MRL Corporation remains on track to begin production of high grade graphite from its Aluketiya project in southern Sri Lanka during the September quarter of 2015. The company also made significant progress during the December quarter on rehabilitation of the Pandeniya project with civil works completed and a head frame constructed while entry to the shaft commenced in February.
On January 1, 2015, an application was lodged with the Geological Mines & Survey Bureau for a portion of the exploration licence surrounding the Padeniya shaft to be converted to an Industrial Mining Licence. This application and a subsequent MRL presentation at GSMB’s offices were well received and are progressing.
The rehabilitation process of the S2 shaft at Pandeniya is aimed at enabling further bulk samples and, potentially, early production to commence following the conversion to a mining licence. Bulk samples have been taken and dispatched for testing. The rehabilitation activities will continue concurrently with the licence conversion process, which is under way.
During the December quarter MRL continued a drilling campaign under the main Bopitiya-Pandeniya priority area designed to intersect multiple vein sets. One hole was completed to 262 metres from a planned total depth of 380 metres and another was completed to 250 metres with a planned total depth of 350 metres. Both holes will be completed when a larger capacity rig arrives.
MRL also successfully completed a full review of available technical geological data at Aluketiya, including testing core from drilled holes. It commenced ground works towards the rehabilitation of selected shafts and a diamond core drilling program began in January.
An Industrial Mining Licence was issued to MRL on November 7, 2014, covering Aluketiya. Assays from drilling at Aluketiya returned Total Graphitic Carbon (TGC) grades of up to 99.3%. Rehabilitation and construction work on two historic shafts at Aluketiya is set to commence this month and take approximately two months to complete.
Additionally, a diamond drill rig is on site and is commencing a three-hole program with the aim of establishing the presence of further graphite mineralization and sterilizing other areas.
December quarter field work was undertaken on areas within Grid 4 of the Pujapatiya-Mornakanda project area. This work included field mapping and trenching samples. Veins were intersected in a number of trenches but basement rock was not intersected.
Although graphite samples are contaminated due to vein deposition in unconsolidated material, they still returned a 77.5% TGC result, which is highly encouraging and grades greater than 90% TGC are expected from basement contact. Further drilling is planned on the Mornakanda location to intersect veins down-dip.