Obtains Further Positive Viper Drill Results
In a very positive day for Firefinch Limited (ASX: FFX) the company has announced that further high-grade results have been returned from the company’s ongoing drilling at the Viper Deposit, part of Firefinch’s 80% owned Morila Gold Project, as surface mining operations commence in Mali.
“We continue to generate excellent results from drilling the Viper system, which have enabled better definition of the deposit’s higher-grade zones,” Managing Director, Dr Michael Anderson, said.
“Clearly these zones are key to mining and the next step is the commencement of mining operations in the southern part of the deposit. Importantly, Viper will add oxide ore to complement the Morila Pit 5 mining operations.
“Plans are in place to expedite mining and haulage of this ore to be part of the plant feed from mid-September and increase near-term gold production. The fast-tracking of Viper is another example of the effort our on-site team has put in to delivering the ramp-up plan at Morila.”
The Viper deposit is located approximately 27 kilometres north-west of Morila and is accessed by an established haul road.
Initial drilling was completed by Randgold (2000-2009) and then by Firefinch (2013-2015) under its previous name Birimian Gold SARL. In 2016 the Morila mine, then operated by Randgold, acquired the Viper and N’tiola deposits from Firefinch.
Morila completed infill and grade control drilling prior to mining in 2018-2019 of 0.81 million tonnes at 1.19 g/t gold to produce 31,000 ounces of gold. Firefinch retains a 4% royalty, at current gold prices, at Viper and N’tiola.
Based on these Mineral Resources a Probable Ore Reserve of 1.30 million tonnes at 1.46g/t for 43,000 contained ounces of gold was declared for Viper.
The resource definition drilling programme at the southern end of the Viper Deposit is testing extensions to mineralisation along strike and down dip of results previously published. Drilling in this area was brought forward to ensure it did not interact with expedited mining activities.
The latest batch of assay results from this programme include:
- 9 metres at 15.1g/t gold from 40 metres (VIPRC141) including 1m at 98.7g/t;
- 5 metres at 11.7g/t gold from 108 metres (VIPRC155);
- 18 metres at 2.96g/t gold from 54 metres (VIPRC146) including 3m at 10.6g/t;
- 2 metres at 12.5g/t gold from 70 metres (VIPRC156);
- 4 metres at 6.36g/t gold from 81 metres (VIPRC146); and 7 metres at 2.13g/t gold from 27 metres (VIPRC144) including 1m at 10.6g/t;
- 4 metres at 3.31g/t gold from 107 metres (VIPRC147);
- metres at 1.59g/t gold from 68 metres (VIPRC159);
- 8 metres at 1.31g/t gold from 97 metres (VIPRC157); and
- 5 metres at 2.14g/t gold from 63 metres (VIPRC142).
Dr Anderson said results from the southern portion of the Viper Deposit clearly show the presence of discrete high- grade zones within the mineralised system as intersected in VIPRC141, VIPRC146, VIPRC155 and VIPRC156. The shallow infill grade control programme has demonstrated the intensity of drilling required to delineate these zones, and geological modelling is being refined using the enlarged dataset aiming to determine potential structural controls on these high-grade zones. The modelled high-grade trends will be verified and refined by ongoing drilling along the Viper system.
Commencement of Mining
Open pit mining operations have commenced at the southern end of the Viper pit design, targeting mineralisation which was not mined by previous Morila operations. This material is entirely contained within the Ore Reserve design and is classified as an Indicated Mineral Resource.
Grade control drilling has been completed prior to the commencement of mining and results will be used to update the Mineral Resource and Ore Reserve when resource definition drilling has been completed.
The commencement of mining operations comes after an expedited schedule of pre-mining activities including grade control drilling, site clearing and topsoil stockpiling, and the upgrade of access tracks.
The company’s partnership with Malian owned and operated contractor EGTF has enabled these initial mining works to be completed as a standalone project prior to the mobilisation of the Mota Engil – InterMine (ME-IM) Joint Venture (JV), who have been awarded the contract to mine the Viper and N’Tiola satellite pits as well as stage 1 of the Morila Super Pit.
Mobilising both EGTF and ME-IM at Viper allows for accelerated material movement and a positive contribution to the near-term mining schedule.
As mining commences in the southern portion of Viper, drilling will be focussed on other areas within the 1,600-metre-long mineralised system. The intent is to follow up high-grade intersections in previous drilling and delineating deeper high-grade zones within the Viper system to feed into the ongoing geological interpretation and updates to the Mineral Resource and optimised pit design.
The Viper Mineral Resource Estimate is being updated to incorporate new drilling results to inform mining activities and will be finalised and published once the resource drilling has been completed. An increase in the classification, tonnage and grade is anticipated.
For further information please visit: https://firefinchltd.com/