Lola Graphite Project – Republic of Guinea, West Africa
The Lola Graphite occurrence is located 3.5 kilometers west of the town of Lola in eastern Guinea, 1,000 kilometers from Conakry, the capital of the Republic of Guinea. The occurrence is within 50 kilometers of the Ivory Coast border. The Lola Graphite Project is fully owned by Sama Graphite Inc. (TSXV: SRG), through its local branch called Sama Ressources Guinée SARL.
The Lola Graphite Exploration Permit in the South-Eastern Guinea together with adjacent exploration permits in the area.
Exploration permits in Guinea
In Guinea, land is federally owned and as such mineral rights are governed by the country’s Department of Mines and Energy. An exploration permit is required, which grants its holder exclusive right to prospect for a specific type of mineable substance(s) for which the permit is specifically issued, within the limits of its surface area and without limitation as to depth. The term of an exploration permit may be renewed twice for a maximum period of two (2) years each time, at the request of the holder and according to the same conditions as the initial permit. Each of the two renewals will occur automatically if the holder has met all the obligations contained in the granting order.
Pursuant to Sama Ressources Guinée’s deposition of a permit request in 2012, the Republic of Guinea awarded the Company, through the Arrété No A2013/4543/MMG/SGG dated September 2, 2013, the Lola Graphite Exploration Permit. This permit was initially valid for a first period of three years, and renewable for two additional periods of two years each. The Company submitted the first renewing documentation with the Department on Mines and Energy on June 20, 2016 and the exploration permit was renewed for the first period of two years on August 29, 2016, Decree No 442 MMG/CAB/CPDM/2016. As per the legislation, the surface area of a given permit will be reduced by 50% at the first renewal. Consequently, the surface area of the Lola Graphite exploration permit was reduced from 380 km2 to 187 km2. There are no environmental liabilities associated with the exploration permit and there are no surface rights agreements in place or under negotiation.
The Lola Graphite occurrence was originally discovered by BUMIFOM (“Bureau Minier de la France Outremer”) during construction of the Conakry-Lola road in 1951. Shortly after Guinea’s declaration of independence in 1958, however, the project was abandoned and subsequently forgotten until Sama Resources “re-discovered” the deposit in 2012.
The Lola Graphite deposit is present at surface over 8.7 kilometers with an average width of 370 meters, and up to 1,000 meters wide. The first 20 meters or so of the deposit are well weathered (lateralized), freeing graphite flakes from the silicate gangue and thus allowing for easy grinding and optimal recovery of all large and jumbo flakes. The graphite mineralization continues at depth within the non-weathered sheared gneiss..
The graphite mineralization is well exposed at surface over the entire strike length, with surface sample grades ranging from trace to up to 20% Cg (graphitic carbon). The mineralisation is often seen as agglomerates of high graphite concentration that can exceed 50% to 60% visible graphite content.
A total of 36 core drill holes for 800 m were drilled at the Lola Graphite deposit. Holes were scattered unevenly over a strike length of 5.2 km of the entire 8.7-km-long deposit. Drilling was performed using Jacro 175 core drill rigs owned and operated by Sama, capable of reaching a depth of between 20 and 40 meters from the surface. In 2014, a 32.5 line-km of Max-Min electromagnetic survey was completed over the entire strike length of the deposit.
Four metallurgical tests were performed at the Activation Laboratory (Actlab), Ontario, Canada between 2014 and 2016. In 2014, a test was performed on Lola’s two most prominent mineralized facies, the oxide material and the underlying non-oxide material (below 20 meters). Tests performed in 2015 and 2016 focused exclusively on the oxide material.
The oxide material returned global recoveries of 94-96% of graphite flakes, producing a graphite concentrate with 60% to 89% of large, jumbo and super-jumbo size flakes. Super-jumbo size flakes account for 29% of the concentrate with graphitic carbon (‘’Cg’’) purities of 96% and 97%.
Actlab Metallurgical tests results. Subdivision of the jumbo flakes into jumbo and super-jumbo sizes was only performed in 2016.
Testing reveals that the graphite concentrate is exempt of contaminants (Cu, Mo, V, etc.) that are often found in higher concentrations of graphite from numerous other graphite deposits around the world, particularly in southern Africa. The table below illustrates that the concentrate from oxide facies (weathered, near surface material) has a much lower level of contaminants than the non-weathered material.
Mineralogical studies show that all the sulfide minerals have been naturally leached (weathered) from the oxide facies, resulting in a chemically purer concentrate. For this same reason, the tailings are also expected to be sulphur-free and non-acid generating.
Actlab Metallurgical tests results. Minor and Trace elements analysis
In 2013, the Company supported M. Sékou Oumar Sow, a Guinean geological student from the University of Franche Conté, France, with his undergraduate study program. The study focused on the mineralogical and petrological characterisations of the mineralization as well as the host rock at Lola. Mr. Sow conducted the study was under the supervision of Professor Christian Picard.
The graphitic mineralization is hosted within a quartzo-feldspath-biotite-sillimanite rich paragneiss with zircon, monazite and rutile as accessory minerals. Graphite mineralization is present as natural flakes of 0.25 mm to 1 mm in size. Graphite flakes appear to be cogenetic with biotite and sillimanite.
Jacro diamond drilling rig in operation at the Lola Graphite (October 2013).
The following figure illustrates the size distribution of the graphite flake concentrate produced in 2015 and 2016 using material from the Lola Graphite deposit and compared to other major projects in development, The Lola Graphite analysis was conducted by ActLab in Ontario, Canada.
Comparison of Flake Size Distributions from Various Selected Published Sources
To date, four metallurgical tests have been conducted on the property, with additional metallurgical tests planned for the near future. Typically, between 15-20 tests are carried out in order to fine-tune a floatation flow sheet.