Up to 105m tonnes of between nine and 11 per cent tonnage-grade fluorspar have been estimated to be present at Tertiary Minerals' fluorspar project in Nevada.
The AIM-listed company published an update on Tuesday reporting that independent consultant Wardell Armstrong International (WAI) had reported a tonnage grade estimate for the company's MB Fluorspar project in the US.
The company stated that the exploration target was part of a larger mineralised system estimated at 395-615m tonnes grading 5-7% of fluorspar at 2.0% fluorspar cut-off.
The group said that WAI had recommended a staged drilling programme to upgrade the exploration target to JORC-compliant mineral resource.
WAI evaluated the historic results from 108 drill holes completed by various companies between 1960 and 1984.
The estimate suggests potential for definition of at least 8.0m tonnes of contained fluorspar, which is double the combined amount of fluorspar estimated for the company's Minerals Resource inventory at its more advanced Scandinavian fluorspar projects.
Commenting today, Executive Chairman Patrick Cheetham, said: "We are delighted to confirm the world class potential of the MB Project. The directors believe that this is the first time the historical drilling data has been brought together into a comprehensive tonnage-grade estimate using rigorous estimation methods.
"The mineralised system is very large. It is open at depth and laterally over much of the drill area and most of the drilling is shallow. There is considerable potential to increase the size of the economically interesting mineralisation and in particular the higher grade sections which will be the focus of our initial drill programmes."
Analyst view: Grade range "relatively modest"Asa Bridle, a metals and mining research analyst at Cantor, said: "While the grade range for the target is relatively modest at 9-11% it should be noted that a positive economic assessment has already been made for the company's Storuman project in Sweden which grades around 10%.
"While a direct read across cannot be made between projects in differing locations, Tertiary Minerals may be able to exploit economies of scale at MB that may not be available at Storuman. Though it will be sometime until the economics of this new project are fully assessed, it is clear that Tertiary Minerals has acquired a major fluorspar project in a favourable jurisdiction.
Retaining 'buy' recommendation"The company is confident that follow up infill drilling will allow 'a large part' of the deposit to be upgraded to resource status and we highlight that at present the project does not feature in our TP of 30p. We now look forward to further news on the assessment of MB alongside ongoing work on the company's Scandinavian assets. We reiterate our buy recommendation."
Fluorstar is a halide mineral composed of calcium fluoride. It is used directly or indirectly to manufacture other products such as aluminium, insulating foams and uranium fuel.