Mount Burgess Mining (ASX: MTB) has identified high-grade silver mineralisation following a review of data it has on the Kihabe project in Botswana.
The project currently has a historic resource of 14.4 million tonnes at 2.84% zinc equivalent. The zinc equivalent figure is made up of zinc, lead and silver, with an estimated 3 million ounces of contained silver.
Germanium and vanadium have also been noted at the deposit and will be included in an updated resource.
With the silver price steadily increasing since May, Mount Burgess decided to undertake a deeper evaluation of the silver zones within Kihabe.
After reaching a high of US$29.37 per ounce earlier this month, silver is currently hovering round US$26.77/oz – up from around US$15/oz in April and May.
Mount Burgess’ data review of previous drilling identified two primary high-grade silver zones.
Highlight data from the first zone was 4m at 448.2g/t silver from 98m; 9m at 318g/t silver from 73m; and 14m at 101.6g/t silver from 47m.
Within the second zone, notable results were 44m at 181.7g/t silver from 97m; 21m at 120.05g/t silver from 91m; and 16m at 42.6g/t silver from 65m.
Metallurgical test work on Kihabe ore has found oxide and sulphide zones. Recoveries of silver in the sulphide zone have amounted to 96% via floatation and concentration processes.
Mount Burgess anticipates there is potential for more silver to be uncovered at Kihabe. However, the company said more drilling would be required into neighbouring sections where only one hole has been drilled.
Advancing Botswana deposits
Mount Burgess picked up Kihabe and the similarly mineralised Nxuu deposits in Botswana in 2003.
When it acquired the assets, previous exploration had identified only zinc and lead. As a result, early exploration did not always evaluate drill core for other minerals including vanadium and germanium.
A recent review of the 24 holes drilled at Nxuu showed 58% of every hole contains recoverable zinc-lead-vanadium.
Additionally, the average depth of the holes is 40m – confirming the shallowness of the mineralisation.
Mount Burgess has also sent samples containing germanium for further testing.
If proved economically recoverable, Mount Burgess anticipates the germanium could add further credit to the project with the mineral currently selling for $2,615 per kilogram.