Urals Alluvial Platinum : West Kytlim
Project at a glance:
- Eurasia is working in joint venture with its partner Anglo Platinum
- Drilling and trench-work continue to expand the resource base within the Tylai-Kosvinsky Placer inside the 171 km2 licence area.
- Eurasia already has several areas of approved reserves and is awaiting a production licence.
Alluvial Platinum was first discovered in the Ural Mountains in 1824, since then the region has yielded in excess of 500 tonnes of platinum mined from a number of placer fields, the largest of which is estimated to have produced more than 240 tonnes. The fields comprise natural, gravity-driven economic concentrations of platinum and very minor gold formed in stream and river sediments eroded and drained from platinum bearing ultramafic complexes.
Placers of this type are attractive development targets owing to their often high concentrations of platinum and relatively low-tech and low cost mining and processing requirements.
The Urals ultramafic rocks (peridotite, pyroxenite and dunite), were formed in an ancient rift zone and later upthrust into the Urals as part of the mountain building collision between the Siberian and European Cratons during the Hercynian Orogeny. Tectonic activity in the Urals extended over a very long geological time frame and included six phases of post-Triassic uplift. Previous mapping of the distribution of high energy sediment accumulations which were formed in association with intense erosion during these uplift phases, indicate the potential for elevated concentrations of platinum within these sediments.
It was the potential for these sequential erosion phases to form separate layers of platinum buried beneath much younger placers that contributed most of the historic production that ignited Eurasia’s and subsequently Anglo Platinum’ s interest in conducting Urals Platinum Exploration.
Sequence of exploration and development
In the process of early reconnaissance data was collected and processed for 211 reported occurrences of which West Kytlim was the stand out target in the Central Urals. The Kytlim region has produced circa 50 tonnes of alluvial platinum to date.
The first drilling results from detailed exploration at West Kytlim were announced in April 2005. Grades of up to 500 mg/m3 were discovered, well above the minimum 100 mg/m3 required to be economic. Work has progressed from the original discovery of buried placers in tributaries of the Tylai River to the river terraces of both the Tylai and Kosva Rivers (see sections below).
Eurasia’s plans for mining at West Kytlim are advancing; in parallel the resource base continues to be progressively expanded through ongoing drilling, pitting and bulk sampling. These new areas are being integrated into resource estimations that will be submitted to the authorities for approval. Meanwhile, an application for the production licence, based on already approved reserves, is still awaiting approval; this is an essential step before exploitation can be commenced.
Eurasia is hopeful of a development in the near future and is ready to mobilise when the licence is ultimately granted. The figure below shows the current state of the resource calculations at various placer deposits within the licence.
The 2012 work programme for West Kytlim is fully funded and our experienced field personnel will continue preparatory work and resource drilling as we wait granting of a production licence.