphate content of the deposit and the potential of the surrounding rocks. However limited exploration has been undertaken to determine the potential of other metals and minerals, inter alia REE’s (Begley, 1987).
GFSA mined the Glenover property between 1957 and 1984 for its phosphate content and limited information is available from mining records concerning the volume, tonnes and REE values deposited on the various stockpiles deposited around the Glenover open pit.
In 2011 the volumes of the Glenover stockpiles were independently surveyed by Global Surveys (Global). This was preceded by a bulk sampling program undertaken on three of the stockpiles. Four 750 kilogram (kg) samples were taken from each stockpile, excluding any material greater than 200 millimeter (mm) in size. No indication is given in the data provided by FMO as to what proportion of the sample comprised material of this size range. Each individual sample was crushed and pulverised and a 25 kg sub sample taken for assay from each of the samples using a spear sampling technique. For each stockpile, an additional sample, referred to as the homogenised sample was created by mixing 150 kg of sample from each of the primary samples.
Bulk density (SG) measurements for two of the stockpiles were undertaken by Harrison in 2004. Snowden has assumed that the lower SG values provided by Harrison (2004), in conjunction with the volumes provided by Orbital, may be used to estimate the total tonnes (t) of material contained within the sampled stockpiles.