Home News Orion Minerals has positive prospects from the Prieska copper project

Orion Minerals has positive prospects from the Prieska copper project

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Orion Minerals’s share price surged nearly 5 percent this week Monday, after it announced excellent results from the recently completed in-fill drilling at its Prieska copper-zinc project in the Northern Cape.

Orion Minerals’s share price surged nearly 5 percent yesterday, after it announced excellent results from the recently completed in-fill drilling at its Prieska copper-zinc project in the Northern Cape. Picture: Reuters

ORION Minerals’s share price surged nearly 5 percent this week Monday, after it announced excellent results from the recently completed in-fill drilling at its Prieska copper-zinc project in the Northern Cape.

The shares traded at 23 cents intra-day on the JSE after the group said it had received highly encouraging initial assay results from an in-fill drilling programme designed to upgrade the existing shallow inferred resource, in the +105-level crown pillar area at its project.

According to the group, 14 in-fill holes were completed for 917.87 metres of drilling, designed to upgrade the existing inferred supergene resource of 630,000t at 2.2 percent copper and 1.8 percent zinc to the higher-confidence indicated category, as part of ongoing feasibility studies on the early production strategy.

“Final assay results are awaited before a re-estimation of the resource is undertaken,” it said.

Orion’s managing director and chief executive, Errol Smart, said the in-fill drilling has confirmed and exceeded Orion’s expectations, returning outstanding widths and grades of high-grade copper sulphide mineralisation within the +105-level crown pillar.

“This is a great result for our team. At face value, the grades intersected to date mostly exceed that of the average grade of the standing inferred-resource estimate, making the early start of mining via an open pit an increasingly attractive opportunity,” he said.

Smart said the early production strategy targets the open pit and remnant pillars, while de-watering is undertaken on Prieska Deeps.

“These results provide strong support for that strategy, with the higher-than-expected grades also opening up the possibility that we might be able to undertake shallow underground mining in the early phases of the development, further optimising financial returns.

“Work is continuing as part of the ongoing feasibility studies to determine the optimal approach,” Smart said, adding that the drilling intersected higher-than-expected copper grades in several of the holes.

“Once final results are received, the ore-body model will be updated, and the resource will be re-estimated. The sampling density achieved is anticipated to allow an indicated classification,” he said.

The ASX and JSE-listed company said results received to date had confirmed the presence of enriched copper and gold mineralisation in the previously drilled supergene mineralisation, which is currently classified as an inferred resource due to the wider-spaced drilling. The zinc grades confirm that zinc is depleted in the supergene zone.

The ore-body model was being updated and the resource re-estimated and re-classified where appropriate.

“An area of geotechnical collapse into underlying mining voids was also confirmed as being confined to a small zone, with less than 10 percent of the mineralised strike affected,” Orion said.

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