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Empire Metals chooses not to renew Gindalbie deal

By Josh White

Date: Friday 23 Feb 2024

Empire Metals chooses not to renew Gindalbie deal

(Sharecast News) - Empire Metals announced a strategic decision regarding its non-core assets on Friday, specifically the Gindalbie Tribute Agreement, as part of its efforts to fast-track development at the Pitfield Titanium Project in Western Australia.
The AIM-traded firm said the Gindalbie Tribute Agreement, set to expire on 24 February, had been under review by management.

It said the agreement, which granted Empire exclusive rights for exploration, development, and mining within a designated area on Maher Mining's M27/158 mining lease, had been instrumental in the exploration of the Eclipse and Gindalbie Gold Project.

However, after careful assessment, Empire said it had chosen not to extend the agreement.

The board said the Eclipse and Gindalbie Gold Project, located near the historic gold mining town of Gindalbie, comprised two adjacent mining leases.

Empire Metals holds a 75% interest in the Eclipse mining lease, M27/153, which encompasses historical gold mine workings.

Over recent years, Empire had conducted extensive exploration activities, including exploration drilling programmes, which had yielded promising results.

Significant gold mineralisation was identified, particularly associated with a northwest-striking and steeply southwest-dipping shear zone known as the Eclipse shear.

Exploration drilling at Gindalbie under the Tribute Agreement aimed to uncover high-grade gold lodes within transition and fresh rock layers, adjacent to historic mine shafts across the tenement.

Results indicated similarities in gold mineralisation with the Eclipse site, suggesting the presence of a similar shear zone.

However, further investigations revealed a kaolin-rich zone, which subsequent tests concluded was not of sufficient quality to warrant further studies.

Although Empire had the option to extend the Tribute Agreement for another 12 months by paying Maher Mining AUD 0.25m (£0.13m) and continuing exploration drilling, the company said it had chosen not to pursue the extension.

Despite meeting all obligations under the agreement, Empire said it had decided to prioritise its focus on other projects, aligning with its strategy to accelerate development at Pitfield.

"Since the discovery of the giant titanium-rich mineral system at Pitfield less than 10 months ago, the company has been setting a cracking pace in establishing the massive scale, superior grade, and soft-rock nature of the titanium mineralisation," said managing director Shaun Bunn.

"As announced on 6 February, we have strengthened our technical expertise with the appointments of a process development team, comprising of a highly experienced process design manager and two of the titanium industry's leading processing experts.

"This places the company in an excellent position to accelerate the economic development of the Pitfield Titanium Project."

Bunn added that, given the focus on the rapid advancement of Pitfield, the firm considered it prudent to rationalise its exploration portfolio and had decided not to renew the Tribute Agreement covering the Gindalbie tenement, adjacent to its Eclipse Gold Project near Kalgoorlie in Western Australia.

"The board no longer believes that this is a core project for Empire.

"By rationalising the company's portfolio, the Board can apply all of the company's energy and resources on Pitfield as it targets a maiden resource in 2024, and the construction of a demonstration plant in the following year.

"I look forward to providing an update on our progress at Pitfield, particularly on the outcome from our recent mineralogical and metallurgical studies, in the very near future."

At 1126 GMT, shares in Empire Metals were up 3.83% at 10.18p.

Reporting by Josh White for Sharecast.com.

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