Johan Beetz Feldspar
Looking to become North America’s #1 Producer of Potassic Feldspar
EnerSpar acquired the Johan Beetz Feldspar project in March 2017, from Globex Mining Enterprises Inc. for consideration of:
– 2,000,000 EnerSpar shares @ $.05 each, and
– a 2.5% Gross Metal Royalty.
There is no work commitment as any part of the transaction but EnerSpar intends to carry out at least the work program recommended in its NI 43-101 Technical Report of $800,000, over the next 18 months following acquisition.
The property consists of 4 mining claims registered as Claim No. 2432487, comprising 52 ha. and Claim No. 2432488, comprising 29.5 ha. and the more recently added and smaller fringe areas of 2461222 and 2461223. The claims are all in Range 5 Lot 28 in Johan Beetz township/Iles and Ilets de Mingan 03, Duplessis County, Quebec.
Feldspar consists of aluminum silicates combined with varying percentages of potassium, sodium and calcium and it is the most abundant mineral of igneous rocks. The two types of feldspar that are important components of mineralization on the property are soda (Na) feldspar (7 % or higher Na2O) and potassic (K) feldspar (8% – 10% or higher K20).
Potassic feldspar is a more valuable mineral and commands a premium in the ceramic, white ware and glaze industries. CRA, a consultancy, categorizes true K-spar at >10% K20 with the U.S market at around 215,000 tonnes per annum growing to 250,000 tpa by 2020, virtually all from domestic production concentrated in North Carolina and Georgia. Prices were reported to be about $190/t in 2012, ranging from $80 to $450 depending on grade and fineness of the concentrate.
Property Description and Location
The claims are located directly on the north shore (Cote Nord) of the Gulf of St. Lawrence, 2.5 kilometres (km) east of the village of Johan Beetz (pop. 80 in 2011). Access to the property is by Hwy 138, which connects the town of Johan Beetz to the towns of Havre St. Pierre, 60 km to the west and Sept Isles, 280 km west. A tertiary road named Rue du nord traverses the claims north to south to the Gulf of Saint Lawrence coastline. Havre St. Pierre (pop. 3,400 in 2011) is the loading port for the Quebec Iron & Titanium (QIT) Lac Allard open pit mining operation.
Property Geology & Mineralogy
The EnerSpar Johan Beetz Feldspar deposit consists of coarse pegmatites varying from pink potassic feldspars in the western portion to finer white sodic feldspars in the eastern part with buff colored mixed feldspar in the central part. Micas account for 1 – 5% of the ores, quartz from 20 – 30% with feldspar making up the remainder. In 1990 Stuart Lee described the geology of the property for Canspar Resources Inc. (in Quebec government exploration file G.M. 49460) as follows;
“The property consists almost exclusively of coarse white, buff or pink pegmatite. Intercalated in this assemblage are a few rare selvedges of strongly foliated amphibolite, possibly pelitic metasediments. The pegmatite dyke is exposed over a width of approximately 2,400 feet and appears to be compositionally and texturally graded. The western portion of the outcrop is characterized by coarsely crystalline (5-10 cm), pink potassic feldspar over a width of approximately 500 feet. This unit grades into a buff, mixed feldspar in the central portion of the property and finally a white, more sodic variety of feldspar in the eastern part of the property. Both of these formations are somewhat finer grained (3-7 cm).
In all cases, the pegmatite contains white and dark mica in amounts varying from 1% to 5%, locally to 10%. The quartz content of the rock varies between 20 and 25%. The feldspar crystals are generally coarse enough to suggest the possibility of separating the feldspar from the gangue by simple mechanical means, namely screening, air and magnetic separation. This could result in an estimated concentrate of approximately 90% feldspar, 9.5% quartz and 0.5% mica.”
Exploration and Development History
Feldspar in pegmatites has been known in the Baie Johan Beetz area for many years. In 1923-24 some 3,038 tons were extracted with a value of $17,000. A resource of 30 million tons has been reported. This resource was estimated prior to the application of National Instrument (NI) 43-101 – Standards of Disclosure for Mineral Projects and is considered historic in nature. It should not be relied upon as it has not been prepared by a Qualified Person under the Instrument. In the 1950’s Spar-Mica Ltd. spent several million dollars on a new and innovative electromagnetic separation plant at Baie Johan Beetz. However, due to contamination and technical problems, the plant was shut down in 1959 after only three years of operation.
Lee reported that 25,000 tons of feldspar-quartz concentrate were produced and shipped but that a total of 150,000 tons was mined from 6 quarries at the site.
Metallurgical testing programs at Johan Beetz included two series of tests conducted by I.M.D. Laboratories for Canspar Resources in 1989 (#90221) and 1994 (#90310). Both test programs were designed to assess feldspar and mica separation and recovery. Tests were conducted on core samples from 15 holes drilled by Canspar in 1991 and samples taken from surface pits. […]
In separation tests (90221), several process iterations were undertaken which informed the design of each subsequent test. The final flotation test of the series, #4, was conducted on magnetically-separated ore, without pre-treatment for removal of mica. The procedure included; Grinding; De-sliming to remove minus 200 mesh sized material; Conditioning of resulting pulp at a pH of 2.5 using dilute sulphuric acid and an amine collector. The remaining pulp was further conditioned for 5 minutes at pH 2.0 with addition of hydrofluoric acid, amine and fuel oil. Rougher and scavenger bulk concentrates were collected and cleaned in one stage to yield a high grade feldspar concentrate and a mixed feldspar/quartz cleaner tailing which could be further recycled to increase the recovery.
The feldspar concentrate at 10.5% K20, 0.07% Fe2O3 content was judged to be very clean. No analysis of the slime fraction was undertaken but an overall feldspar recovery of well over 90% appeared likely.
“Based on Test #4 it is evident that a high quality feldspar product can be produced from the submitted sample. The approach taken in Test #4 resulted in good separation efficiencies and product quality. Further work to optimize the process is required. This should include additional work on mica extraction and separation of potassium and sodium feldspar.”
In IMD Project 90310, which tested both core and quarry samples, the conclusions about recovery are similar to previous testing. The submitted samples identified the need for proper selection of mineralization (though mine planning) so as to exclude units of higher iron content or include more intensive magnetic separation as part of mineral processing.
Globex consultants have recommended an evaluation program for the Johan Beetz feldspar deposit that will:
Undertake a significant sampling and chemical analysis program (via drilling and pitting), sufficient to identify and map feldspar domains for metallurgical testing which will include magnetic separation. Metallurgical samples should be organized into zones based on potential bench heights and/or other applicable mine planning factors to improve mineral quality estimations.
– Develop composite samples for bench scale metallurgical testing to give a detailed picture of the deposit,
– Outline high potassium feldspar areas, and
– Identify potential problem areas with respect to high iron, mica or other elements or minerals which would hamper processing.