Junior explorer receives pleasing drill results
Thursday, 7th May, 2015
By Darrin Manuel
Impact Minerals has made a breakthrough discovery at its Red Hill project after drill samples revealed world-class levels of rare metals.
While drilling at the site has already confirmed high grade copper, nickel, platinum and palladium mineralisation, further tests have shown an abundance of valuable platinum group elements (PGE) osmium, iridium, rhodium and ruthenium.
Assays ranging from 5 to 13 metres have shown between 6-12 grams of platinum and palladium per tonne, and 3-5 grams of rare osmium, iridium, rhodium and ruthenium.
Impact’s managing director Dr Mike Jones said the company had not tested for the rarer elements at first due to the high cost of doing so, but added that the move had paid off handsomely.
“We discovered PGEs in other samples throughout the region, so we put some of our drill samples in and it was very significant,” he told the BDT yesterday.
“We had our suspicions, but we didn’t think it would be this much.”
In an online interview with Proactive Investors, Dr Jones said the deposits, located around 20km south-east of Broken Hill, were some of the richest to ever be discovered.
“These are actually about ten times or more greater than what we find in the majority of deposits around the world.
“So in a global context these are exceptional results... All in all it’s a very exciting development for us.”
Follow-up drilling will now be undertaken at six sites around Red Hill in the middle of the year pending approval, and further soil and rock chip testing will also be carried out.
“The next drill program... will really tell us if we’re onto something at Red Hill,” said Dr Jones.
Impact also has scope for further exploration north of Red Hill at Platinum Springs and Moorkai, with both sites showing promising signs of rare elements from limited testing.
Impact’s share price recently increased 60 per cent on low volume following the release of the drill results, and prompted an increase in interest from brokers and mining media.
Current spot metal prices per ounce ($AU) are platinum $1455, palladium $1000, osmium $502, iridium $721, rhodium $1412, ruthenium $62.
Osmium and iridium are used in various specialised hard-wearing metal alloys as well as in the electronics industry, while rhodium and ruthenium are often used together with platinum and palladium for catalytic converters.