BlackEarth Minerals NL (ASX:BEM) has intersected thick and consistent zones of high-grade graphite in diamond drilling at its Maniry Graphite Project in Madagascar.
Assay results from the first five holes of the 26-hole program at the Haja prospect have been received, showing that the mineralisation is open along strike to the north and open down-dip to the east.
The results have also highlighted some unexpected zones of higher grade mineralisation grading up to 10.4% total graphitic content (TGC).
BlackEarth anticipates that a continuous zone of high-grade mineralisation will be identified within Haja as further assays are received.
Highlighted assay results include: 81.8 metres at 6.1% TGC, including 19.5 metres at 8.1%; 29.4 metres at 7.3%, including 8.7 metres at 10.4%; and 44.4 metres at 6.3%.
BlackEarth managing director Tom Revy said: “Haja is considered to have excellent potential to host a large-scale, near-surface graphite resource, [for] which we expect to complete the resource estimation in Q4 2018.
“The large aerial extent, outcropping nature and in most cases flat-lying nature of the graphite mineralisation, continues to provide confidence that the prospects in the Maniry Graphite Project area can be readily upgraded to a JORC-compliant resource.”
Mineralisation amenable to mining
Drilling by the former project operator in 2014 had identified broad intersections of mineralisation.
Mineralisation at Haja is outcropping at surface with mapping highlighting the schist as being over 700 metres in length and over 300 metres in width.
BlackEarth anticipates that these dimensions will be highly amenable to a mining operation.
The Haja deposit is one of many targets within the Haja domain, which is one of three domains identified within the Maniry project.
The project’s overall exploration target is 260-380 million tonnes grading at 6-8% TGC.
Remaining results from the drilling program are expected over the next 4-6 weeks and BlackEarth anticipates its maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate for the Haja prospect will be announced in the fourth quarter of 2018.