Hardey Resources will begin drilling for copper at its flagship Burraga project in New South Wales earlier than expected and as the price of the red metal hits a new four-year high.

The LME copper price punched through the $US7200 per tonne mark last week – its highest point since the start of 2014.

Hardey (ASX:HDY) has concluded preparatory work for a significant drilling program at the Burraga project.

The Lloyd’s copper mine will be the primary focus of drilling, which will begin in the next quarter.

The program is expected to build on the results of previous drilling as well as look to further extend the known mineralisation at Lloyd’s.

Hardey says the program promises to be the most progressive copper drilling program at Lloyd’s in modern times.

The company has outlined a significant exploration budget for its prospective copper and gold projects.

A priority for the company is the Burraga project, which it will inject $500,000 to $1 million into over the next two quarters.

To that end, Hardey is fast tracking work on the Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Lloyd’s mine.

Mining license the main game

Gaining approval of the EIS at Lloyd’s remains a priority with the company ultimately aiming to obtain a mining licence to process the existing and as yet unmined material.

As part of Hardey’s renewed focus on the Burraga project, the company began a review of the tailing stockpiles and slag heaps at the Lloyds mine earlier this year.

The company’s goal is to identify a suitable strategy for commercialising the copper-rich stockpiles.

Cutting edge tech

The new drilling program will provide additional data for the hyperspectral model of the Lloyd’s deposit.

To gain a better understanding of the ore body, Hardey is following in the footsteps of mining heavyweights BHP Billiton and Rio Tinto and using cutting-edge hyperspectral analysis.

Hyperspectral analysis uses drill core and chips to generate a model of mineral alteration across the ore body.

Hardey has engaged a specialist consultant to produce a model of the Lloyd’s site which will lead to a better exploration strategy.

Hyperspectral analysis will be used in conjunction with the existing geographic information system and geochemical data to provide a holistic model of the Lloyd’s ore body and its alteration halo to direct future drilling programs.

This type of analysis is becoming common place in the minerals industry as it has proved to be one of the most accurate and cost-effective exploration tools for structurally complex ore bodies such as Lloyd’s.

Hardey plans to drill exploration targets across the Burraga project in the remainder of 2018.


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