Conrad Silver Project
The Conrad Silver Project comprises a high grade, polymetallic silver-rich base metal resource which has been delineated along a 2.2km length of the Conrad Lode system by some 27,000m of resource definition drilling . Based on that drilling, a mineral resource containing 9.6 million ounces of silver, or 19.2 million ounces of silver equivalent, has been defined. Within that resource, a higher grade component, comprising 458,000 tonnes at a grade of 424g/t AgEQ (13.6oz/t AgEQ) has been defined (containing 6.2 million ounces of silver equivalent).
History and Tenure
The Conrad silver mine is situated about 25 km south of the town of Inverell, in northern NSW. SVL has acquired the project from Malachite Resources Ltd (ASX:MAR). The tenements include three mining leases (MLs 5992, 6040 and 6041), one 4 unit EPL (EPL 1050) and one exploration licence (EL 5977).
Historical workings were developed mainly on the Conrad Lode, which was accessed through the Conrad, Moore, Davis and one or two minor additional shafts over about 1.5km of strike length. The deepest mining is the bottom of the Conrad main shaft at 270m below surface but most of the development and stoping is a lot shallower than that. Some ore also came from the King Conrad and Alwell's Lodes, each with an access shaft. The first production period extended from 1898 to 1912, when the mine closed due to industrial relations problems. It was then largely inactive until 1948, when Broken Hill South Ltd commenced underground development. The mine resumed production from 1955 to 1957, but then closed due to falling lead prices; it has been idle ever since. The recorded average grade of historical production was 600g/t silver, 1.5% copper, 8% lead, 4% zinc and 1.5% tin and total production was 3.5 million ounces of silver, or about double that on a silver equivalent basis.
Up to the end of 2008, Malachite had drilled approximately 25,500 metres of reverse circulation percussion and diamond drilling in 107 holes. That drilling was focussed within, beneath and along strike from the old workings that make up the historic Conrad Mine. Based on that drilling, a mineral resource estimate was prepared by Malachite's consultants in late 2008. That work identified a resource containing 9.6 million ounces of silver or 19.2 million ounces on a silver equivalent basis. A full report on mineral resource estimation was released to the ASX on 16 December 2008 by Malachite.