Romania and Zimbabwe-focused mining company Vast Resources announced on Wednesday that a drilling programme to confirm the mineral resource and provide material for metallurgical testwork has commenced at its Faneata tailings dam, located 7 kilometres from the Baita Plai Polymetallic Mine in western Romania.
The AIM-traded firm confirmed that drilling commenced this week at the 4.6Mt tailings dam, which is comprised of approximately 40 years of tailings from the high grade Baita Plai.
A total of 33 auger drill holes are planned, of approximately 25m each in length, covering a total of 825m.
Previous historical sampling indicated that the tailings contain economic quantities of minerals, the company’s board said, including 4,080 tonnes of copper, 6,640 tonnes of zinc, 3,100 tonnes of lead, 35 tonnes of silver and 309kg of gold in-situ.
Drilling is anticipated to take six weeks and independent assay results are expected in the first quarter of 2017.
A maiden JORC-compliant resource estimate is anticipated for publication also in for thest quarter.
Vast also said independent flotation test work and recovery optimisation, for use in the feasibility study, will be conducted at the same time.
Feasibility work will then commence after completion of the JORC resource and the metallurgical testwork, with the intention of progressing towards low capex production in the near term using the existing plant and infrastructure on site at Baita Plai.
“Faneata represents a low-cost route to monetising our interests at the Baita Plai site, offering the opportunity to process 40 years’ worth of material from the high grade mine,” said CEO Roy Pitchford.
“Our intention would be to utilise the plant and equipment which we already own at Baita Plai, which would enable us to develop a new operation at Faneata in the near term, complementing our two existing production assets and enhancing our production profile, revenue and financial performance moving forward.”
Pitchford said the board has set an “ambitious” development schedule for Faneata, which should deliver a JORC-compliant mineral resource estimate and flotation test work results in the first quarter.
“A feasibility study, based on the JORC resource and associated metallurgical testwork will follow shortly thereafter and will set the parameters for developing Faneata into a new revenue stream for the company.”