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TIRANA (Albania), March 6 (SeeNews) – Canadian-based European Electric Metals said it is proceeding with metallurgical testing of mineralized material from the Skroska cobalt-nickel laterite mine in Albania's Elbasan region.
The tests will be conducted by SGS Canada and will initially focus on establishing the amenability of the Skroska material to high-pressure acid leaching (HPAL), a commercially proven process for recovery of cobalt and nickel from nickel laterite, European Electric Metals, formerly Tirex Resources, said in a statement earlier this week.
“In the past, Skroska operated as a nickel mine with no value derived from the cobalt. Our underground sampling and assaying at the mine have confirmed our belief that elevated levels of cobalt exist,” Fred Tejada, CEO and director of European Electric Metals, said. “Based on the success of the underground sampling program to date, we are now moving forward with the next step which is to determine how to best unlock the potential value of the cobalt alongside the nickel.”
In November, European Electric Metals said that it has completed the initial phase of drilling at Skroska mine.
On October 11, European Electric Metals said it has entered into an agreement to acquire 100% of the share capital of Albanian company Gerold, which owns the Skroska mine, for a total of 5.41 million euro ($6.2 million) payable over three years, comprising payments of 5.2 million euro and share issuances valued at 210,000 euro.
Gerold previously ran a 200 tonnes per day mine at Skroska, a fully permitted mining operation covered by a 20-year mining licence issued in 2008. Gerold conducted mining operations on Skroska from 2008-2013 using an open stope method. The operation previously focused on nickel production and the mine was put on care and maintenance in 2013 due to low nickel prices.
European Electric Metals, a Canadian-listed public company with projects in Europe, has also a 25-year mining licence from Albania’s energy ministry to operate the Rehova copper mine located 115 kilometers southeast of Tirana.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development is the largest shareholder of European Electric Metals with its ownership of 27.56% of the outstanding shares. The company says its goal is to become a major source of battery metals such as copper, nickel and cobalt, and it aims to do so within safe, stable and logistically attractive European jurisdictions. It changed its name from Tirex Resources in January 2018 to reflect its focus on high grade battery and electrification metals within a European setting.
($ = 0.88337 euro)