Iron exploration and development company Champion Iron Mines has resumed drilling operations at its flagship Consolidated Fire Lake North (CFLN) project in Canada, as part of its plan to complete a feasibility study by year end.

The wholly-owned CFLN project is located in north-eastern Québec, adjacent to the north of ArcelorMittal‘s operating Fire Lake mine and 60km south of Cliff Natural Resources’ Bloom Lake mine.

Under the plan, two diamond drill rigs have been deployed to complete a 13-hole definition drilling programme totalling 2,150m.

The drilling is focused on converting existing near-surface inferred resources to reserves, within the northern portion of the currently defined West Pit.

The definition drilling programme is expected to be completed by late March and is projected to yield a modest increase in reserves and a reduction to the waste-ore strip ratio within the existing West Pit design, the company said.

One drill rig will be retained upon completion of the definition drilling programme, to commence condemnation drilling at the proposed gyro crusher and AG mill sites in addition to the tailings retention area.

Champion will deploy a third diamond drill rig in the coming days to continue the geomechanical study related to open pit slope stability and the selection of final open pit design specifications required for the feasibility study.

A second geomechanical drill will commence drilling when one of the reserve definition drills is shut down in early March.

The two geomechanical drills are expected to complete the 13-hole geomechanical programme totalling 4,860m, in early May.

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