Aspiring Balkans precious and base metals producer Adriatic Metals has chalked up a high-grade, multi-metals hit from step-out diamond drilling at its Vares silver-zinc-lead project in Bosnia and Herzegovina. The company produced a cracking intersection near its keystone Rupice underground deposit at the developing Vares project of 21.1 metres at grades going 296 grams per tonne silver, 5.46 per cent zinc, 3.7 per cent lead, 1.22 g/t gold and 0.18 per cent copper from 338.6m depth.
London-based multi-listed Adriatic says the sterling drill numbers culminate in a silver-grade equivalent of 576 g/t.
The diamond hole was put down about 80m north-west of the north-western limits of the existing estimated Rupice mineral resource.
It also featured a higher-grade core of 6.8m at grades averaging 387 g/t silver, 6.2 per cent zinc, 4.22 per cent lead, 0.75 g/t gold and 0.18 per cent copper from 339.2m.
Latest published probable reserves for Rupice stand at 8.41 million tonnes at average grades of 179 g/t silver, 1.66 g/t gold, 5.04 per cent zinc, 3.18 per cent lead and 0.55 per cent copper.
Corresponding contained metal totals for the ore reserves are 48.4 million ounces of silver, 450,000 ounces of gold, 420,000 tonnes of zinc, 270,000t of lead and 50,000t of copper.
Rupice’s underground reserves represent a high resource-to-mineable ore reserves conversion ratio.
The indicated and inferred mineral resource estimate for Rupice weighs in at 12 million tonnes at 149 g/t silver, 1.4 g/t gold, 4.1 per cent zinc, 2.6 per cent lead and 0.5 per cent copper for 58 million ounces of contained silver, 526,000 ounces of gold, 488,000 tonnes of zinc, 312,000 tonnes of lead and 56,000 tonnes of copper.
We have known for some time that Rupice is open along strike to the north-west, as well as down dip in the southern part of the orebody. We have not had the resources until recently to test those extents, due to resource and reserve definition (and) geotechnical drilling commitments.
According to Adriatic management, Rupice’s mineralisation now seems to extend further north-west than originally thought.
However, the company says it is yet to determine whether the step-out mineralisation encountered in the drilling work is an extension of the previously defined Rupice orebody or a separate ore zone.
Adriatic describes the stand-out drill interval as a sulphide breccia, which it says is akin to the characteristics of Rupice’s primary mineralisation-style.
Last month trading kicked off in Adriatic’s stock on the New York-headquartered OTC Markets Group’s premier OTCQX Best Market as the company looks to broaden its exposure to North American punters.
Already listed on the Australian Securities Exchange and London Stock Exchange, Adriatic’s transition to the OTCQX Best Market comes after it traded on OTC Markets’ Pink Open Market for just over 12 months.
The $635 million market-capped company’s share price has been threatening 52-week highs in the past couple of weeks.
Adriatic also recently reached another major milestone, having been granted an all-important exploitation or mining permit for Rupice.
Clinching the mining permit from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s Federal Ministry for Energy, Mining and Industry puts the company on course to begin the main construction stage at Vares later this year.
Adriatic aims to deliver a definitive feasibility study or “DFS” on Vares shortly.
An “exceptional” pre-feasibility study that the company unveiled about 10 months ago pointed to an average EBITDA of US$251 million per annum for the first five years of forecast metal concentrate production.
Concurrent with the well-advanced DFS, Adriatic says it intends cranking up exploration activity across its large mineral concession package including a budgeted £6.8 million drilling program at Rupice.
Mr Cronin said: “In case of continuing extensions to the north-west (at Rupice), we have made an application to extend our concession area boundary further in this direction. The ongoing focus of the 2021 program is to continue systematically exploring around Rupice, with further step-out and infill drilling planned”.