Peel Mining delivers maiden resource estimate for Wirlong copper deposit

Peel Mining ASX PEX Wirlong maiden copper resource
Peel Mining’s maiden resource for Wirlong totals: 2.45Mt at 2.4% copper and 8.7g/t silver for 57,900t of contained copper and 686,000oz silver.

Base metals explorer Peel Mining (ASX: PEX) has delivered a maiden indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate for its wholly-owned Wirlong copper deposit located southeast of Cobar in western New South Wales.

The estimate sits at 2.45 million tonnes grading 2.4% copper and 8.7 grams per tonne silver for 57,900 tonnes contained copper and 686,000 ounces of silver.

This resource is the product of 41,612m of reverse circulation and diamond drilling completed by the company since 2014.

The bulk of this work was focused on the high-grade massive breccia mineralisation (MBX) lens following its recognition in 2018.

The lens is believed to host 1.38Mt at 2.9% copper and 10.5g/t silver.

Significantly, 860,000t at 2.3% copper and 9.1g/t silver of the total indicated resource accounts for approximately 35% of the estimate’s tonnage and 34% of contained copper metal.

Net smelter return

The Wirlong estimate uses a $90 per tonne net smelter return cut-off to reflect the polymetallic nature of the mineralisation and to generate mineable shapes utilising stope shape optimisation, including minimum mining widths and internal dilution.

Combined with ongoing infill and extensional drilling, it provides the basis for a scoping study to better understand the potential development opportunities available at Wirlong.

Global resource

Managing director Rob Tyson said the estimate further bolsters the company’s global resource in the Cobar Superbasin, and provides a foundation for its “copper first” strategy.

“The strong copper mineralisation hosted within the main MBX lens hosts around 69% of the estimate’s contained copper, while the other lenses highlight widespread copper endowment and the clear potential for Wirlong to grow,” he said.

“This estimate is an excellent foundation and it is anticipated that ongoing drilling will improve and expand this copper-rich mineral system.”

Cobar Superbasin

The Cobar Superbasin is the richest polymetallic basin in the Lachlan Orogen as evidenced by estimated pre-mining metal inventories of more than 2.5Mt copper, 200t of gold, 4.8Mt of zinc, 2.8Mt of lead, and 4000t of silver.

Mr Tyson said the prospectivity of the southern portion of the basin (the area covered by Peel’s tenements) is “extremely high”, factoring in the presence of metal-bearing fluids and high-strain domains which favour mineral deposits and occurrences.

Peel was initially drawn to the Wirlong area by the presence of historic copper workings; a topographic high; a 2km-long multi-element surface geochemical anomaly and coincident or semi-coincident magnetic (3km); and radiometric, gravity, IP (induced polarisation) and electromagnetic anomalies.

Exploratory drilling in early 2015 identified significant primary copper mineralisation with follow-up drilling yielding results and confirming the prospect’s potential.

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