Assays from a reverse circulation drilling campaign by Bryah Resources (ASX: BYH) at the Bryah Basin manganese project in WA’s northwest have confirmed the discovery of a high-grade zone of mineralisation with potential to support a near-term direct shipping production strategy.
The campaign aimed to test for extensions of high-grade manganese intersected at the Black Hill, Brumby Creek and Horseshoe South targets in 2019.
It also included initial drill testing of the nearby Mount Labouchere prospect.
Bryah said grades of more than 30% manganese were intersected from a new shallow high-grade discovery at Brumby Creek and could support a near-term direct shipping operation.
Best results were 12 metres at 24.7% manganese and 10m at 31.1%, including 3m at 41.0% from 34m.
Other assays were 17m at 26.5% manganese, including 3m at 36.6% from 15m; and 15m at 26.1% manganese, including 3m at 36.3% from 16m.
At the Black Hill prospect, Bryah encountered a string of direct shipping grades such as 4m at 32.7% manganese, including 1m at 41.9% from surface; and 6m at 30.0% manganese, including 1m at 47.9% from 4m.
Cobalt values of up to 1320 parts per million were also reported, with “consistently anomalous association” with the manganese mineralisation requiring further investigations.
Joint venture agreement
Bryah’s drilling campaign was fully-funded by OM (Manganese) Limited (a wholly-owned subsidiary of OM Holdings (ASX: OMH) under the Bryah Basin joint venture agreement executed in 2019.
Bryah is manager of the venture, with a 90% equity holding.
The joint venture agreement applies to manganese rights only over approximately 660 square kilometres of the basin, near the Horseshoe Range area which has historically been a strong manganese-producing region.
Production in the area has been dominated by the joint venture’s historic Horseshoe South mine, and a smaller satellite deposit at Horseshoe North.
OM Holdings is a vertically-integrated manganese and silicon specialist involved in mining, smelting and trading, with operations in Australia, China, Japan, Malaysia, Singapore and South Africa.
Byrah managing director Neil Marston said the company was encouraged by the potential of the Horseshoe Range.
“The grades and thicknesses of mineralisation [we encountered] demonstrate that this manganiferous [region] – most of which is under our joint venture’s tenure – has potential to host significant tonnages of shallow high-grade manganese,” he said.
“Manganese ore prices have recovered significantly recently, which augurs well for us as we develop a pathway to production.”
At midday, shares in Bryah Resources were trading 40.48% higher at $0.059, while shares in OM Holdings were up 6.85% to $0.390.