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Orion Minerals shares leap after strong results from maiden drilling

THIS as the price of nickel, used in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries, spiked in March after Russia invaded Ukraine, creating a ‘short squeeze’. The price currently sits just above $45 000 (R677 659) per tonne. Picture: Reuters.

THIS as the price of nickel, used in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries, spiked in March after Russia invaded Ukraine, creating a ‘short squeeze’. The price currently sits just above $45 000 (R677 659) per tonne. Picture: Reuters.

Published Apr 29, 2022

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THE share price of Orion Minerals leapt 7 percent in afternoon trade after the JSE- and Australian Securities Exchange-listed company said yesterday that strong results from maiden drilling confirmed outstanding potential of Okiep Copper Project in the Northern Cape.

This as prices of nickel, used in stainless steel and electric vehicle batteries, spiked in March after Russia invaded Ukraine, creating a ‘short squeeze’. The price currently sits just above $45 000 (R677 659) per tonne.

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Orion’s managing director and CEO, Errol Smart, said, “We are delighted with the outcome of our maiden drilling programme at Okiep. The results we’ve received to date have exceeded our expectations, demonstrating the presence of widespread near surface copper mineralisation across the project and reinforcing what we have always thought – that Okiep represents an exceptional growth opportunity for Orion.

“The drilling focused initially along the Koperberg – Carolusberg line of intrusives and saw a total of 25 holes completed, 10 of which intersected high-grade mineralisation.”

The Carolusberg area is the biggest contributor to historical production at Okiep and the firm’s drilling here had confirmed the tenor and grade of mineralisation.

He said, “These drill results infill and confirm the previous Newmont and Goldfields era drilling that outline an extensive, unmined near surface swarm of copper mineralised mafic dykes and lenses. This drilling will now be followed up with further infill and extension drilling to enable future resource estimation.

“Importantly the mineralisation intersected has strong similarity to the near surface mineralisation mined along strike at the Carolusberg Mine, which was the largest mine of the district.

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“We are also very pleased with the results from the first hole at Nous that is following upon targets identified from the SkyTEMTM survey. The higher pyrrhotite content sulphides discovered are nickel rich and present an exciting new opportunity. With strong market outlook and the LME (London Metal Exchange) nickel price currently more than three times the copper price, a potential nickel credit can be very valuable,” Smart said. | Philippa Larkin

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