Walkabout Resources
ASX-listed minerals explorer Orion Minerals has engaged DRA Projects SA to conduct the Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) at its Prieska zinc-copper project.

South Africa The company has also appointed ABS Africa to conduct the Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) at the project.

ABS Africa was part of Epoch Resources and has over 40 years collective experience in providing sustainability services to the mining sector in Africa.

It has relevant experience covering complex Environmental and Social Impact Assessments to JORC standard feasibility studies, due diligence and audit, compliance monitoring and mine closure rehabilitation and closure planning.

In addition, Orion Minerals’ second drill hole to reach target depth at the deep sulphide target, has successfully intersected a 15.15 m zone of massive sulphides.

Commenting on the appointment of DRA and the drilling results, Orion Minerals’ MD Errol Smart, says: “Orion is confident DRA has the relevant experience and track record to work with the in-house team to manage the study through all phases of project development, from the technical feasibility, to the development of a robust business case for the financing and ultimately development of a mine at the project.”

“The intersection of massive sulphides along strike from previously identified mineralisation is an important result for the company. It supports the geological model developed by Orion Minerals to support the acquisition and highlights Prieska’s potential to become a significant base metals producer.”

The BFS and EIA work programmes will be undertaken in parallel with the current activities (resource drilling, underground inspections and establishment of activities). The BFS will build on both the substantial existing historical dataset relating to mining and processing activities as well as the new information being generated by the on-site activities.

DRA and ABS Africa were selected following an extensive tendering and assessment process conducted by management with the assistance of R&R Quantity Surveyors and Project Managers, Earth Science Solutions environmental consultants and Falcon Hume Incorporated legal practitioners, as external third-parties to structure and guide the adjudication and award process and to prepare contracts.

Deep sulphide target drilling programme

The deep sulphide target is the down-dip extension to mineralisation previously mined at the historic Prieska zinc-copper mine, the cornerstone of Orion Minerals’ development strategy.

The current programme is scoped to systematically test and confirm the extensive historical drilling data with the aim of underpinning a maiden JORC compliant mineral resource estimate by cQ1, 2018.

Orion Minerals’ first diamond drill hole testing the deep sulphide target (OCOD048) successfully intersected massive sulphides. The second hole to reach the target zone (OCOD052) has also successfully intersected massive sulphides, with a 15.15 m intersection from 1 117 m.

Significantly this intersection is ~100 m from the nearest historical intersections, as well as being ~100 m along strike from OCOD048, and represents an extension to the mineralisation confirmed by drilling at the deep sulphide target and increased the confidence in the geological model supporting the target.

A further six holes are currently in progress to provide statistical validation of historic drilling that intersected un-mined mineralised zones, add infill data so that the resultant data spacing matches that modelled to be adequate for a mineral resource based on geostatistical analysis by Orion Minerals’ consultants, and testing of areas along strike from this historical drilling.