Venturex Resources (ASX: VXR) has intersected high-grade copper within the first hole of a reverse circulation drilling program at its wholly-owned Sulphur Springs copper-zinc project near Port Hedland in Western Australia.
Drill hole SSR007 hit several thick mineralised intervals such as 29m at 1.47% copper from 45m; 9m at 0.86% copper from 82m; and 31m at 3.24% copper from 94m, including 11m at 4.15% copper from 99m.
“The assay results from SSR007 are impressive and highlight the quality of the development opportunity at Sulphur Springs, where high-grade mineralisation occurs close to surface and will provide early ore feed to the mill from the planned initial open pit,” Venturex managing director AJ Saverimutto said.
“The 70-plus metres of copper mineralisation in SSR007 clearly shows the potential for the shallow portion of the Sulphur Springs deposit to extend along strike to the east.”
Drilling was part of Venturex’s program to extend the indicated resources at Sulphur Springs by testing the inferred resource immediately east of the 2017 drilling campaign.
Assays are pending from a second hole that aimed to increase Venturex’s level of geological confidence in the resource.
“We are also very excited about the exploration drilling which is now underway at the Breakers prospect,” Mr Saverimutto said.
“The current drilling campaign represents the first major regional exploration push in over a decade at the project and we are looking forward to seeing what this drilling can deliver,” Mr Saverimutto added.
Sulphur Springs definitive feasibility study
In October last year, Venturex released a definitive feasibility study for Sulphur Springs, which predicts annual pre-tax cash flow of $80 million.
The study was based on a life-of-mine inventory of 12.6Mt at 1.4% copper and 3.6% zinc, which includes a reserve of 8.5 million tonnes at 1.4% copper and 3.1% zinc.
Up front capital expenditure is estimated at $169 million to develop a 10.3-year 1.25Mt per annum operation to produce 15,000tpa of copper metal and 35,000tpa of zinc.
To begin construction, Venturex is in ongoing discussions with potential project financiers and is targeting to be in full production by the end of next year.
By midday, shares in Venturex were up almost 12% to $0.19.