Montezuma Mining Company (ASX: MZM) has in excess of 3,000 km2 of exploration tenure in Western Australia, with multi-commodity prospectivity including gold, copper, nickel and uranium targets.
The company's Butcher Bird Project contains the historic Butcher Bird mine, a high grade near surface copper mine which targeted supergene copper mineralisation. The mine has recorded production of 8.46t of copper at an average grade of 22.6%.
Montezuma Mining Company (ASX: MZM) has now successfully defined high grade copper mineralisation over a 600 metre strike at its Butcherbird Copper Project.
Importantly, the potential to extend the mineralisation even further is increased by the fact the mineralisation remains open along strike and at depth.
Further upside is that mineralisation widths and grades generally appear to improve with depth.
Montezuma continues to deliver high grade copper from Butcherbird with the latest assays showing notable intersections of 6 metres at 2% copper from 114 metres, 5 metres at 3.5% copper from 236 metres and 1 metre at 3.28% copper from 112 metres.
Justin Brown, managing director, told Proactive Investors the copper mineralisation is open in all directions and at depth as well.
“Time will tell how big it can be, but obviously it’s starting to develop some scale now.
“Some of the areas where we have perhaps had less exciting results was probably because we’re not drilling deep enough to tap into the main mineralised zone, so obviously that will guide our follow up programs and hopefully improve those areas going forward.”
Mineralisation at Butcherbird occurs in a number of lithologically and structurally controlled positions within a greater than 6 kilometre striking corridor along or adjacent to the Butcherbird shear zone.
Drilling at the potentially company making project has now confirmed large tonnages of beneficiable manganese and high copper potential with plenty of upside.
Following cyclonic activity during March, drilling has now recommenced with about 2,000 metres of the current program remaining to be completed. Further holes are being planned.
Prior to the rain event which temporarily disrupted drilling, 10 reverse circulation drill holes were completed for 2,112 metres.
Meanwhile, Montezuma will begin geological and structural analysis of results to date to better understand the distribution of copper mineralisation within the highly prospective Butcherbird shear zone to optimise the targeting of the next round of drilling.
Brown said this will probably involve mobilising a diamond drill rig to Butcherbird to drill some core holes for proper structural analysis.
Follow up work is likely to comprise an extensional drilling program as well as an infill program to better define the geometry and geological controls on mineralisation within the system.
Montezuma will also investigate the sporadic lead and zinc anomalism identified in certain zones as a possible pathfinder to high grade copper mineralisation.
While most of Montezuma’s resources have been focused on the manganese mineralisation at Butcherbird to date, Brown said the board would likely consider committing to a substantial budget of over $1 million to advance copper exploration.
A Scoping Study for the development of the extensive manganese mineralisation at the project has projected a net present value of up to A$376 million with an internal rate of return of up to 59%, based on the Yanneri Ridge JORC Inferred Resource of 64.7 million tonnes at 11.2% manganese.
The study was completed by independent consultancy Engenium and investigated the development of a mine producing between 0.5 million tonnes and 1 million tonnes per annum of lump and chip ore grading a nominal 36% manganese with a mine life of at least 10 years.
Importantly, Montezuma expects resource upgrades based on further drilling to add to the potential product inventory, and possibly support a longer mine life and/or increased production rates.
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