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Sunrise Resources completes drilling programme at Derryginagh barite project, Ireland


Sunrise Resources (LON:SRES) has completed its first drilling programme at the Derryginagh barite project in south-west Ireland and it expects assay results to become available later this month.

The firm is targeting the production of white barite for use as industrial filler in paint and plastics.  An important first milestone at the project was the completion in May 2011 of a positive concept study, suggesting a profitable underground operation with output of at least 50,000 tonnes per year.

The recently completed drilling comprised six holes for a total of 892 metres and has been successful in extending the known barite vein system to approximately 180 metres vertically below surface.

This represents a significant depth below the old workings where the drill intercepts, based on visual inspection, have thicknesses in line with shallower historical intersections and are visually estimated to be high-grade.

Geological logging of the drill core is being completed and results will be evaluated together with down-hole survey data to allow more detailed information to be released after assay results become available.

Sunrise expects to start feasibility studies for Derryginagh this year.  The group sees a substantial market for white barite in Europe which has traditionally been supplied from China, but the Chinese deposits are becoming exhausted and remaining reserves are being reserved for a growing domestic market.

It is planning a modest-sized underground mining operation feeding a low cost gravity separation plant producing high-value filler grade barite.

Barite is the mineral form of the chemical barium sulphate. It is an environmentally friendly, non-toxic natural product. It is chemically and physically unreactive, has a high specific gravity, and low oil adsorption. It also has good sound-deadening and radiation-shielding properties.

Its properties make barite suitable for use as a weighting agent in oil industry drilling muds and as higher value industrial filler in, for example, paint plastics, brake linings and acoustic panels.

The Derryginagh mine was worked in the period 1864-1922, supplying white barite to the local paint industry. The mine workings extend over a strike length of 200 metres and to a maximum depth of 60 metres.

In the 1980s four holes drilled by Dresser Minerals International intersected the barite vein over an average true width of 2.4 metres at about 100 metres below surface and over a total strike length of 200 metres.

Sunrise also has gold and base-metal exploration interests in Canada and diamond exploration interests in Finland and Western Australia.

Quick facts: Sunrise Resources PLC

Price: 0.24 GBX

Market: AIM
Market Cap: £7.95 m

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