Germany-focused explorer South Harz Potash (ASX: SHP) has signed a drilling contract for the first of two planned holes at its Ohmgebirge mining licence area with drilling expected to start as soon as regulatory approval is received.
South Harz had selected deep drilling specialist H. Angers Sohne Bohr und Brunnenbaugesellschaft (Angers) to drill this first hole, OHM-02, back in July and now a contract has been executed, subject to permit approval.
The drilling of OHM-02 is planned for the current fourth quarter to a proposed depth of 665m, which is expected to fully penetrate the known potash horizon in the area.
Drilling aims to upgrade inferred resources to indicated status
Drilling aims to collect potash core samples from depth to assist in verifying historical work in the licence area by the former East German state in the 1980s.
These first two ‘confirmatory’ holes will also allow the company to upgrade its current inferred resources to indicated within the mining licence area, thus enabling the release of a scoping study in the first quarter of 2022.
South Harz managing director Dr Chris Gilchrist described signing the contract with Angers as a “significant milestone” in the Ohmgebirge potash project’s development.
“Angers has a wealth of experience in drilling potash within the region and we have therefore appointed them with the highest measure of confidence,” he said.
“We are now on track to commence drilling following permitting which will allow us to progress unhindered with our development plans for Ohmgebirge.”
Second hole also awaits drilling approval
Of the two planned holes at Ohmgebirge – OHM-01 and OHM-02 – it was decided to drill OHM-02 first due to its shorter hole depth and other logistic considerations.
South Harz received landowner and tenant permission to drill the second hole in July then applied to Germany’s regulatory authority Thüringer Landesamt für Umwelt, Bergbau und Naturschutz (TLUBN, which translates to the Thuringian State Office for the Environment, Mining and Nature Conservation) in August for regulatory approval. This is currently being processed.
Ohmgebirge is one of the company’s three potash mining licences, along with Ebeleben and Mühlhausen-Nohra, located in Germany’s South Harz potash district.
Together with two potash exploration licences, Küllstedt and Gräfentonna, the projects cover 659sq km and have a combined total JORC inferred resource of 5.3 billion tonnes at 10.8% potassium oxide.