Stars Aligning For Orion Minerals

By Gavin Wendt | More Articles by Gavin Wendt

Orion Minerals – (ASX: ORN, Share Price: $0.037, Market Cap: $55m, coverage initiated @ $0.027 in Oct 2015 – current gain of 37%)

Key Catalyst

Fixed Loop TDEM results confirm compelling intrusive Ni-Cu sulphide targets for immediate drill testing within the Jacomynspan Ni-Cu-Co ultramafic intrusive cluster in South Africa.

We initiated coverage of ORN more than two years ago and we’ve seen the company gather momentum as it’s managed the transition from grassroots explorer to emerging producer via the acquisition of advanced and prospective Areachap metal projects in South Africa’s Northern Cape.

The company’s solid share price performance since July 2017 correlates with the significant advancement that’s taken place at its Priseka zinc-copper project, with the biggest highlight being the release of a maiden Mineral Resource that far exceeded expectations. It has demonstrated a significant VMS orebody and also bodes well for a positive outcome from the comprehensive BFS that’s currently underway. The recent introduction of Independence Group (ASX: IGO) onto ORN’s register is a testament to Areachap’s prospectivity, with a specific interest in the region’s relatively untapped nickel exploration potential.

Latest Activity

Drilling of Ni-Cu sulphide targets underway

I had the opportunity to catch up with ORN MD Errol Smart at the Noosa Mining Conference this week.

The highlight of our discussion was the nickel exploration activity that’s currently taking place within ORN’s Areachap Belt acreage. The strategy is to target high-grade, magmatic intrusive sulphide Ni-Cu-Co-PGE mineralisation with similar geology and age of mineralisation as the Nova-Bollinger Mine in the Fraser Range province of Western Australia.

Figure 1: Areachap Project summary geology map showing the Masiqhame and Disawell prospecting rights.

ORN is currently undertaking a drilling program to follow up recently announced Fixed-Loop Electro-Magnetic (FLEM) survey results over nickel-copper targets on the Disawell prospecting right (Disawell) in the Areachap Belt, South Africa. Fixed-Loop Time Domain Electro Magnetic (FLTDEM) surveys and geological mapping commenced during May 2018, designed to follow up on helicopter-borne Electro Magnetic (AEM or SkyTEMTM) anomalies on the Namaqua-Disawell mineral rights.

The five high-priority target FLTDEM plates are on five grids named A4 A & B at the Area 4 and grids ROK 1-3 at Rok Optel. Surveys have been undertaken using equipment, designed specifically to test for massive sulphide mineralisation at shallow to moderate depths. The data is quality-assessed by Spectral Geophysics in South Africa and then interpreted by Southern Geoscience Consultants in Perth.

Technical Significance

The Rok Optel and Area 4 conductors have conductance of 850-3150 Siemens (S) and 350-2000 S respectively – which are orders of magnitude higher than those measured by an orientation loop over the known Mineral Resource at Jacomynspan – which measured 250-575 S for the 70m-thick disseminated to net-textured sulphide Mineral Resource.

The higher conductance at Area 4 and Rok Optel is interpreted to be related to higher-grade base metal sulphide content. Historic drilling, which intersected Ni-Cu sulphide mineralisation less than 100m away and outside of the new conductive plates, provides strong support for the targets.

Summary

Activity levels and news-flow will remain high during the course of 2018, with EIA and BFS studies to be completed at Priseka, along with additional resource definition and expansion drilling, together with BFS work and exploration activity at Marydale. ORN offers future production exposure to four very strongly-performing commodities – zinc, copper, nickel and gold. The stock is up 37% since we initiated coverage.

Gavin Wendt

About Gavin Wendt

Gavin Wendt is the Founder and Senior Resource Analyst with MineLife. He has been involved in the Australian share market for more than 20 years as a resource analyst, employed primarily within the stockbroking and finance industries.

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