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.

Bosnia and Herzegovina, Discovered a gold deposit near Srebrenica

Silver-zinc and lead ore were found at the Čumavići site, at a depth of 50 meters.

The general director of the company “Drina resurs” from Srebrenica, Aleksandar Mišković, said at the presentation of the results of geological research carried out in the area of ​​this municipality – that gold was discovered at a depth of 80 meters at the Brežani site, reports the Radio-television of Republika Srpska.

Adriatic Metals builds underground mining fleet at Vares silver project

As Adriatic Metals gears up for first concentrate production at its Vares silver project in Bosnia & Herzegovina, it has revealed details of the mining fleet set to carry out work at the underground Rupice mine.

In its latest update, the company said project construction was 45% complete, with decline development progressing well – the lower decline currently being at at 210 m and upper decline at 100 m.

The majority of long-lead items and equipment orders were expected to come in on schedule, however global supply chain disruption has pushed first concentrate production from the end of the June quarter of 2023 into the September quarter, it said.

In the company’s 2021 definitive feasibility study, it shifted focus from a combined open pit and underground operation to an underground-only operation focused on Rupice, highlighting plans to mine 730,000 t/y of ore over a 10-year mine life.

In Adriatic’s most recent update, it highlighted that the fleet of vehicles required for Phase One (decline development) was on site, with delivery of Phase Two and Three vehicles commencing.

Among the fleet on site at Rupice is a Sandvik LH514i LHD, two Sandvik LH517i LHDs, a Cat 950L wheel loader, a Sandvik TH545i truck (second unit arriving in December), an Epiroc Boomer 282 jumbo drill, two Sandvik DD320 jumbos, two Sandvik DS311 rock bolters, two Titan IS26 shotcrete sprayers, three Titan BYM 6.0 underground mixer trucks and a Titan EC2 explosive charger.

Adriatic said the final project cost estimate had increased marginally from $170 million to $173 million, due to increases in engineering costs, plant and electrical equipment, including adjustments based on recent contract awards.

Adriatic Metals PLC has released assay results from exploration drilling at Rupice Northwest

Adriatic Metals PLC has released its latest assay results from exploration drilling at Rupice Northwest, which confirm the extension of mineralisation along strike of the Rupice mineral resource (RMR) at the company’s flagship Vares Silver project in Bosnia & Herzegovina.

The assay results from nine drill holes confirm the widths and grades intercepted at Rupice Northwest are equivalent to those held within the existing high-grade RMR; continuity between approximately 80 m spaced sections has been established over a strike extent of 250 m.

Drillhole highlights:

Drillholes BR-04-22 and BR-05-22 are located 155 m northwest of RMR. They are respectively drilled up-dip and down-dip of previously reported hole BR-12-21 (24.7 m at 514g/t AgEq), intercept:

Drillholes BR-06-22 and BR-07-22, located 175 m northwest of RMR and drilled up-dip of the currently reported hole BR-04-22 (32.5 m at 657 g/t AgEq), intercepted:

Drilling of Rupice Northwest will continue to the end of 2022 with the objective of generating a maiden inferred resource estimate for Rupice Northwest in 1Q23.

Paul Cronin, Adriatic’s Managing Director and CEO, commented:

“The highly successful drilling campaign at Rupice Northwest further underpins Adriatic’s strategy to increase the life of mine of Rupice to at least twenty years. The most encouraging aspect of the drilling results has been the consistency of not only the depths and widths of Rupice Northwest, but also the grades which are consistent with the reserve defined in the main Rupice orebody, Global Mining Review reports.

Bosnia and Herzegovina: Serb Republic to award iron ore mining concesssion

The government of Bosnia’s Serb Republic said it plans to award a concession contract for iron ore mining near the own of Ljubija to ArcelorMittal Prijedor.

Under the planned agreement, ArcelorMittal Prijedor will mine 3 million tonnes of iron ore from a deposit located near Ljubija, the Serb Republic government said in a statement on Thursday.

The project will employ about 100 people.

In the coming period, the government will define the obligations of the concessionaire in the agreement before signing it with ArcelorMittal Prijedor.

ArcelorMittal Prijedor and the government of the Serb Republic entity signed a memorandum of cooperation in the project on December 31, 2021.

ArcelorMittal Prijedor was established in 2004 as a joint venture between multinational steel and mining company ArcelorMittal with a 51% stake and local mining company RZR Ljubija with a 49% stake. ArcelorMittal also owns a steel plant in Zenica, located in Bosnia’s other entity, the Federation.

The Serb Republic and the Federation are two autonomous entities that form Bosnia and Herzegovina.

For the Vares silver project lower costs

An updated definitive feasibility study (DFS) for the Vares silver project, in Bosnia & Herzegovina, has seen capital costs decline while the project’s net present value (NPV) and internal rate of return (IRR) have increased.

ASX-listed Adriatic Metals this week reported that an updated capital cost estimate for the Vares silver project had estimated that the project would require a $168-million investment, compared with the $173-million estimated in the 2020 DFS

The updated DFS has also increased the project’s post tax NPV from the $1.04-billion reported in the original DFS to $1.06-billion, while the IRR has increased from 113% to 134%.

The pay-back period has declined from 1.2 years to 0.7 years, while the project’s all-in sustaining cost estimates have declined from $9.70/oz to $7.30/oz of silver

“The completion of the 2021 DFS is a major milestone for the company, and clearly demonstrates the exceptional potential of the Vares silver project”, said Adriatic MD and CEO Paul Cronin.

“Project delivery and execution risks have been substantially reduced through the simplification of the process flowsheet and initial capital costs lowered against the backdrop of inflationary construction costs, whilst improving the overall project economics. In the design of this project, environmental and economic sustainability have been at the core of our thinking, shaping the project to ensure that its economic and environmental benefits extend well beyond the current mine life, and provide a perpetual benefit to our local community in Vares and indeed, to the BiH economy”.

Cronin said that the company’s focus would now be on finalising project financing, which is well advanced, and concurrently starting constructio,n while continuing to look for marginal improvements in metallurgical recovery, and capital and operating costs.

“Additionally, we have commenced a study to expand the renewable energy production we have at the Vares processing plant, and [to] augment that capacity to ensure that the Vares silver project reduces its carbon emissions significantly, soon after the commencement of commercial production. As demonstrated in our recent exploration results, we are confident that we can expand the resources and reserves at the Vares project and look forward to working with the Vares community for decades to come, jointly demonstrating the benefits of mining operations in a European context”.

Source: Mining Weekly

High-grade strike for Adriatic near cornerstone Bosnian deposit

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”.

Adriatic mining permit opens way for Vares project in Bosnia

Adriatic Metal’s pre-feasibility study or “PFS” on Vares released last year shows the reserves sustaining production for an initial 14-year life of mine, with concentrate output for the first five years of operations averaging 15.3 million ounces of silver-equivalent per annum based on plant ore throughput of 800,000 tonnes per annum.

Balkans polymetallic project developer Adriatic Metals has successfully cleared the final major regulatory approval hurdle that now opens the way for it to start construction of its proposed Vares silver-zinc-lead mining and processing operation in Bosnia and Herzegovina later in the year. The London-based company, which is also listed on the London Stock Exchange, says it clinched the all-important exploitation, or mining, permit for the project’s cornerstone Rupice underground deposit from the country’s Federal Ministry for Energy, Mining and Industry following a public hearing in Vares earlier this month.

It caps off a remarkable turnaround time by Adriatic of just over four years between “discovery” of Vares and the project being fully permitted. Rupice underpins the proposed Vares development, which has a current forecast capital cost of US$173 million.

Latest stated probable ore reserves for Vares’ Rupice underground and Veovaca open-pit deposits stand at 11.12 million tonnes at average grades of 149.6 grams per tonne silver, 1.28 g/t gold, 4.22 per cent zinc, 2.67 per cent lead and 0.43 per cent copper.

Of the overall reserves, the Rupice deposit accounts for 8.41Mt grading an average 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.

That equates to 48.4 million ounces of contained silver, 450,000 ounces of gold, 420,000 tonnes of zinc, 270,000t of lead and 50,000t of copper – out of the Vares reserves contained metal content totals of 53.5 million ounces of silver, 460,000 ounces of gold, 470,000t of zinc, 300,000t of lead and 50,000t of copper.

For the main Vares construction stage to be allowed to go ahead, Adriatic needed the exploitation licences for both the Rupice underground and Veovaca open-pit deposits, with the latter including permitting covering the proposed Vares processing plant.

Rupice is situated about 12km west-north-west of Veovaca. The $540 million market-cap company, which received the Veovaca exploitation permit about six months ago, says the Rupice permit represents the last of the key regulatory approvals.

Timing of permitting approvals for the two deposits varied due to Rupice being a greenfields deposit and Veovaca a brownfields site. Management envisages construction at Vares commencing in earnest some time during the December quarter this year after delivery of a definitive feasibility study and an environmental and social impact assessment in coming weeks.

Vares, centred around the town of Vares about 50 minutes’ drive from the Bosnia and Herzegovina capital, Sarajevo, is perched in a mountainous area of widespread forests and meadows.

Veovaca is a historic open-cut mine that produced lead, zinc and barite concentrates and ceased operations 33 years ago. Adriatic plans to build most of the processing plant and associated infrastructure at the brownfield Veovaca mine site and to carry out underground mining and partial tailings backfilling at Rupice.

Economic estimates in the PFS featured a sterling average EBITDA of about US$251 million per annum for the first five years of metal concentrate production, a net present value for the project of US$1.04 billion and an internal rate of return of 113 per cent. All-in sustaining costs for Vares across the initial mine life have been extrapolated to average $US120 per tonne milled and the capital cost payback period from production start-up has been put at an eye-catching 1.2 years.

Source: thewest.com.au

 

 

Adriatic Metals’ silver project in Bosnia got the key approval

Adriatic Metals is focused on the development of the 100%-owned, Vares high-grade silver project in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Federal Ministry of Environment and Tourism of Bosnia and Herzegovina has issued a positive Record of Decision for the Rupice Environmental Permit (RoD), one of the key approvals required for the issue of the Exploitation Permit, Adriatic Metals announced. The company said that the RoD was received following the submission of an Environmental Impact Assessment, prepared by Adriatic in accordance with the Federal Mining Code, reviewed by a five-member expert committee and presented to a public hearing in August 2020.

CEO and Managing Director Paul Cronin commented, “The receipt of the RoD is another major step forward in the permitting of the Vares project, and when coupled with the recent issuance of the Veovaca Exploitation Permit, clearly demonstrates the team’s ability to permit a mine in BiH. We continue to enjoy the strong support of both our local community in Vares and the government of BiH. We look forward to building this highly profitable mine in Q3-2021, whilst continuing to grow our resources around Vares, and advance our exciting project at Raska. This will be a defining year for our young and ambitious company”.

Source: kitco.com

 

 

Adriatic Metals’ Veovaca project in Bosnia received exploitation permit

The Veovaca project is located near Vares in Bosnia-Herzegovina, 50 km north of the capital, Sarajevo. Adriatic Metals has received an exploitation permit for this project and the permit, issued by the Federal Ministry for Energy, Mining and Industry, initiates the project’s formal exploitation period, valid for 30 years.

“This is a major permitting achievement that has been realised through close cooperation between Adriatic’s BiH [Bosnia-Herzegovina] team and the significant number of governmental and commercial stakeholders involved in the process, as well as the local community in Vares,” Paul Cronin, Adriatic’s managing director and CEO, stated in a press release.

The permit will allow Adriatic to complete detailed engineering work for the Veovaca open pit mine, flotation plant, and tailings management facility, and the company plans to start construction in the third quarter of 2021.   The company is still waiting to submit an application for an exploitation permit for its Rupice underground project, 12 km northwest of Vares. It will submit that application once it receives its environmental and urban planning permits for the project, which it hopes will be approved in the second quarter.

Veovaca and Rupice are past-producing polymetallic deposits that form part of the company’s flagship Vares project, which it acquired out of bankruptcy proceedings in 2017 for US$760,000.

In October 2020, a prefeasibility study for Vares envisioned a mine producing 8,000 tonnes of mineralized materially annually with average production of 15.3 million oz. of silver equivalent per year for the first five years of a 14-year mine life at average all-in sustaining costs of US$120 per tonne of milled material. Initial pre-production capex was pegged at US$173 million, and the study estimated an after-tax payback period of just over one year. The PFS forecast an after-tax net present value of US$1.04 billion, at an 8% discount rate, and an after-tax internal rate of return of 113%. The study used metal prices of US$1,900 per oz. of gold, US$24 per oz. of silver, US$2,500 per tonne of zinc, US$2,000 per tonne of lead, US$6,500 per tonne of copper, US$150 per tonne of barium sulphate, and US$6,500 per tonne of antimony.

Alexander Pearce, a mining analyst at BMO Capital Markets, has a price target of A$2.40 per share. (At presstime the company was trading at A$2.18 per share.)

“Adriatic has got off to a strong start in 2021, delivering continued progress at its flagship Vares project as well as exploration success at Raska,” he wrote in a research note to clients. “With Veovaca receiving its exploitation permit, attention turns to Rupice with its equivalent exploitation permit expected in Q2 2021. Further, with the Vares project DFS [definitive feasibility study] also expected in `Q3, 2021 remains a significant year for catalysts for Adriatic as it transitions from explorer to developer.”

On Jan. 26, the company released drill results from a brownfield project it owns in southwestern Serbia’s Raska district: the Kizevak-Sastavci zinc-lead-silver project, which consists of two past-producing mines. The company picked up the project in May 2020 when it acquired Tethyan Resource for US$10 million in an all-share deal.

Sixteen of the holes were drilled at Kizevak and three holes at Sastavci, about 3.5 km away. Highlights from Kizevak included drill hole KZDD-030, which cut 38 metres of 2.7% zinc, 2.2% lead, 30 grams silver per tonne and 0.6 gram gold per tonne starting from 100 metres. Another hole, KZDD-025, discovered a new, mineralized sub-parallel structure from surface, about 100 metres northeast of the mineralized trend, and returned 29 metres of 2.6% zinc, 1.2% lead, 15 grams silver starting from 2 metres downhole, including 15 metres of 4.3% zinc, 1.9% lead, and 24 grams silver.

At Sastavci, drill hole SSDD-003 cut 27.7 metres of 3.1% zinc, 1.3% lead, 22 grams silver, 0.5 gram gold from 13 metres downhole, while SSDD-004 cut 45 metres of 3.3% zinc, 1.0% lead, 17 grams silver and 0.2 gram gold from 17 metres.

Source: northernminer.com