Bryah Resources (ASX: BYH) is a step closer to a maiden drilling program at its Bryah Basin project after the Western Australian Government granted up to A$150,000 towards drilling costs and gave the go ahead for the company to drill its copper-gold targets, with the program to begin “shortly”.
The A$150,000 is part of the state government’s exploration incentive scheme and will contribute towards Bryah drilling costs at the Aquarius copper-gold prospect at the project.
Under the planned exploration campaign, Bryah will drill 24 reverse circulation holes for 4,800m across Aquarius including the Jupiter and Mars targets where ground and airborne electromagnetic surveys discovered conductive anomalies.
According to Bryah, the project is close to several gold, copper and manganese mining operations including Sandfire Resources’ (ASX: SFR) DeGrussa operation.
During the June quarter, Bryah’s exploration activities encompassed a new strategy after the company discovered high grade manganese during a rock chip sampling program in March that was designed to firm up more gold and copper targets at the project.
Sampling returned up to 49.5% manganese, with preliminary exploration during the quarter uncovering more high-grade manganese across the 720 square kilometre project.
Five primary manganese targets were identified with manganese samples assaying between 41% and 52.1% across the targets.
As part of the new manganese strategy, Bryah recently locked-in an exclusive option agreement to purchase the mining lease for the historic Horseshoe South manganese mine as well exploration, development and mining rights for 154sq km of ground in the region.
“The Horseshoe South manganese mine has been the largest manganese mine in the Bryah Basin, producing about 1 million tonnes of manganese ore, and we believe there is potential to breathe life back into the old mine,” Bryah managing director Neil Marston said.
Bryah plans to carry out drilling at the manganese targets once it has received all necessary permits.
While the permits are pending, Bryah will continue surveying and taking samples from the manganese stockpiles for metallurgical evaluation and ore sorting test work.
Gabanintha vanadium project
Additional positive news for Bryah during the June quarter included Australian Vanadium’s (ASX: AVL) announcement that it could extract the cobalt, nickel and copper sulphides as a by product from vanadium mining at the project.
As part of Australian Vanadium’s prefeasibility study at Gabanintha, a maiden inferred resource was calculated for these minerals of 12.5 million tonnes at 206 parts per million cobalt, 659ppm nickel and 222ppm copper.
Under an arrangement with Australian Vanadium, Bryah holds the rights to the nickel and copper minerals at the project and any production would result in revenue to Bryah.
Shares in Bryah were steady at A$0.12 in late morning trade.