- Upgrade in Mineral resource boosts Sorby Hills’ potential on the back of increased Measured & Indicated (M&I) resource category for contained silver and lead.
- The enhancement in the lead resource conforms with Pacifico’s objective for expansion in the sustainable lead-based market recording substantial growth with SSVs and Lead battery usage.
- Optimised Pre-Feasibility study expected in July 2020 is likely to be positively impacted by the revised MRE.
Shifting its endeavours into higher gear, Pacifico Minerals Limited (ASX: PMY) provided robust Mineral Resource Estimate (MRE) for its 75% owned Sorby Hills Lead-Silver-Zinc Project. The Australian explorer’s updated resource estimate is built on the Phase III drilling results and a comprehensive review of its geological and analytical data base at the Sorby Hills project.
The updated MRE intensifies Sorby Hills’ potential with substantial increase in the measured and inferred resource category for contained silver and lead. As per the updated MRE, 7.1 million tonnes at 6.1 % Pb equivalent (4.3% Pb, 57g/t Ag) and 0.4% Zn is classified as Measured Resources.
Following the impressive update on its Sorby Hills mineral resource, PMY shares rose by ~17% on 2 June 2020.
Optimised Pre-Feasibility Study would include new pit optimizations using the significantly upgraded resource classifications. The company also reported Global Mineral Resource by various cut-off grades as percentage of Lead.
Updated MRE Backed by Phase III Drilling and Historic Data Examination
Pacifico Minerals engaged independent mining industry consultants CSA Global Pty Ltd for verifying the data and its interpretation and undertaking an Updated MRE for the Sorby Hills project. The Mineral Resource is reported in accordance with the guidelines of the JORC Code (2012 Edition).
The scope of work included:
- Updating the previous Mineral Resource Estimates for all deposits to include recent drilling results
- Updating geological and mineralisation models, based on revised interpretations provided by Pacifico’s technical team
- Validation of the drill hole database
- Review of quality control data
- Statistical analyses of lead, silver, and zinc
- Construction of a block model incorporating key geological, structural and mineralogical features
- Grade interpolation, density calculation and block model validation
- Classification of the Mineral Resource
- Compilation of a Mineral Resource report
- Peer review of the Mineral Resource block model and Mineral Resource report.
Notably, the Phase III drilling program and an in-dept review of historic as well as recently acquired data drove the MRE updates by CSA Global.
Phase III drilling program which was completed in late 2019 and reported by the company in early 2020 targeted and tested several deposit parameters towards raising confidence in the interpretation of the geological and mineralisation models. The drilling results were marked by high-grade shallow lead deposits which enhanced the exploration potential for the company.
Besides, highly detailed and robust geology and mineralisation models emerged following the review and integration of historic and recent geological information including gravity survey, gamma downhole data and the detailed geological interpretations dating back to the 1970’s and 1980’s
Uptick in M&I Resource Category: Increase in Contained Lead and Silver
The Mineral Resource classification involves a combination of Measured, Indicated and Inferred resources having sufficient geological and sampling evidence for assuming geological and grade continuity within the modelled 3D shapes. MRE was classified in consideration of the geological understanding of the deposit, sampling quality, density data and drill hole spacing.
The updated Sorby Hills MRE for the lead domains is reported above a cut-off grade of 1.0% Pb and after a 2% “geological loss” factor accounting for voids and cavities in the ore zone.
The contained lead in the Measured and Indicated (M&I) resource category increased by 20% to 20.8 million tonnes over the previous MRE at 4.9% Pb equivalent (3.6% Pb, 40g/t Ag). While, Pacifico noted 19% increase in contained Silver (54.8 million ounces) including a 28% increase in the M & I category (26.8 million ounces).
Overall, the company witnessed an increase of 9% in contained lead over the previous MRE to 44.0 million tonnes at 4.5% Pb equivalent (3.3% Pb, 38g/t Ag) and 0.5% Zn.
Implications of Updated MRE
Positive Bearing on Optimised Per-Feasibility Study: The revised MRE is expected to have a material and positive impact on the Optimised PFS which is currently in progress. The conversion of significant portion of the M&I Resources to Probable and Proven Reserves is expected to be facilitated by the updated resource. Moreover, the new interpretation has resulted in a simpler and more continuous ore body geometry.
The Optimised Pre-Feasibility Study completion is likely to be delayed by approximately 3 weeks due to updated resource and is now expected in July 2020.
Demonstrating Project Robustness: Only a marginal susceptibility to a significant change in cut-off grade is indicated by the tonnage/grade/metal content.
Despite the drop in the tonnage by 21%, the M & I resource retains nearly 92% of the metal content at an increase of the cut-off grade for Pb to 2.0% Pb, highlighting impressive project robustness.
Geological and mineralisation model as an Invaluable Tool: When targeting the orebody extensions going forward, a significantly higher degree of confidence in the geological and mineralisation model along with the gravity data proves an invaluable tool. It helps in reconciling the location of known mineralisation and exposing new mineralisation targets which were to be defined for future testing.
The gravity data offered context for “Wildcat Target” areas tested in Phase III drilling program where mineralisation continuity over an area of 130 metres by 70 metres were confirmed by few shallow step-out drill holes. A thick mineralisation zone commencing 5 metres of the surface was intersected by the drill holes.
Based on the data, the Wildcat Target can be interpreted as an extension of the Norton Deposit. Pacifico’s high priority is to tighten the drill hole spacing in the area which may lead to additional mineralisation discovery.
There is no investor left unperturbed with the ongoing trade conflicts between US-China and the devastating bushfire in Australia.
Are you wondering if the year 2020 might not have taken the right start? Dividend stocks could be the answer to that question.
As interest rates in Australia are already at record low levels, find out which dividend stocks are viewed as the most attractive investment opportunity in the current scenario in our report.