Vancouver, Canada – Leading Edge Materials Corp. (“Leading Edge Materials”) or (“the Company”) (TSXV: LEM) (OTCQB: LEMIF) announces the staking of the Company’s second cobalt (“Co”) – copper (“Cu”) project, Kontio, located in north eastern Finland approximately 50 km northwest of the town of Kuusamo. The project is secured by Leading Edge Material’s 30,800 hectare Kontio-Sarvivaara reservation which is valid until September 2018.
The Kontio project lies within the Kuusamo Schist Belt, host to numerous significant deposits in Eastern Finland. The Kuusamo Schist Belt is comprised of various meta-sedimentary sequences with regular mafic and felsic intrusive and regional scale albite alteration.
Eleven cobalt-copper deposits or occurrences were discovered in the vicinity of the Kontio project during the 1970’s and 80’s, following which time no significant exploration work has been documented. The Company’s Kontio-Sarvivaara claim reservation secures 4 of these occurrences, along strike potential of the Haarakumpu cobalt-copper deposit, plus numerous untested geophysical anomalies.
Haarakumpu is the most significant deposit in the region which was discovered by the Lapin Malmi exploration coalition in 1982 using electromagnetics (“EM”). The strong EM and magnetic anomaly was tested with 23 holes, defining an inferred resource of 2.6 Mt @ 0.25% Co and 0.46% Cu in a dipping sheet approximately 6m thick (Vartiainen, H., 1984. Rautaruukki Oy internal report). The stratigraphic position of the Haarakumpu deposit trends onto the Leading Edge Materials reservation.
In the north of the reservation area lies the Pattasoja prospect, which was first located in 1971 by the Rautaruukki Company who discovered Co to 0.9% in boulders. Ground geophysics, boulder sampling, till sampling and mapping was followed by 9 diamond drillholes which discovered a greater than 1km long cobalt-bearing pyrite mineralized zone. Seven drill holes intersected Co mineralization greater than 0.1%, peaking at 1.1% Co over thin intervals. Pattasoja presents a high priority target for immediate follow up, with cobalt in till anomalies extending well beyond the drilled area.
The Ristisuo prospect lies centrally within the reservation area, where Lapin Malmi discovered Cu-Co bearing boulders that were subsequently followed up by various geophysical methods and three drill holes. Low grade mineralization was encountered, but the source of the mineralized boulders was not intersected.
The Maaninkajoki prospect is defined by a strong EM resulting from pyrite alteration. Exploration by both Lapin Malmi and Rautaruukki located cobalt-rich pyrite bearing boulders up to 0.44% Co, the source of which was not identified.
Exploration at the Maitokoski prospect was limited, however a greater than 250m long EM conductor was defined beneath thin soil cover. No further exploration was completed to test the bedrock source.
Blair Way, President and CEO, stated “This new and large reservation is one of the best cobalt exploration areas in the Nordic region, with numerous indications of high grade cobalt. The area is unexplored since the 1980’s, when activity was focused on copper rather than cobalt, demonstrating that the best cobalt grades do not correspond with highest copper grades. Modern geophysical methods provide an excellent opportunity to quickly develop high priority targets.
The Kontio project provides Leading Edge Materials with an additional high priority battery materials project in a mining supportive country. We continue to pursue and explore high quality critical materials projects.”
Cobalt plays an essential role in lithium ion batteries for the automotive, consumer product and stationary electrify storage industries. Annual consumption of cobalt is forecast to double to 200,000 tonnes over the next 5 years due to the accelerated uptake of lithium ion batteries for the storage of low carbon energy. Approximately 50% of cobalt is presently sourced from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), with an extremely high and unsustainable social impact. Europe is investing heavily in lithium ion battery technologies, and is seeking sustainable sources of the cobalt, lithium and high purity graphite upon which these batteries rely.
|On behalf of the Board,
Blair Way, President & CEO
The qualified person for the Company’s exploration projects, Mark Saxon, Director of Leading Edge Materials, a Fellow of the Australasian Institute of Mining and Metallurgy has reviewed and verified the contents of this release.
The TSX Venture Exchange nor its Regulation Services Provider (as that term is defined in the policies of the TSX Venture Exchange), accept responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.
Forward-Looking Information. This news release may contain forward-looking statements and information based on current expectations. These statements should not be read as guarantees of future performance or results. Such statements involve known and unknown risks, uncertainties and other factors that may cause actual results, performance or achievements to be materially different from those implied by such statements. Such statements include but are not limited unexpected geological conditions; exploration activities to advance the Company’s cobalt projects; delays in obtaining or failure to obtain necessary permits and approvals from government authorities; dealings with non-governmental organizations; court rulings and appeals process; competition with other companies within the mining industry, changes in world metal markets and equity markets beyond the Company’s control; the risks associated with changes in the mining regulatory regime governing the Company; and the risks associated with the various environmental regulations the Company is subject to. Although the Company has attempted to identify important factors that could cause actual results to differ materially from those contained in the Forward-Looking Statements, there may be other factors that cause results not to be as anticipated, estimated or intended. There can be no assurance that such Forward-Looking Statements will prove to be accurate, as actual results and future events could differ materially from those anticipated in such Forward-Looking Statements. Such Forward-Looking Statements has been provided for the purpose of assisting investors in understanding the Company’s business, operations and exploration plans and may not be appropriate for other purposes. Accordingly, readers should not place undue reliance on Forward-Looking Statements. Forward Looking Statements is made as of the date hereof, and the Company does not undertake to update such Forward-Looking Statements except in accordance with applicable securities laws.