- Orion Minerals (ORN) has launched a drill program to test a number of regional copper, nickel and zinc targets at its Prieska Project in South Africa
- Drilling work will initially focus on the K3 and K6 prospects, located 15 kilometres northwest of the proposed Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine
- Previous work carried out by Newmont South Africa in the area returned up to 0.46 per cent copper, 6.18 per cent zinc and 15 grams per tonne of silver
- Exploration activities will then move to the north, focusing on the Boksputs, Kantienpan and Jacomynspan prospects
- Shares in Orion Minerals are steady on the market and are trading for three cents each
Orion Minerals (ORN) has launched a drill program to test a number of regional copper, nickel and zinc targets at its Prieska Project in South Africa.
Two diamond drill rigs have already been mobilised to the tenements, which sit within the Areachap Belt in the country's Northern Cape.
10 diamond drill holes have been planned over a total of 1800 metres, with a further nine reverse circulation holes for an additional 640 metres.
Drilling work will focus initially on the K3 and K6 prospects, located roughly 15 kilometres northwest of the proposed Prieska Copper-Zinc Mine.
Newmont South Africa previously undertook its own exploration program in the area during the 1970s, with results including 4.8 metres at 0.46 per cent copper, 6.18 per cent zinc and 15 grams per tonne of silver.
A portion of Orion's work will be to verify these results, while the planned drill holes will provide a platform for follow-up down-hole geophysics.
Once the holes at the K3 and K6 prospects have been completed, the drilling work will shift further north to the Boksputs, Kantienpan and Jacomynspan prospects, which are also located within the Areachap Belt.
Drilling at Boksputs will focus on testing an electromagnetic response below a previously identified zone of copper mineralisation, while drilling at Kantienpan will seek to clarify the potential of what Orion called "under-reported copper and zinc grades."
Finally, exploration activities at the Jacomynspan copper-nickel deposit will test for additional high-grade copper and nickel mineralisation close to the surface, with samples to be collected for metallurgical test work.
The program comes after a nine-month operational hiatus, driven by a shift of South Africa's COVID-19 restrictions to a Level 1 status on September 23. During the lockdown period, the company had been using the time to progress licensing and access agreements in preparation for the resumption of exploration.
Errol Smart, Managing Director and CEO of Orion Minerals, said there are a number of targets that the company's management has been eager to test but have not been able to as a result of the COVID-19 restrictions.
"My expectation is that prices for 'new era' metals required for the decarbonisation of the global economy are set to surge in coming years, and Orion is ideally placed to use its first-mover advantage and proven operations model to rapidly expand our business in the Northern Cape," he said.
Shares in Orion Minerals are steady on the market and are trading for three cents each at 10:38 am AEDT.