Sunday, 5 February 2012

Empire Resources: High grade depth potential confirmed at Yuinmery with 3m at 4% copper

Empire Resources (ASX: ERL) has intersected high grade copper at depth at the advanced Yuinmery Copper Gold Project in Western Australia, confirming the continuation of the mineralisation.

Assays from two recent diamond core holes at the A Zone deposit returned:

- 8 metres at 2.4% copper from 274.8 metres, including 6 metres at 3% copper which contains 3 metres at 4% copper; and
- 7 metres at 1.9% copper from 268.6 metres, including 6 metres at 2.2% copper.

Gold assays are pending.

These two diamond holes were drilled to test depth extensions to previously outlined copper-gold-zinc mineralisation at A Zone.

Significantly, these latest results indicate that the deeper copper mineralisation appears to increase in grade with depth, and remains open down plunge.

Managing director David Sargeant said: “These latest copper intersections confirm the potential of the A Zone deposit at Yuinmery. They show the tenor of mineralisation increasing with depth beyond 200m vertical depth which is consistent with our view that A Zone is part of a major mineralised system. This will be further tested by deeper drilling in the area as soon as possible.

“The attractive intersections of good copper grades, together with the known mineralisation at nearby Just Desserts, reinforces our belief that the region has the potential to host a number of significant VMS mineralised zones."

Reverse circulation and diamond drilling is continuing at Yuinmery, testing a number of promising volcanogenic massive sulphide targets.

Driving towards a Resource
A further drilling program is scheduled to begin next month to test the potential for Yuinmery to host a major mineralised body below 200 metres depth.

Following the next round of drilling, initial Resource calculations for A Zone will be undertaken.

Empire also plans to update the existing Resource at the Just Desserts deposit, immediately south of A Zone.

Just Desserts already hosts an Indicated and Inferred JORC Resource of 1,070,000 tonnes at 1.82% copper and 0.78g/t gold.

Potential for combined open pit/underground operation
Sargeant told Proactive Investors today that Empire was planning a combined open pit and underground mining operation at Just Desserts and A Zone.

Just Desserts is likely to start out as an open pit operation, while A Zone will be purely underground. The close proximity of these two deposits offers intriguing potential.

“While we’re developing the open cut at Just Desserts we’ll be able to develop some underground access to A Zone, so that’s a bit of a privilege, a lot of people don’t have that, they’ve got either or the other,” Sargeant said.

“The start of the development of Just Desserts as an open pit will give us time to get access and development of A Zone.”

Once in production, Sargeant said there was plenty of potential for other prospects to add to the overall Resource.

“One of the keys to these volcanogenic massive sulphides worldwide is that they tend to have one deposit that’s the main focus to begin with and then you have lots of little satellite-type deposits that tend to cluster together. Even if it’s 100,000 tonnes it becomes significant if you’ve already got a mine operating.

“There’s about six or eight prospects that we’ve not drilled a hole into yet, there’s a couple of other prospects where we’ve hit indications of mineralisation and we want to follow up on those.”

Capital raising
Proceeds from Empire’s current Share Purchase Plan, which closes on February 8, will go towards expanding the deep drilling program at A Zone to test its broader potential.

The purchase plan could raise up to $13.2 million, with shareholders able to purchase up to $15,000 worth of shares at an issue price of $0.05.

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