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Marula completes drilling programmes at South African project ahead of schedule

6th December 2023

By: Tasneem Bulbulia

Senior Contributing Editor Online

     

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Africa-focused mining and development company Marula Mining has completed Phase 1 and 2 diamond drilling programmes at the Blesberg lithium and tantalum mine in South Africa, ahead of schedule, with 42 holes completed for a total of 2 386.67 m.

The Phase 2 drilling programme has now been completed with 21 diamond drill holes completed for a total of 1 250 m drilled.

About 400 samples from the Phase 2 drilling programme have been taken and sent to ALS Laboratories in South Africa for assay and analysis.

Additional samples from both programmes have also been taken in the granodiorite host rock, about 5 m from pegmatite contact, to determine the extent of the widespread disseminated lithium mineralisation that has already been identified in the diamond drill cores.

Sample preparation of the Phase 2 diamond drill cores and additional samples in the granodiorite remains on track to be completed in December with assay results expected to be received in the first quarter of 2024.

Assay results from the samples taken from the Phase 1 drilling programme have now been received from ALS and are being reviewed by the company’s geological team and consultants.

Drill holes from the Phase 1 drilling programme, which have been completed down to depths of about 70 m, have intercepted multiple zones of high and low grade mineralisation.

The assay results from the Phase 1 drilling programme are being used to define a Joint Ore Reserves Committee (Jorc) Code 2012-compliant mineral resource estimate (MRE) to support the start of an initial hard rock openpit mining plan for the Blesberg operations in early 2024.

Release of the assay results from the Phase 1 drilling programme and Jorc Code 2012-compliant MRE is expected in January 2024.

The Phase 2 drilling results, once received in the first quarter of 2024 are anticipated to increase the confidence level of the MRE and further expand and confirm the extent of the lithium mineralisation.

Openpit mine design work, detailed mine planning, financial forecasts and economic analysis of the hard rock openpit mining plan work for the Blesberg operations are also now being finalised with the agreed economic cut-off grade being incorporated into the final pit shell designs.

“Credit where it is due to the drilling team at PDS Africa, our project manager Jacques Perold and GM Henk van Zyl, for successfully completing the Phase 1 and Phase 2 drilling programmes at Blesberg.

“In just over 3.5 months we have completed our first major diamond drilling programme, both ahead of schedule and below budget. Our geological and mining consultants team are now busy moving ahead with the analysis of the initial assay results, and mine design and mine planning work for the proposed commencement of hard rock openpit mining operations at Blesberg in the new year,” Marula CEO Jason Brewer says.

“Mineral resource estimation is underway, and the competent persons report are being prepared, all of which set the stage for what I believe will be an exciting start to 2024 at our Blesberg mine,” he adds. 

Edited by Chanel de Bruyn
Creamer Media Senior Deputy Editor Online

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