Introduction And History
Tertiary Minerals plc ("the Company") aims to provide capital growth for shareholders through the costs effective exploration and development of mineral deposits.
The Group is involved in exploration and development of gold, base metal, tantalum and platinum group metal ("PGM") projects.
The Group has interests in a number of mineral exploration projects in Sweden, Finland, Norway and Saudi Arabia including projects at the preliminary economic feasibility stage, projects at the drilling stage and grass roots projects.
The Company was formed in August 1999 and became the holding company for Tertiary Gold Limited in September 1999 when all of the shareholders of Tertiary Gold exchanged their shares in that company for shares in Tertiary Minerals.
Tertiary Gold was formed in September 1995 and is named after the "Tertiary" geological time period. Prior to the share exchange Tertiary Gold financed its activities principally through two private equity seed capital fundraisings. It conducts operations in Sweden through a Swedish branch called "Svensk filial till Tertiary Gold Limited, United Kingdom".
Following the acquisition of Tertiary Gold the Company made a conditionally underwritten placing of shares and warrants to raise £600,267 before expenses and was admitted to trading on the Alternative Investment Market of the London Stock Exchange Limited ("AIM") on 18 November 1999. It has established its corporate office in Macclesfield, Cheshire.
Since joining AIM and up to 2nd January 2004 the Company has raised £2.9 million through placements and the exercise of warrants.
Strategy and Prospects
The Directors policy is to maintain a portfolio of grass roots to advanced exploration projects such that the Company has, as far as is possible, mature drill-stage projects at all times and thus continuing exposure to the opportunity for the discovery of commercial ore-bodies.
The portfolio includes world-class targets for gold, copper and nickel in politically stable Scandinavia and development projects for tantalum in Finland and Saudi Arabia.
Drilling is planned for a number of projects in early 2004 including the recently
acquired Kaaresselkä gold project, the Notträsk nickel project and the Ahmavuoma copper-gold-cobalt project.
Tantalum has shown strong demand and price growth over the past ten years due to its predominant use in various electronic and other "high-tech" applications. Whilst demand for tantalum was weak from 2000-2003, due to a weak electronics sector, growth has now returned to the tantalum market and the Company believes that the market for these metals will continue to grow at above average rates in future.
The Company has set out a two-fold strategy for involvement in the tantalum business. The Company is looking to develop its Rosendal project in Finland, a modest sized deposit capable of production when tantalum prices recover. At the same time, in response to the exceptional growth in the tantalum market over the past 10 years, we have been advancing development of the world-class Ghurayyah tantalum deposit in Saudi Arabia which is capable of supplying large amounts of tantalum to the market within a 3-5 year time horizon.
This strategy has progressed substantially with the completion of preliminary metallurgical testwork and economic scoping studies on the Rosendal tantalum project and a positive scoping study for development of the Ghurayyah deposit.
The Group will consider entering into joint venture or farm-in agreements with other mineral companies on its projects where this would allow it to accelerate exploration and/or development of a project beyond the financial resources available to it, or in order to explore further its projects at minimal cost to the Group.
(last updated 20 February 2004)
Shares on issue: 40,421,093
Ordinary Shares of 1p each
300,000 Exercisable at 20p
330,000 Employee Options exercisable
at 15p, 16p and 22p
41,051,093 Ordinary Shares of 1p each
Gold Project Spotlight
Kaaresselkä - Finland, Tertiary Minerals 100%
The Company has recently acquired claims over the Kaaresselkä gold prospect in Northern Finland. The prospects were first discovered by the Geological Survey of Finland ("GTK") which put down 10,000m of diamond core drilling in 185 shallow holes. The project area has well developed infrastructure and is accessed by a network of logging roads and is just 15km from the Pahtavaara gold mine.
After the Kaaresselkä gold deposits were discovered by GTK the project was put up for sale by international tender by the Finnish Ministry of Trade and Industry in June 2001. It is understood that the project was to be sold to Terra Mining Oy, then operating the Pahtavaara gold mine 15km away, but the sale was interrupted when the company, together with its parent, went into bankruptcy. Tertiary acquired the project when previous claims lapsed.
Drilling to date at Kaaresselkä is reported by GTK to have intersected gold mineralisation in three separate zones - Vanha, Tienvarsi and Lampi - within an area of 1.1km by 0.6km. Drilling of the Vanha zone indicates that it is at least 650m long and broken into a number of fault blocks so that it does not outcrop continuously. In the centre of the Vanha zone there is a continuous block of mineralisation 200m long and 9-16m wide continuing to the deepest drill-hole at a depth of 55m from surface.
The Tienvarsi zone, drill defined for 200m along strike to date, has a reported width of 4-13m and has been drilled to only 40m vertical depth.
At Lampi drilling has defined a 10m wide breccia zone with assays up to 5.87g/t gold. Several other targets are defined by geochemical and geophysical anomalies and limited drilling.
GTK has reported a best drill intersection of 2m grading 45g/t gold and several drill intersections of 3m grading better than 10g/t gold. The gold occurs as free gold, sometimes visible in drill core. Previous drilling was reportedly hampered by weathering of the mineralised zones which made for poor core recovery and hindered a detailed resource estimate. However, from drilling of the Vanha and Tienvarsi open-ended 200m long zones, GTK estimated a volume of at least 160,000 cubic metres of mineralised material grading between 1 and 10g/t gold and between 0.2% and 2% copper to the maximum drilled depth of 55m from surface. Mineralisation remains open at depth and along strike within Tertiary’s claims and claim applications.
Tertiary has commenced a detailed review and compilation of previous exploration data generated by GTK with a view to commencing a follow up drilling programme to define mineral resources.
The explored area is just one part of the prospective Kaaresselkä Shear Zone in the 4km long project area now controlled by Tertiary Minerals. The Shear Zone itself is associated with the Sirkka Break, a major geological feature associated with gold mineralisation in Central Lappland.
Two projects previously tendered by the Finnish Government in this part of Northern Finland, Pahtavaara (120,000 ounces gold produced to date - held by Scan Mining AB) and Suurikuusikko (2 million+ ounce gold resource - held by Riddarhytten Resources), have become significant mining and development projects.
ENCOURAGED BY WIDE SULPHIDE INTERSECTIONS AT SWEDISH COPPER-GOLD TARGET
20 February 2004
RAISES £600,000 FOR SCANDINAVIAN DRILLING WITH INSTITUTIONAL PLACEMENT
29 January 2004
TO START DRILLING NEXT MONTH ON FOUR FRONTS AT SCANDINAVIAN PROJECTS -