Freehill Mining (ASX: FHS) has now completed a third of its 18-hole program across the 1.1km magnetite structure at its Yerbas Buenas project in Chile, with mineralisation extending deeper than initially thought.
The company has drilled six holes for 1,600m – targeting the high-grade YB6 anomaly that was discovered during last year’s drilling program.
Freehill chief executive officer Peter Hinner said the current drilling campaign has “progressed well” and that the company plans to commission a third rig in the coming weeks.
He pointed out engaging a third rig “clearly reflects” the confidence the company has in the project.
“Initial indications of mineralisation at depth are encouraging and we look forward to exploring these sections further.”
Mr Hinner added he expects the YB resource to “grow materially” based on results from the current program and future drilling.
“We look forward to reporting first assays and other exploration updates in the interim.”
Advancing Yerbas Buenas
The remaining holes of the current campaign will target YB6 where previous drilling uncovered 16m at 61% iron.
First assays from the program are anticipated in late December, with drill core unearthed so far containing a number of high-grade intersections.
Overall, Freehill plans to drill 4,500m across the project which was expanded during the September quarter via the acquisition of the Arena XI tenement which adjoins the project’s southern boundary.
The project’s magnetic footprint has now trebled in size from 9.6 hectares to 29ha.
Freehill anticipates the project could host enough mineralised material to support a 15-20-year bulk mining operation.
The project has a maiden resource for the YB1 structure which was unveiled in May of 18.4Mt at 15.1% iron, with a concentrate grade of 68.4% iron.
Freehill anticipates the remaining larger structures including YB6 have the potential for much larger resources than YB1.
For the past few years, trial mining has been underway at YB1, with more than 170,000t of magnetite concentrate grading 27% iron sold to Chile’s largest iron ore pellet feed producer Compania Minera del Pacifico.
Compania Minera del Pacifico’s Romeral plant is only 13km from Yerbas Buenas and has been using the concentrate from the project to supplement its own ore.
Shares in Freehill were steady at $0.014 in early morning trade.