Metalsearch delivers maiden kaolin resource

ELEVEN months after entering the Australian kaolin space, ASX-listed minnow Metalsearch has delivered the maiden resource for its 100%-owned Abercorn kaolin project in Queensland, including two higher-grade projects it believes could support sales of products such as synthetic zeolite and high purity alumina.
Metalsearch delivers maiden kaolin resource Metalsearch delivers maiden kaolin resource Metalsearch delivers maiden kaolin resource Metalsearch delivers maiden kaolin resource Metalsearch delivers maiden kaolin resource


Haydn Black


The project contains a total resource of 39.06 million tonnes at 28.6% aluminium oxide and  1.18% potassium oxide, using a cut-off grade of 26%, with 14Mt at 30.26% Al2O3 and 0.89% K2O at the Railcut prospect and 1.66Mt at 30.7% Al2O3 and 0.83% K2O at the Area 3 prospect.
Around 60% of the resource is inferred.
The resource remains open in all directions, and as less than 10% of the project area has been drilled Metalsearch can see the potential for a development of significant scale with a consistent, high-quality grade of mineralisation that begins at surface, with little-to-no overburden and low levels of impurities.
Metalsearch has decided to move into a kaolin marketability and testing program, that includes specialised halloysite testing with the University of Queensland, brightness and particle fineness testing, and an assessment of end-user product requirements.
"The high quality nature of kaolin demonstrated in the resource is ideal for producing specific end
products from the suite of novel and proprietary kaolin-centric mineral processing technologies held
by the company, particularly synthetic zeolite," the company said. 
In recent months the company has secured an exclusive worldwide licence from the University of Queensland for a newly-developed synthetic zeolite processing technology it believes can significantly lower production costs for the industrial mineral, which has a global market worth around A$5.6 billion per annum. 
It believes that Abercorn may be fast-tracked into development, bolstered by the project's proximity to key infrastructure such as power, water, and deepwater ports at Gladstone and Bundaberg.
Samples of test material were recently dispatched to one of the largest zeolite manufacturers in China, Chalco Shandong.
Metalsearch also owns the Kraaipan gold-nickel-copper-platinum group metals project in Botswana, which covers a 50km-long strike extent of the Kraaipan Greenstone Belt, close to the South African border.
A partner is being sought to fund that exploration effort. 
The company had $2.3 million at the start of the quarter. 
Metalsearch shares were up some 9% in early trade to $1.3c, valuing the company at $7.8 million.
It has traded between 0.8c-2.2c over the past year.