Amur Minerals Corporation (LON:AMC), a nickel-copper sulphide mineral exploration and resource development company focused on the far east of Russia, has today announced its progress through 14 June 2017 on its 2017 drill programme at the Ikenskoe / Sobolevsky (“IKEN” ) and Kubuk (“KUB”) deposits of Kun-Manie.
· The 2017 drill programme is focused on the deposits of IKEN and KUB and began 4 weeks ahead of schedule on 5 May 2017.
· The programme is designed to convert existing Inferred resource to Indicated, define the up dip and down dip limits of mineralisation for mine planning purposes, expand resources between IKEN and KUB (a 2.5 kilometre long target) where drilling has not yet been completed and to derive additional sample for metallurgical test work.
· Through 14 June 2017, a total of 5,903.5 metres of drilling have been completed representing approximately 30% of the planned 20,000 metres. The average daily drill rate is 137.3 metres.
· The Company owned LF70 drill rig is drilling at IKEN and has completed 2,804.5 metres within 16 holes. Of these, 6 holes have been completed (591.0 metres) to establish the limits of mineralisation for mine planning purposes, an additional 2 holes (219.0 metres) completed as infill holes and 8 holes step out holes (1,995.5 metres) for resource expansion toward KUB have been completed to the southeast of the previously defined IKEN ore zone.
· At KUB, the Company owned LF90 has drilled 3,099.0 metres contained with 16 holes through 14 June 2017. Seven holes (1,066.0 metres) have been completed as infill holes to convert Inferred resource to that of Indicated. The remaining 9 holes (2,033.0 metres) are considered to be a combination of resource expansion and mineral limit determination holes located at the northern and eastern limits of the previously drill defined boundaries of the deposit.
· Analytical results for 25 of the 32 completed holes have been generated at our onsite sample preparation facility using two Niton XL2 500 X-Ray Fluorescence units (“RFA”). The results are under review and subject to release via an RNS announcement once the RFA calibration verification programme is completed on 23 June 2017. Completion of this annual verification process allows management to report the RFA results which are preliminary in nature and internally derived. Ore host rock types, mineralisation and sulphide content are similar to that identified by previous drill seasons and it is anticipated that ore grade mineralisation will be reported in the near term and on completion of the calibration verification results.
· The first shipment of samples to Alex Steward Laboratories (“ASL”) was made on 14 June 2017. Located in Moscow, Russia, ASL is responsible for the determination of the final metal content of all samples. Results for nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum and palladium are anticipated to be available in about 6 to 10 weeks, depending on ASL sample load. The ASL results supersede that of the RFA results and are the primary source of information for use in resource and reserve definition. When available, these results will be released as a part of the drill reporting process.
2017 Drilling Objectives
A total of 20,000 metres of drilling are planned for the 2017 field season. Targeting the IKEN and KUB deposits, the following objectives are planned:
· At KUB, convert existing Inferred resource to that of Indicated for use in reserve definition.
· At both IKEN and KUB, identify down dip and outcrop limits of two deposits for mine planning purposes.
· Conduct resource expansion drilling focused on the largest exploration target (a 2.5 kilometre long undrilled area between IKEN and KUB).
· Obtain additional metallurgical samples from both deposits.
The specific distribution of the drilling between the two deposits is not defined. The intent is to keep both drill rigs fully operational and drill meters will be allocated to appropriate targets and objectives within each distinct deposit and as each the drill rigs complete a hole.
Progress to Date
During the period from 5 May 2017 through 14 June 2017, a total of 5,903.5 metres (32 holes) have been completed representing 29.5% of the planned 2017 drill programme. During the five week period since start of drilling, the Company is presently ahead of schedule due than planned to start on 1 June 2017. Drilling is based on a budgeted drill rate of 1,000 metres per week and with the early start we are presently about 4,000 meters ahead of schedule. A link to figures depicting the location of the completed holes as of 14 June 2017 is provided at the end of this RNS.
Drilling is being completed simultaneously on the IKEN and KUB deposits. The LF70 has completed 2,804.5 metres (16 holes) at IKEN with the LF90 having completed 3,099 metres (16 holes) at KUB. In combination, the two rigs are averaging approximately 137.3 metres per day, slightly less than the planned daily budget of 142 metres.
The onsite sample preparation facility is fully operational and two Company owned and operated Niton XL2 500 X-Ray Fluorescence units (“RFA”) have generated preliminary analytical results for drill intervals within 25 of the 32 completed drill holes (15 at IKEN) and (10 at KUB). These RFA results are under final annual calibration and verification review which is scheduled for completion on 23 June 2017. Once completed, the RFA derived results can be approved by management for release to shareholders.
In addition, the first batch of samples (665 total) from 18 of the completed 32 holes have already been transported by helicopter from site to our Khabarovsk, Russia office and transshipped (14 June 2017) to ASL for derivation of the final metal content of nickel, copper, cobalt, platinum and palladium. It is anticipated that ASL results for this first batch could be available within the next 6 to 10 weeks, depending on ASL’s sample load. These results will be reported when finalised and will replace those of which are derived using the RFA approach.
Robin Young, CEO of Amur Minerals Corporation, commented: “I am pleased to provide an update on our drill accomplishments at Ikenskoe / Sobolevsky and the Kubuk deposits. Getting an early start, we are ahead of schedule and are now verifying our internally derived results to enable us to report mineralised grades and thicknesses. As we are drilling two deposits, we plan to successively issue results individually by deposit to provide a clear and coherent presentation of results in what will be an interesting year as we test our largest existing 2.5 kilometres long undrilled target located between these two deposits. We plan for weekly updates with the next update including results from Ikenskoe / Sobolevsky, then Kubuk, then hydrological results followed by a comprehensive summary of the previous results.”