Norman Williams, chief executive, said: "The latest underground diamond drilling in the Ming North Zone has returned some of the thickest massive sulfide mineralization and highest copper and gold grades encountered on the property to date.
Current resources and reserves go down to the 705 level, but significant mineralisation ‘down plunge’ of the historical mining limits extends the massive sulphide zone an additional 300 metres over a 70m strike length.
Best of the grades was 25.5m at 9.4% copper with 5.1 g/t gold.
“With the top of this mineralization only 65m from existing development, this area provides a tremendous opportunity for the company to bring a significant amount of higher-grade material into the mine plan and mill feed in 2019, " said Williams.
"The potential exists to extend the Ming North body even deeper with continued drilling."
More than 11,000 metres was drilled at Ming between January and August in the latest programme.
Drilling was also carried out in the Lower Footwall Zone to optimise stopes for the start of production.
"Exploration at the Ming Mine has long been successful in returning consistent grades over impressive widths,“ Williams added.
“The deep drilling surface program completed in December, 2017, returned 1.65% copper over 102m from the Lower Footwall Zone.
“With the results reported here, we have now shown that the grade and thickness of both the Lower Footwall and Ming North Massive Sulfide zones improve at depth.”