Andiamo Exploration has started a diamond core drill programme at Yacob Dewar gold and copper exploration project in Eritrea.
The 1,400m drilling programme will target the interpreted shallow copper oxide mineralisation at Jacob Dewar, with the intention of defining a JORC code (2012)-compliant mineral resource.
Additional holes will target the Jacob Dewar high-grade gold mineralisation to assist Ortac in reinterpreting the structure.
The work will be carried out by Colonnade Mining and the commencement date will be six weeks after Ortac entered into a strategic alliance with Andiamo Exploration, in January.
Ortac Resources CEO Vassilios Carellas said the company is pleased that Andiamo has mobilised so quickly and that the drill programme is now underway.
"We look forward to reporting further progress and drill results in due course," Carellas said.
In addition to the drilling, a programme of geological mapping and geochemical surveys has been underway in the Yacob Dewar - Ber Gebay area, since early February.
Results from previous drilling on the Yacob Dewar copper oxide mineralisation included 11m at 2% copper from 18.5m, and 7m at 1.9% copper from 17m.
The Yacob Dewar deposit is a volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) deposit located in the same geological setting as the operating Bisha mine, which is 60%-owned by Nevsun Resources, and other VMS deposits within the Nubian Shield.
Ortac said the primary mineralisation at Yacob Dewar is a sulphide unit, now dipping west at about 40 degrees. Near-surface secondary geological processes have generated a high-grade oxide gold zone and a shallow region of copper oxide enrichment.