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Orion Minerals has advised that a recently completed diamond drill hole at its Jacomynspan Nickel-Copper-Cobalt-PGE Project in South Africa has returned a significant high-grade massive sulphide intercept.

This follows the company identifying a group of new high-priority shallow copper drill targets in close proximity to the existing Mineral Resources at the Flat Mine North, East and South deposits that form part of the Okiep Copper Project.

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The shallow intercept has substantially upgraded the perspectivity of the project and highlights the opportunity for a near-term resource drill-out targeting the upper portions of the deposit.

The targets were identified during ongoing due diligence investigations being undertaken by Orion on the extensive database recently accessed. Orion has an option to purchase the extensive database owned by O’Okiep Copper Company.

Orion’s MD and CEO, Errol Smart, said:

“We could not have asked for a better start to our initial drilling to test the shallow open pit potential at Jacomynspan. The high-grade massive sulphide intercept in diamond hole OJPD055 has certainly exceeded our expectations in terms of the potential for higher-grade nickel mineralisation to occur close to surface.

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“This is the best intersection ever achieved at Jacomynspan and confirms our view that there is a significant open pit opportunity at this project.

“Previous explorers pretty much ignored the upper 200 m of the deposit as their mindset was focused on underground mining that would sterilise a large crown pillar to be left at surface.

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“What this intercept tells us is that there is a significant zone of shallow sulphide nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE mineralisation within the ultramafic structure, commencing at a depth of around 85 m vertically below surface.

“That is a big breakthrough and leaves us with more than 3 km of under-explored strike length with proven mineralisation at depth and presenting a compelling open pit mining target – the reverse of what you would normally expect from an advanced exploration project!

“Because this sulphide mineralisation is so shallow, we see a clear opportunity to add substantial value to the project in a short space of time and at relatively little cost.

“We are now planning an intensive resource drill-out focused on the upper 200 m, in parallel with metallurgical investigation which are currently underway.

“We also intend to sample and test the metallurgical characteristics of the upper 60 m of oxidised ore, that has been completely ignored in the past.”