- Published: Monday, 21 June 2010 12:34
- Written by ASIA Miner News
BHP Billiton has started a drilling program at Breakaway Resources’ Altia Silver-Lead-Zinc deposit in North West Queensland as part of a farm-in and joint venture agreement.
It is the first drilling program under the $10 million Altia Joint Venture Project.
BHP Billiton has commissioned a high-capacity diamond drill rig to drill a deep hole of about 1000 metres as part of an initial program of 5000 metres of diamond drilling.
This initial program forms a key component of BHP Billiton’s first year minimum expenditure commitment of $1 million.
Breakaway delineated an initial JORC-compliant inferred resource for Altia Deposit in 2008 of 5.78 million tonnes grading 40.3 grams/tonne silver, 3.96% lead and 0.49% zinc.
The deposit, which is in the Cloncurry district, has been drilled over a 500 metre strike length and to a nominal depth of 300 metres, and remains open primarily down-dip and to the south.
The focus of planned exploration is based on the strong geological similarities between the Altia mineralization and the world-scale Cannington silver-lead-zinc mine, 100km to the south along the same geological corridor.
Previous drilling by Breakaway highlighted the potential for a large-scale silver deposit at Altia with strengthening silver grades, including a down-hole intersection of 19 metres @ 286 grams/tonne silver, occurring at depth and to the south.
In addition to extensions of known mineralization, drilling will test the steeply-dipping Dingo trend, which lies immediately east of Altia.
Breakaway secured the landmark farm-in and joint venture agreement with BHP Billiton in November 2009. Under the agreement, BHP Billiton can earn a 70% interest in the silver-lead-zinc rights at Altia by completing expenditure of Aus$10 million over five years. It must spend a minimum of $1 million within the first year.