On 16 January 2019, mineral explorer, Orion Minerals Limited (ASX: ORN) announced the discovery of a new VMS zinc-copper-bearing massive sulphide body in an entirely new satellite position at the Ayoba Prospect, located just 5.3km south-west of the company’s flagship Prieska Zinc-Copper Project in South Africa.
The company’s projects include: Prieska Project (zinc and copper), Namaqua – Diasawell Project (nickel, copper, cobalt, PGE), Masiqhame Project (Zinc, Copper) and Marydale Project (Gold, Copper) in South. In Australia, the company holds the Fraser Range Project (Nickel-Copper, Gold), Connors Arc Projects (Gold) and Walhalla Project (Gold, Polymetals).
As stated by Orion’s Managing Director and CEO, Errol Smart: The first new VMS discovery in the Areachap Belt in over 36 years is an excellent milestone. The early success of the drilling initiative validates the exploration approach at Prieska, which is based on the application of modern geophysical techniques to unlock the potential of this emerging VMS camp. The company aims at bringing the Prieska into production at the earliest leveraging the parameters outlined in the positive Scoping Study released in December 2018. The Bankable Feasibility Study is undergoing as per schedule and is projected to be completed by Q2 2019.
The discovery comes as Orion’s near-mine exploration program continues to ramp up, with the recent completion of a helicopter-borne magnetic and electromagnetic survey over the Prospecting Rights of Repli, Doonies Pan, Vardocube and Bartorax areas.
Ayoba Drilling Details
The Ayoba discovery hole, OAXD002, was drilled 3.5km south of the Prieska Project’s Hutchings Shaft and the Prieska Mineral Resource of 30Mt @ 3.7% Zn and 1.2% Cu. The exploration was 2km west of Annex, which returned a historical best drill result of 4.28m at 0.34% Zn and 2.88% Cu. The diamond drilling intersected 9.50m of massive sulphide mineralization grading 0.93% Zn and 0.63% Cu, including 1.50m at 4.98% Zn and 0.89% Cu.
Diamond drill hole OAXD002_D1, a wedge hole drilled from OAXD002 intersected 7.13m grading 1.44% Zn and 0.66% Cu, including 0.88m at 11.20% Zn, 0.89% Cu, are typical of Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) deposits.
The modelled FLEM conductor at Ayoba, tested by holes OAXD002 and OAXD002_D1, has a strike length of 1.1km and extends down-dip to at least 800m below surface and the vertical depth to the top of the conductor is 500m.The current structural interpretation shows that the newly-discovered mineralization, as well as the Annex and Prieska Deposits, all occur on the same stratigraphic horizon, thus supporting Orion’s anticipation that there is excellent potential to discover a cluster of VMS deposits around the Prieska Project.
The drilling of hole VAX26 at adjacent Annex VMS lens yielded peak drill results of 4.28m at 0.34% Zn and 2.88% Cu as announced in September 2018. Annex and Ayoba are interpreted to be two cells within a sub-cluster, close to the large Prieska VMS Deposit.
Approximately 1km west-northwest of the Ayoba FLEM anomaly, the newly acquired magnetic data from the SkyTEMTM survey has identified a fold closure in the target stratigraphy. Duplication of the target stratigraphy in the folded closure offers an excellent target for follow-up and the ground electromagnetic (EM) survey will be extended to cover this fold closure. Additional FLEM surveys and drilling are planned to explore the lateral and depth extensions of the mineralization.
The shares of Orion Minerals traded flat today closing the day’s session at A$0.022 (16 January 2019). Although, the scrip price has been on a downtrend from last six months, offering a negative return of 42%, but it offers a positive YTD return of 10% in the new year.
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