Australia’s DMC Mining has started drilling at its 80%-owned Mayoko Iron Ore Project in the Republic of the Congo.

The company has started a stage 1 diamond drill programme to test the size and grade of the 0.7 to one billion tonnes iron ore exploration target, which was identified during an airborne geophysical survey in July 2009.

The drilling programme will comprise about 12 drill holes on 1.5km-spaced traverses along the 7km strike of the Mt Lekoumou-Mipoundi prospects, to depths of 200-400m.

The drilling will be completed in three to four months and the core will be sent to Perth, Western Australia, for head grade analysis and metallurgical test work.

DMC Mining managing director David Sumich said the core will enable metallurgical test work to be completed to assess product quality and consequent market opportunities.