(MENAFN - ProactiveInvestors - Australia) Base metals developer Ventnor Resources (ASX: VRX) has logged a 40 per cent increase in copper and silver resources at its Thaduna/Green Dragon copper project.
Cube Consulting undertake the estimate, following the completion of drilling up until the Christmas break in 2012.
Located 40 kilometres east of Sandfire Resources' (ASX:SFX) DeGrussa project, the updated JORC Resource is:
- 7.9 million tonnes at 1.8% copper (Cu) for 142,000 tonnes of contained copper; and
- 3.7 g/t silver (Ag) for 945,000 ounces
The drilling resulted in a 13% additional copper grade. The additional drilling also increased the total tonnage by 25% from the previous estimate.
The 40% increase in contained copper follows the maiden Resource announced in October 2012 and from drilling, which hit a depth of 450 metres down the high grade shoot.
Of importance, the resource shows both continuity at depth, and increasing copper grades at depth.
Ventnor's managing director Bruce Maluish said, "Today's announcement represents another milestone for Ventnor as we seek to develop a mine at Thaduna/Green Dragon".
"The scale of the increase is due to higher-grade ore that has been intersected beneath the previous Resource envelope, which has significantly increased the overall grade of the resource".
The JORC Resource is predominately in the Indicated category with the majority of the estimate within a 40m x 40m spaced drill pattern.
"This gives us confidence about the continuity of the mineralisation and its ability to be mined."
"Importantly, the Resource is now of a size and quality that we believe has potential for the proposed open cut operation to be followed by underground mining below the Thaduna pit."
Maluish said, "the underground mining potential is underpinned by the new higher grade additional Resource, which is likely to significantly increase overall mine life and enhance the project economics.
An additional 19 Diamond holes have been used in the February 2013 Resource estimation upgrade for the Thaduna deposit. The six wireframe domains were updated, and constrain the mineralisation which has a total drilled strike of 1,650 metres to a maximum vertical depth of 500 metres.
At Thaduna the total estimated Resource is 5.910Mt at 1.92% Cu and 4.3g/t Ag for 113.5kt Cu and 821Koz Ag. This equates to a 36% increase in tonnage, and a 13% increase in copper grade, for a 53% increase in contained copper.
The bulk of the increase occurred in the Sulphide Inferred category due to the additional drilling that was completed beneath the previous estimate.
This category now stands at 2.161Mt at 2.41% Cu and 6.5g/t Ag for 52.1kt Cu and 452Koz Ag respectively. The silver estimation also increased in line with the increase in copper grades with a consistent 2.5 g/t Ag.
Significant catalysts ahead
- Additional deeper drilling is currently underway to test the extent and the continuity of the ore body. These drilling results will be released progressively over 1Q 2013.
- A further JORC Resource update is expected in 2Q 2013.
- Metallurgical testwork is also currently being completed for the two deposits. Initial results indicate favourable recoveries for both Thaduna and Green Dragon using a conventional crush-grind-floatation circuit. The detailed results of the metallurgical testwork is expected to be released in the coming weeks.
- The updated Resource will be used in conjunction with the metallurgical testwork to complete the Scoping Study, expected in late February 2013.