Balkan (ASX: BMM) returns to Gorge drill campaignOctober 18, 2023
Balkan Mining and Minerals (ASX:BMM) has restarted drilling at its hard-rock Gorge lithium project after a hiatus for First Nations hunting activities in Thunder Bay, Ontario.
The company restarted diamond drilling at Gorge on Saturday after a brief interruption to the campaign it started on schedule in September.
Balkan has already drilled one hole at the project, unveiling ‘visible spodumene’ pegmatites.
Visible spodumene of about 5% to 15% content was seen from a 7.6m depth at Nelson.
The company’s drill contractor is now focused on increasing campaign productivity by rostering workers on shifts day and night until program completion.
Balkan hopes to also continue drilling at an increased rate after it completes its initial program, aiming for potential depth increases.
“We’re very pleased to be continuing our maiden diamond drill program at Gorge post the observation of the brief hunting season. The early indications from the program have whet our appetite for what we hope will be a highly successful drilling campaign.
“We are targeting high-priority opportunities at the Nelson and Koshman pegmatites and we’re continuing to identify new drill targets as the full scale and size of the Nelson and Koshman pegmatites is uncovered.” – Balkan Managing Director Ross Cotton
The company expects to report its results over the coming weeks, with full results from the campaign expected by the start of December.
Plan of approach
The company’s approach to its flagship Gorge project is to direct its focus to the Nelson and Koshman prospects.
Drawing on a geological understanding of the pegmatite structures’ strike and dip, Balkan has identified multiple additional drill targets at the Ontario prospect.
If the program yields encouraging results, Balkan hopes to drill Gorge year-round, with funds from its turbocharged $1.47 million exploration budget.
The company has a three-year exploration permit for Gorge.
While Canada’s Quebec is better known for its lithium prospectivity, Ontario is now one of the world’s most active areas for lithium exploration.
Two well-known Ontarian projects that developers hope to bring to fruition are Frontier Lithium’s (CVE:FL) remote PAK project and Avalon Advanced Resources’ (TSE:AVL) Separation Rapids project.
Canada and Ontario’s governments are keen to back resources projects in the province and have a number of options available for project support.
Among the funding on offer are C$200,000 grants from the C$26 million Ontario Junior Exploration Program.
OJEP aims to encourage early exploration and expand the province’s mineral development projects pipeline.
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