Dart Mining's Corryong quest gathers pace

DART Mining will soon begin a significant drilling program for its Mount Unicorn project near Corryong.

The company is so confident it has also decided to re-commission an environmental effects statement for the project.

Should all the studies tick the right boxes, the company hopes there might be the finance in place to begin full production in 2019.

Just nine months ago the company was looking at slowing down certain key steps in the project after concerns were raised about the difficulty in separating zinc from copper sediment.

A new board took over soon afterwards and the company subsequently undertook petrology and metallurgy on samples from Unicorn.

That revealed the copper and zinc at Unicorn was “not particularly unusual” and that it appeared economically feasible to extract the copper.

Company commercial manager and acting chief executive John Cornelius said a pre-feasibility study would now be undertaken in earnest.

That is likely to be completed this financial year, more closely aligning a “definitive” study and a start to commercial mining.

“We’re prepared to get stuck into and reinvigorate, restart and recommence the pre-feasibility study to do more drilling,” Mr Cornelius said.

“We’re looking forward to very soon, during August, commencing a signficant drilling program at Unicorn and some other regional drilling.”

Mr Cornelius said there was no doubt there had been a significant turnaround in the project since last year.

“We’re looking ahead and now we’re getting on with it.”

Mr Corneluis said there were about eight million tonnes of material from which it would extract the copper ore “and some of our better grades of minerals within that ore”.

“We want to bring that back into the pre-feasibility study as well.”

Dart Mining’s optimism about the project led to providing an update to the Australian Stock Exchange earlier this week.

The statement said the project had the potential to become the focus of “a major Victorian mineral province”.

Other positives the company said had led to the project being back on track include its water supply options being expanded and enhanced.

Mr Cornelius said the company had a “signficant” number of shareholders in the Border region and hoped to have its annual general meeting in Albury in November.