Orion Minerals Sees High-Grade Potential at South African Flat Mine Project

Orion Minerals Sees High-Grade Potential at South African Flat Mine Project

Orion Minerals, which is developing copper mining assets in South Africa, has identified promising opportunities to increase high-grade tonnage from shallow deposits, particularly at its Flat Mine project in the Northern Cape.

Earlier this month, Orion completed a R92.3 million capital raise to support its copper and zinc operations in South Africa. In addition, the Industrial Development Corporation approved a R43.7 million financing facility for Orion’s acquisition of a controlling stake in the Okiep copper project in the Northern Cape.

The company recently announced “outstanding assay results” from the first diamond drill holes at Flat Mine South, describing it as a newly discovered deposit not visible from the surface. This area will be integral to Orion’s early production strategy for the Okiep copper project.

Managing director Errol Smart expressed optimism about rapidly increasing high-grade tonnage from near-surface deposits at Flat Mine Nababeep and other areas along the trend and down-dip of current blocks in the mine plan. The latest results show that the Flat Mines complex contains substantial high-grade copper sulphide mineralization within broader zones of moderate-grade copper.

The company’s initial bankable feasibility study, which is nearing completion, has focused on immediately available mineral resources from Flat Mine North, Flat Mine East, and Flat Mine South. The new findings suggest potential for expanding the mine’s scale and extending its operational life, which is central to Orion’s investment strategy in the Okiep district.

Orion aims to restore production levels within Okiep to historic rates of 20,000 to 50,000 tons of copper per year, a level maintained by previous owners over extended periods.

Following the confirmation of high-grade copper at Flat Mine East, the first assay results from Flat Mine South, located about 3km southwest of Flat Mine East, have shown exceptional copper intercepts. These findings support geological and grade distribution interpretations used in Mineral Resource modeling and estimations for the Okiep copper project.

Drilling will continue to test the down-dip extension of high-grade mineralization in a previously untested area covering 300m of strike and 200m down-dip extent. Confirmatory drilling has also started at Flat Mine Nababeep, where an inferred mineral resource of 1 million tons was reported in March 2021.

The Okiep district is undergoing a revival amid rising copper prices. However, Orion has experienced delays in receiving laboratory results due to increased copper exploration activity overwhelming testing facilities. icon

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