Engineering & Mining Journal

SEP 2018

Engineering and Mining Journal - Whether the market is copper, gold, nickel, iron ore, lead/zinc, PGM, diamonds or other commodities, E&MJ takes the lead in projecting trends, following development and reporting on the most efficient operating pr

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REGIONAL NEWS - EXPLORATION ROUNDUP 26 E&MJ • SEPTEMBER 2018 www.e-mj.com Rio Tinto Earning Into Sipa's Uganda Exploration Project Rio Tinto and Sipa Resources have begun work under a farm-in and joint-venture agreement covering Sipa's Kitgum-Pader base metals project in northern Uganda, including the Akelikongo nickel-copper discovery. Rio Tinto can earn up to a 75% interest in the project by spending $57 million to finance three stages of exploration. Stage 1 calls Rio Tinto to contribute $12 million within five years, including a minimum of $2 million in the first 18 months, to earn a 51% interest in the project. Stage 2 would see an additional $15 million of exploration expenditures by Rio Tinto within a further three-year period to earn a 65% interest. Stage 3 provides for an additional $30 million of exploration expenditures or declaration of a JORC-compliant resource of at least 250,000 metric tons (mt) of contained nickel or nickel equivalents within a fur- ther three-year period for Rio Tinto to earn a 75% interest. Rio Tinto is contributing expertise and funding while Sipa is managing explora- tion activities in the initial stages of the joint venture. Work got under way with multi-ele- ment laboratory assaying of more than 1,000 soil samples from across 14 iden- tified nickel-bearing mafic to ultramafic intrusions. Detailed ground gravity sur- veying began in August. Sipa Resources is an Australian com- pany, headquartered in Perth and listed on the Australian Stock Exchange. (www.sipa.com.au) Exploration Briefs Northern Star Resources has budgeted A$60 million for near-mine exploration at its gold operations in Western Austra- lia during the coming year. The majori- ty of the exploration will be directed at converting a significant slice of the com- pany's 15.9-million-ounce (oz) resource base to reserves. The company currently has 4 million oz of gold in reserves. Northern Star anticipates that in- creasing its reserves will underpin further growth in its production rates, aided by the substantial processing capacity the company has accumulated at both its Kalgoorlie and Jundee operations. The start of this next round of growth follows Northern Star's recent success in reach- ing its targeted 600,000-oz-per-year (oz/y) gold production rate six months ahead of schedule. Northern Star also has developed additional evidence that the Jundee ore system hosts further potential for major discoveries, with outstanding recent drill results from the Zodiac, Armada, Revela- tion and Nexus high-grade lodes. Latest assays include: Zodiac, 6.2 m at 7.8 g/mt about 250 m below a February 18 result of 0.5 m at 765 g/mt; Armada, 6.6 m at 24.4 g/mt; Revelation, 8.4 m at 22.5 g/ mt; and Nexus, 5.6 m at 47.7 g/mt. (www.nsrltd.com) Fission Uranium's summer field program on its Patterson Lake South property in Canada's Athabasca Basin region hit wide, high-grade mineralization in all nine holes drilled at the R780E zone of the Tri- ple R deposit. The holes were designed to upgrade key sections of the R780E high- grade zone that are currently classified as inferred and convert them to indicated. The successful holes have the poten- tial to make a positive contribution to a prefeasibility study slated for completion in fourth quarter of 2018. The summer program also included drilling of five overburden geotechnical holes designed to collect data for geotech- nical and hydrogeological characterization to support prefeasibility-level design of the proposed process plant site, tailings management facility, and stockpile areas. The uranium mineralization of the Tri- ple R deposit occurs within the Patterson Lake Conductive Corridor and has been traced by core drilling over about 3.18 km of east-west strike length in five separat- ed mineralized zones. From west to east, the zones are: R1515W, R840W, R00E, R780E, and R1620E. Exploration pro- grams completed to date have established Triple R as a large, near-surface, base- ment-hosted, structurally controlled high- grade uranium deposit. The discovery hole was announced on November 5, 2012, on what is now referred to as the R00E zone. (www.fissionuranium.com) The government of Australia's Northern Territory has initiated a major airborne geophysical survey in the Tanami Desert as part of its A$26 million "Resourcing the Territory" program of investment. The survey will see two planes fly a total of 275,000 km over an area of the Tanami Desert 300 km west of Tennant Creek to determine where mineral deposits of in- terest might lie. Each plane will be equipped with a magnetometer that measures small changes in the earth's magnetic field caused by the magnetism of underlying rocks and effectively allows geologists to "see through" the sand to what lies beneath. Data from the airborne survey, which is expected to take five months to complete, will be made public. (newsroom.nt.gov.au) Copper Mountain Mining has reported positive initial drill results from Phase 2 of a three-phase drilling program at its New Ingerbelle property about 1,000 m west of its Copper Mountain mine in southern British Columbia, Canada. The objectives of the Phase 2 program are to continue to expand the New Ingerbelle re- source area and to convert inferred miner- al resources to measured and indicated. A total of 30 holes are planned. The objective of the three-phase pro- gram at New Ingerbelle is to outline suf- ficient resources to form the basis for a feasibility study of the development po- tential of the property. Copper Mountain Mining is targeting addition of a mini - mum of 150 million mt of measured and indicated resources to begin the study. The Copper Mountain mine is located about 20 km south of Princeton, British Columbia and about 300 km east of the port of Vancouver. Copper Mountain Min- ing owns 75% of the operation; Mitsubi- shi Materials owns the remaining 25%. (www.cumtn.com)

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