A report to Australian Securities and Investment Commission.
The Yaringa Potash project comprises four Exploration Licences (under application) of total area 638sqkm located near Shark Bay, Western Australia. The project is 100% owned by Britannia.
The Yaringa East well drilled by the Company in February 2000 intersected a 40 metre evaporite horizon in the Dirk Hartog formation. The horizon intersected contained only halite (salt) with very low levels of potash. However the Bromine level in the halite was high (290 ppm) indicating a late stage in the evaporation cycle favourable for potash deposition. Results of drilling suggest that the area likely to contain potash mineralisation lies to the north and west of the Yaringa East hole position. New licence applications have been made by the Company to cover the ground to allow this theory to be tested. The Company has prepared a special submission to the Department of Minerals and Energy in support of its licence applications, as three of the four applications cover ground inside the Shark Bay World Heritage Area.
CHANDLER POTASH - ALUMINA PROJECT
The Company recently obtained an option to acquire 100% interest in the Chandler Alunite deposit located 260km east of Perth and 50km north of Merredin in central wheat belt area of Western Australia.
The Chandler Project area hosts a resource of alunite clay believed to be in excess of 10 million tonnes. Alunite is a potassium aluminium hydroxy sulphate amenable to processing into potassium sulphate, aluminium sulphate and high grade alumina.
The project tenements comprise two granted Mining Leases of 385 hectares and a surrounding Exploration Licence (Application) of 150sqkm. The site is serviced by the Goldfields Water Scheme and close to the main Muja-Kalgoorlie Grid Power Line. Exploration to date has established a Measured Resource of 4.7 million tonnes of ore grading 6.1% K(2)O to a depth of only 2.1 metres in Lake Chandler itself. A much larger global resource exists below and outside the Measured Resource and in adjacent lakebeds thus at the planned throughput the current measured resource is adequate for over forty years production.
The Company has commenced feasibility studies for an operation processing 100,000 tonnes of ore per annum which would provide an annual revenue stream in the vicinity of $20 million.
The consideration for exercise of the option to acquire 100% of the project is $15,000 cash plus the issue of two million fully paid Britannia shares to the vendors. A royalty of $0.5 per tonne of ore mined is payable to a third party up to a ceiling of $1 million.
The Company believes that the Chandler Project represents an excellent fit with its other Potash projects with potential for early profitable development.
DANDARAGAN POTASH PROJECT -BRITANNIA 100%
The Dandaragan Potash project is based on large resources of the mineral Glauconite which occurs extensively in marine greensand deposits in the Gingin - Dandaragan area 100 - 1501cm north of Perth, Western Australia.
The deposits outcrop over a large area on the western slopes of the Darling Scarp in two formations. Over much of the area, the upper Poison Hill greensand formation is separated from the lower Molecap greensand by a thin layer of the Gingin chalk. Combined thickness of the two greensand formations exceeds 40 metres in much of the area. Consequently the resource base is extremely large. The Company holds two Exploration Licences (E70/2244 and 70/2248) of total area 244 sqkm, hence is in a position to prove up very large potash tonnages should a viable treatment process be developed.
While Glauconite has been used extensively in the past as a potash mineral in agriculture by direct spreading, because of its low grade (5% Potassium) its use declined with the advent of high grade refined potash products (40 - 52% Potassium). Consequently work by Britannia has aimed at producing high grade potash products primarily potassium sulphate from glauconite concentrates by leaching with sulphuric acid and a number of other sulphate sources.
Testwork confirms that high recoveries of Potash can be obtained from the Glauconite but the current process is non selective and results in considerable dissolution of iron and other salts which consume acid and contaminate the potassium sulphate product. Further trials are being conducted to improve on the selectivity of the current acid process and further develop other leach processes which have shown promise.
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