JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) - A thick, high-grade massive sulphide intersection with particularly high-grade copper, gold and silver mineralisation that was discovered at Orion Minerals' Prieska project, in the Northern Cape, provides encouragement for the discovery of further extensions to the already extensive mineralisation at the project.
"While the area initially targeted has yielded greater volumes of massive sulphide than anticipated, it has also allowed us to progress an initial mineral resource estimate. We have also intersected very positive geological indicators for potential discovery of significant extensions and high grade zones," Orion MD and CEO Errol Smart said on Thursday.
He further commented that, with less than 73% of the original target now drilled, the company was confident that it would substantially exceed its original expectations.
Drilled on the southern margin of the Northern Western (NW) trough target, drill hole OCOD068_D3 intersected mineralisation and alteration indicative of a feeder zone or proximal depositional vent, rather than the previously interpreted distal margin of the volcanogenic massive sulphide.
Orion's geological team is assessing the potential for the use of down hole electromagnetic surveys, which have proven successful in discovering extensions in the northern area of the target, to trace extensions on this new southern margin of the target.
In addition, Orion stated that the company has now completed 51 intersections from 23 mother holes into the deep sulphide target.
The intersections have been achieved at vertical depths of 974 m up to 1 193 m, and have required 9 111 m of percussion pre-collar and 32 923 m of diamond drilling, with 141 directional wedges set to steer the drilling to predetermined target points.
Assay results from four more intersections are awaited while three holes are in progress.
Drilling focus is now turning to the Priority 2 target up-dip or hinge zone of the NW target area, which the company says is technically more challenging to drill, with slower drilling progress anticipated.
Permitting of the SE target extension is anticipated to be completed shortly so that drilling can continue to test the strike extent in that area of the target.