Orion Minerals has commenced exploration work in the Areachap Belt, Northern Cape, South Africa, where it holds prospecting rights over 196,760ha.

Earlier this month, Orion started ground electro magnetic (EM) surveys and geological mapping over anomalies resulting from helicopter-borne electro magnetic (SkyTEM) surveys on the Masiqhame and Disawell prospecting rights.

Through the activities in the area, the firm is targeting both volcanogenic massive sulphide (VMS) and magmatic sulphide style mineralisation.

“Due to the significant number of anomalies identified, the use of modern exploration tools has significantly enhanced the probability of exploration success.”

Orion Minerals managing director and CEO Errol Smart said: “Given the significant number of new anomalies generated by Orion’s initial helicopter-borne Electro Magnetic (SkyTEM) survey over our regional landholdings in the highly-prospective yet underexplored Areachap Belt, in our view, the use of modern exploration tools has significantly enhanced the probability of exploration success.

“We look forward to drill testing multiple targets in coming months with the first drill holes scheduled to commence during June 2018.”

The company has prioritised 17 anomalies coinciding with a paleo-seafloor setting for testing as VMS targets.

It also indicated the presence of VMS-style zinc-copper deposits in the Masiqhame region at Kantienpan and Boksputs in the Areachap Group, which contains the Prieska zinc-copper deposit.

The first survey of the ground EM surveying on the Disawell prospecting rights over the 2.6km-long SkyTEM anomaly at HP3 is currently underway.

SkyTEM data was used to model two conductive plates, 1.2 and 1.6km long respectively, at this anomaly.

Mapping over the area confirmed volcanic-related lithologies, including metamorphosed felsic tuffs, which form the bulk of outcrops over the anomaly.

Additionally, mapping found dark, poorly-magnetic chert with traces of pyrite on the target, which are being seen as a distal exhalative phase of the VMS deposit.

Orion has also selected two anomalies, Rok Optel and Area 4, for priority ground EM follow-up as nickel-copper-cobalt-PGE sulphide targets.