3 December, 2022

Construction at Adriatic Metals’ Vares high-grade silver project in Bosnia and Herzegovina is picking up speed

Construction at Adriatic Metals’ Vares high-grade silver project in Bosnia and Herzegovina is picking up speed as the company prepares to bring the project’s namesake underground mine and processing facility online next year. Adriatic says the project is now at the mid-way point and importantly remains on schedule and budget to deliver the first concentrate around September 2023.

The company says the past six months have been a whirlwind of activity with construction around the site’s surface infrastructure gathering pace.

Management states earthworks associated with the project’s Rupice mine are progressing as planned and are at around 56 per cent complete. The backfill pad is about 85 per cent finalised and 45 per cent of the work needed on the stockpile pad excavation has been done. Additionally, all geotechnical drilling for the backfill pad has been wrapped up.

In addition, the lower and upper decline of the underground mine is currently sitting at depths of 277m and 177m respectively for a total distance of 454m as of November 21.

A pair of diesel generators have been installed to give the operation a source of power. The devices will supply interim power to the Rupice mine ahead of the fitting of an underground cable grid link.

The operation’s 24.5km haul road is also said to be on track for first ore delivery early next year.

Along with the company’s construction efforts, it is also closing the loop on a year-long confirmation and definition drilling program at Rupice.

Recent exploratory programs have focussed on the Rupice’s northwest extension and intercepted a package of massive and semi-massive sulphide mineralisation that Adriatic believes could bolster the mine’s projected 10-year shelf life. The recent efforts confirmed an extension of mineralisation up to 250m north-west of the resource.

Notable intercepts from recent work include 0.9m at 846 grams per tonne silver equivalent and 27.2 per cent zinc equivalent from 207m including a 6.5m interval going 1861 g/t silver equivalent and 59.8 per cent zinc equivalent.

Another 32.5m hit was returned about 155m north-west of Rupice going 657 g/t silver equivalent and 21.1 per cent zinc equivalent from 285.5m. The wide strike also enclosed a richer 2m hit at 1331 g/t silver equivalent and 42.8 per cent zinc equivalent.

Adriatic began building the infrastructure for its Rupice mine in November last year after securing a financial facility a month prior.

The work follows a study by mining consultancy group CSA Global which suggested the project could hold a 12 million tonne resource grading 149 grams per tonne silver, 1.4 g/t gold, 4.1 per cent zinc, 2.6 per cent lead, 0.5 per cent copper and 25 per cent barite.

A subsequent definitive feasibility study released late last year says the operation could deliver an average EBITDA of US$281.1 million a year in its first five years of concentrate production, The West Australian reports.