MGX Minerals Inc. is pleased to announce assay results from recent field reconnaissance at its Longworth and Wonah silica properties.
Rock chip sampling was carried out by MGX’s Vice-President of Exploration, Andris Kikauka (P. Geo). Samples from both Properties were taken from exposed bedrock surfaces. Average assay samples from the Longworth silica property (“Longworth”) within the Snow zone averaged 99.34% silicon dioxide (SiO2), up to 99.9% SiO2. Assays from the South and Central zones of the Wonah silica property (“Wonah”) averaged 99.4% SiO2, up to 99.9% SiO2. Rock samples were analyzed by ALS Minerals of North Vancouver, British Columbia using a modified Prep 31 assay preparation package (carbide pulzerizing ring ALS code PUL-33) and finished using whole rock analysis fused bead lithium borate fusion method (ME-ICP-06).
MGX owns a 100% undivided interest in 15 contiguous claims covering 1,198 hectares (2,959 acres) located approximately 80 kilometers northeast of Prince George, British Columbia. The primary target for high purity silica at Longworth is Silurian age Nonda Formation quartzite, which has been identified as steeply dipping layers approximately 100-300 meters in width along the western flank of the Bearpaw Ridge, reaching a thickness of up to 400 meters. Longworth features four zones of high purity silica- the Snow, Rain, Long and Doll zones- consisting of white colored quartzite approximately 100-400 meters in width and intermittently exposed over a strike length of six kilometers.
It is reported as pure, massive and homogenous, and composed of well-sorted and well-rounded quartz grains averaging 0.5 mm in diameter. Consolidated Silver Standard Mines ("Silver Standard") conducted exploration and metallurgical work at Longworth during the 1980’s (MINFILE No. 093H 038). Internal reports by Silver Standard suggested positive results as a potential feed source for silicon metal smelting (Quartermain, 1986). Of the 42 samples collected and analyzed by Silver Standard, 28 met the required chemical specifications with silica dioxide (SiO2) levels ranging between 98.84 and 99.80 percent (Assessment Report 14815). Twelve of 16 samples also boasted acceptable levels of thermal shock resistance for production of silicon metal. Sampling of outcrop across the Snow claim has shown consistent high grade (~99%) SiO2 levels. Longworth is listed as one of the top silica occurrences in the Province of British Columbia by the BCGS (Simandl, 2014).
Wonah Silica Discussion and Results
The Wonah silica property consists of two minerals claims covering 166.5 hectares (411.3 acres) located approximately 45 kilometers northeast of Cranbrook, British Columbia. A ridge where steeply dipping Ordovician age Wonah Formation quartzite is exposed over a total strike length of approximately 850 meters was sampled. The Wonah Quartzite forms two lenses- the Central zone, which has been traced for approximately 500 meters, and the South zone, which has been traced 350 meters along strike. The quartzite is a pure white colored, highly competent unit that is 50 meters in width, steeply dipping and trending north-northeast. A total of 11 rock chip quartzite samples (ID 15WONAH-1 to 11) were taken from the Central and South zones.
Discussion of Results
The relatively high SiO2 content (98.7-99.9% SiO2) of rock samples from the Properties compare favorably with other silica sand producers operating near Golden, British Columbia. Impurity compounds of interest (Al2O3, MgO, CaO and Fe2O3) approach specifications considered suitable for production of silicon metal, glass making (including production of fiberglass & ceramics), filler applications, and ferrosilicon. Development of these Properties could support new silicon metal production which generally requires the high purity quartzite form of silica found at the Properties as opposed to silica sand. There are currently no silicon metal producers in western North America and advancement of the Properties has the potential to provide feedstock in support of the development of west coast production and for export to the high demand markets of the Pacific Rim.
Further metallurgical testing for use of material for silicon metal or ferrosilicon production and other end uses is warranted. The SiO2-reactivity test (also known as the Hanover drum test), which measures thermal stability of quartz and tests for reducing agents, is important to optimize the effectiveness of process design. Primary silicon metal end use markets include solar panels. Additional metallurgy and exploration work on the Snow and Rain zones at Longworth and the South and Central zones at Wonah are planned for the near future.