Advanced explorer PNX Metals (ASX: PNX) has pulled up wide, high-grade zinc, gold, silver, lead and copper mineralisation from diamond drilling at the Iron Blow deposit within the company’s Hayes Creek project in the Northern Territory’s Pine Creek region.
According to PNX, three diamond holes were drilled in the eastern and western lodes and confirm the company’s geological model, with mineralisation intersected in both lodes.
Assays from the eastern lode were 85.22m at 11.87% zinc, 4.19 grams per tonne gold, 309g/t silver, 1.94% lead, and 0.49% copper from 115.9m.
At the western lode, intersections were 48.07m at 5.67% zinc, 2.45g/t gold and 90.6g/t silver from 230.3m; and 21.42m at 1.98g/t gold and 161g/t silver.
“We are encouraged to see high-grade gold contained within the predominantly oxide mineralisation at surface and the thick, massive sulphide intervals intersected by drilling are consistent with the geological model – adding confidence to the mineral resource,” PNX managing director James Fox said.
These drill holes were to obtain representative samples for current metallurgical test work, which is part of the definitive feasibility study that is underway at the project.
Mr Fox said the metallurgical test work on the Iron Blow diamond core would support marketing and offtake discussions and help with finalising the processing plant design.
“The definitive feasibility study is on schedule and continuing to demonstrate that Hayes Creek is a technically, environmentally and financially viable project,” he added.
Hayes Creek project
In addition to Iron Blow, Hayes Creek also hosts the Mt Bonnie deposit, with the project located 170km south of Darwin.
The definitive feasibility study is scheduled to be released in the March quarter of 2020 and builds on the prefeasibility study that was completed in mid-2017.
The prefeasibility study indicated an upfront capital expenditure of $58 million would be required to establish a 450,000 tonne per annum mining and processing operation at the project.
Underpinning the study is a mineral resource of 4.077Mt at 4.35% zinc, 0.91% lead, 0.25% copper, 1.24g/t silver and 1.81g/t gold for contained metal of 177,200t zinc, 37,000t lead, 10,050t copper, 16.2Moz silver and 237,000oz gold.
It is expected the operation would generate 18,300tpa zinc concentrate, 14,700ozpa gold and 1.4Moz silver – or a combined 39,100tpa of zinc equivalent.
This is anticipated to generate annual pre-tax net cash flow of $41 million over an initial 6.5-year mine life.
PNX’s share price rocketed 100% on the news to reach $0.01 mid-morning.