Sunrise Diamonds plc
a lower value mineral filler and high volumes of low- grade barite are used as a weighting agent in drilling mud in the oil and gas industry.
The Derrryginagh mine was worked in the period 1864–1922, supplying white barite to the local paint industry. The mine workings extend over a strike length of 200m and to a maximum depth of 60m. In the 1970s the mine workings were de-watered and mapped by a local company and in the 1980s four holes were drilled to intersect the barite vein at 100 metres below surface by Dresser Minerals International Inc., which was then a major supplier of drilling mud grade barite around the world.
All four Dresser holes intersected white barite over an average width of 2.4m and over a total strike length of 200m, with the vein being open along strike and at depth.
There is a significant demand for white paint-grade barite in Europe but no major mine supply outside of China and India. Consequently there is a niche opportunity for a new European supplier as China’s own internal demand limits traditional exports. The price currently quoted for white paint-grade barite is £195–220/tonne delivered to the UK.
The Company will collect samples of the barite mineralisation for metallurgical characterisation and quality testing before undertaking further drilling and economic evaluation.
New Project Generation The Company is targeting both diamonds and other commodities. This process has resulted in acquisition of the Cue and Derryginagh projects described above, and is continuing.
Acquisition of advanced-stage projects is competitive and good projects are difficult to find. During the year the Company evaluated a large number of new project opportunities through a combination of desk studies, detailed due diligence and site visits. The Company is rigorous in its assessment to ensure value for shareholders.
Detailed due diligence has been carried out on a number of potential non-diamond project acquisitions and, in some cases, offers have been made which have not been accepted. A number of projects remain under active evaluation and negotiation.