Balkan Mining and Minerals (ASX:BMM) has employed Major Drilling Group International (TSE:MDI) to finalise an ongoing 2,500m drilling program at its Gorge Lithium Project in Ontario, Canada.
According to Balkan, which has a $8.25 million market capitalisation, Major Drilling is one of the largest drilling companies in the world, employing some 3,500 people with a global fleet of more than 600 drill rigs active over 5 continents.
The lithium explorer expects the delivery of a new fit-for-purpose diamond core drill rig and a new drilling crew to ‘substantially’ increase its drilling rates and efficiency in the Gorge area.
To date, drill rates in Balkan’s maiden program using a multi-purpose rig have been ‘slower than initially anticipated’ due to hard ground conditions. The new rig being delivered to Gorge, however, is reportedly equipped to drill through all weather conditions and is manned by experienced drilling operators on a 24-hour, 7-day week shift.
Shares in Balkan Mining and Minerals closed 20.83% higher at $0.14 on Thursday 9 November.
Balkan notes that clearing and stripping crews are now working to prepare drill sites in parallel to its drilling activity. Balkan anticipates that the remainder of the program will be completed with ‘vastly improved’ drilling times.
The company says it will review ongoing drilling results at Gorge in light of the potential for year-round drilling activity where appropriate.
Drilling has been designed to provide a better understanding of the lithium mineralisation in the shallow subsurface and to test the vertical plunge and extensions along the known Nelson and Koshman pegmatite strikes in the area.
Balkan Mining and Minerals Managing Director Ross Cotton says the company is confident that it may potentially uncover a ‘world-class’ lithium project in Ontario.
“We identified that the ground conditions encountered in our early holes necessitated a change in equipment and have acted quickly to source a fit-for-purpose rig and drill team from Major Drilling.
“we remain extremely bullish about the potential to uncover a world-class lithium project at Gorge”
Given the known occurrences of spodumene-hosted pegmatites across several prospects at Gorge and the initial success of our early drilling, we remain extremely bullish about the potential to uncover a world-class lithium project at Gorge.”
Balkan Mining and Minerals is focused on the early stage exploration through to the development of borate and associated lithium in the Balkans and Canada.
The company’s Gorge Project consists of 11 multi-cell and a single mining claim covering an area of 43km-square about 215km northeast of Thunder Bay in Ontario.
Balkan Mining and Minerals had $2.457 million cash and cash equivalents at hand as of 30 September 2023, according to its latest quarterly report.
Write to Adam Drought at Mining.com.au
Images: Balkan Mining and Minerals