MGX Minerals taking “significant step” in the transition from exploration to mining

by Keith Powell
Picture of vertical shaft kiln at the Driftwood Project.

MGX acquired, on a trial basis with an option to purchase, a full-scale pilot plant mill for its Driftwood project near Brisco, B.C. — Photo courtesy MGX Minerals

MGX Minerals Inc (CNSX:XMG) operates lithium, magnesium and silicon projects throughout British Columbia, but its flagship project is the magnesite deposit at Driftwood Creek located in the Columbia Valley near Brisco. CEO Jared Lazerson recently told Proactive Investors that Driftwood Creek is a “quite large, global scale deposit”. Magnesite is a basic mineral that can be processed into magnesium oxide, which is a widely used industrial mineral.

The company expects to have its NI 43-101-compliant mineral resource estimate done and dusted by the end of July or early August, paving the way for it to progress to the permitting and mine planning phase.

Lazerson said he “does not really see a lot of obstacles” to progress, just a lot of paperwork, and he looks forward to “some level of production within the year”. The company recently secured an intriguing “try before you buy” deal on a processing plant that will enable the company to further its test mining and final process design. “It’s really a significant step towards the transition from exploration into active mining operations,” Lazerson said.

The company also recently completed a 100-tonne bulk sample at its flagship Driftwood Creek magnesium project, and has continued exploration and development activities in accordance with its acquisition conditions.

"We are excited to have entered the bulk sample phase at Driftwood Creek," said MGX president and chief executive officer Jared Lazerson. "The potential to prove up the certainty component of the upcoming maiden National Instrument 43-101 resource estimate is significant. As well, many of the mine operating costs, such as the amount of explosives required on a per-tonne basis, are now being defined."

Mucking and loading of material have commenced in preparation for assay, advanced metallurgy and kiln testing. Kiln testing will produce representative multi-tonne samples for distribution to prospective customers in Canada, United States and Europe.

Since acquiring the project in July 2014, MGX has completed two diamond drill programs, property-wide sampling and reanalysis of historical drill core. Magnesite mineralization has been traced over a strike length of 2,000 metres and up to 300 metres wide, reaching a true depth of 110 metres. The deposit remains open in both directions and at depth. Mineralization occurs in two discrete zones that are believed to have been enriched during a period of metamorphic recrystallization. MGX was issued a 20-year mining lease by the Ministry of Energy and Mines of the Province of British Columbia in January.

MGX acquired Driftwood in 2014 and subsequently completed eight diamond drill holes on the east zone. Drill results included 49 metres of 43.04 per cent magnesium oxide (MgO) in drill hole 2014-2 and 47.6 metres of 41.43 per cent MgO in drill hole 2014-5. In 2015, the company reassayed historical drill core from previous optionee Tusk Exploration. Results included 130 metres of 42.46 per cent MgO in drill hole 2008-2. MGX also conducted a phase two drill programme over the western zone in 2015. Drill highlights included 64 metres of 40.71 per cent MgO in drill hole 2015-3 and 98 metres of 44.28 per cent MgO in drill hole 2015-4.

MGX Minerals Inc also recently announced they had acquired, on a trial basis with an option to purchase, a full-scale pilot plant mill. The Mill equipment includes a jaw crusher, ball mill, flotation cells, cyclone dewatering equipment and a tailings filtration and thickener system.

The Mill is currently on care and maintenance in the Yukon. MGX has dispatched a contractor to transport all equipment, inclusive of five tractor trailers, to the stock pile location of the Company’s recently completed bulk sample (see press release dated June 9, 2016). The Company expects that bulk sample material will arrive and be made available within one week.

The Mill was previously utilized to process polymetallic concentrate. The Company intends to use the Mill to process bulk sample material through reverse flotation to produce two potentially saleable products- a high purity magnesite tailing and byproduct silica sand float. Stated MGX President and CEO Mr. Jared Lazerson: “MGX looks forward to commencing the pilot plant phase at Driftwood Creek and to begin producing representative and potentially saleable material.”

Historical exploration at Driftwood dates back to the 1970s, when Kaiser Resources conducted exploration and mined an 8,000-metric-tonne test quarry in 1978. In 1987, Canadian Occidental acquired Driftwood and drilled four NQ-sized diamond drill holes, and as well as collecting 68 core samples weighing five kilograms each.

Driftwood Creek magnesium

MGX Minerals has the right to acquire a 100-per-cent interest in the Driftwood Creek magnesium project. The company has completed phase one and phase two drill programs at Driftwood Creek, and has now conducted a 100-tonne bulk sample program. MGX received a 20-year mining lease for Driftwood Creek in January of 2016.

 

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