Investigator Resources' (ASX: IVR) final assays from drilling at its Paris Silver Project in South Australia lend further credence to its potential amenability to conventional open pit mining techniques.
The deposit is generally shallow with much of the mineralisation, which is hosted in mostly soft rock, and "free digging" and less costly to mine starting around 40 metre to 50 metres beneath the surface.
Results from the final 49 holes, which returned assays peaking at 1.7% silver, will be incorporated into the maiden Inferred Resource estimate that is due in October pending final review by independent consultants and joint venture partner Mega Hindmarsh.
"Work on the resource estimate is nearing completion. We have now delineated a mineralised area at Paris of at least 1,100 metres by about 400 metres," managing director John Anderson said.
"The exciting volcanic crater and breccia geology is new in South Australia and has the potential for internal expansions and along strike extensions that will not be included in the first instance within the maiden resource.
"The pleasing aspects of this latest drilling are continuing high-grade silver intersections and the shallow nature of the deposit. The style of mineralisation - breccias, clays, sulphides so near to surface - does suggest the potential for a low cost, free dig open-pit mining method to be considered in future studies."
The final 49 holes - consisting of 41 diamond and 8 reverse circulation - continued to intersect shallow high grade silver intersections.
Notable results include:
- PPDH117: 8 metres at 2,703g/t silver from 48 metres including 1.2 metres at 1.7% (17,250g/t) silver from 52.5 metres;
- PPDH109: 29.4 metres at 251g/t silver from 58 metres including 1.1 metres at 3,840g/t silver from 82.9 metres; and
- PPDH112: 4.5 metres at 594g/t silver from 52.7 metres.
- PPRC074: 12 metres at 241g/t silver from 47 metres.
- PPDH123: 5.9 metres at 222g/t silver from 95.3 metres and 8.7 metres at 257g/t silver from 102.4 metres;
- PPDH134: 42.2 metres at 123g/t silver from 8 metres;
- PPDH137: 35.65 metres at 118g/t silver from 12 metres; and
- PPDH141: 25.5 metres at 191g/t silver from 86 metres.
These support the potential amenability of the Paris silver deposit to conventional open-pit mining techniques.
Mineralisation at the Paris silver deposit is generally shallow with much of it starting around 40 metres to 50 metres beneath the surface.
The soft nature of much of the silver-mineralised host rock indicates that "free-dig" mining may be considered as an alternative to more costly drilling and blasting.
The current set of results also shows the Paris silver prospect is open to the northwest and to the southeast.
A selection of representative samples has been submitted for laboratory metallurgical test work with results pending.
Paris Silver Project
The Paris project is two-hours' drive west of Port Augusta, South Australia, on the 583 square kilometre Peterlumbo Joint Venture tenement (Investigator: 75%, Mega Hindmarsh: 25%).
Its geology is firming as a preserved volcanic crater containing volcanics, likely crater sediments, volcanic breccias and hydrothermal breccias.
The crater volcanics and breccias are variably silver mineralised near the base of the crater around and away from the margins of the vent/pipe. This therefore offers the shallow and extensive silver potential with an overall flat-lying geometry that is being assessed for the resource estimate.
The shallow and broad mineralised intersections in new holes PPDH134 and 137 are particularly encouraging as it is interpreted as a breccia spine that is an example of newly-recognised prospective zones that warrant further drilling and offer expanded silver potential within the large Paris prospect.
The firming crater model and prospective extensions to Paris further strengthen the potential for the Peterlumbo field to host a variety of epithermal and porphyry style deposits.
Some of these may not have direct soil geochemistry signatures and will require targeting with integrated geological, geochemical and geophysical techniques.
Shares in the company are poised to rise today with the strong silver assays from the final batch of drill holes setting the stage for Investigator Resources to release a significant opening Resource for the Paris Silver Project in October.
Notably, the shallow mineralisation that is amendable to free digging is likely to lead to lower capital and operational expenditure, making the project considerably more attractive to financiers.
Potential also exists to further increase the Resource in the future through internal expansions and along strike extensions.
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