Orion commences high-impact exploration drilling for copper

Orion Minerls has announced that drilling has commenced with two diamond rigs operating at the Kielder Project, located 15km from the planned mill at the Prieska Copper-Zinc Project in the Northern Cape, South Africa.

Drilling will test outcropping VMS-style mineralisation with results of up to 4.8m @ 0.46% Cu, 6.18%

Zn and 15g/t Ag from historical shallow drilling by Newmont SA in the 1970s.

The drilling campaign will then test three additional prospects on Orion’s Areachap prospecting rights:

  • Drilling at Boksputs will test an electromagnetic response below known copper mineralisation;
  • Drilling at Kantienpan will investigate the potential that reported historical Iscor drilling results under-reported copper and zinc grades; and
  • At the Jacomynspan Ni-Cu deposit, drilling will test for high grade nickel-copper mineralisation close to surface and provide samples for metallurgical test work.

Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, commented: “We have compelling drill targets right across our Areachap tenement holdings in the Northern Cape that we have been itching to test but have not been able to, because of the lockdown requirements for responsible management of the Covid-19 pandemic. With South Africa finally moving to Lockdown Level 1 from 21 September 2020, we are absolutely delighted to be in a position to finally resume exploration field work after a nine-month suspension. Our management team has used the lockdown period to progress licensing and access agreements, and we are now about to re-commence an exciting new phase of exploration across the belt.

“The Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine is one of the few fully permitted and development-ready base metal assets worldwide, underpinned by a compelling investment case outlined in the updated BFS of May 2020 which included an NPV (at an 8% discount rate) of AUD779 million from a 12-year foundation phase mine, planned to produce ~22ktpa of copper and ~70ktpa of zinc1.

“Any new discoveries in the near-mine environment or further afield across our Areachap licences will benefit from their proximity to the world-class infrastructure we are planning to develop, building on the existing brownfields mine. Our exploration team believes there is exceptional potential both to grow production and extend mine life, both within the mine itself and in the surrounding tenements. We believe there is also potential for a major nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE mine at Jacomynspan, 65km north of the Prieska Project.

“My expectation is that prices for ‘new era’ metals required for the decarbonisation of the global economy are set to surge in coming years, and Orion is ideally placed to use its first-mover advantage and proven operations model to rapidly expand our business in the Northern Cape.”

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