Strategic Minerals (LSE:SML) rose 2.4pc on Monday morning after revealing promising copper mineralisation in the latest round of assay results at its Leigh Creek project.

Eight out of 10 holes drilled at a site called Paltridge North within the South Australia-based project last August intersected significant copper mineralisation including malachite, azurite, chalcocite and native copper. Six of the latest holes had an intersection of 1.34pc, which is significantly higher than the resource average of 0.81pc.

Paltridge North deposit is a relatively flat tabular deposit hosted in fine-grained siltstone. Mineralisation has varied from predominantly copper oxide minerals, malachite and azurite, in the upper levels of the deposit. This grades into a relatively sharp contact where the copper minerals are mostly chalcocite with some minor native copper observed in the drill core.

The company carried out its infill diamond drill programme with the aim of providing metallurgical test samples and testing historical drilling. Strategic said its results reinforce a previous resource model estimate and highlight areas of higher-grade copper, including 1m at 8.7pc.

A previous JORC resource gave Leigh Creek a JORC Resource of 3.6Mt at 0.7pc copper, with contained copper of 24.9Kt, at Paltridge North alongside two other deposits called Lynda and Lorna Doone. The firm is now producing an updated resource model that will incorporate these results. It expects this to complete in March 2019. 

Meanwhile, Stragic also completed seven diamond drill holes at another Leigh Creek site Rosmann East. Here, Strategic has defined a mineral inventory of 1.8Mt at 0.65pc copper, with contained copper of 11.5kt. The holes tested below the existing pit floor at the site and have so far provided strong support for continued mineralisation.

Strategic says this continued to as much as 60m below the existing pit floor and 30m below previous drilling, with its first hole returning 69m at 0.37pc copper. Results for the other holes, which have targeted known areas of higher grade, will be released when available, the business said.

Managing director John Peters said: ‘The Paltridge North deposit assays, arising from the first diamond drilling programme for 32 years, have delivered better than expected results and provide the SML Board confidence that Paltridge North could be a significant copper producer in the near future.

‘Additionally, the assays from the first hole at the Rosmann East deposit support potential additional mineralisation below the existing open pit floor. This is good news due to the ease of accessibility to this ore. Management and the Board look forward to restarting the Mountain of Light operations in the first half of 2019 and moving into long term, higher volume production at a later date.’

Author: Daniel Flynn

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