The 1,400 metre programme will mainly target the shallow copper oxide mineralisation and help define a JORC-compliant resource, though some of the holes will assess high-grade gold mineralisation.
Ortac chief executive Vassilios Carellas said: "We are very pleased that Andiamo has mobilised so quickly and that the drill programme is now underway. We look forward to reporting further progress and drill results in due course."
Ortac’ partner Andiamo is a private UK company, which holds advanced stage, large scale gold-copper exploration projects in Eritrea.
Under the terms of the deal, Ortac will invest US$1.5mln to acquire an initial 26.7% stake, with an option to increase its holding by 21% for a further investment of US$2mln.
Results from previous drilling on the Yacob Dewar copper oxide mineralisation included 11 metres (m) at 2% copper from 18.5m and 7m at 1.9% copper from 17m, it highlighted.
Meanwhile, results from previous drilling at the gold oxide mineralisation included 9m at 22.47g/t gold from 8m, 19.9m at 6.16g/t gold from 28m and 16m at 10.8g/t gold from 6m.