Special Report: Bryah Resources’ Bryah Basin joint venture has hit high grade manganese while drilling the historic Horseshoe South mine, as it works towards a maiden resource estimate for the project.

The latest results from the Bryah Basin manganese joint venture – owned 70% by Bryah Resources (ASX:BYH) and 30% by a subsidiary of OM Holdings (ASX:OMH) – are the last to come of a program carried out in October and November last year to allow improved geological modelling of the historic mine site.

They did just that, with Bryah stating the latest results confirmed the presence of high-grade manganese mineralisation beneath the existing main pit floor and provided an increased geological understanding of the area.

A potential channel deposit was intersected, defined by lower iron and phosphorus grades when compared against stratigraphic manganese mineralisation in the area.

The best results recorded during holes completed in 2020 included:

  • 3m at 37.8% manganese from 5m in HSRC087, including 2m at 44.3% from 5m;
  • 4m at 35.9% manganese from 4m in HSRC106, including 3m at 39.7% manganese from 9m;
  • 4m at 30% manganese from 5m, including 2m at 35.3% from 6m in HSRC095;
  • 16m at 26.1% manganese from 6m, including 1m at 34.3% from 11m and 2m at 32.5% from 15m in HERC071;
  • And 8m at 28.9% manganese from 10m including 1m at 34.3% from 11m and 2m at 32.5% from 15m in HERC066.

A diamond drilling program started in December, and will recommence this month, with additional holes planned to recover core samples from the Brumby Creek prospect.

Two holes at Horseshoe South Extended have been completed under this program, with the core to be used for density and beneficiation testwork ahead of the mineral resource estimates.


Offer on the table

Drilling programs at the project are fully funded by OM (Manganese) (OMM) – the wholly-owned subsidiary of OMH which is currently earning up to a 40% interest in the project through exploration activity.

Under the arrangement, Bryah would remain project manager until OMM has earned up to 51% of the JV, at which point OMM would have the option to become project manager.

However, Bryah received a conditional $5 million offer from Primero Group (ASX:PGX) and AMCI Group for its interest in the Bryah Basin Manganese Joint Venture in November 2020 – an offer it intends to accept.

OMM has a pre-emptive right to match this offer during a 60-day notice period, which expires later this month.

OMM currently operates the Bootu Creek manganese mine in the Northern Territory, which is due to end open pit mining this year.

Bryah, which recently raised $1.3 million and is aggressively pursuing copper-gold opportunities in the region, would only give up the manganese rights to the project under the terms of the offer.

In late December, the company struck a conditional agreement with Adaman Resources for use of the processing facility at Kirkalocka gold mine to treat material mined at its nearby Tumblegum South gold deposit.

That deal could allow Bryah to unlock gold value in the region – Tumblegum South currently has an inferred mineral resource of 600,000 tonnes at 2.2 grams per tonne gold for 42,500 ounces, with assays pending and more RC drilling planned for 2021.

The Bryah Basin manganese JV tenements and geology. Pic: Supplied


Significant history of production

The Horseshoe Range area is located north of Meekatharra in WA and has long been the main manganese producing region within the Bryah and Padbury basins.

Production has been dominated over the years from Horseshoe South, as well as a smaller satellite deposit at the Horseshoe North mine. The two deposits produced a combined 490,000 tonnes of ore between 1948 and 1969 at an average grade of 42% manganese.

Between 2008 and 2011, a subsidiary of Mineral Resources (ASX:MIN) processed historical stockpiles and completed hard rock mining operations in the area, producing more than 400,000 tonnes of manganese ore.

Stockpiles were processed using mobile screening equipment, while a dense media separation plant was used to treat the hard rock ore.





This article was developed in collaboration with Bryah Resources, a Stockhead advertiser at the time of publishing.

This article does not constitute financial product advice. You should consider obtaining independent advice before making any financial decisions.