Bryah Resources (ASX: BYH) has announced it will proceed with the Horseshoe South manganese mine acquisition after it completed initial due diligence at the site, which makes up part of the company’s Bryah Basin project, with drilling to begin at the project as soon as access permits have been received.
The historic mine and manganese mining lease encompass 154 square kilometres in Western Australia’s Bryah Basin.
“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.
Under the agreement with Peak Hill Manganese Pty Ltd, Bryah will have an exclusive one-year option to purchase the mine and mining lease to advance a manganese operation.
In return, Bryah will pay Peak Hill a A$100,000 option fee within the next five days.
“The option to acquire the Horseshoe South manganese mine offers Bryah the opportunity to generate low-risk cash flow from a granted mining lease and rapidly enhances its capacity to exploit any new manganese discoveries across the entire project area,” Mr Marston said.
As part of its preliminary due diligence, Bryah undertook a desktop study of historic data, as well as samples from stockpile and rock chips, and reconnaissance mapping.
According to Bryah, about 215,000 cubic metres of manganese stockpiles are on site and comprise “undersize” material from mining between the 1940s and 1960s.
Historic data reveals the potential to upgrade the stockpiles via screening processes.
“At present international manganese ore dry metric tonne unit prices remain high, creating strong demand for manganese ore in the 30% to 40% manganese range,” Mr Marston said.
“Accordingly, the company intends to evaluate the possibility of beneficiating the manganese stockpiles present at Horseshoe South.”
Assays from four stockpile samples returned between 2.2% manganese and 30.9% manganese. Bryah noted the grades were similar to those reported in previous test work.
In addition to the stockpile samples at the site, Bryah identified up to 48% manganese from recent outcrop sampling at the site, which Mr Marston describes as “exciting”.
Upcoming Bryah exploration
Initial ore sorting test work on manganese stockpiles has produced “positive results” using a number of system settings and methods.
“The company will commence a detailed stockpile sampling program this week with the express aim of establishing whether the material can be upgraded to produce a saleable product of approximately 34% manganese, as suggested in earlier technical reports,” Mr Marston said.
Meanwhile, exploration is planned on adjoining ground where manganese prospects Black Hill, Black Caviar and Devils Hill were recently discovered.
“None these new areas have been adequately evaluated so the exploration team have been charged with drill testing them over the coming months.”
“We are aiming at creating a pipeline of new deposits, which could sustain manganese mining operations over several years,” Mr Marston said.