September 03, 2012 13:15
Amur Minerals gets good drilling results in Kun-Manie project
MOSCOW. Sept 3 (Interfax) - The British outfit Amur Minerals Corporation, which is doing geological surveying at nickel and copper deposits in Russia's Far East, has achieved positive results with initial drilling at the copper-nickel sulfides ore deposit Kun-Manie, the company announced on Monday.
"Three of the four holes intersected economic grades of nickel and copper mineralization within the pyroxenite host rock that outcrops on the surface and is interpreted to extend up to 300 meters down dip. The nickel and copper mineralization is concentrated at the hanging and footwall contacts of the zone," the company said in a statement posted on the London Stock Exchange.
"The average nickel and copper grades are 0.77% and 0.24%, respectively using a 0.20% nickel cutoff grade. These grades are 35% higher for nickel and 50% higher for copper than that which was intersected in the existing drill holes located 100 meters to the west. Furthermore, the average thickness intersected in the newly drilled section is approximately 19 meters in true thickness; nearly 20% greater than existing holes to the west.
"Substantial thicknesses of +1.0% nickel have been intersected within the new drill holes. The high grade intercept thickness is 2.9 meters and contains 1.24% nickel with 0.36% copper," the company said.
"These results confirm the geological interpretation that the mineralization could continue from the Maly Kurumkon deposit toward the Flangovy target to the east. The Flangovy target is interpreted to be an extension of the Maly Kurumkon deposit. Successful drilling at Flangovy could result in a total mineralized length of nearly two kilometers. This could significantly increase the resource base of the project.
"A portion of the newly drilled mineralization lies within the already planned Maly Kurumkon pit within rock that previously had been categorized as waste due to a lack of information. The inclusion of this new drill data to update resource and open pit reserve modeling of Maly Kurumkon will be undertaken when results of current drilling are available from the adjacent Flangovy target. The newly discovered higher grades of ore are of a level which indicates underground mining may prove economic. As a result, the company may need to consider deeper drill programs in the areas below and adjacent to potential open pit operations to confirm the potential for underground operations," Amur Minerals said.
For comparison, the nickel content of the ore at the Maslovskoye deposit being surveyed by Norilsk Nickel (RTS: GMKN) is 0.33% and the copper content is 0.51%. The disseminated ores at the Norilsk-1 deposit (Norilsk Nickel is working the northern part, and Russian Platinum has won the license to the southern part) is 0.34% nickel and 0.48% copper.
As reported, testing work at Kun-Manie done by the Swiss company SGS Mineral Services, resulted in a forecast increase in nickel recovery to 77.8% from the 75.9% calculated in 2007, that of copper - to 90.4% from 72.9%.
Cobalt recovery is expected at 68.6%, higher than the previously predicted 57%. Testing also indicated the possibility of a higher recovery-percentage rate for platinum and palladium - 73.9% and 82.4%, respectively, compared with the earlier 51.1% and 40.8%. Likely revenue from the extraction of cobalt, platinum, and palladium was not included in the preliminary feasibility study of 2007.
In May, Amur Minerals - which had already applied for an extraction license - announced there was significant potential for increasing the percentage of metal recovery.
The Kun-Manie deposit holds 341,000 tonnes of nickel and 95,000 tonnes of copper. It was reported earlier that Amur Minerals planned to develop it in partnership with a Russian company, though it desired to retain control over the project.
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