Orion Minerals Ltd exploits shallow, high-grade copper deposits from first drilling at Okiep in South Africa

Three holes were drilled at Okiep to confirm historic mineralization, with high grade results such as 10.36 meters at 1.84% copper, 5.71 meters at 1.93% and 4.69 meters at 2.05 %.

Orion Minerals Ltd (ASX:ORN, JSE:ORN) has unearthed shallow, high-grade copper discoveries during its first drilling program at the Okiep Copper project in Northern Cape, South Africa.

The copper explorer received the results of the first four holes of the project, where analyzes would have confirmed and exceeded expectations.

Three holes were drilled at Okiep to confirm historic mineralization, with high grade results such as 10.36 meters at 1.84% copper, 5.71 meters at 1.93% and 4.69 meters at 2.05 %.

In addition to delivering a series of promising copper discoveries, the first campaign also demonstrated the potential for new high-grade mineralized lenses at depth.

The program intersected a new mineralized zone on the Koperberg West target, supporting Orion’s geological model and returning up to 4.76 meters at 3.99% copper.

This inaugural drill program is now 55% complete, with 14 diamond holes completed at Koperberg West and two at Koperberg East, comprising nearly 2 kilometers of drilling to date.

High priority for 2022

Speaking on progress to date, Orion Managing Director and CEO Errol Smart said the company was pleased with the initial testing of its ongoing drill program.

“The results we have received to date have confirmed historical drill results for near-surface high-grade copper sulphide mineralization and, more importantly, confirm our geological hypothesis of a model for intrusive bodies arranged in echelons, avoiding lentils,” he said. Explain.

“Historical drilling has focused on drilling down-dip projections, without adequately testing the likely bypass of mineralized lenses encountered at the 38 million tonne Carolusberg Deeps mine, which lies along strike since and on the same structure as Okiep.

“This potential for high-grade offset lenses, which continue down dip below the extensive and shallow historical mining operation on the 5 kilometer Carolusberg line, presents a very exciting exploration opportunity.

“Drill testing of this down-dip position has been elevated to high priority for 2022, alongside testing of EM targets identified through our recent SKYTEM™ survey.

“Our engineering and permitting teams are also progressing well on the early mining project we announced on May 3, 2021, and we expect to be able to provide market updates on this work shortly.”

Return the soil to Okiep

Currently, drills at Okiep are focused on the Carolusberg–Koperberg line of intrusions, part of a complex that has been the largest contributor to historical mining in the Okiep copper district.

The Carolusberg Complex delivered 38 million tonnes grading 1.54% copper out of a reported total of 105 million tonnes mined over the past 100 years.

Orion is exploring prospects with known copper mineralization along the Carolusberg strike, applying an exploration model derived from a structural interpretation of mineralization at the Carolusberg mine.

The current drill program also includes paired and infill drilling to verify historical drill results and allow for future resource estimation.

To date, 1,900 meters of Orion’s planned 3,500 meter diamond drill program has been completed, representing 16 of the 26 holes planned.

Assay results from 39 samples have been received, while other drill holes are being logged and sampled by Orion’s geological team, before being sent to the ALS laboratory in Johannesburg.

Main conclusions

Some of the program’s best results to date include:

  • 10.36 meters at 1.84% copper from 58.94 meters;
  • 5.71 meters at 1.93% from 72.85 meters; and
  • 4.69 meters at 2.05% from 49.22 meters.

Ultimately, Orion reports that results to date confirm high-grade, near-surface copper sulphide mineralization at Okiep’s asset.

Importantly, an extended hole intersected 4.76 meters at 3.99% copper from 95.08 meters, representing a new intrusive lens and supporting an en echelon pattern of mineralization, skirting along any the direction of the Carolusberg line.

The high-grade mineralization at the Carolusberg mine was mined to 1,900 meters depth and included several down-dip en echelon bypass stages.

Additionally, several other recent holes, with pending assay results, have intersected down-dip lenses of sulfide mineralization, supporting this geological model and presenting high priority follow-up drill targets for follow-up.

In addition, drill core logging identified 10 additional mafic intersections.

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