Washington Resources has commenced the second round of drilling at Moonlight iron ore prospect in the Limpopo region of South Africa, with the results of first assay expected in mid-January.

The drilling, which is focused on mineralisation, will provide further assurances of the quality of the deposit and expect the results to add to the high quality, low contaminant resource base, according to the company.

The $450,000 programme is aimed at elevating a significant portion of shallow mineralisation from an inferred to indicated and measured categories at Moonlight, which contains a current JORC-compliant inferred resource of 320mt at a grade of 32% Fe.

South African company Champ Drilling has provided two rigs for the 3,200m programme which will add confidence to the resource inventory as well as form the basis for a reserve sufficient to support a ten-year mine plan, the company said.

Abundant near-surface mineralisation is present in the selected area, which will yield a resource with a low stripping ratio.

The drilling is expected to be completed in January 2010, while an updated resource estimate is expected by the end of March 2010.