Apollo Minerals has signed an agreement to acquire an 80% interest in the Couflens tungsten-copper-gold project in southern France by purchasing 100% of shares in Ariege Tungstene.  

The Couflens Project is 130km south of Toulouse within the Pyrenees region near the Spain border.

It includes the recently granted Couflens exploration licence covering an area of 42km², which comprises the Salau Mine, one of the world’s highest grade tungsten mines. 

Bureau de Recherches Géologiques et Minières (BRGM) discovered the Salau scheelite skarn tungsten deposit in the early 1960s and operated it between April 1971 and November 1986.

It produced nearly 930,000t of ore at an average grade of 1.5% WO3, yielding approximately 11,500t of WO3 in concentrate.

Under the agreement, Apollo Minerals will acquire 100% of Ariege by paying A$250,000 ($189,000) as cash and 15,000,000 fully paid ordinary shares as consideration on completion.

Completion of this agreement must be completed within 24 months from the signing date. The deal is subject to multiple closing conditions, including regulatory and shareholder approval.

Salau is a tungsten-bearing (primarily scheelite) skarn deposit, which developed at the contact between Devonian pelites and calcareous sediments of the Barregiennes Formation and a Hercynian-aged granodiorite stock.

Salau consists of two known mineralised systems, the Bois d’Anglade embayment and Veronique.

Bois d’Anglade was discovered at first while Veronique, located 300m to the west, provided higher grade tungsten production, including gold-rich material.

Earlier drilling by the former operators confirmed multiple high grade tungsten-bearing skarn intersections at the project below the 1,230m level access adit.

The tungsten mineralisation was reported to be similar to that derived from mining in the upper levels of Veronique.

"It produced nearly 930,000t of ore at an average grade of 1.5% WO3 , yielding approximately 11,500t of WO3 in concentrate."

Other mining areas within the property also hold potentiality where remnant zones of tungsten-bearing material appear to be present.

Additional tungsten-copper-gold prospects have been identified within the broader project area.

Apollo Minerals has planned to conduct an exploration programme to further assess these prospects and identify new targets.

At the Couflens Project, the initial plan comprises procuring all available data, mapping and sampling of mineralisation exposed in previously developed mine areas, generating a 3D model of the geology and then carrying out underground drilling to confirm known zones of mineralisation.

Apollo Minerals claimed to carry out the work programme by committing to all aspects of sustainable development.

Image: Location of Couflens Project / Salau Mine. Photo: courtesy of Apollo Minerals.