Open pit mining at Prieska becomes more attractive

Open pit mining at Prieska becomes more attractive 

Orion Minerals has received highly encouraging initial assay results from its flagship Prieska Copper-Zinc Project in South Africa’s Northern Cape Province. WhyAfrica visited the Prieska project last month as part of its Southern Africa Road Trip.

Orion is running an in-fill drilling program to upgrade the existing shallow Inferred Resource in the +105 Level Crown Pillar area.

According to Errol Smart, Managing Director and CEO at Orion, the in-fill drilling has confirmed and exceeded the company’s expectations, returning outstanding widths and grades of high-grade copper sulphide mineralisation within the +105 Level Crown Pillar.

“At face value, the grades intersected to date mostly exceed that of the average grade of the standing Inferred Resource estimate, making the early start of mining via an open pit an increasingly attractive opportunity.

“Our early production strategy aims to target the open pit and remnant pillars while dewatering is undertaken on Prieska Deeps. These results provide strong support for that strategy, with the higher-than expected grades also opening up the possibility that we may be able to undertake shallow underground mining in the early phases of the development, further optimising financial returns. Work is continuing as part of the ongoing feasibility studies to determine the optimal approach,” says Smart.

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