Ascendant Resources Inc. [ASND-TSX] said Tuesday it has launched a drilling program that will be used to support a coming feasibility study at its Lagoa Salgada volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) project, which is located in the prolific Iberian Belt in Portugal.
The drill program is expected to consist of approximately 15,000 metres of diamond drilling, divided between the north and south zones of the Venda Nova orebody. Most of the planned drill holes will be a combination of infill and exploration drilling on both the North and South zones. The aim is to upgrade all inferred resources to the measured and indicated categories to support the completion of a NI-43-101-compliant feasibility study in 2022.
The company said the program has the potential to increase the overall tonnage and grade of both the North and South sectors by expanding the higher-grade zones. Ascendant will also work to develop new exploration targets in known prospective areas.
Ascendant’s involvement in Portugal dates back to August, 2018, when the company announced that it had acquired from TH Crestgate GMBH a 25% interest in Redcorp – Empreendimentos Mineiros, Lda, (Redcorp), which held an 85% interest in the Lagoa Salgada project. Ascendant said it had secured an option to earn up to an 80% interest in Redcorp upon completion of certain milestones.
Lagoa Salgada is estimated to contains over 14.8 million tonnes of measured and indicated resources grading 7.64% zinc equivalent and 2.57% copper equivalent and over 11.9 million tonnes of inferred resources grading 4.67% zinc equivalent and 1.57% copper equivalent.
That includes 10.3 million tonnes of measured and indicated material grading 9.1% ZnEQ and 2.5 million tonnes grading 5.9% ZnEq of inferred resources in the North Zone, material that could support a highly profitable mining project with low cash costs, according to a preliminary economic assessment (PEA) announced in January, 2020.
The PEA envisaged a nine-year mine life with a production scenario of 2,700 tonnes per day. The initial capital expenditure was pegged at $162.7 million, with an estimated pay-back period of four years…
Ascendant recently announced an updated mineral resource estimate for the copper-rich South Zone. It said the indicated resources in the South Zone stands at 4.4 million tonnes at 1.51% copper equivalent. On top of that is an inferred resource of 7.7 million tonnes at 1.41% copper equivalent.
The company said the deposit remains open to the north and south and on strike and at depth.
On November 23, Ascendant shares were trading at 17 cents on April 6, 2020, in a 52-week range of 26 cents and $0.08, leaving the company with a market cap of $16.2 million, based on 94.2 million shares outstanding.
On November 22, 2021, Ascendant shares closed at 24.5 cents and now trades in a 52-week range of 34 cents and $0.09.