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Prieska Zinc-Copper Project: Orion Minerals reports further positive drilling results

Published by , Assistant Editor
Global Mining Review,

Australian minerals exploration company Orion Minerals NL (Orion) has shared their positive recent assay results for extensions to thick zones of Zn-Cu massive sulfide mineralisation beyond those presented in historic mine planning records at the Prieska Zinc-Copper Project (Prieska Project). These intersections build on the success of drilling conducted since May 2017 and have validated Orion’s electromagnetic targeting model, with hole OCOD087 successfully testing a defined target. A total of 44 intersections have now been completed by Orion at vertical depths of 974 m – 1193 m below surface, including 11 intersections drilled for the collection of samples for confirmatory metallurgical test work. 

New intersections include: 

  • Hole OCOD087 intersected 12.45 m at 5.17% Zn and 1.12% Cu: 
  1. testing the second of two electromagnetic (EM) conductors detected from a down hole EM survey; 
  2. intersection is outside the boundaries of historic drilling and confirms further extensions to the wide zone of the historically modelled massive sulfide lens. 
  • Hole OCOD074 intersected 26.17 m at 6.51% Zn and 1.31% Cu, including 11.41 m at 7.69% Zn and 0.92% Cu confirming thick massive sulfide in south eastern deeps target; 
  • Hole OCOD080 intersected 12.60 m at 4.23% Zn and 0.73% Cu confirming possible extensions of thick mineralisation to the west of north west target area; 
  • Hole OCOU076 drilled from underground to test the +105 Level Target (Open Pit) intersected thick, high grade copper mineralisation with 13.33 m at 0.23% Zn and 3.08% Cu; 
  • Hole OCOD059_D3 intersected 3 m at 9.20% Zn and 0.13% Cu; 
  • Hole OCOD066_D4 intersected 22.2 m at 2.70% Zn and 1.69% Cu; 
  • Hole OCOD068_D2 intersected 23.7 m at 3.80% Zn and 1.02% Cu including 7.1 m at 6.68% Zn and 0.99% Cu; and 
  • Hole OCOD072_D3 intersected 16.05 m at 2.71% Zn and 0.8% Cu including 3 m at 7.16% Zn and 0.24% Cu. 

Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, commented on the results: 

“We continue to be pleased with drilling and exploration results at the Prieska Project. While drilling within the confines of historically drilled mineralisation continues to verify the grade and width as historically reported, drilling on strike and dip extensions is intersecting significant extensions to known mineralisation, which has potential to rapidly increase the tonnages to be included in the resource estimate and BFS currently underway. Most pleasing are the assay results from mineralisation associated with EM conductors, highlighting the potential for modern exploration techniques to make new discoveries both at the Prieska Project and in the Areachap belt.” 


“The rapid deployment for and successful execution of a technically challenging drill programme using cost effective local equipment, contractors and staff, attests to the benefits of operating in a sophisticated mining destination like South Africa,” Smart added.

Data Assimilation and Resource Estimation 

Orion has recently succeeded in locating and reaching an agreement to recover a large volume of historic hard copy and digital data for the Prieska Project from the previous owners. The data recovered is thought to include important information, including digital mine planning records, that may assist in mineral resource estimation and evaluation of the new +370 BSC Target. Given the new data acquisition and the ongoing positive extensional drilling, the maiden mineral resource estimates for the +105 Level Target (Open Pit) and Northwest Deep Sulfide Target are now scheduled for CQ1 2018. Drilling will continue on strike extensions into 2018, with final BFS mineral resource estimates expected mid-2018. 

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