Jervois Global drills 0.58% cobalt, 0.66% copper over 6 metres at ICO, Idaho
Jervois Global Ltd. [JRV-TSXV, ASX; JRVMF-OTC] reported initial results from an infill drilling and first resource expansion drilling program at its Idaho cobalt operations (ICO) in Idaho, United States.
Jervois’s 2022 drilling program at ICO totalled 10,300 metres in 69 completed diamond drill holes. With the exception of a single geotechnical drill hole, the 2022 drilling was focused on the RAM deposit underpinning current mine development at ICO, and its down-dip extents, and comprised 62 infill drill holes (totalling 7,730 m) and six targeted RAM resource expansion drill holes (totalling 2,300 m).
RAM deposit infill drilling: As previously disclosed, infill drilling has confirmed the current RAM deposit resource model and continues to derisk mining.
During 2022, Jervois completed 62 infill drill holes with all of the holes targeting and intersecting the main mineralized horizon (MMH) of the RAM deposit. The RAM deposit is defined by a mineral reserve and resource estimate (MRRE) calculated for both the Australasian JORC code 2012 and by the Canadian Institute of Mining. In total, Jervois has now drilled 81 drill holes targeting the MMH of the RAM deposit since acquiring the project in mid-2019 (including 19 holes completed in late 2019), with all holes intersecting mineralization. This represents an increase of over 80% with respect to the total number of resource drill holes defining the RAM deposit prior to Jervois ownership, a step change in orebody delineation and derisking of the mine plan.
Most importantly, infill drilling results to date demonstrate the validity of the ICO MRRE, particularly in and around underground areas that have recently been opened for early mine production and development. Furthermore, during 2022 mine development work within the hangingwall of the RAM deposit, several areas comprising waste blocks within the current MRRE were found to be mineralized and this material has been stored for processing during plant commissioning.
Infill drilling is continuing and will continue through 2023 as vertical mine development progresses, focused on production areas within the upper levels of the Mid zone and the South zone of the deposit.
The resource expansion drilling program targeted down-dip extensions of the RAM deposit initially from surface and then from underground platforms as mine access was established. Six expansion drill holes were completed in 2022, with assays recently returned from one surface and one underground hole. Assays from the remaining four holes are expected later this quarter. Massive and disseminated cobalt-copper sulphide mineralization was observed (logged) in all six expansion holes. While assays for four of the six expansion holes are still pending, these results confirm down-dip mineralization continuity in the RAM deposit in both the South and Mid zones.
Drill results to date include Hole JS22-001B, collared from surface, that intersected 0.58% cobalt, 0.66% copper, 0.31 g/t gold over a calculated true width (CTW) of six metres, including 1.06 metres CTW at 1.71% Co, 0.70% Cu and 0.75 g/t gold.
Hole JU22-064, collared from an underground platform, intersected 0.27% Co, 0.67% Cu, 0.14 g/t gold over a calculated true width of 2.4 metres.
Drilling from underground platforms confirmed broad mineralization continuity over more than 260 metres laterally and 180 metres vertically beneath the southern resource zone.
Since acquiring 100% ownership of ICO in mid-2019, Jervois has now drilled eight targeted exploration or expansion holes outside of the previously defined MRRE including, two holes drilled in 2019 that tested footwall targets underlying the RAM deposit and six 2022 expansion holes that tested down-dip extensions of the RAM deposit. All eight of the 2019 and 2022 exploration/expansion drill holes intersected mineralization.
Drilling results continue to provide confidence that the RAM resource will ultimately support extended mine life at ICO beyond the initial seven years, as discussed within the project’s bankable feasibility study (BFS) released in 2020, and introduces the potential for higher annual production rates. The RAM deposit remains open at depth and along strike. Jervois expects to complete an updated JORC and a NI 43-101 compliant MRRE in Q2 2023.
Expansion drilling will continue throughout 2023 as vertical mine development progresses. In addition, Jervois expects to commence drilling of 12 drill holes this coming summer at the neighbouring Sunshine and East Sunshine deposits to confirm historic data sets of over 100 holes and 19,000 metres of prior drilling. Sunshine is a 100%-Jervois-owned property located near its processing facilities and infrastructure.
During 2022, Jervois spent US$3.4-million to drill 10,300 metres of both infill and expansion drill holes. This calendar year the expected exploration program, and that embedded within prior ICO operating and capital cost guidance, is US$7.4-million, which is expected to realize 14,600 metres of drilling.
Commissioning continues at ICO with first concentrate production expected before the end of Q1 2023. Once in full production, it will be the only mine supply of cobalt in the United States.