Myanmar Metals has updated its mineral resource estimate for the Bawdwin polymetallic deposit in central Myanmar. The new resource is 82 million tonnes grading 4.7% lead, 2.4% zinc, 0.2% copper and 119g/t silver. The company will use the resource estimate to complete an updated scoping study for the project. Myanmar recently reported it will exercise its USD$14m option over the Bawdwin project to secure its 85% stake.
Myanmar Metals has increased its global mineral resource estimate for its world-class Bawdwin polymetallic deposit in central Myanmar, to 82 million tonnes grading 4.7% lead, 2.4% zinc, 0.2% copper and 119g/t silver.
Nearly 25% of the new estimated resource is sitting at indicated status now providing an opportunity for the company to start confidently compiling an open pit ore reserve for optimisation studies.
The update utilised more than 63,000 metres of historical and more recent RC and diamond drilling at the Bawdwin project, across 3 major lodes striking over 1.8 kilometres.
The new resource model extends to nearly 400 metres below the current floor of the historical open pit, beneath the northernmost China and Shan ore lodes.
The estimate incorporates a copper-rich subset resource of 4.2 million tonnes grading an impressive 3.0% copper, 5.3% lead, 2.5% zinc and 168g/t silver. This subset is yet to be specifically targeted and enhanced.
According to the company, the new mineral resource estimate will now be used to complete an updated scoping study, which is expected to be completed by the middle of June.
Myanmar Metals’ Chairman and CEO, John Lamb, said: “Bawdwin continues to impress, with the total JORC resource now exceeding 80 million tonnes with improved metal grades compared to the resource estimate announced to the ASX in March.”
“The increase in both tonnes and metal content is pleasing, noting that the recent drilling was primarily focused on infilling the resource and no exploration or resource extension drilling has yet been undertaken at Bawdwin.”
“Most importantly, this estimate includes the first mineral resources at Bawdwin to be classified in the Indicated category under JORC 2012, representing substantial progress towards the planned open pit redevelopment of the mine.”
Myanmar holds an option over the Bawdwin project with Win Myint Mo Industries Co. and has recently given formal notice that it will now exercise the option.
The dealing allows Myanmar to acquire an 85% interest in the Bawdwin mining lease, that contains the mineral resource and all associated historic mining infrastructure.
The combined option fee of USD$20m represents a reimbursement of past significant project expenditure incurred by Win Myint Mo and is payable by the 18th June 2018.
The company says it will finance its share of the option payment amounting to nearly USD$14m with funds raised from a new placement of up to A$35m of ordinary Myanmar Metals’ shares.
Mr Lamb added: “This is a significant milestone for the Company. Over the past 12 months we have successfully completed our due diligence on the Bawdwin Project and, subject to completion of the placement, can move forward into feasibility studies.”
“I would also like to acknowledge the cooperation we have received from our partners WMM and EAP to bring the project to this point.”
The company has made the assumption that the lead, zinc, copper and silver sulphide mineralisation from the Bawdwin polymetallic project can all be economically extracted using conventional flotation methods.
These metal products were all produced historically from the Bawdwin mine and processed at the nearby Namtu smelter complex.
The current metallurgical test work programs being conducted by Myanmar are showing encouraging results in achieving acceptable metal recoveries via flotation and dense media separation techniques in fresh and transitional oxide materials.
Drilling sections through the mine’s geology and ore mineralisation provides extensive scope for extending resources in the near-mine environment, by undertaking dedicated development drilling programs.
With the exercise of the Bawdwin option, the company has clearly signalled to the market that it has economic belief in the project and confident that it can likely be taken into production at some stage in the future.