Alabama Graphite Corp. is pleased to announce receipt of the necessary National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System ("NPDES") Construction Storm Water General Permit from the Alabama Department of Environmental Management ("ADEM") for the potential discharges associated with the exploration activities necessary to complete the pending Feasibility Study for AGC's 100%-owned Coosa Graphite Project, located in Coosa County, Alabama, USA - the only natural flake graphite project in the contiguous United States - to be commenced by independent engineering firms AGP Mining Consultants Inc. ("AGP") and Thompson Engineering, in conjunction with the Company's geology team.
Please refer AGC's July 12, 2017 announcement entitled, 'Alabama Graphite Corp. Awards Coosa Graphite Project Feasibility Study to AGP Mining; Contracts Thompson Engineering for Environmental and Mine Permitting'.
The Clean Water Act ("CWA") and Federal regulations require construction site operators to obtain NPDES permit coverage for regulated land disturbances and associated discharges of storm water runoff to State waters. AGP has determined that if a small, infill trenching program within the Indicated Resource area can confirm the presence of graphite mineralization, in particular higher-grade bands within the larger deposit, as predicted by the current resource model, a significant portion of the Indicated Resource can be upgraded to a Measured Reserve, as is required for Feasibility (please refer to AGC's November 18, 2015announcement entitled, 'Alabama Graphite Corp. Files Mineral Resource Update Technical Report for Coosa Graphite Project in Coosa County, Alabama, USA').
Per the Company's Preliminary Economic Assessment ("PEA"), "Based on the favorable exploration results to date, the Coosa Project is of sufficient merit to warrant further exploration and mineral resource definition. In order to better define the high-grade trends identified in the resource area, a surface trenching program consisting of 15,000 ft. of trenching and sampling is recommended to help define and demonstrate grade continuity between existing drill holes and trenches in the oxide and transitional zones of the defined graphite resource. The data collected will be utilized to update the geologic model and further increase the confidence in the graphite resource. The program is estimated to cost USD$230,000". Please refer to AGC's November 30, 2015 announcement entitled, 'Alabama Graphite Corp. Announces Positive Preliminary Economic Assessment for Coosa Graphite Project in Coosa County, Alabama, USA; Files Completed PEA NI 43-101 Technical Report'.
Note: A PEA technical report is preliminary in nature. A PEA includes Inferred Mineral Resources that are considered too speculative geologically to have economic considerations applied to them that would enable them to be categorized as Mineral Reserves and there is no certainty that the PEA will be realized. Inferred Mineral Resources represent material that is considered too speculative to be included in economic evaluations. Additional trenching and/or drilling will be required to convert Inferred Mineral Resources to Measured or Indicated Mineral Resources. Mineral Resources that are not Mineral Reserves do not have demonstrated economic viability. There is no guarantee that all or any part of the Mineral Resource will be converted into a Mineral Reserve.
Given AGC's mining plan to focus on the abundant near-surface, soft, oxidized graphitic schist at the Coosa Graphite Project, trenching is not only a cost-effective solution (as opposed to conventional diamond drilling), but is the preferred exploration method to allow better opportunities for sampling, mapping, structural measurements, and geologic interpretation.
Figure 1: AGC's previous trenching work at the Coosa Graphite Project
Figures 1a and 1b represent trenching work previously completed by AGC at the Coosa Graphite Project. The images demonstrate what the forthcoming trenching program will entail.
AGC President and Chief Executive Donald Baxter commented, "We are very pleased to be in receipt of the necessary ADEM permit in order for AGC to advance with the forthcoming Feasibility Study for the Coosa Graphite Project. Further, based on recent estimates, we believe AGC will be able to complete the already cost-effective required infill trenching program for significantly less than the original PEA budget estimate."
Readers are cautioned that AGC is not yet in production and there is no guarantee that the Company will advance to full-scale production. If, following the completion of a Feasibility Study - which has not yet been commenced - AGC is able to advance the Coosa Graphite Project into production, the resulting graphite products would be sourced from within the contiguous United States and, as such, the Company may have a potential competitive advantage over other producers of value-added graphite materials sourced from other countries, regardless of whether said materials were processed and/or manufactured in the United States of America.
On behalf of the Board of Directors of ALABAMA GRAPHITE CORP.
Donald K. D. Baxter, P.Eng., President, Chief Executive Officer and Executive Director
Jesse R. Edmondson, P.G., a registered Professional Geologist in the State of Alabama and Project Geologist of Alabama Graphite Corp., is a Qualified Person as defined by National Instrument 43-101 ("N.I. 43-101") guidelines, and has reviewed and approved the content of this news release.