Leading Edge Materials Corp. has declared that exploration of its sole and entirely owned Bihor Sud license, in the Apuseni Mountains of central-western Romania, is ahead of schedule.
We are extremely pleased with the rapid work progress to date and the support we are receiving from the involved state organizations and our Romanian JV-partner Remat. Amongst all participants in this exploration program, there is growing excitement fueled by the findings in the first reopened gallery. Following initial sampling, the Company will target underground and surface drilling to determine the extent of mineralized structures.
Eric Krafft, Interim Chief Executive Officer, Leading Edge Materials Corp.
Krafft added, “There are at least 11 galleries accessing different mineralized structures, so there are already other identified exploration targets. Further drill targets are identified by our mapping and geophysical program, adding significant potential for mineralization beyond whatever is encountered in these initial two galleries.”
The license area has previously been mined for materials other than cobalt and nickel, leaving behind a vast network of galleries that exposed tens of kilometers of underground space.
Numerous samples recovered from gallery waste dumps and verbal reports from miners who worked in those galleries up until 1997 show that there is still a significant amount of Co-Ni mineralization present, ranging from disseminated, percent-grade Co-Ni in dark schist to very high-grade stringers, veins, and pods.
The Romanian National Agency of Mineral Resources (NAMR) and the company have established a Year 2 license work program, which includes the company’s primary goal of reopening and exploring the old galleries.
Year 1 (ending in May 2023) anticipates primarily geophysical and mapping work, both of which have already been completed with encouraging results.
The process of reopening Galleries G2, G4, and G7 has been started by the company after receiving the necessary regulatory environmental and safety approvals. The planned exploration work can now begin in Galleries G4 and G7 after they have been opened and made secure.
Co-Ni mineralized rocks have been recovered most frequently from the “waste” dump outside of G7, and a boulder with extremely high-grade, vein-style Co-Ni-sulfides was just recently found in the G2 “waste” dump. Zn-Cu-Pb-Ag mineralization is present in G4.
The first gallery to reopen is G7, which was examined on January 18th, 2023, by the Romanian state agency INSEMEX, which is in charge of permitting and mine safety issues. Due to the gallery’s excellent condition, the company and its consultants were able to enter behind INSEMEX and observe and document the current mineralization.
The current survey’s observations in G7 show that Co-Ni mineralization began 425 m from the G7’s mouth and continued for 560 m. Once this area of the gallery has been deemed safe for access, reconnaissance work will continue beyond 560 m.
The original Co-Ni minerals were oxidized after 30 years of exposure on the gallery walls, which could be seen by their distinctive pink (Co) and green (Ni) hues.
In graphitic schists, disseminated mineralization occurs after low-dipping foliation and is frequently parallel to high-grade veinlets that are accompanied by quartz and carbonate stringers. The height of the gallery limits the thickness of mineralized zones, which typically ranges from about 0.5 m to potentially thicker than 2 m.
The Co-Ni mineralization is exposed in several zones following the general NNW-SSE structural trend in the 135 m mineralized sector (425 m to 560 m), which has numerous niches and one parallel gallery. A second Co-Ni mineralization center was found in a cross-cut that faced east toward G4.
Although it is about 400 m away, the cross cut’s intersected vein-style and disseminated Co-Ni-zone appears to run parallel to the mineralization seen in G7. This incident was not covered in the previous works, and its full scope and impact still need to be defined.
It should be noted that such measurements do not serve as reliable indicators of mineralization grades and only cover the rock’s surface, which is about 1 cm2 in size. The sole objective of this XRF reading in the context of the work done here is to show that cobalt and nickel are present in the mineralization that was discovered.
Joint Venture Background
With a local Romanian arm’s length party named Remat, the company entered into a share purchase agreement in 2018 to purchase an initial 51% stake in LEMR, the owner of a prospecting license that covered the License perimeter. As reported on August 9th, 2018, Leading Edge, Remat, and LEMR also signed a shareholder joint venture agreement.
A positive Feasibility Study technical report filing on SEDAR will cause Leading Edge Materials to receive an additional 39% ownership interest in LEMR (for an overall 90% ownership) in accordance with the joint venture agreement.
As stipulated in the joint venture agreement, Leading Edge Materials has agreed to issue common shares in the company upon reaching specific project milestones, such as receiving an exploration license, an exploitation license, documenting historical mineral resource estimates that meet certain Ni-Co and/or Ag-base metal resource tonnage thresholds, submitting a NI43-101 compliant technical report that meets certain Ni-Co and/or Ag-base metal resource tonnage thresholds, and the filing of a positive NI43-101 compliant Feasibility Study.