Rum Jungle Resources Limited (ASX:RUM) Potash Exploration & Development Update
– Exploration at Karinga Lakes Potash Project has been in full swing for three months with encouraging results. Karinga Lakes Potash Project is a joint venture between Rum Jungle Resources Ltd (increasing from 85%) and Reward Minerals Ltd (decreasing from 15%)
– An air core drilling program was completed on August 26 with a total of 95 holes drilled for 1,673 metres across 28 lakes. The results from this drilling will increase resource confidence
– A 26 day pump test has been completed at the Pulcura Lake Trench and pumping is now in progress at the Curtin Boundary Lake Trench. Pumping trials have confirmed sustained brine flow and brine geochemistry over time, which is positive
– Trench excavation of Miningere Lake was completed with an 8 tonne excavator on 22 August
– An onsite winter evaporation trial is proceeding as planned with potassium levels increasing as expected.
– Widening, straightening and re-alignment of the main station access track to camp is underway to improve travel safety.
– Sonic drilling is expected to commence on 10 September to collect sediment and fractured rock samples for drainable porosity testing and other geotechnical test work
– Planning is also underway for potash brine drilling at Lake Mackay, WA.
Potash Exploration and Development Progress Report
Karinga Lakes Project Background
The Karinga Lakes Potash Project in southern NT is the most intensively explored brine potash project in Australia. Since 2010, 194 air core holes, 56 sonic core holes and 8 vibracore holes have been drilled and 47 water bores installed. Four backhoe trenches have been dug and pump tested and three excavator trenches up to 100 m in length are in the process of being pump tested for up to 30 days. Ten water bores were subject to 24 hour pump testing in 2012. Approximately 700 brine samples and 360 sediment samples have been assayed since 2010.The joint venture is looking forward to applying for a Mineral Lease over the project in late 2013 or early 2014 once all exploration results have been received and evaluated. An upgraded Indicated JORC resource is expected to be released late in the year.
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2013 Air Core Drilling
Drilling commenced on 13 June and was completed on 26 August. In total, 95 holes were completed for 1,673 m. The table below lists flow rates and brine assays for all holes which flowed greater than 1 litre/sec. Flow rates were air lift flow rates out of the rig cyclone. Testing with a submersible pump during 2012 showed pump lift rates were on average 1.85 times better than air lift flow rates.
Pump testing began at the Pulcura Lake trench on 18 July and after 27 days approximately 5.685 million litres of brine had been pumped to an adjoining lake. Groundwater Science Hydrogeological Consultants are setting up and supervising the pump tests initially before handing over to RUM staff for daily sampling, monitoring of flow rates, water levels in the trench and surrounding piezometers. The average flow rate over the duration of the test was roughly 2.5 litres per second. Samples for the first 13 days were submitted to the lab and confirmed a slight increase in potassium and magnesium grade. The potassium grade was 3,800 mg/l on day one and 3,846 mg/l averaged over 13 days. The magnesium was 3,500 mg/l on day one and 3,538 mg/l averaged over 13 days. Full results are expected in two weeks.
A 3 m deep trench, 80 m in length was completed at Miningere Lake on 22 August. Digging was completed by a Bobcat 8 tonne excavator supported on aluminium bog mats. This will be the third and deepest trench used for pump testing.
An onsite winter evaporation trial of 12,000 litres of brine in three tanks has been underway since 30 May. At the time of writing, approximately 30% volume reduction had taken place due to evaporation. Water temperatures are ranging from 14-20 degrees Celsius and air temperatures have generally ranged between 1 and 30 degrees Celsius. RUM is supervising the trial at this stage with guidance from MWH Global. Once about 80-90% halite precipitation has occurred, the enriched potash brine will be transferred from the three large tanks to two smaller tanks for final crystallisation of mixed potash salts (including schoenite).
These salts will then undergo flotation tests to fine tune process routes and flotation reagent doses and provide samples of schoenite and SOP for marketing purposes. Laboratory tests in 2012 have already proven that commercial grade potash can be produced form Karinga Lakes brine.
Sodium chloride levels will continue to increase before halite begins to precipitate and fall out of solution. At this stage sodium chloride levels will drop rapidly and potassium levels will increase.
Lake Mackay Potash (RUM to earn 51% from Toro Energy)
The Potash Joint Venture with Toro Energy over four tenements (440 sq km) on the southern part of Lake Mackay in WA near the NT border will shortly be finalised and signed by both parties. Rum Jungle Resource’s Exploration Manager conducted a logistical reconnaissance trip to Kiwirrkurra and Lake Mackay along with Toro Energy staff in mid August. He also attended a cultural awareness course run by the Central Desert Native Title Service in conjunction with the Kiwirrkurra Traditional Owners (Tjamu-Tjamu people). Toro Energy has been operating in the area since 2009 and has a good working relationship with the local people. Rum Jungle will maintain and build on that relationship.
Efforts are currently being made to organise a helicopter supported air core drilling program in October 2013 to define a brine potash resource on the joint venture tenements. This will be dependant on permitting, weather, drill rig and helicopter availability.
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