THE BOURSE WHISPERER: Ivanhoe Mines boss Robert Friedland has been able to put his Rio Tinto tribulations aside with Ivanhoe Australia announcing that its Merlin project development team has managed to access the high-grade Little Wizard molybdenum and rhenium ore body.
Little Wizard is situated approximately 75 metres below the surface at Ivanhoe Australia’s Cloncurry project site in north-western Queensland.
According to Ivanhoe Australia a recently completed cross-cut carried out through the Little Wizard ore body has provided the company with visual confirmation the ore body is wider than its Mineral Resource modelling estimated.
Little Wizard Cross Cut showing position of ore zone in relation to the current resource model. Source: Company announcement
The company said the mining of the cross-cut has also identified ground conditions at Little Wizard to be marginally better than previously expected.
Ivanhoe originally encountered ore in the cross-cut in late 2011, from which samples have been collected with assays pending.
“Accessing the Little Wizard ore body is a great step for the Company,” Ivanhoe Australia chief executive officer Peter Reeve said in the company’s announcement to the Australian Securities Exchange.
“We have been working hard on the Merlin project since it was first discovered in 2008, so finally seeing this extraordinary ore up-close is very exciting – it is a geologist’s dream.”
The Little Wizard orebody has an Indicated Mineral Resource of 15,000 tonnes at 6.5 per cent molybdenum and 84 grams per tonne rhenium forming part of the Merlin molybdenum and rhenium project.
The Merlin project has been identified by Ivanhoe Australia to be the world’s highest-grade molybdenum and rhenium deposit.
“Considering that the highest-grade operating molybdenum mines process ore at an average grade around 0.3 per cent molybdenum, the astonishingly high-grade ore at Little Wizard shows what an extraordinary mineral belt we have in the Merlin/Mount Dore region,” Reeve said.
Ivanhoe Australia has stockpiled the ore retrieved from the recent cross cut underground.
The company said it will use this ore for bulk sampling procedures in metallurgical and roaster testwork.
Further geotechnical and mine planning diamond drilling is scheduled to be carried out from the cross-cut.