Blackthorn un-wraps first Perkoa parcel

THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Blackthorn Resources has extracted the first parcel of mineralised ore from underground workings at the Perkoa zinc project in Burkina Faso, West Africa.

The Perkoa Project is currently being developed by a joint venture between Blackthorn Resources (39.9%) and Glencore International (50.1%), with the remaining interest held by the Government of Burkina Faso.

The ore zone was intersected by a development cross-cut which was driven from the main decline.

Blackthorn said 500 tonnes of mineralised material was estimated to have been extracted from the Level 1 CX South.

“The project is making good progress in accordance with expectations and the production of the first ore from the mine is another major milestone to be completed,” Blackthorn Resources managing director Scott Lowe said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.

“The Perkoa project remains an important part of the company’s portfolio and we are also very excited by the proposal to add value to the current project through the changes that Glencore has proposed relating to the extraction of silver and lead, increased throughput and open-cut mining.”

The JV scaled up construction activities at Perkoa from early 2011 including the mobilisation of additional personnel, plant and machinery.


Construction progress at the Perkoa zinc project. Source: Company announcement


In addition, Glencore proposed a number of investment enhancing initiatives, including an increase in processing plant throughput, the ability to extract a separate silver-lead concentrate from the production stream, and the addition of open-cut mining to compliment the underground operation.

Blackthorn recently granted conditional approval for investment in these improvements subject to provision of further information by Glencore to validate financial and technical assumptions.

Current mining progress at Perkoa has advanced the main decline to 545 metres from the mine portal, with total metres developed, including cross-cuts and other services drives, now in excess of 720 metres.

According to the company’s announcement other construction activities for the mine are progressing in-line with its expectations.

These include the excavation for a ventilation shaft, clearing and construction of a tailings dam and other site buildings.

Blackthorn Resources said it is continuing to review the information provided by Glencore to support the enhanced business case for the Perkoa project.

To this end, ongoing test work and review of data is being carried out.