Positive Results From Infill Drilling at Spitzkop
The second batch of assay results from infill drilling at the Spitzkop platinum group metals (PGM) project in South Africa reflect the high PGM grades and particularly the high platinum (56%) and rhodium (8%) content of the UG2 reef at Spitzkop, Eastern Platinum (Eastpats) said on Tuesday.
Ian Rozier, President and CEO of Eastplats reported that the results continue to demonstrate that the UG2 reef is well developed across the Northern Block and that grades are consistent with previous work reported by Eastplats and Impala Platinum.
Also significant is the high proportion of platinum and rhodium mineralisation, confirming both the general high grade, and the platinum-rhodium rich nature of the UG2 at Spitzkop.
Spitzkop, located near Steelpoort in Mpumalanga Province is a high grade, platinum and rhodium rich, shallow dipping, surface assessable PGM deposit.
As part of the feasibility study for Spitzkop, the objectives of the infill drilling program were to confirm the high platinum and rhodium grades reported previously, demonstrate continuity of the UG2 reef across the property, further delineate resource and reserve estimates and provide core samples for metallurgical and rock mechanics testing, the company said.
The data will be used for mine planning for the Northern Block at Spitzkop where the UG2 reef outcrops on surface and extends to a depth of 350 metres at a dip of between 11Âº and 14Âº.
Drilling was conducted by Geosearch, a division Transbor. On site geological work and supervision was carried out by MSA Geoservices under the direction of Davminex Mineral Consultants. Assaying was being conducted by Set Point Laboratories, S.A.
Assay results to date are reported from 22 drill sites where the objective was to obtain four reef intersections from each hole. Intersections of UG2 reef from the motherhole and two deflections were usually sampled and sent for assaying. The intersected reef in the third deflection of each hole will be subjected to metallurgical or rock mechanics testing.
“It should be noted that in some instances where the reef was intersected at a shallow depth it was not possible to insert the required number of wedges in the mother hole in order to achieve the required number of reef intersections. In such cases the drill rig was successively moved approximately a metre from the previous collar position and new holes were drilled from surface to obtain the required number of reef intercepts.
“On rare occasions where core recovery of 100% was not achieved because of either poor ground conditions or unacceptable drilling practice, in any reef intercept, the intersection was repeated by completing another deflection. Thus, in some instances more than three deflections had to be drilled to achieve to proper QA/QC,” the company noted.
Spitzkop is envisaged to be a decline mining operation that will exploit high grade PGM resources at relatively shallow depth without the requirement for high capital cost shaft mine infrastructure and underground pre-production development.
Spitzkop is situated adjacent to the Kennedy’s Vale project owned by Barplats Investments , in which Eastplats owns a 69% indirect interest.
Eastplats and Barplats are evaluating the cost benefits of combining Spitzkop and Kennedy’s Vale into an integrated mining operation accessing the shallow sections of both properties through Spitzkop.
The deeper sections of both properties could utilise the twin vertical shafts that already exist at Kennedy’s Vale to a depth of 1,000 metres. This infrastructure would result in a significant reduction in capital costs for the development of the mine, the company said.
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