In surprisingly pleasant news, the Paris deposit on South Australia’s northern Eyre Peninsula is shaping up as the best undeveloped silver deposit in Australia, following a highly successful in-fill drilling program.
Adelaide-based Investigator Resources has announced a 26% increase in the total silver resource at Paris, about 200km west of Port Augusta, from 33 million ounces to 42 million ounces.
With the silver price standing at AU$24 per ounce, Paris could be a valuable deposit if the economics stack up.
Importantly, the new resource figures also include a significant improvement in the average silver grade, boosting the economic argument for mining at Paris.
The average grade increased from 116 grams per tonne (g/t) to 139 g/t silver, based on a cut-off grade of 50 g/t.
The new resource figures come from an in-fill drilling program covering 20 per cent of the deposit area undertaken as a step towards a prefeasibility study.
Investigator managing director, John Anderson, said he believed Paris was now the best undeveloped silver deposit in Australia.
“Around the country, undeveloped silver deposits are either large and low grade, or small and high grade. But Paris is growing into a sweet spot in the middle of these extremes, being both high grade and now very significant in size.”
Anderson said the increased confidence in the Paris resource enabled Investigator to continue with prefeasibility studies for a shallow, open-cut mine. These initial studies are expected to be completed in the September quarter.
Investigator discovered Paris in 2011 and announced a maiden resource of 20 million ounces in 2013. Paris is an entirely new deposit style in South Australia and put the northern Eyre Peninsula on the map for the exploration industry.
In September 2016, Investigator also discovered a large porphyry copper mineral system at Nankivel, just a few kilometres east of the Paris silver deposit. Follow up drilling is underway at Nankivel.