South Africa – Xtract Resources has completed Phase 1 of its drilling and sampling programme on the Carolusberg and O’Kiep sulphide copper tailings dams located in the Northern Cape, close to the town of Springbok.

Phase 1 of the project was undertaken to confirm the estimated grades, volume and recoveries of the copper and other associated base metals in the dumps and the commercial viability of the project. The work programme was completed three weeks ahead of schedule.

The project is estimated to contain 33.8 Mt of sulphide tailings material on surface that was mined between 1980 and 2010 by O’Kiep Copper Company. The Carolusberg tailings dam represents 28 Mt of material grading at 0.19% Cu and the O’Kiep tailings dam represents 5.8 Mt of material grading at 0.23% copper.

Whilst the original plan was to drill 2 500 m on Phase 1 of the project, the company was encouraged by the fact that a total of just 342 m of drilling was necessary in this phase to compile a preliminary economic assessment that will form the basis on which a decision can be made to take the project to completion of a Bankable Feasibility Study. In Phase 1:

At O’Kiep

  • from a total of 5 reverse circulation (RC) holes drilled totalling 106 m, 116 samples were taken
  • the average thickness of the dump, from borehole information, is 19.4 m

At Carolusberg

  • from a total of 5 RC holes drilled totalling 236 m, 265 samples were taken
  • the average thickness of the dump, from borehole information, is 47.2 m

A detailed survey was also undertaken on both tailings dams and the O’Kiep dump represents 4 877 711 m3 and the Carolusberg dump 19 568 042 m3. At an assumed specific gravity of 1.5 the total area of 24 445 753 m3 would equate to 36.66 Mt that is in excess of the estimate from historical data.

All the samples from Phase 1 have been sent to an accredited laboratory in Johannesburg, South Africa. The laboratory is currently assaying the drill samples for base and precious metals as well as determining specific gravity of the material. Detailed metallurgical and mineralogical test work is also being completed.

Commenting on the completion of the programme, Jan Nelson, CEO, said: “The specific gravity results from the programme are due in the coming weeks which will provide us with the detailed information we are looking for in addition to the survey of the two tailings dumps, from which we have already confirmed that our volume estimates are correct.”

“We will start to receive assay results within the next ten days and will report them to the market once confirmed. The results from the metallurgical test work will take approximately six weeks to complete.”

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