Havilah Resources (ASX:HAV) has returned a best ever combined intersection of 32 metres of 3.95% copper and 1.45 g/t gold from a drill hole that tested the grade potential of the North Portia copper-gold resource in South Australia.
The drilling is part of a fast-tracked feasibility study aiming to determine the economic viability of mining the upper oxidised portion of the North Portia deposit as a follow on operation from the adjacent Portia gold mine.
The 82-114 metres downhole intercept was drilled within the existing resource envelope and is positive confirmation of the high grade core of the deposit.
Four other drill holes tested the limits of the economic mineralisation at the up-dip (western) margins of the deposit. These returned sub-economic copper and gold results, but with elevated molybdenum, which future metallurgical test work will determine whether is economically recoverable.
This included results of 12 metres of 1.1 g/t gold and 685 molybdenum from 58-70 metres downhole as well as 29 metre and 38 metre intervals of > 500 ppm molybdenum.
The current total Indicated and Inferred Resource at North Portia is 11.3 million tonnes of 0.89% copper, 0.64 g/t gold and 500ppm molybdenum.
Significantly with an eye to development, there is estimated to be 3.7 million tonnes of mainly oxidised material that is the target of the current mining feasibility study.
Havilah’s managing director, Dr Chris Giles, said:
“Infill drilling of the oxidised portion of the North Portia copper-gold resource has continued to confirm the excellent copper and gold grades within the central part of the resource, while better defining the limits of the economic grades at the margins of the deposit.
“This information will be vital as we re-estimate the resource tonnage and grade for the oxidised ore and re-design an optimised open pit to capture the bulk of this resource”.
Portia Gold Mine
The new mining plan will see the first gold ore accessed by early April 2016, some three months ahead of the original schedule.
This involves development of an interim sub-pit on the high grade (>9 g/t gold) northern ore zone.
Construction of the processing plant on site has commenced with the assistance of CMC personnel and cranes. All major components of the processing plant are now on site and are being installed ready for commissioning.
The current drilling and metallurgical work at North Portia is a key part the fast-tracked feasibility study aiming to determine the economic viability of mining the upper oxidised portion of the North Portia deposit following on immediately after the Portia gold mine.
The best ever combined copper and gold grade will be central to a re-estimate of the resource tonnage and grade to re-design and optimise the open pit to capture the bulk of the North Portia resource.
The copper-gold project is adjacent to Portia Gold mine on the same mining lease, containing 235,000 ounces of gold and 100,000 tonnes of copper in the previously released global resource.
Mining of the oxidised ore could potentially continue on immediately after Portia, to exploit the available infrastructure synergies.
There are a plethora of price catalysts ahead for Havilah with first gold ore accessed at the Portia gold mine by early April 2016, some three months ahead of the original schedule and gold production to commence shortly thereafter.
Havilah's share of gross cash flow generated from the mine could amount to $40 million in 2016 at current gold prices and relative to its market cap of circa $50 million is undervalued as the Portia gold mine is fully funded.
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