Recent field work by Bryah has established the potential for new zones of high-grade manganese ore to be defined with shallow drilling, which the company is due to commence this year.
The company’s aim is to define sufficient manganese resources on its tenements so that development of new manganese mining operations can be considered in the near term.
Whilst high-grade manganese production from the Bryah Basin, mainly in the 1940-1960’s, has been well documented, only limited exploration work has been recorded to date.
Bryah’s Manganese exploration commenced in March 2018 with reconnaissance sampling and mapping.
Numerous rock chip samples were collected from previously mined areas as well as new and/or under-explored locations.
Laboratory assays for rock chip samples collected from numerous locations have been received with the best rock chip assays reported being:
• Black Hill Prospect - 52.1%, 49.5% and 48.2% manganese;
• Black Caviar Prospect- 49.1%, 48.5% and 44.1% manganese;
• Brumby Creek Prospect - 5 samples assayed above 40% manganese, including a value of 48.5% manganese;
• Mudderwearie Mine - 50.9% and 47.7% manganese, and
• Devils Hill Prospect - 42.1% and 41.0% manganese.
The assay results confirm the presence of in-situ high-grade manganese at several locations which will be the focus of follow-up exploration, including drilling.
As part of the manganese exploration strategy, Bryah has executed option agreements to purchase the mining lease covering the historical Horseshoe South Manganese Mine.
Horseshoe South Manganese Mine was the largest manganese mine in the Bryah Basin producing about one million tonnes of manganese ore.
Notably, high-grade manganese of up to 48.8% manganese was recorded in recent rock chip sampling within the mining lease.
Horseshoe South Manganese Mine showing some of the manganiferous stockpiles
Several stockpiles of coarse and fine manganiferous material remain on site.
The coarse stockpile has been reported to be 65,000 cubic metres in volume and the fine stockpiles are reported as about 150,000 cubic metres in total volume.
Bryah has been undertaking ore sorting and other test work on samples collected from the stockpiles to establish whether the stockpiles can be upgraded to produce a saleable product.
The company has engaged a consultant who has extensive experience in modern ore sorting technology to supervise this test work.
In August 2018, Bryah commenced deep reverse circulation (RC) drilling at its Aquarius Copper-Gold prospect within the Bryah Basin Project.
The company has secured $150,000 in funding from the Western Australian Government under the Exploration Incentive Scheme to drill test the copper-gold exploration targets.
As a result of 18 months of target preparation work, six anomalies have been identified to date that warrant drill testing.
Drilling commenced at the Jupiter electromagnetic anomaly in August 2018.
Drilling at the Jupiter prospect
Significantly, the company has already has intersected a sulphide-rich zone in its first deep drill hole at the Jupiter prospect.
The first hole, BBC007, intersected a 13-metre wide sulphide rich zone from 224 metres depth.
Emerging new applications for manganese
Globally, manganese is the fourth most used mineral commodity with demand dominated by steel manufacturers, where over 90% of all manganese is used.
Emerging new applications for manganese in batteries and energy storage are seen as exciting opportunities that have the potential to diversify and strengthen the manganese market in the years ahead.