In what it terms a “global leap” for the company, Perth-based Eclipse Metals (ASX: EPM) is acquiring 100% ownership of the mothballed Ivittuut cryolite mine in Greenland.
The company, which has just raised $2 million through a placement, says apart from cryolite the project contains rare earth elements (REE), high purity silica, fluorite and base metals in the pit floor.
Cryolite is a rare mineral used as a fluxing agent to reduce energy consumption during aluminium production.
Until its closure in 1987, Ivittuut was the only place where cryolite was extracted on an industrial scale.
The mine is on the coast and comes complete with a nearby wharf.
Eclipse is looking to generate short-term cash flow by extracting cryolite and REE from waste dumps.
There is additional REE mineralisation at the Gronnedal deposit, located 10km from Ivittuut.
In addition to this acquisition, Eclipse has interests in the Northern Territory and Queensland covering uranium, gold, vanadium and manganese.
Potential in green energy sector
Eclipse executive chairman Carl Popal said the Greenland acquisition has multi-faceted commercial potential, particularly for the heavy REE.
“This is a global leap for the company to expand its interests with unique opportunities in the green energy and minerals sector.”
Substantial high purity silica quartz in the existing pit will allow the company to become a near term supplier to the electronic, solar, optical and silicon metal industry.
Eclipse now has access to 19,000m of historical diamond core, which was drilled before the 1987 mine closure.
This is stored by the Greenland Government and Eclipse will proceed to assay the core samples.
The Greenland Geological Survey Department has recorded that 3.8 million tonnes of cryolite was produced over the life of the mine.
Ivittuut is located near Cape Desolation near the southern tip of Greenland.
Power and shipping available
Today there is a small tourist town with the remains of a land-backed wharf built for shipping the cryolite.
The town has a power station and, 5.5km away, there is a heliport and a working wharf.
All of Greenland has been geologically mapped with the assistance of Denmark’s geological survey
Eclipse says that, since mining stopped, there has been recurring interest in the Ivittuut deposit.
Soon after closure, Finland’s Outokumpu and a Canadian mining company carried out assessments on the project.