Buoyed by surging demand and market outlook for silver and zinc, Horizon Minerals has completed a data review and concept study at its wholly-owned Nimbus project, 15km from Kalgoorlie-Boulder in WA. The review emphasised the venture could reach new heights through underground mining of richer ore beneath the historic discovery pit and the production of a silver and zinc concentrate for sale to potential offtake partners.
The review also considered the use of a gold concentrate derived from the company's existing refractory ore at its Teal Deeps, Jacques Find, and Peyes Farm projects – and suggested its use could extend mine life and turbocharge the project’s economics.
The findings come off the back of a 2021 strategic review of Nimbus silver-zinc project that recommended its retention.
Horizon then commissioned industry specialists Australian Mining Consultants and Sedgmen to conduct an independent review of the project’s historical data, mine optimisation plans and metallurgical work to chart a path forward for Nimbus.
The project now has approval for additional drill testing at depth and along the Gretel-Nimbus-Brindabella trend. The company says the move could add further high-grade tonnage to its arsenal.
The project currently boasts a global mineral resource estimate at 12.1 million tonnes; grading 52 grams per tonne silver for 20.2 million ounces of the metal and 0.9 per cent zinc for 104,000 tonnes.
According to Horizon, a high-grade resource lurks just beneath the project’s historic discovery pit with the assessed zone as having a mineral resource estimate of 260,000 tonnes going 774 g/t silver for 6.4 million ounces and 12.8 per cent zinc for 33,000 tonnes of zinc.
In addition, the company says it has an exploration target underneath the Nimbus pits that houses oxide silver and primary zinc-silver-tungsten mineralisation of between 550,000 tonnes and 700,000 tonnes. Horizon says the zone could hold grades of up to 3.6 per cent zinc and 210 g/t silver with anomalous tungsten grades of around 0.45 to 0.65 per cent.
The concept study indicated that mining the higher-grade areas and producing a silver and zinc concentrate could push the project to the next level.
The company is now gearing up for a drilling campaign that is anticipated to kick off later in the year and is powering ahead with a revised definitive feasibility study earmarked for early 2023.
Silver is currently trading at around $34 an ounce and zinc around $5200 per tonne.
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