Given various bullish global trends including a rapidly growing solar industry, the company is eager to soon follow up on its 2016-2017 nepheline discovery at its Black Bay Property in southern Labrador. Notably, analysis by SGS Lakefield of a bulk sample from Black Bay suggests the nepheline is amenable to processing to a high value product. This discovery, which is yet to be tested to depth by drilling, is just six kilometers from tide water and is now accessible by a paved road.
Commercial nepheline deposits are rare. The mineral is a source of aluminium, sodium and potassium used primarily in the manufacture of glass, ceramics, extenders and fillers. Though feldspar is used as a substitute for nepheline because of nepheline’s limited supply, nepheline is generally a preferred material over feldspar due to its higher concentration of potassium and sodium resulting in significant energy savings in industrial uses (the melting point for glass, for example, is reduced sharply).
High-grade nepheline, valuable to the high-end glass market, outcrops at surface at the Black Bay Property over an area at least 1 km long and up to 200 m wide.
Black Bay Highlights
- High-grade nepheline outcrops at surface over an area at least one kilometer long and up to 200 m wide – first-ever drilling is planned in 2021;
- This property was acquired by staking and the initial surface discovery was made in 2016 from detailed bedrock mapping that yielded high-grade Al2O3 samples from a nepheline-bearing syenite;
- Follow-up channel sampling in 2017 over a broad area provided a 3.5-tonne bulk sample that produced favorable metallurgical results (SGS Lakefield) while also indicating the presence of widespread and consistent high-grade Al2O3 in all directions;
- Mineralogy is predominantly nepheline, albite, K-feldspar and analcime, providing enrichment in aluminum, sodium, and potassium with relatively low iron content, dominated by magnetite and biotite;
- Preliminary metallurgical work concluded that the alumina and alkalai content of the rock at Black Bay is comparable to commercial nepheline deposits and that beneficiation results meet industrial specifications;
- Red Moon is targeting a high purity (low iron) nepheline concentrate using magnetic separation.