Orion Minerals’ primary focus is on South Africa, where it holds a large tenement portfolio within the geologically rich Areachap Belt, located in the Northern Cape Province. Despite numerous mineral discoveries between 1970 and 1998, the Areachap Belt has seen no major exploration over the past 20 to 30 years.
Prieska Zinc-Copper Project
Orion’s projects in the Areachap Belt include its flagship Prieska Zinc-Copper Project, where a Bankable Feasibility Study (BFS) for a major new base metals mining operation is currently well advanced and on track for completion in Q2 2019.
The Prieska Project, which was mined historically in the 1970s and 1980s and produced over 1Mt of zinc and 430,000t of copper, comprises a globally significant VMS Resource of 30Mt at 3.7% Zn and 1.2% Cu.
Orion is working to develop a new state-of-the-art underground mining operation targeting the Deep Sulphide Resource (28.73Mt at 3.8% Zn and 1.2% Cu) within the footprint of the existing underground mine. A Scoping Study completed in December 2018, outlined a robust Phase 1, 2.4Mtpa operation producing about 70-80ktpa of zinc and 20-24ktpa of copper over an initial 10-year period. Read more about the Prieska Zinc-Copper Project.
Near-Mine and Regional Exploration
Also, within the Areachap Belt, Orion has consolidated a ~1,800km2 land-holding that offers outstanding potential for the discovery of both Volcanogenic Massive Sulphide (VMS) mineralisation and intrusive contain zinc-copper and intrusive nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE (Platinum Group Elements) mineralisation.
While initial Resource drilling was successful in delineating ore with potential for an initial ten-year life of mine at Prieska, the ore body remains open along strike and in the up-folded limb. Further drilling to extend the LOM will be conducted from underground once appropriate access is established.
Near Mine exploration programs have also already resulted in the discovery of the new Ayoba prospect, located just 5.3km south-west of Prieska, plus numerous compelling targets for both VMS-style zinc-copper mineralisation and nickel-copper-sulphide mineralisation within a 15km to 80km radius of the mine. Read more about our exploration programs in the Areachap region.
In Australia, Orion holds a sizeable tenement package in the Fraser Range Province in Western Australia, which is subject to a Joint Venture Agreement (JVA) with Independence Group NL (ASX: IGO). The Fraser Range hosts the world-class Tropicana gold deposit, as well as the Nova-Bollinger nickel-copper deposit.
Importantly, Orion is free carried through to pre-feasibility study on any of the ground acquired under the JVA while retaining between 10% and 35% interest in the JVA. Read more about our Fraser Range assets.