Northern Manganese (ASX: NTM) has been given the green light from the Northern Territory Minister for Mines to enter into negotiations with the Northern Land Council for the four Island based Exploration Licence.
Consent to negotiate for the four licences in the Blue Mud Bay area had been delayed for a considerable time due to the confusion created by the Moratorium imposed in March 2012 on coastal waters based exploration by the former NT Government.
The company added that while its previous Co-Operation Agreement with the Blue Mud Bay community had expired, it had no reason to believe that they would not welcome the issuing of the consent based on previous engagements and their stated desire to see meaningful development occur in their community.
Manganese in the Blue Mud Bay area formed in shallow marine conditions just above a marine transgression, which may have formed during periods of high sea level and simultaneous anoxic events in an adjacent black shale basin.
It is believed that oxidation and weathering of primary ores produced these high grade, high quality supergene ores in the area.
Manganese ore occurs over an area exceeding 150 square kilometres on the western side of the Groote Eylandt.
The sedimentary and tabular nature of the manganese deposits and their interpreted shallow extensions dip towards the west and to the south leading to the suggestion that manganese mineralisation may occur beneath the shallow sea floor.
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