Vast Resources plc, the AIM-listed mining company with operating mines in Romania and Zimbabwe, announced that surface exploration drilling has commenced at the Magura Neagra and Piciorul Zimbrului prospecting licences (collectively Zagra) in northern Romania in which Vast has a minimum 90% interest. Drilling at Zagra was part of the company’s planned expenditure as detailed in the open offer announcement of 21 November 2017, and reference was made to the planned drilling programme in Q4 2018 in the strategic report contained in the company’s annual report announced on 28 September 2018.
- 4,000m surface diamond drilling campaign commenced at Zagra
- Previous exploration has demonstrated both licences’ prospectivity for polymetallic mineralisation:
- Previously reported estimates by the Romanian state exploration company, IPEG Cluj, have indicated an exploration target (non-JORC compliant) of up to 3,000Mt of ore to a depth of 600m, at grades ranging from 0.4% copper (Cu) and 0.3g/t gold (Au) up to 0.8% Cu and 0.5g/t Au at Magura Neagra
- Six veins associated copper and gold mineralisation previously identified at Piciorul Zimbrului through underground development
- Drilling campaign expected to be complete by the end of December 2018
- All core samples will be submitted to the ALS laboratories located in Rosia Montana for copper, lead, zinc, molybdenum, gold and silver assays
“Magura Neagra and Piciorul Zimbrului are important components of our evolving and expanding global inventory of resource assets. Although further behind in the development curve when compared to the already producing nearby Manaila mine, or our near-term production assets at Baita Plai and brownfield Blueberry, the licences are highly compelling by virtue of the historic assessments conducted by the previous state exploration company which pointed to both licences demonstrating sufficient size and scale to warrant a comprehensive exploration campaign. I look forward to advancing these assets over the coming months as we begin to get an impression of the resource potential of Magura Neagra and Piciorul Zimbrului and continue in our strategy to become a mid-tier producer in the region,” Andrew Prelea, Chief Executive Officer of Vast Resources stated.
“Talks are advancing with institutional investors and the completion of the prospecting drilling campaign is essential to ensure securing the Exploration Licence in H1 2019. This is a vital step to concluding the transaction,” he added.
Located in the Zagra-Telciu area in Bistrita-Nasaud County of Romania, the 21km2 Magura Neagra licence and the 10km2 Piciorul Zimbrului licence are adjacent to one another and are approximately 110km from Vasts producing Manaila Polymetallic Mine by road.
Magura Neagra Polymetallic Licence
Initial drilling is being undertaken within the Magura Neagra licence area, targeting sets of polymetallic veins together with areas of disseminated sulphide mineralisation. The mineralisation is associated with areas of intense silicification and is hosted within silicified sandstones spatially related to a quartz diorite.
Historical prospecting activities undertaken by the state exploration company IPEG Cluj during the period 1986-1993, identified five polymetallic veins ranging in widths from 0.30m-5.00m, together with an 800-metre-long zone of disseminated sulphide mineralisation which was intersected in an underground drive accessed by means of a surface adit (Gallery 47). The underground drives are developed from elevations ranging between 972m amsl-1,340m amsl representing a vertical extent or exposure of 368m.
A spatial analysis of the vein system, areas of intense silicification and occurrences of disseminated mineralisation may indicate the possible presence of a porphyry copper type mineralising system together with mineralised veins containing gold, silver, molybdenum, lead and zinc.
Porphyry style copper mineralisation appears to be associated with the vein systems, and with areas of intensely silicified sandstones with disseminated sulphide impregnations. Initial estimates, by the Romanian state exploration company IPEG Cluj, related to the porphyry style mineralisation, have indicated an exploration target (non-JORC compliant) of up to 3,000Mt of ore to a depth of 600m, at grades ranging from 0.4% copper (Cu) and 0.3g/t gold (Au) up to 0.8% Cu and 0.5g/t Au. The exploration team surmised that at a 10% conversion ratio from exploration target to a mineral reserve, the reserves may total 300Mt of ore and place it above the current operations of Cuprumin at Rosia Poieni.
The current drill campaign will comprise 2,000 metres of diamond drilling which will focus on the five previously identified veins at Magura Neagra.
Piciorul Zimbrului Polymetallic Licence
Previous exploration activities, conducted by IPEG Cluj, the former state exploration company, included 1,200m of underground development and underground diamond drilling, along with 862m surface diamond drilling and geological mapping over an area of 4.0km2. Several trenches and pits totalling 238m and 3,484m3 were excavated on surface.
This work identified a total of six veins, with associated copper and gold mineralisation along an underground drive developed for 820m at an elevation of 835m above mean sea level (amsl).
A further two veins with associated polymetallic mineralisation were investigated with an additional two veins exhibiting gold, silver, and antimony mineralisation, which were encountered in the underground development at an elevation of +950m amsl.
All the veins are hosted within Paleocene sandstones and the full extent of the veins has not been defined. Mention is made in literature of exploration activities undertaken in 1981 for disseminated porphyry copper in the silicified sandstones.
The current drill campaign will comprise 2,000 metres of diamond drilling which will focus on the six previously identified veins at Piciorul Zimbrului.