Orion Minerals has successfully completed the extensive SkyTEM helicopter-borne electromagnetic geophysical (AEM) survey at its Okiep Copper Project (OCP) in the Northern Cape, South Africa.
The regional survey covered a total area of 1,872km2 with approximately 1,073 line-kms flown at 1km line spacing in conjunction with the Council for Geosciences and Orion’s high-priority area of 857km2 flown at 150m line spacing resulting in a total of 7,348 line-kms being flown.
Production flights over the OCP commenced in June 2021, with the survey successfully completed earlier this month, despite challenging weather conditions.
Preliminary results have been received from first-pass processing of magnetic and AEM data. The initial results are very encouraging, resulting in the identification of numerous new targets for follow-up and demonstrating the value of applying modern exploration methods to the 1,872km² area.
Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart, commented: “The completion of this extensive survey using the state-of-the-art high-powered SkyTEM system is a really exciting milestone for the Okiep Copper District. SkyTEM is capable of targeting mafic intrusive bodies with high magnetite content and detecting zones with conductive phyrrotite content, providing us with a strong vector to find new copper sulphide orebodies in an area with proven potential to host multiple high-quality deposits.
“As I’ve said before, it’s hard to believe that this technique has never been used in the area before – and we always had high hopes about what it would reveal. While we are still processing the data, the initial results are outstanding – with 16 ‘late-time’ anomalies identified, some located in close proximity to known deposits. These targets will now be ranked and further refined using ground EM before moving to the drilling stage.
“The early success of the AEM survey has vindicated our decision to employ this technology in parallel with drilling programs along the Koperberg-Carolusberg line that are about to commence. We expect that this survey will generate a strong pipeline of exploration targets at Okiep, complementing our more advanced resource-level and near-resource exploration opportunities.”