The programme is targeting a number of areas of identified soil and gravity anomalies. It follows a review of all exploration results collected to date.
"This excellent news that drilling has commenced at Limerick means that we have now hit all our principal objectives for our mining operations in this quarter,” said George Frangeskides, Alba's executive chairman.
“The Irish Zinc Ore Field has been a major source of zinc production since the 1960s and is host to some very significant, high-grade zinc mines.”
He added: “Of the only five drill holes previously completed on Alba's Limerick Project, one drill hole intercepted six metres of semi-massive and disseminated pyrite within the target limestone, including a two-metre mineralised interval containing zinc.
“The presence of pyrite is encouraging since it often indicates the presence of base metal sulphides at other properties in the Limerick basin.”
Horse Hill investment boosted by test results
In a separate statement earlier today Alba highlighted the latest results from the Horse Hill oil project, 11.765% owned by Alba, where production testing operations continue to see success.
the project’s largest listed stakeholder UK Oil & Gas PLC (LON:UKOG) – which has a 50.635% majority interest in Horse Hill - provided details from the production testing programme at Horse Hill and told investors that a week-long pressure build up (PBU) test was successful.
UKOG revealed that the PBU results were significantly better than expected, showing little or no apparent pressure depletion compared to prior PBU testing back in April.
Production volumes from the Portland reservoir now exceeds 20,500 barrels of oil, and, the most recent production rate measured 220 barrels of oil per day - with the rate purposely constrained to protect future field performance.
Previously in testing the Portland saw a peak production rate of 362 bopd.
Overall, the full extended well test has produced more than 45,500 barrels of oil. The programme aims to produce a total of 50,000 barrels. Once 25,000 barrels have been produced from the Portland reservoir, testing will revert back to the Kimmeridge zone.
In the coming months attentions will turn to the drilling of a new horizontal well which is expected to yield two or three times higher production rates that the Portland’s peak rate in the vertical well.
The Horse Hill partners are now finalising contracts for the upcoming drill programme.
In afternoon trading, Alba Minerals' shares were 5.9% higher at 0.27p.
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