THE DRILL SERGEANT: Azure Minerals (ASX: AZS) reported an initial Mineral Resource estimate for the company’s 100 per cent-owned Oposura zinc-lead-silver project in Sonora, Mexico.
Azure Minerals declared the Mineral Resource to be based upon 173 diamond drill holes (comprising 16 historical holes drilled by Grupo Minero Puma SA de CV and 157 holes drilled by Azure) and has been estimated and classified as Indicated and Inferred Mineral Resources in accordance with the guidelines of the JORC Code 2012.
The initial Mineral Resource estimate has come in at 2.9 million tonnes at 5 per cent zinc and 2.8 per cent lead for contained metal of 146,000 tonnes of zinc, 82,000 tonnes of lead and 1.6 million ounces of silver.
The company highlighted that 75 per cent of the contained metal is classified in the Indicated Mineral Resource category, saying this provides confidence in the continuity of grade and widths of the mineralisation.
“This initial Oposura Mineral Resource is a very positive outcome for the company’s development and production strategy,” Azure Minerals managing director Tony Rovira said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“Containing over 220,000 tonnes of zinc and lead and 1.6 million ounces of silver in near-surface, high-grade mineralised zones, Oposura is presenting a strong case for mine development.
“Open pit and underground mine planning and scheduling are now underway.
“The schedules will be used to optimise the proposed plant throughput rate and finalise the capital and operating cost estimates.
“Further information on the results of these studies will become available during the third quarter of 2018.
“Since acquiring Oposura less than a year ago, the company has significantly advanced and de-risked the project.
“Potential risks that have been positively addressed include the Mineral Resource, metallurgical performance and process route, concentrate marketing and transport, environmental baseline studies and access to infrastructure.”
Azure believes the Mineral Resource shows potential for future expansion as the mineralisation remains open in several directions with the most obvious area for increase being the Central Zone, a 500m-wide zone situated between the East and West Zones.
This area has been only lightly tested by historical drilling and the mineralised horizon is present in several drill holes.
Additional upside potential is also present to the north of the Mineral Resource.
The company has further drilling planned for 2018 to upgrade the classification and expand this initial Mineral Resource, and to explore the wider property.