North River Resources’ JORC 2012 compliant mineral resource estimate for the Namib Lead Zinc Mine has seen tonnage increase of 36%, to 1.25 Mt. Within this, indicated resources have increased by 33% to 877 000 t, at 2.7% Pb, 6.0% Zn and 44.4 g/t Ag.
The increases are due to an extensive underground drilling programme over the last six months, targeting both new extensions of known mineralised shoots, as well as infill drilling to convert inferred resources into the indicated category.
45 new diamond drill holes were completed at 4 090 m since the last mineral resource estimate (MRE). Of these 49% (22 holes) had significant intercepts. The average zinc grade has increased by 13% and the average lead grade by 4%.
Bara Consulting is currently working on mine designs, based up on which the indicated resources are expected to generate a maiden reserve for the project. The reserve figures will be published in a feasibility study, which is expected to be released in October 2014.
Furthermore, North River Resources has recently invited a number of engineering firms to tender for an EPCM contract for the turn-key construction of a processing plant.
Site preparation continues with the installation of surface and underground communications. Offices have been constructed on site, road upgrades are in progress, along with the installation of additional underground infrastructure and safety systems.
North River Resources has also applied for a Mining Licence, and is in discussions with the Namibian authorities, awaiting approval. “The company is also making good progress on accomplishing the necessary milestones to trigger the drawdown of its next tranche of pre-agreed equity funding, which will be at a price of 0.7p,” North River Resources said in a statement.
“We have invested considerable expertise and focus into our resource expansion programme and currently have three drills operating underground. This is particularly challenging, as the mineralised shoots at Namib are erratic, making them difficult to define,” Martin French, Managing Director of North River Resources said.
“Targeting involved complex work delineating a strata-bound envelope and integrating this with a re-interpretation electromagnetic data to direct our drills. We are therefore especially pleased that these efforts have borne fruit with such a significant increase in total resource, a strong conversion to indicated resource and a good increase in grade.
“The resource expansion programme is continuing apace with the commencing of drilling from our new exploration tunnel, 150m below the Northern lodes. We hope to be adding further resource and reserves over the coming 12 months. Work continues to complete the Feasibility Study and other aspects of implementation planning, in anticipation of a Mining Licence approval.”