Engineering & Mining Journal

JAN 2019

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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Page 15 of 59

REGIONAL NEWS - EXPLORATION ROUNDUP 14 E&MJ • JANUARY 2019 Exploration Spending Gained Ground in 2018 S&P Global Market Intelligence's survey of 3,300 public and private companies estimates that global spending for non- ferrous minerals exploration increased by 20% in 2018 as compared to 2017, with total spending coming in at $10.1 billion, up from $8.5 billion in 2017. S&P Global observed that nonferrous exploration spending peaked in 2012 at more than $21 billion and then suffered a continuous downward slump to about $7.5 billion in 2016. Improving market conditions and stronger metals prices since mid-2016 have encouraged many investors to reconsider the mining sector as an investment option. The result has been an uptick in the number and size of completed financings, especially among junior explorers, and exploration activity remains well above the levels seen prior to the start of the recovery in 2016. The junior sector bore the brunt of the downturn that began in 2012, but surviv- ing juniors made gains in 2018, increas- ing their aggregate exploration budget by 35% year over year. However, major com- panies still accounted for more than half of the year's exploration spending. S&P Global anticipates that the ju- niors will maintain their level of spending going forward, with potential for modest increases. Meanwhile, the majors are likely to spend more as exploration pro- grams ramp up following several years of lower investment that left production pipelines under stress. Gold exploration accounted for a little more than half of all nonferrous explora- tion spending in 2018, with copper in second place at 21.5% of the total, fol- lowed by zinc, nickel, diamonds, uranium and platinum group metals. Latin America was the single most at- tractive region for exploration spending in 2018, accounting for $2.74 billion of the spending total. S&P's "Rest of World" re- gion, covering Europe and most of main- land Asia, was the second most favored re- gion, increasing by 21% to $1.68 billion, followed by Canada, Australia, Africa, the United States and Pacific/Southeast Asia. The 2018 data show that late-stage exploration accounted for 39% of the global budget, with mine-site exploration coming in at 35% and grassroots explora- tion at 26%. Exploration Briefs BHP has identified a potential new iron oxide, copper, gold (IOCG) mineralized system 65 kilometers (km) southeast of its Olympic Dam operations in South Aus- tralia. Four diamond drill holes totaling 5,346 meters (m) intersected copper, gold, uranium and silver mineralization. Laboratory assays show downhole min- eralized intercepts ranging from 0.5% to 6% copper, with associated gold, uranium and silver metals. The exploration project is at an early stage and has not yet gen- erated sufficient geological information to assess the size, quality and continuity of the intercepts. BHP is evaluating and inter- preting the results and planning a further drilling program to begin in early 2019. BHP's copper exploration program has targeted the Stuart Shelf in South Aus- tralia as part of a focused global program that includes Ecuador, Canada, Peru, Chile and the southwest United States. Copper and oil are the main focus of the company's exploration programs, with goals of replenishing its resource base and enhancing its portfolio. ( Orion Minerals has discovered a new cop- per-zinc massive sulphide body 5.3 km south-southwest of its Prieska project in South Africa's Northern Cape Province. The discovery hole at the Ayoba prospect is both the first exploration hole drilled as part of the Orion's near-mine exploration project and the first hole to test for new mineralization surrounding the historical Prieska mine in more than 36 years. The hole intersected 10.55 m of sul - phide mineralization, including 5.17 m of massive sulphides from a down-hole depth of 653.2 m. The identification of chalcopyrite and sphalerite associated with the massive sulphide mineralization, and with host lithology similar to that at the Prieska deposit, suggests the discov- ery of a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit. "The discovery at Ayoba is a very important breakthrough, which clear- ly demonstrates the potential for large satellite deposits to be discovered in close proximity to our advanced Prieska zinc-copper project," Orion Managing Di- rector and CEO Errol Smart said. "VMS deposits tend to occur in clusters and yet there has been virtually no exploration outside of the known deposits at Prieska in several decades. "This important discovery demon- strates the huge potential to find addi- tional deposits within a 5-km to 10-km radius of the proposed processing plant and mine infrastructure at Prieska, vali- dating our exploration strategy, which is aimed at unlocking the value of this rich mineral province. ( Osisko Mining has released updated re- source estimates for the Lynx zone at its 100% owned Windfall project in the Abitibi greenstone belt, Urban Township, Québec. Indicated resources now total 456,000 ounces (oz) at a grade of 8.13 grams/met- ric ton (mt), while inferred resources total 625,000 oz at a grade of 9.7 g/mt. The updated mineral resource es- timate includes 138 infill drill holes (107,366 m) completed in the Lynx re- source area by Osisko between March 6, 2018, and October 27, 2018. In total, the updated mineral resource estimate includes 613 holes (370,714 m) drilled in the Lynx zone by Osisko since 2017. Conversion drilling from inferred to indicated continues on all zones at the Windfall project: Zone 27, Caribou, Under- dog and Lynx. A complete Windfall mineral resource estimate update is scheduled for release in 2019 upon the completion of the ongoing infill drilling program. The Windfall intrusive-related gold system remains open along strike and at depth. Lynx and several of the other known zones have excellent down plunge potential to add mineral resources. Osis- ko anticipates that it will continue to ex- pand Windfall resources as it progresses its current 800,000-m drill program. (

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