Eclipse has 5tn of samples from Greenland REE project enroute to Oz from abandoned cryolite mine

Tue 01 Nov 22, 1:16pm (AEST)
A photograph of the town of Maniitsoq, Greenland, from a vantage point overlooking the settlement
Source: Unsplash

Key Points

  • Eclipse Metals progressing with drilling at its REE acreage in Greenland
  • Five tonnes worth of material excavated in trench drilling on the way to Australia for testing from Grønnedal
  • Meanwhile, Eclipse continues to develop its Ivigtût project at the site of a former mine, collecting rocks from mine wall

Eclipse Metals (ASX:EPM) have failed to land in the green today, even as the company announces it will soon have assay results on five tonnes of trenching material available following analysis by labs in Australia. 

Eclipse’s Ivigtût Project, located in southwestern Greenland, is a mine with no shortage of history surrounding it.

While Eclipse is now exploring the play for rare earth elements (REEs), the mine was better known for something else in the 20th Century. 

Ivigtût the sole provider of natural cryolite 

The open-pit asset overlies the only location known on the entire planet where a rare and unusual mineral, cryolite, is found naturally occurring, in a manner commercially viable to extract. 

Cryolite is most often used in bauxite smelting. The mineral is the naturally occurring form of sodium aluminium fluoride, which has applications in bauxite (aluminium) furnaces, in that cryolite can reduce furnace temperature. 

Ivigtût was mined for Cryolite up until 1987, where the mineral was widely deemed to have been mined to extinction

Sodium aluminium fluoride can be yielded artificially from fluoride, and so, cryolite has fallen largely into the geological history books as an obscure material that went the way of the Dodo (as far as commercially viable mining projects go.) 

Now, Eclipse Metals is hoping to turn over a new page for the mine, by probing the area for REEs. 

Eclipse now owns 100% 

Eclipse Metals purchased the Ivigtût mine earlier this year once it became aware the mine was also prospective for REEs and base metals. 

The Greenland government houses some 19,000m of diamond core drilling from historical exploration work at the project, and Eclipse has its eyes on this material for assay and sample work. 

Currently, five tonnes of material dug from a trenching exercise on-site is en-route to Australia for a full fledged assay, and upon return of those results, Eclipse will be able to commence newsflow regarding grades of material, and, possibly naming what REEs in question are likely to be present. 

Trench material may include tailings

That trench material comes from a carbonatite complex identified by Eclipse’s fieldwork team earlier this year. 

However, Eclipse is also working on old waste dumps attached to the cryolite operations to “better understand their geochemical nature,” and checking if anything valuable is left inside the tailings which can be re-processed. 

Typically, the tailings of old operations are eyed by explorers decades later as technological advancements make viable the re-processing of material which, in the past, would have been uneconomical.

A look at Eclipse's three month charts. With prices down -12% in early afternoon trades, it may be the case shareholders aren't too bullish on a Cryolite revamp
A look at Eclipse's three month charts. With prices down -12% in early afternoon trades, it may be the case shareholders aren't too bullish on a Cryolite revamp


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Written By

Jonathon Davidson

Finance Writer

Jonathon is a journalism graduate and avid market watcher with exposure to governance, NGO and mining environments. He was most recently hired as an oil and gas specialist for a trade publication.

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