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BWA Group PLC - Positive Results from Reconnaissance Surface Pit

·18-min read

THIS ANNOUNCEMENT CONTAINS INSIDE INFORMATION FOR THE PURPOSES OF REGULATION 11 OF THE MARKET ABUSE (AMENDMENT) (EU EXIT) REGULATIONS 2019/310.

13th July 2021

BWA Group PLC

(“BWA”, or the “Company”) (AQSE: BWAP)

Positive Results from Reconnaissance Surface Pit and Auger Sampling at the Dehane Rutile Sands Project, Cameroon

BWA Group plc [AQSE: BWAP], which has mineral exploration licences split between Canada and Cameroon and is quoted on London’s AQSE Growth Market (formerly NEX), provides an update on its recent surface sampling programme at its 90% owned Dehane rutile sands project located in western Cameroon (“Dehane” or the “Dehane Project”).

BWA currently has two heavy mineral sands (“HMS”) licences in Cameroon, both of which are at an early stage of exploration. The Dehane Licence is 132 km2 comprising part of the prospective Nyong river system, located 166 km to the southwest of Yaoundé, and 70km from the deep seaport and industrial zone of Kribi and the Nkoteng Licence (“Nkoteng” or the “Nkoteng Project”) with area 497 km2, comprising part of the prospective Sanaga river system and located 60 km to the north of Yaoundé.

BWA is pleased to announce positive results of a follow up reconnaissance surface exploration pit and auger sampling programme conducted on the Dehane Project, reported in accordance with JORC (2012).

The sampling programme comprised 11 hand excavated exploration pits and 29 auger holes for a total of 139.84 m and 171 primary samples. The first pass reconnaissance programme targeted the entire available length of the Nyong river system within the BWA licence at approximately 2.5 km spacing in the north and opening to 3.5 km spacing in the south and has identified an area of alluvial HMS mineralisation related to the extensive river system and associated floodplains. Results confirm the area has anomalous titanium (Rutile-Ilmenite), zirconium (Zircon) and aluminium (Kyanite) with samples reporting up to 2.61% TiO2, 29.0% Al2O3 and 0.26% Zr, present within basal sands and gravels, and overlying clays.

Highlights:

  • 129 interval samples in excess of 1% TiO2 with associated elevated Zr and Al2O3.

  • Significant pit and auger mineralised intervals include:

    • 3.10 m @ 1.82% TiO2, 22.38% Al2O3 & 0.06% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO_023.

    • 4.00 m @ 1.76% TiO2, 21.25% Al2O3 & 0.09% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO _018.

    • 3.05 m @ 1.72% TiO2, 3.68% Al2O3 & 0.14% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO _034.

    • 5.00 m @ 1.51% TiO2, 17.19% Al2O3 & 0.11% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO _022.

    • 2.40 m @ 1.79% TiO2, 23.09% Al2O3 & 0.06% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO _051

    • 3.30 m @ 1.80% TiO2, 24.59% Al2O3 & 0.04% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO _044

    • 3.60 m @ 1.38% TiO2, 17.14% Al2O3 & 0.05% Zr from 0.00 m in DHO _047

    • Encouraging elevated titanium, zircon and aluminium identified multi-element associations, especially in Al2O3 and TiO2 vs Fe % and Al2O3 vs TiO2.

    • Occurrence of HMS mineralisation within both the sands and overlying clay units.

    • Mapping and data interpretation indicate extensive prospective alluvial units and target areas with an increased concentration of Zr in the north of the licence.

  • Preliminary granulometric studies imply that within the plastic clays lithology, rutile is mostly concentrated in the grain size fraction below 180 µm while ilmenite is observed in all grain size fractions.

  • Plastic clays contain significant Al2O3 with elevated TiO2. There was considerable ilmenite observed within this lithological unit.

  • Within the fine sands, rutile is present in all grain size fractions but in small quantities.

  • In the sand with organic matter horizon, rutile is very abundant in the fractions between +106 µm and +180 µm.

  • In the medium size sands, rutile is abundant in the fraction between +75 µm and +106 µm and rare in the fractions -75µm and + 180µm.

    • Implications of the granulometric studies are as yet not fully recognised, although suggest distinctive mineralised size fractions and preferred host strata.

Please refer to the table at the end of the announcement for summary of significant intervals. A version of this announcement containing pictures and maps can be viewed on the Company’s website, http://www.bwagroupplc.com/.

Outlook

The company are processing the data and are still in the early stages of exploration and evaluation, understanding the distribution of mineralisation and related size fractions, but are very encouraged by the presence of elevated intervals of Rutile-Ilmenite, Zircon and Kyanite over continuous zones within an area considered prospective for heavy mineral sands, and that the first campaign in this area has returned such positive results to warrant further exploration.

Our Covid-19 health and safety protocols allow the team to be safe and effective in the field.

Richard Battersby, Non-executive Chairman of BWA, commented:

“These results from the latest Dehane exploration programme, show a sufficiently encouraging picture and strong indication of the occurrence of potentially economic mineralisation within the licence area for BWA to continue with the planned next phase exploration and evaluation programmes for the area.

Coupled with the recent results from geologically similar Nkoteng (located 200 km NE of Dehane), BWA is encouraged to continue to explore for HMS in Cameroon and will now be moving towards completing independent Competent Persons Reports, reported in accordance with JORC (2012) on both the Dehane and Nkoteng projects”.

Overview

BWA is pleased to announce the results of the surface sampling in Dehane, in accordance with the JORC code (2012).

Implications for Exploration

The programme has demonstrated that there is excellent potential for continuous HMS mineralisation and deposit development within the area tested at sufficient levels to warrant further follow up systematic exploration. The combined areas tested equate to approximately 40 km2 of the Nyong river floodplain.

There are positive results for TiO2, Al2O3 and Zr throughout the licence area. However, the northern parts of the licence appear to be more prospective to HMS mineralisation than the southern areas. The northern part was targeted more heavily after the presence of an extremely positive grab sample (DHO_006) reporting 26.9% TiO2, >1.00% Zr and 10.8% Al2O3, disclosed in RNS dated 15th January 2021. Nevertheless, the southern sections are still anomalous and show supporting continuation of mineralisation, particularly of TiO2 and Al2O3.

Current results and interpretations suggest the mineralisation is more prospective in the north of the licence due to the presence of a Cretaceous fault which has created a waterfall. This HMS “rich zone” is located downstream of the waterfall, which sees an abrupt decrease in river water velocity due to the sudden change in topography and its load of heavy minerals is deposited.

The presence of anomalous values within the overlying clays encouraging in terms of increasing the thickness, subsequent volume and proximity to the surface of potentially economic material.

BWA are currently evaluating the results and are in the planning stages for additional exploration works to understand the relationships between the mineralisation and host strata in these areas as well as focusing on designing the intended follow up drill programmes.

BWA are extremely encouraged by the grade and extent of all the target minerals and are planning follow up work, to be conducted shortly.

Summary of Exploration Works

In accordance with JORC (2012) reporting guidelines, a summary of the material information used is set out below. For further details, please refer to the JORC (2012) Table 1, located in the Appendix to this announcement.

The exploration consisted of 29 auger holes, 11 hand dug exploration pits, for a total of 139.84 m and 171 primary samples. These samples were collected from within the current floodplain and paleo alluvial basin related to the Nyong river.

Both the auger holes and pits were hand drilled / excavated to a maximum depth of 5 m, generally stopping the hole and pit when bedrock was reached or unsafe.

The whole auger sample was taken in its entirety for analysis and the 123 controlled interval samples were generally between 50 – 120 cm in length and lithologically controlled where possible. Within the pits, a 15 cm wide channel was dug down the centre of the pit and the 48 controlled interval samples were generally between 40 – 130 cm in length, constrained by lithology where possible.

During the Dehane sampling programme, the primary host for the mineralisation, the sands, were routinely sampled to test for heavy minerals. Furthermore, from experience from the recent Nkoteng programme, which consistently saw anomalous results from the plastic clays and saprolite horizons (reported in RNS dated 26th April 2021), it was important for BWA geologists to also sample the plastic clays and saprolite routinely from the Dehane pits and auger holes. Similar results are observed in the overlying clays from the Dehane programme, with sample number P654084 returning 0.76% TiO2, 11.80% Al2O3 and 0.25% Zr from within the plastic clays and sample number P654110 returning 1.42% TiO2, 6.96% Al2O3 and 0.09% Zr from within the saprolite.

After collection, the samples were oven dried for 24 hours, riffle split and pulverised to -75?m at Afrigeolabs in Yaoundé to produce a pulp of 250 g and sent to ALS Johannesburg for multi-element XRF analysis by method ME-XRF11bE.

Quality assurance and quality control measures included the insertion of external certified reference materials and field duplicates, and internal lab standards and duplicates. There were some issues with the Zr data that appeared to be under-reporting and resulted in a number of failed internal and external CRM samples. ALS were approached to review the issues and subsequently re-analysed for Zr and the updated results show no significant additional issues. The Zr grades will be closely monitored moving forward.

Eleven -2mm sample rejects were used for granulometric studies and visual size fraction analysis, with work continuing in this domain. Four sieves were used to fraction off the sample with each size fraction having a detailed description and analysis.

Preliminary granulometric studies imply that within the sands, ilmenite is more abundant within the fraction -600 to +180 µm. Limited rutile was observed in this fraction.

  • Preliminary granulometric studies imply that within the plastic clays lithology, rutile is mostly concentrated in the grain size fraction below 180 µm while ilmenite is observed in all grain size fractions.

  • Within the fine sands, rutile is present in all grain size fractions but in small quantities.

  • In the sand with organic matter horizon, rutile is very abundant in the fractions between +106 µm and +180 µm.

  • In the medium size sands, rutile is abundant in the fraction between +75 µm and +106 µm and rare in the fractions -75µm and + 180µm.

Implications of the granulometric studies are as yet not fully recognized and further testwork required going forward, although the preliminary work suggest the minerals of interest occur within specific size fractions and preferred host strata.

Geology and Geological Interpretation

The Dehane licence is located to the west of Yaoundé, close to the coast, the port of Douala and deep seaport of Kribi.

The Dehane licence is located on the Western Cameroon Domain, which extends along the border between Nigeria and Cameroon. This domain consists of a series of medium-grade to high grade schists and gneisses of volcanic and volcano-sedimentary origin, intruded by later-stage granitoid complexes, the basement rocks are source of heavy minerals.

The Nyong river is the main river which runs through the licence area. The BWA licence accommodates approximately 20 km of the prospective Nyong river floodplain system and associated tributaries.

The licence encompasses a large active river system and an even larger paleo-floodplain area, observed in satellite imagery, although this has yet to be fully ground-truthed through fieldwork. This paleo-floodplain is likely to be a significant target for exploration and covers the length of the river with an initial expected width of over 2 km in the north and increasing in the south. Other rivers of various importance are found there: Owoumbé, Nkoudou, Bidinga, Mbebe, Mboke, and Ongué.

A summary delineation of the plains completed by geological contractors GIMERC (Generateur de Solutions) in 2020 along the Nyong River, shows plains in the south of the licence increasing to widths of up to 5 km.

The Dehane area has been known for some historic small scale artisanal historical rutile mining. However, the extent of its exploitation has not translated to concentrated modern exploration.

Heavy mineral sands are loose aggregates of unlithified material containing combinations of minerals with a high specific gravity, generally above 4 g/cm3. The heavy minerals at Dehane occur in a variety of igneous and metamorphic rocks, but because of their resistance to weathering and comparatively high specific gravity, they are found to accumulate in river channels.

Competent Person’s Statement

The information in this report which relates to exploration results for the Dehane Project is based upon and fairly represents information collected and compiled by Mr Emmanuel Simo, MSc., Senior Geologist and Chief Geologist for BWA, who is a Member of the Australian Institute of Geoscientists.

The exploration results were reviewed by Mr J.N. Hogg, MSc. MAIG, Principal Geologist for Addison Mining Services (AMS) and Non-executive Director of BWA.

Mr Simo and Mr Hogg have sufficient experience relevant to the style of mineralisation, the type of deposit under consideration and to the activity undertaken to qualify as a Competent Person as defined in the JORC Code 2012 edition of the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves.

Mr Hogg has reviewed and verified the technical information that forms the basis of and has been used in the preparation of this announcement, including all sampling and analytical data, and analytical techniques. Mr Hogg consents to the inclusion in this announcement of the matters based on the information, in the form and context in which it appears. Mr Hogg has also reviewed and approved the technical information in his capacity as a Competent Person.

Forward Looking Statement

This announcement contains forward-looking statements which involve a number of risks and uncertainties. These forward-looking statements are expressed in good faith and believed to have a reasonable basis. These statements reflect current expectations, intentions or strategies regarding the future and assumptions based on currently available information. Should one or more of the risks or uncertainties materialise, or should underlying assumptions prove incorrect, actual results may vary from the expectations, intentions and strategies described in this announcement. No obligation is assumed to update forward looking statements if these beliefs, opinions and estimates should change or to reflect other future developments.

For further information on the Company, please visit http://www.bwagroupplc.com/index.html or contact:

BWA Group PLC
Richard Battersby
Chairman

+44 (0)7836 238172
enquiries@bwagroupplc.com

Allenby Capital Limited
Corporate Adviser
Nick Harriss / Freddie Wooding

+44 (0)20 3328 5658

Prior to publication, the information contained within this announcement was deemed by the Company to constitute inside information for the purposes of Article 7 under the Market Abuse Regulation (EU) No. 596/2014 ("MAR"). With the publication of this announcement, this information is now considered to be in the public domain.

Glossary of Technical Terms:

“%”

percent;

Al2O3

Aluminium Oxide;

“ALS”

Australian Laboratory Services;

“AMS”

Addison Mining Services;

"BRGM"

Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minié
(French Geological Survey);

"BWA"

BWA Group PLC;

"DTM"

Digital Terrain Model. Computerised topographic model;

"DUP"

Décret d'Utilité Publique (Public Utility Decree);

"HMS"

Heavy Mineral Sands;

“km”

Kilometre;

"TiO2"

Titanium dioxide, also known as titanium (IV) oxide. Generally sourced from ilmenite, rutile, and anatase;

"Zr"

Zircon or Zirconium;

“JORC (2012)”

the 2012 edition of the JORC code;

“JORC”

the Australasian Code for Reporting of Exploration Results, Mineral Resources and Ore Reserves, as published by the Joint Ore Reserves Committee of The Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy, Australian Institute of Geoscientists and Minerals Council of Australia;

“m”

metre;

“ME-XRF11bE”

Analysis by Fusion/XRF;

“QA/QC”

Quality assurance/quality control.

Pit ID

East 32N

North 32N

RL

Dip / Azi

Depth

From

To

Interval

TiO2 %

Al2O3 %

Zr %

Geology and Commentary

DHO_015

618266

381652

13.00

-90 / 0

3.90

0.00

3.90

3.90

1.47

17.59

0.07

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_016

617984

381772

9.00

-90 / 0

3.86

0.00

3.86

3.86

1.60

19.25

0.08

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_017

618321

382011

17.00

-90 / 0

3.65

0.00

3.65

3.65

1.28

14.26

0.08

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_018

618134

381975

21.00

-90 / 0

4.00

0.00

4.00

4.00

1.76

21.25

0.09

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_019

618473

384005

4.00

-90 / 0

4.00

0.00

4.00

4.00

1.48

17.80

0.08

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_020

618313

384002

11.00

-90 / 0

3.60

0.00

3.60

3.60

1.56

19.23

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_021

618200

384033

6.00

-90 / 0

3.70

0.00

3.70

3.70

1.51

18.39

0.07

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_022

618568

386324

19.00

-90 / 0

5.00

0.00

5.00

5.00

1.51

17.19

0.11

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_023

618373

386395

7.00

-90 / 0

4.55

0.00

3.10

3.10

1.82

22.38

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_024

618823

381627

20.00

-90 / 0

5.00

0.00

5.00

5.00

1.40

17.30

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_025

618756

381613

17.00

-90 / 0

4.37

0.00

4.37

4.37

1.49

16.43

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_026

618936

384080

11.00

-90 / 0

4.60

0.00

4.60

4.60

1.39

14.73

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_027

620030

387863

15.00

-90 / 0

1.00

0.00

1.00

1.00

0.81

10.20

0.13

Fine sands

DHO_028

620005

387853

13.00

-90 / 0

3.40

0.00

3.40

3.40

1.21

8.52

0.06

Fine sands

DHO_029

620008

387741

23.00

-90 / 0

1.00

0.00

1.00

1.00

1.23

4.04

0.10

Fine sands

DHO_030

619822

386263

13.00

-90 / 0

3.60

0.00

3.60

3.60

1.27

20.79

0.07

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_031

618700

387974

7.00

-90 / 0

3.30

0.00

3.30

3.30

1.69

21.15

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_032

619792

386675

13.00

-90 / 0

5.00

0.00

5.00

5.00

1.43

21.92

0.05

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_033

621224

387960

36.00

-90 / 0

3.19

0.00

3.19

3.19

0.92

14.19

0.16

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_034

619677

386464

8.00

-90 / 0

3.05

0.00

3.05

3.05

1.72

3.68

0.14

Fine sands

DHO_035

619857

387037

8.00

-90 / 0

4.30

0.00

4.30

4.30

1.06

6.14

0.06

Fine sands

DHO_036

619315

389727

10.00

-90 / 0

2.25

0.00

2.25

2.25

1.44

20.06

0.05

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_037

619060

386575

15.00

-90 / 0

4.00

0.00

4.00

4.00

1.17

18.99

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_038

619145

386532

5.00

-90 / 0

4.00

0.00

4.00

4.00

1.31

9.07

0.08

Fine sands

DHO_039

618830

386399

10.00

-90 / 0

5.00

0.00

4.80

4.80

1.72

22.00

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_040

618779

386113

8.00

-90 / 0

5.00

0.00

5.00

5.00

1.55

11.76

0.08

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_041

615248

370991

20.00

-90 / 0

3.20

0.00

2.32

2.32

1.06

11.79

0.05

Fine sands

DHO_042

615340

370990

20.00

-90 / 0

2.20

0.00

2.20

2.20

1.16

15.01

0.04

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_044

616937

374184

14.00

-90 / 0

3.33

0.00

3.33

3.33

1.80

24.59

0.04

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_045

616755

374051

8.00

-90 / 0

2.87

0.00

2.87

2.87

1.38

19.04

0.04

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_046

615576

370990

12.00

-90 / 0

3.50

0.00

1.20

1.20

0.95

10.37

0.05

Fine sands

DHO_047

616057

371062

7.00

-90 / 0

3.60

0.00

3.60

3.60

1.38

17.14

0.05

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_048

617844

374134

21.00

-90 / 0

2.80

0.00

1.60

1.60

1.20

18.92

0.03

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_049

617694

374052

10.00

-90 / 0

3.00

0.00

2.30

2.30

1.47

22.80

0.04

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_050

618482

377754

22.00

-90 / 0

3.00

0.00

1.00

1.00

1.53

22.30

0.03

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_051

618553

377700

18.00

-90 / 0

3.50

0.00

2.40

2.40

1.79

23.09

0.06

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_052

619085

377476

19.00

-90 / 0

3.60

0.00

3.60

3.60

1.20

14.73

0.04

Plastic clays and sands

DHO_053

619140

377528

19.00

-90 / 0

2.50

0.00

2.50

2.50

1.01

11.47

0.03

Plastic clays and sands

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