JOHANNESBURG (miningweekly.com) – An exploration borehole in a deposit on the northern limb of the Bushveld Complex continues to reveal new platinum group metals (PGMs) potential at the Waterberg project in Limpopo province, Platinum Group Metals (PTM) CEO Frank R Hallam said on May 17.
"We’re pleased and intrigued to see the results,” added Hallam in a release to Mining Weekly.
PTM is the operator of the Waterberg project and the Johannesburg-listed Impala Platinum is a joint venture partner, along with Mnombo Wethu Consultants, Japan Organisation for Metals and Energy Security, and Hanwa.
The borehole has intercepted PGMs mineralisation consistent with two zones found within the mineral resources and reserves of the Toronto- and New York-listed company’s proposed Waterberg PGMs mine.
The borehole collar was positioned along a projected strike line 16 km north of the one delineated mineral resources zone and 8 km north of the other.
Borehole WE153 intercepted 7.02 m of mineralised T Zone beginning at a depth of 1 272.98 m, the release stated.
The mineralised interval displayed 2% to 4% blebby copper, nickel and iron sulphides. The drill core was logged, and the mineralised intercept recovered was sampled and sent for assay in Australia. The T Zone reported 4PGE platinum, palladium, rhodium and gold assay values of 10.45 g/t.
An F Zone intercept of 9.42 m of 2% to 4% blebby copper, nickel and iron sulphides has been observed. The F Zone drill core will be logged, and the mineralised intercept recovered will be sampled and also sent for assay in Australia.
“Although the step-out distance is too far to allow definitive conclusions, and we are not proposing that a shaft be developed near WE153, the results do support the hypothesis that the T Zone and F Zone continue for a significant distance northward from the known southern deposit area, indicating an opportunity to delineate additional mineral resources that may be accessible from planned underground mine development,” said Hallam,
“Looking to the future, we will consider exploration options at the appropriate time. If underground development of the F Zone in the southern area of the Waterberg deposit commences, drilling to target new T Zone resources to the north of current resources could be executed from drilling platforms established within the F Zone underground development," Hallam added.
The mineralized T Zone and F Zone of the Waterberg deposit are hosted within intrusive rocks of the Bushveld Igneous Complex, which underlie the Waterberg project and dip westerly at 34o to 38o. Along its up-dip edge the Bushveld Igneous Complex is projected to subcrop beneath rocks of the Waterberg sedimentary package, striking north easterly at first, and then in a northerly direction, forming an arc from south to north.
At the southern end of this arc, within the known area of the Waterberg deposit, the T Zone and F Zone both subcrop within 150 m from surface. In the southern area, the F Zone is normally found 300 m vertically below the T Zone and typically subcrops 400 m or more farther eastward than the T Zone.
At borehole WE153, the T Zone and F Zone have been found deeper than to the south and the middling between the T Zone and F Zone appears to have widened to 476 vertical metres. The T Zone observed in this northern area also demonstrates a variation in facies from that seen to the south.