Metallica Minerals says it has started a key mine plan drilling campaign at its Urquhart Bauxite project near Weipa.
Chief executive officer Simon Slesarewich said the results from the close-spaced drilling program would help pave the way for the planned commencement of operations in the first half of 2017.
“Metallica remains bullish that this project will deliver significant shareholder value and is looking forward to sharing the results of the pre-feasibility study as soon as they are available,” he said.
The 186-hole drill program is expected to be completed within two weeks and will see drill spacing down to 80m in some areas.
Results will be used to upgrade the project’s bauxite JORC Inferred Resource and complete a pre-feasibility study within the next 10 weeks.
The company said this was expected to confirm the results of a previously completed options study undertaken internally by Metallica to progress the project as a direct shipping bauxite mine and export operation.