Bryah Resources Ltd (ASX:BYH) has discovered a new high-grade manganese zone at the Bryah Basin joint venture project in central WA with the grades supporting a near-term direct shipping production strategy.
A recent reverse circulation (RC) drilling program has intersected potential direct shipping grades of greater than 30% manganese at shallow depths at the Brumby Creek prospect.
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This has seen shares surge by as much as 76% in early trade to 7.4 cents.
The first set of results from this program returned up to 10 metres from 29 metres at 31.1% manganese, including 3 metres at 41% with the same hole also producing 12 metres from 11 metres at 24.7%.
New high-grade zone
Managing director Neil Marston said: “We are very encouraged with the latest drilling results, in particular the new high-grade manganese zone discovered under shallow cover at the Brumby Creek prospect.
“These grades and thicknesses of mineralisation demonstrate that the manganiferous Horseshoe Range, most of which is under our joint venture’s tenure, has the potential to host significant tonnages of shallow high-grade manganese.”
The Bryah Basin Manganese Project, which is about 150 kilometres north of Meekatharra, is held 90% by BYH and 10% by OM (Manganese) Limited (OMM), a wholly-owned subsidiary of OM Holdings Limited (ASX:OMH).
Brumby Creek results
Other results from the 14 holes drilled at Brumby Creek for 294 metres are:
- 17 metres from 7 metres at 26.5% manganese, including 3 metres at 36.6% from 15 metres; and
- 15 metres from 8 metres at 26.1%, including 3 metres at 37.3% from 16 metres.
The 10-metre result in hole BRRC089 is the best interval to date.
Manganese mineralisation is open down-dip and along strike to the south, where additional drilling will be targeted in the next drilling program.
Cobalt values of up to 1,320ppm have also been reported and the consistently anomalous association with manganese mineralisation requires further investigations.
Black Hill results
Direct shipping grades were also intersected at Black Hill prospect where nine holes were drilled for 78 metres:
- 4 metres at 32.7%, including 1-metre at 41.9% from surface;
- 6 metres from 1-metre at 30%, including 1-metre at 47.9% from 4 metres;
- 3 metres from 1-metre at 33.3%, including 1-metre at 44.6% from 2 metres; and
- 2 metres at 38.8 %, including 1-metre at 43.2% from surface.
The grades received confirm the 2019 drilling results and are sufficient to define the extent of the hilltop mineralisation.
A detailed topographic model will be generated to define the amount of mineralised material present and assist in the preparation of a mineral resource estimate.
Funded by OMM
The drilling program was fully funded by OMM under Bryah Basin Joint Venture Agreement, with Bryah managing the project.
It was focused on testing for extensions of high-grade manganese mineralisation intersected in drilling programs completed in 2019.
Drilling results from the Mount Labouchere prospect and Horseshoe South Mine are expected next week.
Planning for follow-up drilling at Brumby Creek to extend the mineralisation is underway and a program of works approval from the Department of Mines Industry Regulation and Safety (DMIRS) will be requested shortly.
A flora survey undertaken last week, primarily to focus on the new prospects at Cheval and Black Beauty, was expanded to cover flora at Brumby Creek and Black Hill to assist in fast-tracking the production strategy.
Other work planned includes mineral interpretation and resource estimates along with the collection of bulk samples from the Horseshoe South Mining Lease for beneficiation test work.
Mining Lease applications will be lodged once preparation of supporting documentation is completed.
Manganese was last mined at the Horseshoe South Manganese Mine in 2011 by a subsidiary of Mineral Resources Limited (ASX:MIN), where manganese ore was crushed and screened to produce a direct shipping ore, with lower-grade material beneficiated via a dense media separation plant.
The Horseshoe South Manganese Mine lies on a granted mining lease (M52/806), which is still considered an active mining area.
Strong market fundamentals
BYH is also encouraged by strong market fundamentals for manganese mainly as a result of the temporary suspension of most mining in South Africa, which is the world’s leading producer.
Marston said: “Manganese ore prices have recovered significantly recently, which augurs well for us as we develop a pathway to production.
“We look forward to getting back on site to recommence additional drilling under our manganese joint venture with OMM to progress this project.”